Big cities are often known for a special local dish, and Chicago’s specialty is pizza. Everyone has a favorite, and every restaurant has its own twist. Below are some fan favorites. Try them all and pick your own:
1. Deep-Dish Number 1: Uno/Due
Just a couple of blocks off the Magnificent Mile, Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Duo are perfect pit stops after a day of shopping. Back in 1943, Uno was one of the first to serve the deep-dish-style pizza that has become a favorite among Chicago natives, and continues to offer a family friendly atmosphere over 70 years later. The menu also contains burgers, sandwiches, and salads to make any guest happy.
2. Deep-Dish Number 2: Gino’s East
Gino’s East is another oldie but goodie in the deep-dish pizza scene. Started in 1966, the original location off Superior Avenue has a casual, nostalgic atmosphere where you can add your name to the graffiti on the walls. The location over by South Loop offers more of an upscale, sports bar atmosphere. Along with pizza, it also serves a variety of local craft beers.
3. Pizza Potpie: Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.
If you find yourself near Lincoln Park, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. is a place you cannot miss. This restaurant was built in an old home, and that location fits in well with its homely, warm atmosphere. Its claim to fame is the pizza potpie, perfect for an individual serving. The oven grinder sandwiches and salads are also a big hit. Insider tip: this restaurant is cash only and does not take reservations, so plan accordingly.
4. Thin Crust: Home Run Inn
If thin crust pizza is more your style, look no further than Home Run Inn. Since its start in 1947, Home Run Inn has been home to fresh, homemade ingredients that come together to make an outstanding pizza. Their mozzarella cheese is shredded daily, and toppings are made daily with no preservatives. Due to the owner’s Italian heritage, the menu also contains several unique pasta dishes and homemade desserts.
Since these places are so popular, expect to have a long wait if you do not make reservations. And even then, a great pizza cannot be thrown together in five minutes. But you can’t go wrong with any of these pizzerias as well as the many more you’ll stumble across around the city. Chicago also offers many food tours and specific pizza tours, so if you’re feeling especially hungry, check out one of those to really taste your way around the city.
Top photo courtesy of The Pizza Review via flickr.