Among the Cubs, comedy, and community of blues legends, Chicago is famous for a myriad of treasures. But when it comes to food, it’s all about one hot (and hotly contested) offering: pizza. While deep dish is undoubtedly the city’s most iconic pie offering, several other worthwhile contenders offer their own baked takes that span everything from pan style to thin crust. Top those options off with an impressive array of, well, toppings, and you’re looking at a positively mouthwatering pizza-scape for the Windy City and its countless dough enthusiasts. So check out these nine top pizza spots in Chicago now for your full-on pizza fill.
535 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile; labriolacafe.com
Decision-averse diners can have it all at this Mag Mile restaurant, where the team serves up three styles of pizza: thin crust, deep dish, and artisan style. Bring a group to sample the different perks of each (spicy sauce on the thin crust, a ciabatta crust for the artisan), or stick to the classic deep dish, a locally beloved favorite for its focaccia-style crust, whole-milk mozzarella, and chunky tomato sauce. You may want to ensure enough appetite for more to the meal—a colossal menu presents equally generous portions of all kinds of Italian specialties, from arancini and burrata to cacio e pepe and ricotta gnocchi.
1521 N. Fremont St., Lincoln Park; bebu.pizza
You won’t find any deep dish on the menu at this Lincoln Park neighborhood newcomer, where the team showcases thin-crust pizzas that rival the styles of New York and New Haven—but still fall into a category of their own. Credit that authenticity to clever flavor combinations (pancetta and egg or jalapeños and cream cheese) and, largely, to the crust. Chef Jeff Lutzow uses a proprietary blend of flours that he cold ferments and bakes in a brick-lined, gas-fired oven, resulting in uniformly crispy and perfectly charred pies every time. Grab a few to share (they’re thin, after all), and couple them with any of the venue’s flavor-packed sides, from delicata squash to meatballs.
2207 N. Clybourn Ave., Lincoln Park; pequodspizza.com
The crunchy quality of Pequod’s signature caramelized crust draws packs of pan-style devotees to this Lincoln Park eatery, where the team has spent more than 40 years mastering what they do best. To score that wow factor, Pequod’s subs in rich, whole-milk mozzarella for dough along the pan’s edges, before topping the entire pie with tangy tomato sauce and a layer of pork sausage (made just for them by a local butcher). After 20 minutes of bake time, voilà—one of the city’s most sought-after pies is served.
1769 W. Sunnyside Ave., Ravenswood; spaccanapolipizzeria.com
This Uptown restaurant has been gathering crowds for more than a decade for its Naples-style pies—and every ounce of work that goes into making them. A certified pizzaiuolo, owner Jon Goldsmith tends to the dough daily; it is topped with only the freshest of ingredients from local purveyors before being baked in an oven that was built locally by fourth-generation artisans of Neapolitan descent. The supremely charred, bubbly aftermath hits tables that are likely already abounding in an array of Mediterranean-inspired antipasti, including caprese salads, grilled octopus, and marinated eggplant. Enjoy it all with a few bottles from the restaurant’s wine list, an ode to Italy’s Campania region.
Multiple Chicago locations; pizanoschicago.com
Just two people are tasked with making the dough for all six restaurants of this Chicago institution—and they’re both guided by Donna Marie, the widow of founder Rudy Malnati, Sr., who opened the first location in 1991. That quality control leads to caramelized, buttery pies that have gained a reputation nationwide as being some of the best thin-crust around (not to mention Oprah’s personal fave). While most outposts are situated in the Chicagoland area (the Gold Coast, River North, Loop, South Loop, and Glenview), the team just opened a Milwaukee location, too—meaning more of the Midwest can now embrace the taste.
2010 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown; mypiepizza.com
A fourth-generation baker, Larry Aronson grew up hooked on Chicago deep-dish pizza—so in his 20s, he decided to develop his own. In 1971, he opened his first shop in the city’s Roger’s Park neighborhood, where he began serving his version of pie—and thus titled the venue My Pi (a play on a mathematical symbol associated with circles—representing the perfect pizza shape).
A few things have changed throughout the years, including the closing of the original location and opening of the current outpost in Bucktown, but one aspect remains untouched: Aronson’s commitment to the freshest possible ingredients. Find them in each slice by way of daily-made dough, California San Marzano tomato sauce, and artisanal Wisconsin mozzarella.
2204 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park; bacinosoflincolnpark.com
This Lincoln Park restaurant specializes in stuffed pizzas, a variation that forgoes the standard pan-crust or deep-dish approaches by using a greater percentage of fillings (cheese, meat, and vegetables). And with ingredients this carefully sourced (like real mozzarella from Wisconsin producers, and tomatoes from the same purveyors for 40 years and counting), that’s good news indeed.
So good, in fact, that the venue was dubbed a personal favorite by legendary Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, who ordered pies to his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant for visiting chefs to try while in town. He’d serve them with this line: “You can have foie gras wherever you like, but this is something we do well in Chicago.”
Multiple Chicago locations; loumalnatis.com
Chicagoans swear by the fresh tomato sauce, rich crust, and perfectly baked cheese in the pies of this deep-dish icon, which opened its first spot in the city’s Lincolnwood suburb in 1971. Since then, more than 50 Chicagoland outposts have sprung up by growing demand, thanks mainly to the team’s steadfast from-scratch approach and commitment to quality. That means a decades-strong crust recipe; exclusive sausage blend seasoned to the team’s specifications; handpicked, vine-ripened tomatoes; and fresh mozzarella from the same small Wisconsin dairy that has supplied the restaurant since opening day.
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.
2121 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park; chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com
Those who shy away from sharing will enjoy the menu at this Lincoln Park restaurant, where individual servings of pizza “pot pies” are the star of the show. To create the ultimate comfort food fix, the chefs layer a small bowl with a special blend of cheeses, whole mushrooms, and a chunky tomato and garlic sauce, before covering it with a sheet of triple-raised Sicilian dough and placing it in the oven. Post-baking, the piping hot pillow is flipped onto a plate and served with a fork and knife—two essentials for this hearty, lasagna-esque favorite. Rich, filling, and just slightly sweet from the sauce, consider it the ultimate finale to your personal Chicago pizza quest.
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