One Shot at Chicago Pizza. Which restaurant?

My friend needs to get something from the Austrian Consulate in Chicago (tres chic, right?), so we’re running up there for like 18 hours next Sunday/Monday. In that time I hope to maybe take a tour of Wrigley Field and eat some pizza.

Last time I got pizza there, I just asked someone on the street and they pointed me somewhere and it was good but I don’t remember which place it was.

So, where do we go to get the most out of our short stay when it comes to a real Chicago deep dish? We’ll be staying around Michigan & Wacker, so the closer the better. But also near Wrigley is fine.

Pizzeria Uno - 29 East Ohio (by Wabash Ave) is only a few blocks away. Excellent Chicago “deepdish” pizza.


I like Gino’s for the cornmeal crust. Two locations: 162 E. Superior and 633 N. Wells.

All the main pizza places are kinda in the same area downtown, but I would say either Pizzeria Uno or Lou Malnati’s.

Giordano’s or Lou Malnati’s. I personally do not like the cornmeal crust at Gino’s.

Here they are in order of my recommendation.

Giordano’s - Probably the best if you’re only going to do one. Their stuffed pizza is classic Chicago and incredibly delicious.

Lou Malnati’s - My personal favorite, but not quite the iconic Chicago style. A little thinner than the others.

Gino’s - Often recommended and often disappointing, IMO. Cheese tends to be rubbery. Sauce too much like Chef Boyardee. However, this is the most touristy spot, and has a pretty good atmosphere.

Uno’s/Due - Pretty good, but doesn’t hold a candle to Giordano’s or LM’s. Claims to have invented Chicago style pizza, but this is hotly disputed.

Noteworthy, but not really Chicago style:

Piece - Makes a good New Haven style. Great beer selection.

Peaquad’s - Best standard style in the city. Not too expensive.

I would rank them differently than Randy Seltzer did, but you can’t really go wrong with any of those on his list.

FWIW my list would say:

  1. Pizzeria Uno/Due
  2. Edwardo’s
  3. Giordano’s
  4. Malnati’s
  5. Gino’s

For pan (which is halfway between deep-dish and thin crust) pizza, Pequod’s or Lou Malnati’s (with the buttercrust.) For thin crust, Marie’s Pizza and Liquors. For deep-dish, Edwardo’s.

Of the three, though, my personal favorite is pan pizza at Pequod’s by a nose.

I’m not a Chicago native and deep-dish pizza for me is… well… a little much and not quite there at the same time. Hey, if you want a good slice, I can take you to a few holes in the wall in New York and Jersey with pizza so delicious it’ll make you cry.

That said, the few times I’ve had deep-dish pizza in Chicago, I have to say that I found Giordano’s to be the best, by far.

I don’t know where anyone is coming from who says Pizzeria Uno is good pizza. Gag.

Seconded on those…

Quoted for truth. The two places to avoid are the two most touristy places in the city, Uno’s/Due and Gino’s East. They are to pizza what Pat’s and Gino’s are to Philly cheesesteaks - overrated and mediocre. Uno’s specifically has the dullest and least flavorful sausage I’ve ever tasted.

Best crust is Carmen’s.

I spend half my time in Kansas City, and it’s the same thing. The one or two places that everyone tells you to go to are to be avoided like the plague because they are coasting on their reputation. In the case of Kansas City BBQ, those are Arthur Bryant’s and Gates. Any Kansas City resident can take you to several dozen better places. (Woodyard is amazing, if hard to find, and an actual hardwood supply company that started serving BBQ).

I was in Chicago for the first time last week, and given a bit more time than yourself, I checked out both Gino’s and Giordano’s. Gino’s was okay, but I wouldn’t really recommend going out of my way for it. We went there on the first night and (after coming in pretty skeptical about the whole Chicago style pizza thing) I wasn’t won over, at all.

We did Giordano’s on the second to last night, and it more than redeemed the good name of Chicago. We were with a larger group of friends so I was actually able to taste both the thin crust and deep dish styles, and they were both really good. I don’t know if I’d put either Chicago choice at the top of my pizza totem pole, but the Giordano’s versions at least deserve places on it.

If you get a pizza downtown, maybe try Wrigleyville Dogs for another classic Chicago experience when you are out that way. :slight_smile:

Agreed and I now have a crush on Gundy.
Wait - you’re a chick right?!

Thanks all! I think Giordanos it is!

And maybe Wrigleyville Dogs too :slight_smile:

Marie’s Pizza & Liquors?!?

Checking flights to O’Hare…

I hope others will concur with me on this, but I would suggest you avoid the meat toppings in your deep dish and go with the spinach. It blows away every single person I get to try it (and nobody has declined). If you don’t want spinach (a shame), I’d recommend the sausage over the pepperoni.

Any other spinach deep dish fans here?

I make a point of ordering Marie’s extra crispy.
And if you get a chance, check them out a couple weeks before Christmas. They have all these crazy, over the top decorations.

Wrigleyville Dogs is good, and is definitely some iconic Chicago food, but an even more interesting experience can be had at The Wiener’s Circle in Lincoln Park. It’s the place that’s world famous for the insults and abuse the staff and customers engage in on a nightly basis. Be sure to order the “chocolate shake.”

I totally concur, but Lou’s is classic deep dish. Pequod’s is between pan and deep dish. They call themselves pan, I call it deep dish. Edwardos and Giordanos are a more recent (circa 1970s) style called “stuffed pizza.” I classify it as a subset of deep dish, but it’s not classic deep dish a la Uno’s, Due’s, Lou’s, and Gino’s.

I personally don’t understand the love for Giordano’s, but a lot of people seem to like their stuffed pizza.

For thin, Marie’s is awesome, but my faves are Vito and Nicks, and Villa Nova in Stickney. Both a reasonable cab fare from Midway, but not so much O’hare.

The classic deep dish pie for me is sausage. Hell, even thin crust must be sausage, IMHO. Pepperoni in Chicago just doesn’t do it for me. The sausage is where it’s at, and a lot of places have their own in-house sausage.