Everyone loves pizza. But few people love quite like the people of Chicago.
The city is renowned for its pizza, in particular the distinctive deep dish pies which all got started when Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo achieved their dream of creating a pizza unlike any other with the opening of Pizzeria Uno in 1943.
Of course, while there are still plenty of enthusiasts, residents would rather visitors not pigeonhole the city’s culinary delights. There are plenty of supporters for a thin crust, tavern-style pie, after all, and local pizzerias continue to push boundaries, creating all sorts of delicious options for pizza lovers of all types.
If you’re a pizza fan, you’ll probably find yourself searching through the listings of Chicago apartments for sale just to be able to enjoy it whenever you get the craving. These pizzerias aren’t just good, they’re the best of the best!
The world-famous Gino’s East opened in 1966, the second-oldest deep-dish spot in town after the aforementioned Pizzeria Uno. Located just off N. Michigan Avenue on Superior Street, customers come from all corners of the globe, with many returning year after year to scribble their names all over the stucco walls and get a bite of that pizza that’s oozing with cheese, a rich and hearty tomato sauce, and flavorful toppings.
All of the pizzas at Gino’s East are baked to order and take around 30 to 45 minutes to make, so call ahead if you’re in a rush. Best-sellers include the Sausage pie, which can be ordered with sausage patties or crumbles, and the Supreme, which comes with sausage or pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.
Located in the Northwest Side, Dino’s has a classic old-school ambiance, having served pizzas to hungry diners for more than a half-century. It’s primarily a thin-crust pizzeria with high-quality pies – sausage is one of the local favorites thanks to its unique flavor profile, heavy on the fennel like many Chicago-style encased meats, a perfectly pairing with all that cheesy goodness.
There’s no judgment here if you prefer something thicker, though, as you can also get a great stuffed pizza, even most of the customers tend to prefer Dino’s tavern-style pies.
Think New York and Chicago-style pizza lovers can’t get along? Think again. At this Chi-town eatery inspired by “The Divine Comedy,” pizza warriors share a lasting peace. At Dante’s Pizzeria, you can get the best New York-style pie that New York never made. The warning at the entrance to its underworld, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” could easily refer to the chances of finishing the restaurant’s infamous Inferno pie, which aims to invoke the nine circles of hell, or heartburn at least.
There are two locations, one on Armitage Avenue and the other on Chicago Avenue, offering 20-inch pies that are overflowing with toppings like pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto, and even shrimp. The crust is to-die-for with those perfectly golden brown air pockets and a crouton crunch. The Beatrice is a popular option with earthy mushrooms and plenty of garlic, while vegans can rejoice as they’ll have a number of options like the Vegan Diavolo with Palermo’s Unreal Vegan Pepperoni, poblano, garlic oil, and vegan mozzarella.
Sapori Napoletani Pizzeria e Ristorante
The Neapolitan is Chicago’s true original pizza, thanks to the many immigrants that arrived from Naples in the 1800s. This joint is hidden in a strip mall but it can rival the best minus the crowds or parking difficulties.
Owner Antonio Vitello hand-built the wood-fired oven and turns out his traditional-style creations day and night, each one cooked in just under two minutes. That means the results showcase the skills of a true pizzaiolo with crusts that are airy and puffed, and have a fabulously charred edge.