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Photograph: Courtesy Bob's PIzza

The 28 best pizza spots in Chicago

From saucy deep dish to flame-kissed Neapolitan pies, these are the best pizzas in Chicago

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen
Contributor
Samantha Nelson
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Chicago might be best known for its signature deep dish pizza, but the city actually offers a diverse range of slices ranging from quick-fired Neapolitan pies to square Detroit-style to newer homespun variants like Pilsen-style made with dough incorporating Old Style beer. You can enjoy a taste from the comfort of home by ordering delivery or takeout or visit one of the best restaurants in the city to enjoy your piping hot pie fresh from the oven. This list combines Chicago institutions and New York imports so you can take your tastebuds on tour to discover the best pizza in Chicago.

Best pizza in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Ashburn
  • price 1 of 4

Tossing and saucing pies since 1946, Ashburn shop Vito and Nick’s is the king of tavern-style 'za. The crispy, cracker-thin crust, tangy sauce and top-quality sausage separate this pizza from its peers. The cash-only joint doesn't do delivery (a promise co-founder Nick Barracao made back in '65), so pick up the phone and call in your carryout order or plan a visit to the no-frills dining room—a pitcher of beer and an order of cheese sticks will tide you over while you wait for the main event.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Logan Square

The char-dappled pies at this Logan Square brewery might just rival the beer that Middle Brow is best known for. Expect a short but sweet menu of options, like the classic margherita with fresh mozzarella and herbs or the mushroom with melty fontina and caramelized onions. And because the dough's made in-house daily, there's not a dud on the menu. The only mistake you can make is not pairing your 'za with a beer: The namesake lager is just right for a picnic at nearby Palmer Square Park.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Albany Park
  • price 2 of 4

Contrary to most of the country’s opinion, Chicago does not exist on deep dish alone. In fact, most locals really dig tavern-style pizza, a pie with cracker-thin crust topped with bubbled, almost crispy cheese that’s cut into squares rather than triangles. This beloved stalwart—which is part liquor store, part pizza parlor—has been around since the 1940s, and it's not hard to see why it's still kicking. Though indoor dining remains closed, Marie's offers takeout, curbside pickup, delivery and an expansive outdoor space dubbed “The Piazza” that's lined with umbrella-topped picnic tables.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Suburbs
  • price 2 of 4

Beloved Morton Grove pizzeria Burt’s Place specializes in deep dish pies that boast a signature caramelized crust developed by founder Burt Katz, who previously launched both Gulliver’s and Pequod’s. Stuff yours with whatever you want (we're fans of sausage, onions and mixed bell peppers) and toss in some jalapeño poppers and cannoli for good measure. Call to order from the carryout menu or grab a spot on the large outdoor heated patio.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Streeterville
  • price 1 of 4

The Chicago-New York pizza rivalry runs deep, but every once in a while, us Midwesterners fall in love with an East Coast import. So is the case with New Yorker Robert Garvey's riverfront Streeterville pie shop. You see, Garvey is a certified pizzaioli who spent nearly 20 years developing an anatomically perfect crust. Cooked in a brick oven, these thin-crust pizzas boast the right crunch-to-chew ratio and are dressed up in a slew of creative toppings. You can create your own, but why bother? Garvey has dreamed up a laundry list of delicious pairings, like the duck prosciutto with calabrian chile, fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Sheffield & DePaul
  • price 1 of 4

We’re not advocating taking Roger Ebert’s advice on pizza, but we will give some credence to his claim that there’s a good thin-crust pie to be found here. Pastas, salads and a handful of cheesy, sauced chicken entrées round out the options, but we suggest sticking with the pizza, especially if you’re a fan of crispy paper-thin crust and square-cut slices. Order a vegetarian version and one topped with crumbled Italian sausage, plus plenty of beers to wash it down, and you’re in for a wallet-friendly night in a good old-fashioned family-friendly joint.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • River West/West Town
  • price 2 of 4

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, the 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.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

Brooklyn import Paulie Gee’s serves a wide-selection of Neapolitan-inspired wood-fired pizzas like the signature Hellboy with soppressata picante and Mike’s Hot Honey or the vegan Fast Car with garlic, mushrooms, sauteed bread crumbs and cashew ricotta dollops. You’ll also find Logan Squares, a riff on Detroit’s thick crust rectangular pizzas, that can be made vegan or with gluten-free dough. If you’re looking for a New York-style slice, head to Paulie Gee’s new Wicker Park location, which also offers breakfast sandwiches on weekend mornings.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Ukrainian Village
  • price 2 of 4

In a flip that epitomizes 2020, Bite Cafe transformed into Pizza Friendly Pizza, a scrappy but hopeful collaboration between friends Noah Sandoval (Oriole, Kumiko) and Bruce Finkelman, the managing partner of 16" on Center (Empty Bottle, Bite Cafe). Like its name suggests, the star of the menu is pizza—more specifically, thick Sicilian-style 'za that sports a bubbly crust that's anchored by crispy, caramelized edges. Here's the fun part: To order, head to the alley behind the building, where you'll find a small window and host stand plus several tables with plants hanging overhead.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lake View
  • price 2 of 4

A haven for East Coast transplants, Crushed serves 12- and 16-inch pies with favorites including the Louie made with sausage, spicy capicola, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, cremini mushrooms and their signature crushed tomato sauce and the Venus, which features sausage, shaved parmesan and caramelized onions. Customize your pie with add-ons including garlic butter sauce, sriracha ranch and pickled jalapeños. The counter-service spot is BYOB but sells a wide selection of specialty soft drinks.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Uptown
  • price 1 of 4

This place is serious about Neapolitan 'za: 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 anchovies to rapini to pistachio cream. Add on a bottle of Italian wine and tiramisu and limoncello to finish off your dinner, and you’ve got a great night out.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

After more than a decade in Lincoln Square, Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe moved to bigger digs in Ravenswood earlier this year that provide more seating and additional ovens to keep up with demand for its New York-style pizza. Sidle up to the counter and craft your own pie or try a slice of one of their specialties like the BDW made with chopped dates, applewood bacon, crushed walnuts, gorgonzola and Mike’s Hot Honey, or the Windy City, which features housemade sausage, mushrooms and roasted red pepper.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Wicker Park
  • price 2 of 4

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 pint of the crisp Golden Arm, and you’ll never disparagingly say “pizza and beer joint” again.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lake View

Naudi Signature Pizza prevents decision paralysis by offering a tiny menu: square pan or thin-crust white or red pizza topped with fresh basil and a blend of four cheeses and customized with a small list of toppings such as zucchini, hot sauce and jalapenos. While you can get the pies delivered or for curbside pick up, it’s best to dine in at the BYOB spot and enjoy a wood-fired pie that’s just been pulled out of the oven.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lower West Side
  • price 2 of 4

Former Hubbard Inn and Joy District executive chef Matt Wilde developed his own Pilsen-style pizza by replacing water in the dough with Old Style beer. The result is a 16-inch pie that has the thickness of a New York-style slice but the puffy crust found in Neapolitan pizzas. With locations across the city and suburbs, Bob’s serves quirky creations including the Pickle Pizza made with garlic cream, mortadella, sliced pickles and fresh dill, and the Korea BBQ Chicken Pizza featuring housemade kimchi, scallions, roasted chicken thigh and creamy apple barbecue sauce.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 1 of 4

If you ask an honest-to-god Chicagoan to name their favorite deep dish pizza, chances are they'll point you to Pequod's, where the signature pan pies are ringed with caramelized cheese and the 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. It's not hard to see what all the fuss is about.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

We can't think of a more dynamic duo than pizza and bagels, and lucky for us, Logan Square's Reno specializes in both carbolicious delicacies. Swing by during weekend brunch service for breakfast sandwiches or come in the evening to grab a pie for the road. The menu is rife with far-out flavor combinations that totally work, like the Spanish Monster, with mushrooms, chorizo, cream sauce, scallions and mozzarella. You can certainly share the 14-inch pizzas, but we recommend one per person if you're hoping to have leftovers.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • West Loop

Forno Rosso owner Nick Nitti studied in Naples to learn to make traditional Neapolitan pizza before opening restaurants in Dunning and the West Loop. Pies bake for about a minute in a wood-burning oven and are typically eaten with a fork and knife, with red and white options including the Carbonara with pancetta, egg and cracked black pepper, and the Barese with rapini, locally sourced sausage and imported burrata. Save room for dessert and order a pizza topped with nutella, bananas, strawberries and powdered sugar.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Chicagoans have become accustomed to a variety of different styles of pizza: Neapolitan, New York, Detroit and Sicilian. But what the heck is a Quad Cities-style pie? The crust is crafted with dark-roasted malt, which gives it a subtle sweetness and great chew. From there, a slightly spicy sauce is layered with toppings and blanketed in cheese. After baking in the oven, each pie is cut into long strips with a pair of scissors. No matter where you're from, it's a style worth trying—if only for that satisfyingly sweet crust.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • North Center

Brian Tondryk followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Gino’s East co-founder Fred Bartoli, by opening Bartoli’s Pizzeria in Roscoe Village in 2013 and adding a West Town location in 2020. The restaurants serve both deep dish and tavern-style pizza, with signature pies including the Union Stockyard made with Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, prosciutto and Italian beef, and The Diavolo, a spicy blend of soppressata, capocollo, ricotta, Calabrian chili peppers and Mike’s Hot Honey.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Loop
  • price 2 of 4

There are two kinds of Chicagoans: Giordano’s people and Lou Malnati’s people. Lou's has been slinging deep dish pies since 1971 and is known for its flaky, buttery crust. Each pizza is stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese from Wisconsin, vine-ripened California tomatoes and an exclusive sausage blend. Don't fuss with anything else on the menu—including pasta dishes or thin-crust 'za. A large deep dish pizza easily serves (and fills) four hungry adults.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Bridgeport
  • price 1 of 4

Every Chicago neighborhood has its favored thin-crust pie, and for decades, Bridgeport’s preference has been Phil’s. Regulars will tell you all about the former dining room, which was located on Halsted and exuded a bit more charm (and plenty of wood paneling), but the recipe hasn't changed. The owners took their old-school Blodgett ovens with them, and the crispy exterior crust, chewy interior crust and hunks of fennel-flecked sausage honor the tasty tradition of the original.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Hyde Park

Owner Nella Grassano is a professionally trained pizzaiola, which essentially means that she's a bonafide pizza expert (talk about a dream job). Grassano and her husband, Francesco, use this training to crank out pristine Neapolitan pies at their Hyde Park restaurant. Go classic with the stripped-down Nella D.O.P., with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil—or turn things up a notch with the pescatore, a pie loaded with calamari, shrimp, mussels and clams.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

Welcome to the “Nine Levels of Hell”: poblano peppers, pepperoni, giardiniera, bacon, fresh garlic, jalapeño, sausage, red onion and banana peppers, together forming the “Inferno.” This pizza sounds terrifying, but trust us, it won’t hurt. The heat’s present but mild-mannered, the thin crust is pleasantly chewy, and the thing is huge. There’s also a vegan version made with sausage and pepperoni from Palermo’s Unreal Foods. If that’s too intense, just stop in for a  jumbo slice of pepperon

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Edgewater
  • price 2 of 4

Located just steps away from Osterman Beach (aka Hollywood Beach), Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar serves customizable personal-sized pizza with crispy, hand-tossed dough plus creative signature pies like the Jalapeno Popper topped with cream cheese sauce, cheddar, jalapenos, bacon and chipotle drizzle. Try a slice for $3 during happy hour from 3–5pm Monday through Friday, which also features half-price appetizers, $4 glasses of house wine and $5 drafts. When the weather is nice, you can dig in on the 40-seat dog friendly patio.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Logan Square

Developed by Dan Snowden—the former executive chef of Bad Hunter—and Heisler Hospitality's Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner, Pizza Lobo features grab-and-go 'za and a lengthy bar menu plus a 4,000-square-foot patio. The trio honed the concept for Pizza Lobo over the course of several years in the kitchen of Bad Hunter's sister bar, Lone Wolf, playing with different ideas revolving around a classic New York-style crust. Taste their results by the slice or share a 16-inch pie.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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Five Squared Pizza
Photograph: Morgan Olsen

27. Five Squared Pizza

Ideal for the indecisive, Five Squared Pizza lets you select four different Detroit-style slices per box, and the flavors available are anything but ordinary. The Al Pastor is loaded with ground pork, pineapple salsa, jalapeños and cotija cheese, while the Tie Dye comes topped with vodka sauce and pesto. A new menu goes live every Sunday, and pickup and delivery is available Thursday through Saturday. You'll want to slide into their DMs to place your order.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • West Loop

Bonci is the 31 Flavors of pizza, in a more elevated, carbo-loaded sort of way. No two visits are the same, thanks to a rotating cast of Roman pies that guests are invited to order by the strip. The crust eats like focaccia, and you can expect to find classic and imaginative toppings like crispy potatoes, spicy eggplant, silky lox and creamy ricotta. Three or four strips is the perfect serving for a hungry adult, and the staff at Bonci is happy to heat them up on-site or give you detailed instructions to do it at home.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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