It’s Not All Deep Dish! The Best Pizza Places in Chicago

Everything you need to know about pizza in Chicago, from the best deep dish to the most popular spots for families

When it comes to pizza in Chicago, most people instantly think of deep dish, also known as pan pizza . . . and also known as Chicago style. And although Chicago is known for this style of pie, there are of course other regional styles, such as New York, Detroit, Neapolitan, and Quad City that have found a home here as well.

With so many pizza joints to choose from, one pizzeria tends to try to outdo the other in trying to attract locals. From arcades to balloon artists, we’ve also included all the best spots for family fun across the city.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Places You Must Try

For those unfamiliar, deep dish pizza is baked in a round steel pan. The bottom and sides of the pan are oiled (which will result in a crisp crust), and then the dough is pressed out along the sides of the pan. It is baked at very high temperatures, which is why the cheese is set at the bottom of the pie, followed by a thick layer of toppings, and then the sauce. It is typically eaten with a fork and knife, and there are four notable establishments that specialize in this Chicago style ‘za, although all offer thin crust with even gluten-free and vegan options.

Pizzeria Uno
Pizzeria Uno can be found throughout the U.S., but it originated here in Chicago. Not only that, but it claims to have invented deep dish pizza. They have since grown far beyond pizza to an extensive menu and are as passionate about their craft beer as they are their pies. Their single serve deep dish pizzas make for the perfect lunch, and Monday through Friday until 3 p.m., they pair them with a soup or salad for a great deal.

29 E. Ohio St.
River North

4200 N. River Rd.
Schiller Park

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Brought to Chicago in 1974 from an Italian recipe 200 years old, Giordano’s is known the world over. With locations not only across Chicago but throughout the U.S., they are so well-known they even ship nationwide. Their use of Wisconsin Mozzarella and hand-picked California tomatoes, on top of a crisp buttery crust is what makes it so special. Soon to be added to their menu is a cheesy, meaty version completely made from plants!

Various city locations and nationwide shipping

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Lou Malnati opened his first pizzeria in the area in 1971, after 30 years in the business. Lou Malnati’s prides itself on its quality ingredients and a recipe for its crisp, buttery crust that has been in the family for generations. The not-so-secret trick is that they pat out the dough by hand and spread it up the sides of the pan, which is why the crust is not as thick as you might expect. If you are really looking to go a little lighter, try the Malnati Salad with the Lou Malnati’s Sweet Vinaigrette.

Various city locations and nationwide shipping

Gino’s East
The true measure of deep dish pizza is how long the cheese stretches when you pull a slice from a pie, and Gino’s stretches for days! If you can’t make it to a restaurant, you can pick some up in the freezer aisle or have it shipped nationwide. The flagship location off the Magnificient Mile houses a Comedy Bar with weekly shows and an outstanding outdoor rooftop terrace.

162 E. Superior St.
Magnificent Mile

521 South Dearborn
South Loop

Chicago’s Pizza
Chicago’s Pizza has taken the traditional deep dish up a notch with its famous stuffed pizza. Similar to deep dish, the dough is spread out in a pan and the toppings are loaded on top. However, a second crust is then draped on top of that before it is finished off with tomato sauce and a parmesan spice mix. They also specialize in gourmet pizzas, with honey-semolina crusts and unique sauces such as pesto or gorgonzola cream. Be sure to sign up for their coupons.

3114 N. Lincoln Ave.

1919 W. Montrose Ave.

4520 W. Irving Park Rd.
Old Irving

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. puts a completely different spin on deep dish with its Pizza Pot Pie, which is basically an inverted deep dish pizza, with the dough all around the outside and the cheese, sauce, sausage, and mushrooms hidden inside. You must cut into the dough like you would any other pot pie to get to the filling. It is definitely unique to Chicago, and the building it resides in has a long and storied past.

2121 N. Clark St.
Lincoln Park

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Chicago Pizza Places Serving Up Regional Styles Locally

These spots offer the best of city-specific pizza styles right within the Chicago city limits.

Cafe Luigi
New York pizza pies are large, with a thin crust and doughy edge, and usually cut into eight wide slices. While native New Yorkers may swear the only place you can get good New York pizza is in New York, Cafe Luigi’s serves up a very authentic NY pie. Do like the New Yorkers do, and fold your slice. Let the grease pool in the middle or blot it with some napkins first. Either way, the ratio of crust to cheese and sauce is spot on!

2548 N. Clark St.
Lincoln Park

Jet’s Pizza
Detroit style pizza is rectangular with a thick but crispy crust, and the cheese is caramelized around the edges. To get that doughy goodness in Chicago, turn to Jet’s Pizza, which uses a combination of a proprietary blend of flour and their signature steel pans to make a hearty, yet airy crust. Customers can even “flavorize” their crusts by adding cajun seasoning, sesame seed, butter, garlic, or romano cheese to any pizza.

Various city locations

Coda di Volpe
Neapolitan Pizza is a Naples-style pizza made with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, but in order to be authentic, the tomatoes must be either San Marzano or Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio. The signature of a Neapolitan pizza is that there is more sauce than cheese, and additional toppings beyond a little basil are discouraged. The crust is so thin, you may use pizza shears to cut it. Coda di Volpe is one of the few restaurants in Chicago certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (The True Neapolitan Pizza Association). That means they have been trained in producing this style according to age-old traditions and that only the highest quality ingredients and processes are used.

3335 N. Southport Ave.

Roots Handmade Pizza
Quad City Style lands somewhere between a pan pizza and a thin crust. A round pie is cut into strips using special shears. The dough includes malt, and the zesty tomato sauce contains red chili flakes and cayenne. Toppings are between the sauce and cheese. Crumbled sausage is the most popular topping. Roots Handmade Pizza brought the Quad City Style to Chicago. They make their dough fresh daily, and their sausage crumble in house. If you don’t want to dine in, you can pick up a Pizza Kit and hand toss your own pie at home. They even have a Pizza Kit for the popular Quad City Taco Pizza. If you do decide to dine in at the family-friendly restaurant, kids are plenty entertained by watching the pizza-making magic through a glass window into the kitchen. You can also request that your child gets their own tableside dough to play with while they wait for their food.

2200 W. Lawrence Ave.
Lincoln Square

1924 W. Chicago Ave.
West Town

1610 N. Wells St.
Old Town

744 S Dearborn St.
South Loop


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Chicago Pizzerias That Offer Something Extra for Families

Although their pizza is equally delicious, these stand-out restaurants offer a little more for families beyond their food.

Marie’s Pizza & Liquors
Travel back in time at Marie’s Pizza & Liquors. This establishment has been family-owned since 1940. The large dining room filled with red vinyl seats and live music is a throwback to Italian restaurants of a bygone era, and is always kid friendly. They are often found hosting special events, such as Circus Nights and Classic Car shows. It’s also one of the few places where you can find a heart-shaped pizza come Valentine’s Day, too.

4127 W. Lawrence Ave.

Borelli’s is not only a family tradition, but a neighborhood one, too. They specialize in a “cracker-thin” crust that makes for a very shareable pizza. What makes Borelli’s a family go-to, though, is its game room. Parents can relax and enjoy a drink together while the kids play Foosball, Pac-Man, or Space Invaders in the next room. You’ll be returning often, so join their Loyalty Program. “Home of the Pizza Party,” they have a great event space and even a dance floor.

2124 W. Lawrence Ave.
Lincoln Square

Another family favorite is Moretti’s, with Kids Eat Free Mondays and Half Price Pizza Tuesdays among other specials. Many locations host kid-friendly events throughout the year, and their kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party is one of the best.

Various Chicagoland locations

Rewired Pizza Cafe & Bar
Rewired offers not only hand-tossed personal size pizzas, pizza pies, and pizza by the slice, but they also specialize in innovative coffee drinks, breakfast, and brunch. Join them on Saturdays for old school cartoons or on Sundays for sing-a-longs. Every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. is Kids Night with a magician, balloon animals, and board games. Or leave the kids home on Wednesdays for their Date Night special that includes a three-course meal, a bottle of wine, and live music.

1100 Thorndale Ave.

D’Agostino’s Pizza and Pub
In addition to thin-crust and deep dish options, D’Agostino’s is a comfort food haven. From mini corn dogs to nachos and tot’chos, they have it all.  Every night of the week has a different deal, and they have frequent trivia nights. Family Nights, which include a balloon artist from 5:45-7:45 p.m. are Tuesdays in Wrigleyville and Thursdays in Park Ridge.

Various Chicagoland locations

Pizzeria Portofino
There is no better place to sit along the river and enjoy a meal with your family than Pizzeria Portofino. The view is amazing, and the beautiful white canopies and orange umbrellas will make you feel like you are spending the day in Europe. Pizzas are hand-stretched very thin with pre-selected toppings ranging from king crab and farm corn to charred pepperoni. Kids will enjoy watching boats dock at the restaurant or float by on the river below.

317 N. Clark St.
The Loop

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