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Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza
Photograph: Martha WilliamsLou Malnati's deep dish pizza

The best deep dish pizza in Chicago

No matter how you slice it, Chicago is a deep dish kind of town. Here are our favorite spots to eat the iconic dish.

Edited by
Emma Krupp
Contributors
Morgan Olsen
&
Allison Yates
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Tourists come from all over the world to try classic Chicago eats like deep dish pizza—and although locals might quibble over whether deep dish is the definitive Chicago-style pizza, we can put our opinions aside and admit this gooey mess has a certain charm. There’s incredible pizza throughout the Windy City, but these pizzerias mean business when it comes to the densely loaded, irresistibly cheesy, have-to-unbutton-your-pants kind that we’re famous for. So whether you’re working through your Chicago bucket list one meal at a time or want to try new spins on the traditional pie, check out these Chicago spots for deep dish pizza. 

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in Chicago

Best deep dish pizza in Chicago

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

The unofficial reigning champ among locals, Pequod’s has two locations (Morton 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 really can’t go wrong with any combination of ingredients. The pizza here is known for its caramelized "halo" crust, created by sprinkling cheese edge to edge and baking it until it’s crisp and brown. But our favorite part of this pie is the sauce—refreshingly bright and undoctored, it tastes like fresh tomatoes.

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

After temporarily closing in 2015, this iconic pizza parlor reopened in 2017, much to the delight of its longtime fans. Burt’s still takes phone orders ahead of time (highly recommended), but the building's interior has undergone a gut rehab, adding a bar with several draft taps. Fill your pie with a hodge-podge of ingredients including sausage, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers and fresh spinach. From the city, a relatively quick Metra ride will get you there in a jiffy, making Burt’s a must on any pizza lover’s deep dish checklist.

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

Boasting more than 50 locations across the city and suburbs, it's not hard to see why Lou Malnati's stands out among its competitors. The trademark buttery crust (literally trademarked, they call it Buttercrust™) is reminiscent of crispy Italian breadsticks and holds in the cheese and toppings. 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. Pro tip: The namesake Malnati salad—with tomatoes, black olives, 'shrooms, salami and gorgonzola—is positively unmissable and pairs perfectly with a slice.

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

This Lakeview institution offers a stand-out pie, and whether you order an entire 14-inch pizza to go or stop in for a stacked slice, you’re bound to get the authentic Chicago experience. Though there's nothing wrong with specialty pies like the Hawaiian or Southwestern, Art's Special is arguably the best option on the menu, stuffed with sausage, onions, mushrooms and green pepper. The golden brown crust—a product of the restaurant's well-seasoned pans—is a signature touch that diners will find on every slice.

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

Boasting a crazy number of outposts throughout the city and 'burbs, Giordano's traces its roots back to Torino, Italy, where Mama Giordano's famous "Italian Easter Pie" was born. These days, it's one of the easiest spots to grab deep dish in the city. And it works—it's been around since 1974 serving deep dish pies you really don't need more than one slice or two of.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Streeterville

What started as an artisan bread company back in 1996 has grown into one of the city's finest pizza spots, which makes total sense when you taste the deep dish pie. The focaccia-style dough is double-proofed and lined with fresh mozzarella, creating a fluffy interior that's backed by a caramelized cheese crust with extra crunch. The Buratta and Basil—made with mozzarella, provolone, pecorino, burrata and fresh basil—is our go-to order, but the Danny’s Special is also delectable. 

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Every pizza has a defining feature—whether it's the zingy red sauce, the buttery crust or the imaginative toppings. At Milly's, it's not hard to tell what sets owner Robert Maleski's pies apart. A halo of caramelized mozzarella wraps around each creation, lending a deeply satisfying crunch to each slice. Crafted in seriously small quantities, these pan pies are almost always sold out, but if you can get your hands on one, go for the Que Suerte, with pineapple, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño and brown sugar bacon.

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

Pizza sauce must run in Rudy Malnati Jr.'s blood. His father, Rudy Malnati Sr., opened Pizzeria Uno in 1943, putting the deep dish style on the map. In 1991, Rudy Jr. opened Pizano's, which now boasts six locations across the Chicagoland area. Diners are treated to a roster of traditional ingredients and a few funky options, like the Uncle John's Hawaiian with Canadian bacon and tender, caramelized hunks of pineapple.

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

Tucked in a cozy basement space in Lincoln Park, this pizzeria has only a handful of tables and a 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. You can’t provide a better spectacle for out-of-town guests requesting a Chicago pizza.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor

The folks behind Roots Handmade Pizza are trying their hand at deep dish by transforming their Wells Street location into a pizzeria fit for a Supreme Court justice. Named for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ruth's donates 10 percent of all proceeds to the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU of Illinois in an effort to support the Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project. The pies boast a butter-rubbed crust, pools of mozzarella and tons of toppings. The namesake RBG Supreme is loaded up with taco-seasoned ground beef, jalapeños, black olives, tortilla strips, cheddar cheese curds and chihuahua cheese.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • River West/West Town

This West Town pizza joint is located just off the Chicago Blue Line station, but it’s more than just a place to pop in and grab a slice (though we do recommend eating this pizza any way you can, even on the go). Since 2004, this family-run pizzeria—brothers Evan and Ian Muellner founded the restaurant and their mom Sandy works twice a week to make the delectable meat toppings—has been serving deep dish classics with meat and veggie toppings and “things in jars” (we can’t get enough of the giardiniera).

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • North Center

Brian Tondryk named this pizzeria after his grandfather Fred Bartoli, one of the founders of Gino’s East. Tondryk was so impressed by Bartoli’s success that he took his family’s recipe, made some tweaks and opened this Roscoe Village pizzeria in 2013 and another location in West Town in 2020. Order the Union Stockyard for some serious meat sweats and a bit of old-fashioned Chicago nostalgia.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Armour Square
  • price 2 of 4

This beloved Bridgeport restaurant may be world-famous for its breaded steak sandwiches (and its spin-off, the breaded steak tavern-style pizza), but the loaded deep dish is no less impressive. All pies are build-your-own, so you can pick from a list of ingredients like peppers, mushrooms, sliced beef, sausage, bacon and—of course—giardiniera. There’s also an extensive menu of wings, pasta, sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs if you want a one-stop shop for all of Chicago’s classic eats.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

In 1966, two taxi drivers named Sam Levine and Fred Bartoli decided that what the quieter streets east of the Magnificent Mile needed most was some good pizza. Today, the area is crowded with restaurants and hotels, but the signature recipes that made Gino’s East famous remain unchanged. And if you love the crust, you can thank Alice Mae Redmond, the Black chef that Levine and Bartli entrusted to develop the dough that’s still used at every location.

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

Founder Dan Bacin owned a radio station and a magazine before putting both businesses up for sale to go all in on a pizza shop. The resulting endeavor showcases fresh ingredients and a from-scratch sauce that's downright bellissimo. We're particularly fond of the spinach supreme pie, which is filled to the brim with leafy greens, cheese, herbs and optional mushrooms (get 'em). This spot's claim to fame is "America's 1st Heart Healthy Pizza," though we're not sure anyone could survive a deep dish diet.

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Morgan Olsen
Global Food & Drink Editor
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Armour Square

PMQ Pizza Magazine Hall of Famer Connie’s Pizza was once a small storefront and OG in the delivery service biz—in the 1960s, founder Jim Stolfe loaded pizzas on the back of his truck and sold them to people sitting on porches. Today, the warehouse-sized building offers a full bar, outdoor patio, live music on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer, and an extensive menu of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and more. Grab a beer and order any size of deep dish with as many ingredients—options include meats like soppressata, capicola, gourmet sausage and veggies like bell pepper, broccoli, mushroom and sweet onion—and enjoy the feeling of being pleasantly stuffed.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

Digging into a slice at Pizzeria Uno on the corner of Ohio and Wabash takes you back to where it all began in 1943—depending on who you ask. Though disputed by Lou Malnati’s and Rosati’s Authentic Italian Pizza, Pizzeria Uno claims to be the originator of Chicago’s notoriously thick pizza pies. Today there are over 100 locations worldwide, so whether you're in Lincoln Park, Qatar or Honduras you can get your deep dish fix.

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Bucktown
  • price 1 of 4

This might be the best thing to ever come out of a frat. My Pi founder Richard Aronson began developing pizza recipes as a student at Northwestern, testing them on his bros. He eventually opened up his own shop in Rogers Park in 1971. Today, you try Aronson’s legendary recipes in Bucktown, My Pi’s only Chicago location. Keep it traditional with the My Pi special, deep dish with sausage or pepperoni with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers or go wild with Hawaiian, pesto or stuffed spinach souffle. All pizzas are crafted from the Aronson family’s homemade dough recipe, topped with San Marzano tomatoes and artisanal Wisconsin cheeses.

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