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Best pizza in Chicago

Whether hawking deep-dish pizza or turning out thin-crust pies, these are the pizzerias that do Chicagoans proud

Photograph: Chris Litwin
Spacca Napoli

Chicago's deep-dish pizza is legendary, but we have to break it to you: To get the best pizza in Chicago, you have to get out of River North. Otherwise, you'll miss out on the remarkable, cheese-laden specimens at Pequod's in Lincoln Park. Since as many people love deep-dish as love to hate it, we're happy to inform you that Chicago is home to many other pizza styles, from New York (Armitage Pizza) to New Haven (Piece) to Neopolitan (Spacca Napoli) to Neapolitan-ish (Reno). For a real taste of Chicago, head south to the stalwart Vito & Nick's, which has been serving up its cracker-thin pies since 1949. Here are our picks for the very best pizza in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Best Chicago restaurants

Best Chicago pizza

1

Pequod’s Pizza

With exposed brick and plasma-screen TVs, Pequod's is firmly a neighborhood bar. But Pequod's is a bar that serves some of the best pizza in the city. The signature pan pizza is ringed with caramelized cheese, and slices are massive—one piece makes a meal. Add veggies to lighten it up a bit, or go all in, with the sausage pie, dotted with perfectly spiced, ping-pong ball–size pieces of seasoned ground pork.

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Lincoln Park
2

Coalfire

Coalfire comes out among the top of the thin crust pizza joints in Chicago. The little spot in West Town (with a second location in Southport Corridor) turns out blistered pies with a chewy, slightly crisp edge from its 800-degree coal oven. While the crust is a work of art itself, toppings are inspired—soft whipped peaks of ricotta balance coins of spicy pepperoni; thin slices of fiery 'nduja, a spreadable Calabrian salami, with fresh mozzarella; and a garlicky white pie are among the standouts. The restaurant fills up fast, but there's always takeout.

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West Town
3

Reno

The all-day bagels-and-pizza joint from the Telegraph crew is a casual coffee shop by day—so casual it feels almost like a cafeteria—and only slightly less casual at night, when proper table service kicks in. But this is nothing more than a great neighborhood pizza parlor, albeit one with excellent house-made pastas, a killer mizuna salad and house-made hot sauces on the tables.

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Logan Square
4

Vito and Nick’s

Serving pizza to Chicagoans since 1949 (although this location opened in ’65), Vito and Nick’s is the king of thin-crust pizza done Chicago-style. With Old Style on tap and the Bears on TV, surly waitresses shuffle bubbling-hot pies to a full room of revelers. The crispy but pliant crust, tangy sauce and top-quality sausage separate this pizza from other Chicago thin-crusts. The wait times for pie can run a little long on weekends, so order your drinks by the pitcher and enjoy a true Chicago scene.

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Southwest Side
5

Piece

Two things keep this place from going the route of sports-bar-beer-bong culture: excellent house brews and expertly executed pizzas. The crispy pies hold a lot of weight, so after you choose your pizza style—red, white, BBQ or New Haven–style “plain” (red sauce, no mozzarella)—start piling on the toppings. (If you’re really going New Haven–style, try one with clams and bacon.) Wash it down with a pitcher of the crisp Golden Arm, and you’ll never disparagingly say “pizza and beer joint” again.

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Wicker Park
6

Spacca Napoli

This place is serious about Neapolitan pizza: A custom-built, oak-stoked oven kicks out bubbling beauties with perfectly charred peaks and valleys in less than two minutes. The hand-formed crust is paper-thin at the center and thicker toward the edges and has the unmistakable chew of a true Neapolitan pie. Aside from the simple marinara or Margherita, toppings run the gamut from fennel-flecked sausage to bitter rapini to prosciutto ribbons. Add a humble Italian wine and beer list, after-dinner options such as espresso and limoncello, and you’ve got a great night out.

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Ravenswood

Comments

2 comments
Ken M
Ken M

Burts place has a,sign on thecsubdue saying its "closed for health reasons."

Haha.

John O
John O

The guy had cancer. He's dead now.