Chicago is a foodie destination for a number of reasons, but perhaps the biggest draw is its deep-dish pizza. Unlike other pizzas, a Chicago deep-dish pizza has cheese directly on top of the crust, followed by the toppings and sauce. These stuffed pies are often more than an inch deep, with a flaky, thin pie crust. This signature dish is still not widely available outside of Illinois, so pizza lovers from far and wide flock to the city for it. Here are five of the most famous Chicago pizza shops to be sure you try while in the Windy City.
Lou Malnati’s Pizza
Opened in 1971, Lou Malnati’s is one of the most famous Chicago pizza shops. In fact, the Lou Malnati name is the oldest family name in Chicago pizza; Lou Malnati got his start in the 1940’s working at his father’s pizza shop, Pizzeria Uno. Lou brought his extensive knowledge of pizza and his passion for delicious Italian food to his own restaurant. The pies at Lou Malnati’s are known for having perfectly flaky and buttery crusts. You can’t go wrong with the signature “Lou” pizza, topped with fresh spinach, mushrooms and sliced tomatoes on top of a blend of mozzarella, Romano and cheddar cheeses. Lou Malnati’s has dozens of branches all over Chicago, so you’re never too far from a great pizza pie!
Lou Malnati’s brother, Rudy Malnati, Jr. launched Pizano’s Pizza in 1991. The pie dough for each of the company’s six locations is made fresh every day by Rudy’s mother in the basement of the chain’s State Street location. Pizano’s pies are shallower than Lou Malnati’s but every bit as tasty, thanks to the perfect combination of butter crust, toppings, and tart crushed tomatoes.
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Founded by two Italian immigrants in 1974, Giordano’s is a famous Chicago pizza shop best known for its unique deep-dish crust. The crust is deeper and thicker than most Chicago pies, and every pie is topped with rich house tomato sauce. This recipe is derived from a double-crusted “Italian Easter pie” that the brothers’ mother made back home in northern Italy.
No list of famous Chicago pizza places would be complete without Pizzeria Uno. Although Unos has grown into a chain with locations all around the country, its original Chicago location is where deep dish was born. In 1943 Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo opened the restaurant and introduced this new style of pizza to the city. The original Uno’s on the corner of Ohio and Wabash features a menu that is different from the other restaurants in the chain, so it’s well worth a visit.
Gino’s East is a fixture in the Chicago pizza scene. Since opening in 1966, Gino’s East has grown into a large pizza chain with 16 locations. Started by two taxi drivers, the Gino’s pies feature a deep, golden crust, piles of mozzarella and a rich, chunky tomato sauce on top. Thin-crust pizza and other Italian fare also grace the menu, including stromboli and pasta. Add Gino’s own sausage to your pie for a true hometown experience.
We hope you enjoy getting your fill of deep-dish pizza at these famous Chicago pizza shops! If we missed one that you’d recommend, feel free to let us know. If you’re looking for short-term corporate housing or a home-away-from-home in Chicago, we’d love to show you around our community. You can also schedule a tour online or give us a call at 312-787-8080.
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