Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza may be its claim to fame, but the city also provides a wide variety of other pizza styles, including square Detroit-style, quick-fired Neapolitan pies, and more recent homegrown varieties like Pilsen-style, which uses Old Style beer in the dough. You can have a taste at home by ordering delivery or takeaway, or you can go to one of the greatest restaurants in the area and eat a hot, freshly baked pie. You can use this list to visit Chicago’s best pizza with your taste buds by combining New York imports and Chicago landmarks.
1.Pizza joint Vito and Nick’s
The king of tavern-style “za” is Ashburn’s Vito and Nick’s, which has been tossing and saucing pies since 1946. This pizza stands out from the competition because to its crisp, cracker-thin crust, zesty sauce, and premium sausage. Since delivery is not available at the cash-only restaurant, call in your carryout order or make a reservation at the basic eating area. A pitcher of beer and an order of cheese sticks will keep you satisfied while you wait for the main attraction.
2. Middle Brow Bungalow
The charred pies at this Logan Square brewery may even compete with Middle Brow’s specialty beer. A limited but delectable menu will be available, with dishes like the traditional margherita with fresh mozzarella and herbs or the mushroom with melty fontina and caramelised onions among the choices. Additionally, there isn’t a bad dish on the menu because the dough is prepared daily on-site. The only error you can make is to not drink beer with your ‘za; Palmer Square Park is the perfect location for a picnic with its eponymous brew.
3. Marie’s Pizza & Spirits
Contrary to popular belief, Chicago is not reliant solely on deep dish. In fact, the majority of the population really like tavern-style pizza, which has a square-shaped dough rather than a triangle shape and a bubbling, almost crunchy cheese topping. This cherished institution, which functions as both a booze shop and a pizzeria, has been there since the 1940s, and it’s easy to understand why it’s still going strong. Although Marie’s does not now offer indoor eating, it does provide takeaway, curbside pickup, delivery, and a sizable outdoor area known as “The Piazza” that is filled with umbrella-topped picnic tables.
The well-known Morton Grove pizza Burt’s Place specialises in deep dish pies and was founded by Burt Katz, who also founded Gulliver’s and Pequod’s. Fill yours anyway you choose (we like sausage, onions, and mixed bell peppers), and for good measure, throw in some jalapeo poppers and cannoli. Call to place a carryout order or reserve a seat on the sizable heated patio outside.
5. Robert’s Pizza Company,
The battle between Chicago and New York for best pizza is fierce, but every so often, we Midwesterners fall in love with an import from the East Coast. The same is true of Robert Garvey’s riverfront pie business in Streeterville, owned by a New Yorker. Garvey, you see, is a trained pizzaiolo who spent close to 20 years perfecting the anatomical shape of the crust. These thin-crust pizzas are baked in a brick oven, have the ideal crunch to chew ratio, and are topped with a variety of inventive ingredients. Although you can make your own, why bother? A long number of delectable pairings has been concocted by Garvey, including the duck prosciutto with calabrian pepper, fresh mozzarella, and tomato sauce.
6.Pat’s Pizza and Restaurant
Although we don’t recommend following Roger Ebert’s counsel when it comes to pizza, we will give some attention to his assertion that this location has a good thin-crust pie. The menu also includes pastas, salads, and a few dishes of cheesy, sauced chicken, but we advise sticking with the pizza, particularly if you like square-cut pieces and crispy, paper-thin crust. You’re in for a budget-friendly evening at a nice old-fashioned family-friendly restaurant if you order a vegetarian version and one topped with crumbled Italian sausage, along with lots of drinks to wash it down.
Among Chicago’s best places to get thin-crust pizza is Coalfire. The little restaurant in West Town (which also has a branch in Southport Corridor) uses an 800-degree coal oven to produce blistered pies with a chewy, slightly crisp edge. Even though the crust is a work of art in and of itself, the toppings are out of this world. Some of the standouts are a garlicky white pie, thin slices of scorching ‘nduja, a spreadable Calabrian salami, with fresh mozzarella, and delicate whipped peaks of ricotta that balance coins of spicy pepperoni.
Brooklyn-based Paulie Gee’s offers a variety of wood-fired pizzas with Neapolitan influences, including the popular Hellboy with soppressata picante and Mike’s Hot Honey and the vegan Fast Car with garlic, mushrooms, sautéed bread crumbs, and dollops of cashew ricotta. Additionally, there are Logan Squares, a variation on the thick-crust, rectangular pizzas from Detroit that may be made with vegan or gluten-free dough. Visit Paulie Gee’s new Wicker Park location for a New York-style slice; on weekends, they also serve breakfast sandwiches.
9. Pizza that’s approachable
It was a scrappy yet optimistic cooperation between friends Noah Sandoval (Oriole, Kumiko) and Bruce Finkelman, managing partner of 16″ on Center, that epitomised the year 2020 when Bite Cafe changed into Pizza Friendly Pizza (Empty Bottle, Bite Cafe). Pizza is the highlight of the menu, as the name would imply, and more especially, thick Sicilian-style ‘za with a bubbly crust and crispy, caramelised edges. The enjoyable part now To place an order, proceed to the alleyway behind the building. There, you will find numerous tables with plants strung from the ceiling, a small window, and a host stand.
10. Crumbled Pizza Shop
Known for its 12- and 16-inch pies, Crushed is a haven for East Coast transplants. Popular varieties include the Louie, which is topped with sausage, spicy capicola, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, cremini mushrooms, and their signature crushed tomato sauce, and the Venus, which has sausage, shaved parmesan, and caramelised onions. Add-ons for your pie include pickled jalapenos, sriracha ranch, and garlic butter sauce. The counter-service restaurant allows BYOB, but it also offers a large variety of speciality soft drinks.
This location takes Neapolitan ‘za seriously: In less than two minutes, a specially constructed oven burning oak produces boiling beauty with flawlessly charred peaks and valleys. The hand-formed crust has the distinctive crunch of a genuine Neapolitan pie and is paper-thin in the centre and thicker toward the edges. Anchovies, rapini, and pistachio cream are just a few of the topping options available in addition to the basic marinara or Margherita. You can have a nice night out by adding a bottle of Italian wine, tiramisu, and limoncello to your dinner.
12.Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe
After more than ten years in Lincoln Square, Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe relocated early this year to larger quarters in Ravenswood, which offer more seats and extra ovens to meet the demand for its New York-style pizza. A slice of one of their signature pies, such the BDW, which is created with chopped dates, applewood bacon, crushed walnuts, gorgonzola, and Mike’s Hot Honey, or the Windy City, which has housemade sausage, mushrooms, and roasted red pepper, may be enjoyed by sidling up to the counter.
13. Brewery and pizzeria Piece
This business avoids becoming a sports-bar-beer-bong culture because of its superb house brews and well-done pizzas. After deciding on your preferred pizza style—red, white, BBQ, or New Haven-style “plain” (red sauce, no mozzarella), the crispy pies hold a lot of weight—begin adding on the toppings. (If you want to be authentically New Haven, try one with clams and bacon.) You won’t ever refer to a pizza and beer joint negatively again after you wash it down with a pint of the refreshing Golden Arm.
14. Naudi Special Pizza
By providing a limited selection of toppings, such as zucchini, hot sauce, and jalapenos, Naudi Signature Pizza avoids decision paralysis. The restaurant’s square pan or thin-crust white or red pizza is topped with fresh basil and a combination of four cheeses. It’s ideal to eat in at the BYOB restaurant and savour a wood-fired pie that has just been taken out of the oven, even if you can have the pies delivered or picked up curbside.
Matt Wilde, a former executive chef at the Hubbard Inn and Joy District, created his own Pilsen-style pizza by substituting Old Style beer for water in the dough. The end result is a 16-inch pie with the puffy crust typical of Neapolitan pizzas and the thickness of a New York-style slice. Bob’s serves oddball inventions at its various locations in the city and suburbs, such as the Pickle Pizza, which is created with garlic cream, mortadella, sliced pickles, and fresh dill, and the Korea BBQ Chicken Pizza, which has roasted chicken thighs, scallions, and a creamy apple barbecue sauce.
When asked where they get their favourite deep dish pizza, a true Chicagoan is likely to recommend Pequod’s, where the famous pan pies are ringed with caramelised cheese and the slices are so large that one serves as a meal. If you want to lighten it up a bit, add some vegetables, or go all out with the sausage pie, which is studded with ping-pong ball-sized bits of wonderfully spiced, seasoned ground pork. It is simple to understand why there is such a fuss.
Pizza and bagels are a match made in heaven, and fortunately for us, Logan Square’s Reno specialises in both carb-heavy treats. Come in the evening to pick up a pie for the road or stop by during the weekend brunch service for breakfast sandwiches. The Spanish Monster, which has mushrooms, chorizo, cream sauce, scallions, and mozzarella, is just one example of the menu’s many bizarre flavour combinations that work brilliantly. The 14-inch pizzas can be split, but if you want to have leftovers, we advise ordering one per person.
18. Forno Rosso Napoletana Pizzeria
Before launching restaurants in Dunning and the West Loop, Nick Nitti, the proprietor of Forno Rosso, underwent training in Naples to learn how to produce authentic Neapolitan pizza. A fork and knife are commonly used to eat pies, which bake in a wood-burning oven for approximately a minute. Red and white alternatives include the Carbonara with pancetta, egg, and freshly cracked black pepper, as well as the Barese with rapini, locally obtained sausage, and imported burrata. Order a pizza with nutella, bananas, strawberries, and powdered sugar on top if you still have room for dessert.
19. Homemade pizza from Roots
Neapolitan, New York, Detroit, and Sicilian pizza are among the varieties of pizza that Chicagoans have grown accustomed to. But what exactly is a pie made in the Quad Cities? Dark-roasted malt is used to make the crust, giving it a delicate sweetness and excellent chew. After that, toppings are added and a somewhat spicily sauce is spread before being covered in cheese. Each pie is cut into several long slices with a pair of scissors after baking in the oven. It’s a style worth trying no matter where you’re from, if only for that satisfyingly sugary crust.
By establishing Bartoli’s Pizzeria in Roscoe Village in 2013 and expanding it to West Town in 2020, Brian Tondryk continued the legacy of his grandpa, Gino’s East co-founder Fred Bartoli. The restaurants offer both deep dish and tavern-style pizza, with specialties like The Diavolo, a fiery combination of soppressata, capocollo, ricotta, Calabrian chilli peppers, and Mike’s Hot Honey, and The Union Stockyard, prepared with Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, prosciutto, and Italian beef.
Chicagoans can be divided into two groups: Giordano’s people and Lou Malnati’s people. Since 1971, Lou’s has been serving deep dish pies, which are renowned for their flaky, buttery crust. Fresh mozzarella cheese from Wisconsin, vine-ripened California tomatoes, and a special sausage mixture are all included on every pizza. Anything else on the menu, such as pasta dishes or thin-crust pizza, should be ordered without fuss. Four hungry adults can easily be fed (and satisfied) with a large deep dish pizza.
22. Phil’s Pizza
Every Chicago neighbourhood has a favourite thin-crust pie, and Phil’s has long been Bridgeport’s favourite. The recipe hasn’t changed, but regulars will tell you all about the previous dining room, which was on Halsted and had a little more charm (and plenty of wood panelling). The crispy exterior crust, soft inside crust, and chunks of fennel-flecked sausage honour the delicious tradition of the original. The proprietors brought their vintage Blodgett ovens with them.
23. Nella Pizza and Pasta
Being a highly qualified pizzaiola, the owner Nella Grassano can be considered a true pizza specialist (talk about a dream job). This training helps Grassano and her husband, Francesco, produce flawless Neapolitan pies at their Hyde Park restaurant. Choose the basic Nella D.O.P., which is made with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, or go all-out with the pescatore, a pie stuffed with calamari, shrimp, mussels, and clams.
24 Dante’s Pizzeria
Welcome to the “Nine Levels of Hell,” which are composed of the “Inferno,” which also includes poblano peppers, pepperoni, giardiniera, bacon, fresh garlic, jalapenos, sausage, red onions, and banana peppers. Although this pizza may sound terrible, it won’t hurt. The thing is enormous, the heat is strong but not overpowering, and the thin crust is delightfully chewy. There is also a vegan variation from Palermo’s Unreal Foods that is created with sausage and pepperoni.
25. Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar
Osterman Beach (formerly known as Hollywood Beach) is only a few steps away from Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar, which also offers inventive signature pies like the Jalapeno Popper topped with cream cheese sauce, cheddar, jalapenos, bacon, and chipotle drizzle. During happy hour, which runs from 3-5pm Monday through Friday, try a slice for $3 in addition to half-priced appetisers, $4 glasses of house wine, and $5 brews. You can eat outside on the 40-seat patio when the weather is favourable.
26 Pizza Lobo
Pizza Lobo, which was created by Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner of Heisler Hospitality and Dan Snowden, the former head chef of Bad Hunter, offers grab-and-go ‘za, a substantial bar menu, as well as a 4,000-square-foot patio. In the kitchen of Bad Hunter’s sibling bar, Lone Wolf, the three spent several years refining the idea for Pizza Lobo by experimenting with various concepts centred around a traditional New York-style dough. Try a slice of their creation or split a 16-inch pie with a friend.
27.One-Square Pizza, number
With four different Detroit-style slices available every box, Five Squared Pizza is the perfect option for people who struggle to make decisions. The flavours are anything but conventional. The Tie Dye is topped with vodka sauce and pesto, while the Al Pastor is stuffed with ground pork, pineapple salsa, jalapenos, and cotija cheese. Every Sunday, a new menu is posted online, and pickup and delivery are offered from Thursday through Saturday. To place your order, you should slip into their direct messages.
28 Bonci Pizzeria
Bonci is, in a more refined, carb-heavy style, the 31 Flavors of pizza. Because customers can purchase a variety of Roman pies by the strip, no two trips are ever the same. You may anticipate traditional and creative toppings like crunchy potatoes, spicy eggplant, silky lox, and creamy ricotta. The crust tastes like focaccia. A serving size of three or four strips is ideal for a hungry adult, and the staff at Bonci is delighted to reheat them for you on-site or provide you with step-by-step instructions so you can do it at home.