Here are the best places for deep-dish pizzas in Chicago – no food is more synonymous with Windy City cuisine. Created sometime in the 1940s, this local classic features a crispy crust, loads of mozzarella cheese, thick tomato sauce, and a wide range of toppings. Chicago-style pizzas usually must be eaten with a knife and fork and have become a culinary staple for locals and visitors.

    Since the inception of this American classic, Chicago has produced dozens of pizzerias that add unique twists to their recipes. No two deep-dish pies are the same, and there’s always a fierce debate for naming the pizzeria that has Chicago’s best deep-dish. From pizza chains to hidden suburban spots, here’s a look at some of Chicago’s best places for deep-dish pizzas.

    1

    Pequod’s Pizza

    Snack on pizza pies with caramelised crusts late at night

    Pequod’s Pizza has been a rite of passage for Chicago foodies due to its famous caramelised crusts. First opened in Morton Grove in 1970, the pizzeria's pan-style pizzas have crispy, blackened edges that form a solid foundation for toppings like Italian beef, sausage, and giardiniera. The crunchy cheese and refreshing tomato sauce you taste in each slice make it an essential deep-dish restaurant in Chicago.

    Food and restaurant programs regularly feature Pequod’s Pizza, and visitors from around the world would arrive for a bite. The overwhelming demand for the crispy-edge pan-style pizzas led to a 2nd location in the Lincoln Park neighbourhood. Whether you head to Lincoln Park or the northwest suburbs, be prepared to wait in line for your slice.

    Location: 2207 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 773-327-1512

    Map
    2

    Bartoli’s Pizzeria

    A family recipe that has earned countless ‘best pizza’ awards

    At the family-run Bartoli’s Pizzeria, a few generations of hard work helped create a Chicago icon. With multiple "Best Pizza in Chicago" awards, the restaurant draws eager customers from across America. Its flaky, golden crust has extra cheese inside that pairs with layers of mozzarella and tomato sauce.

    After enormous success at its original Roscoe Village location, Bartoli’s opened a West Town shop due to popular demand. While the pizzeria serves its Chicago Classic version with Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, the Deep Dish Spinach & Cheese also earns high marks. The speciality deep-dish pizza combines a spinach and cheese mix with creamy mozzarella, before topping it with a thick sauce.

    Location: 1955 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 4 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 10 pm, Sunday from 11.30 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 773-248-0455

    Map
    3

    Burt’s Place

    A revival of a famous recipe that inspired Chicago pizzerias

    Burt’s Place founder Burt Katz transformed the Chicago deep-dish scene by inspiring the recipe used at several famous Chicagoland pizzerias. His pan pizzas served with caramelised crust continue to drive a sense of nostalgia at the Morton Grove Restaurant. Upon gaining praise from Anthony Bourdain in 2009, Burt’s Place was on every pizza lover’s radar. Soon after, the pizzeria received an overhaul to boost customers' dining experience.

    Burt Katz's legacy continues to thrive in the newly remodelled space that crafts pan pizza using his methods. From a 10-inch pan to an extra-large (16-inch) pan, sprinkle your pizza with toppings like sausage, pepperoni, onions, green olives, sliced tomatoes, spinach, garlic, banana peppers, and more.

    Location: 8541 Ferris Ave, Morton Grove, IL 60053, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday from 4.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Thursday – Saturday from 4.30 pm to 10 pm, Sunday from 4.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 847-965-7997

    Map
    4

    Pizzeria Uno

    The establishment that started the deep-dish pizza craze

    Swing by Pizzeria Uno if you’re wandering the River North District. In business since 1943, the original deep-dish pizza spot now shares its beloved pies with patrons all around America. Founders Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo boldly combined authentic Italian recipes with hearty meats, cheeses, and vegetables to invent a thicker pizza for hungry visitors.

    Today, Pizzeria Uno continues to serve classic recipes, such as the Numero Uno and Chicago Classic. The Numero Uno uses its own chunky vine-ripened tomatoes, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, sausage, onions, and peppers. With the Chicago Classic, you’ll get extra sausage and cheese to satisfy your cravings. It’s easily among the best places for deep dish pizzas in Chicago.

    Location: 29 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

    Open: Daily at 11 am (closing time varies between 10 pm and 11 pm)

    Phone: +1 312-321-1000

    Map

    photo by Daniel Schwen (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    The Art of Pizza

    Order pizza made from the finest ingredients by the slice

    The Art of Pizza amazes customers with flaky crusted pan-pizzas topped with spiced tomato sauce. For over 30 years, the award-winning pizzeria has whipped up pies for Lakeview residents. Using the freshest ingredients, its shopping list includes Wisconsin cheese, California vine-ripened tomatoes, and delectable toppings.

    Their thin-crust and pan-stuffed pizzas come by the slice, but you can also order whole pies. But the enormous loads of cheese will make even 1 slice a hearty meal. Some of the menu’s top speciality choices include the Art’s Southwestern (ground beef, onions, bacon, BBQ sauce base) and Art’s Special (sausage, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers).

    Location: 3033 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +1 773-327-5600

    Map

    photo by The Pizza Review (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Ricobene’s

    Combine deep-dish pizza and Italian fare at this old-school eatery

    Ricobene’s is a Chicago staple that has served hungry customers since 1946. While the old-fashioned eatery is known for its breaded steak sandwich, its pizza earns lots of 5-star reviews. Its deep-dish pizza selections are topped with crushed tomatoes and come with a delectable range of topping combos. You can order pizzas by the slice or grab a whole pie when you're running on an empty stomach.

    Sample The Works for a meat-heavy favourite that comes with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. Their Spinach Lasagna combines ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, and spinach for bites of creamy and cheesy delight. For a Ricobene’s special, the Breaded Steak Pizza meshes bite-sized pieces of breaded steak with mozzarella and tomato sauce.

    Location: 252 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to midnight, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 312-225-5555

    Map
    7

    Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

    One of Chicago’s most beloved pizza chains

    Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is one of Chicago’s most recognisable pizza brands with over 50 locations. After working decades in the pizza business, Lou Malnati opened his first shop in 1971. Malnati’s expertise spawned a delectable recipe containing California vine-ripened tomatoes, Wisconsin mozzarella, and its signature butter crust. The trademarked buttery crust makes the pie thin and crisp on the edges to retain the cheese and toppings.

    With its sausage, extra cheese, and tomato sauce spread on the butter crust, the Malnati Chicago Classic is an authentic deep-dish taste. Malnati’s has full-scale dine-in restaurants and carryout only locations to satisfy the needs of every customer.

    photo by Tony Webster (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Bacino’s of Lincoln Park

    Sample mouthwatering pies with a vegetarian twist

    Bacino’s of Lincoln Park caters to vegetarian customers with a range of health-conscious speciality pizzas. Menu items like the Broccoli Bacino’s thin pizza and spinach supreme stuffed pizza are a delight for veggie lovers. Other healthy ingredients used in many of Bacino’s recipes include bell peppers, mushrooms, and skim mozzarella.

    Bacino’s also offers veggie-friendly appetisers like Tuscan-style bruschetta and spinach and artichoke bread to complement their heart-healthy deep-dish pies. And for meat lovers, the Bacino’s special stuffed pizza with Italian sausage is a delicious alternative. Bacino’s uses its fresh ingredients to whip up thin-crust pizzas when you’re not craving a stuffed pie.

    Location: 2204 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 773-472-7400

    Map
    9

    Giordano’s

    Save room in your belly for enormous stuffed pies

    Giordano’s famous stuffed pizza has given new meaning to the word ‘filling’ since opening in 1974. It introduced one of Chicago’s heaviest pies using its Italian family roots and Mama Giordano’s Italian Easter pie. Their Chicago Classic Deep Dish packs gargantuan levels of cheese atop crispy, cheese-filled crusts. An extra layer of dough makes 1-2 slices enough to stuff any hungry patron.

    Giordano’s sources its signature mozzarella cheese from Wisconsin farmers and tomatoes from Northern California to produce the pizza sauce. The menu includes tasty topping combos like the Bacon BBQ Chicken and Super Veggie Deep Dish. The beloved chain also offers thin-crust pizzas with all their signature toppings for lighter portions.

    photo by Adam Jones, Ph.D. (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    My Pi Pizza

    Thin crust slice on the go

    My Pi Pizza is a team of dedicated bakers in Chicago that strive to produce the tastiest deep-dish dough for customers. Hidden in a Bucktown strip mall, the over-the-counter spot is a fantastic place to order pizza by the slice. Their pan pizza uses family recipes with a secret tomato sauce, vine-ripened San Marzano tomatoes, and the finest meats, herbs, and spices.

    Whether you choose a deep-dish or thin-crust pizza, each order comes topped with upwards of 4 Wisconsin cheeses. Although the crust is a bit thinner, it’s tripled-baked for extra crispiness. Vegans will love veggie-friendly toppings like vegan sausage, fresh spinach, and black olives. If you’re undecided on which pie you’d like, the daily specials are always stellar choices.

    Location: 2010 N Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 773-394-6900

    Map
    Daniel Grenier | Contributing Writer

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