The 6 best places for deep dish pizza in Chicago

Deep dish pizza is one of Chicago's claims to fame, but not all pies are created equal. These are the best versions in town

Photograph: Martha Williams
Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza is one of the best in Chicago.

Chicago’s signature approach to pizza is unapologetically excessive, with buttery crusts barely containing pools of tomato sauce and oozing ribbons of mozzarella. Whether you prefer sauce-drenched deep dish pizza or chunky pan pies with cheese-crusted edges, we’ve gathered our favorites from Chicago restaurants. Grab a deep dish pizza slice that will keep you full for hours or cozy up with one of these huge pies during the winter and you won’t have to leave the house for food all weekend.

RECOMMENDED: Chicago pizza guide

Best deep dish pizza in Chicago

The Art of Pizza

Critics' pick

Art of Pizza has a stand-out pie, and whether you order an entire 12-inch pizza to go, or just stop in for a slice, you’re sure to get the authentic Chicago pizza experience. The cracker-like crust at Art of Pizza is typical of many of deep dish joints, but with the crisped golden crust you can only get from a well-seasoned pan, they do it best here.

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West Lakeview

Burt’s Place

Whether you plan on dining in or taking it to go, if you make the pilgrimage to this Morton Grove classic, you need to call and order ahead of time. Run by long-time pizza veteran Burt Katz (Gulliver's in Evanston, the now-shuttered Inferno, and Morton Grove’s Pequod’s), this spot has his distinct pizza style. At Burt’s, the pizza is mostly crust—a thick, olive oil–saturated focaccia—with very little sauce and cheese and an almost-burnt caramelized cheese ring on the edge. The fennel-heavy sausage is a standout, and you’ll battle your companions for the few large pieces scattered across the pie.

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Morton Grove

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.

Tucked into a cozy basement space in Lincoln Park, this pizzeria has only a handful of tables and a large tourist draw, so you may want to avoid the wait at peak hours. Instead of the traditional deep-dish or pan, these pizzas are actually pot pies, built bottom-up in a ramekin and baked with the crust on top. Served tableside, the pie is flipped upside-down and the fillings slide into the resulting bread bowl crust. Overflowing with a sausage-laced bolognese sauce and lava-like cheese filling, this is pizza to the extreme, and you can’t provide a better spectacle for out of town guests requesting a Chicago pizza.

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Lincoln Park

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

There are dozens of locations across the city and suburbs of Lou Malnati's, one of Chicago’s classic choices for deep dish pies. It’s easy to see why Malnati’s stands out among its many competitors. The trademark buttery crust (literally trademarked, they call it Buttercrust™) is somewhat reminiscent of crispy Italian breadsticks, and holds in the cheese and toppings. Like most traditional deep dish pizzas, the bright red sauce is applied liberally to the top of the cheese. We recommend adding sausage, a thin patty of seasoned meat that covers the entire pizza, ensuring that every bite contains the perfect balance of crust, cheese and toppings.

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River North

Pequod’s Pizza

Pequod’s has two locations (Morton’s Grove and Lincoln Park), making it easy to get your fix of its popular pan pizza. With a substantial crust and generous selection of toppings, you can’t go wrong with any combination of ingredients. The pan pizza has a “halo,” made from sprinkling cheese edge-to-edge and baking it until it’s crisp and brown. Our favorite part of this pie is the sauce—refreshingly bright and undoctored, it tastes like fresh tomatoes.

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Lincoln Park

Pizzeria Uno

Uno’s pizzeria is one of the quintessential choices for deep dish, and a contender for originator of the style (no one can pin down the exact creator of the ubiquitous pie). The original location has been at the corner of Ohio and Wabash since it was founded in 1943. The crust at Uno’s is curiously different, with a dense and crumbly texture that lacks the crunch found at other pizzerias. Otherwise, these pies are textbook Chicago deep dish, from the thick piles of sliced mozzarella to the crushed tomato sauce on top.

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River North

Comments

2 comments
Steve C
Steve C

Pequod’s DOES NOT have two locations........ Who wrote this??

Will A
Will A

@Steve C Yes, it does. One in Morton Grove and one in Lincoln Park.