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A cooked deep-dish pizza is moved onto a rack to cool.
Milly’s Pizza in the Pan is one of the best places for deep dish in town.
Jack X. Li/Eater Chicago

Where to Devour Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

These top pizzerias won’t show up on national TV stock footage of Chicago

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Milly’s Pizza in the Pan is one of the best places for deep dish in town.
| Jack X. Li/Eater Chicago

Deep-dish pizza comes in several configurations around Chicago. The marketing term took off in the ‘80s and ‘90s as the item became what Chicago was known for on the national stage. Deep dish overtook the conversation and was the subject of a few national punch lines from comedians who had never tried it. The selling of deep-dish has made some Chicagoans resentful and that’s given an alternative, Chicago thin (now marketed as tavern-style) a chance to soak up civic pride.

Some of the resentment was merited thanks to a few fast-growing chains which put a premium on expansion rather than pizza quality. Those chains recklessly served as the face of Chicago’s pizza and the consequence was ruining the perception of the city’s culinary contributions on a national stage.

But in the last few years, a new class of deep-dish peddlers has emerged. They’re using new baking techniques and ensuring premium ingredients are used as toppings. Deep-dish is perched to go through a renaissance. Meanwhile, an old guard remains undisturbed, understanding some food trends are cyclical and proudly continuing to serve the same delicious stuffed and pan pizzas they have since the ‘40s.

Check out Eater Chicago’s top places to find deep-dish. These aren’t the generic monstrosities featured in stock footage. These are places that a Chicagoans would want to eat at.

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Uncle Jerry's Pizza Company

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Cary is a town about an hour’s drive northwest of Chicago and Uncle Jerry’s provides city-dwellers with a compelling reason to visit. The pizzeria stands inside a butcher’s shop; Orchard Prime Meats will cut steaks to order. It also provides Uncle Jerry’s with fresh sausage made on-premises. The pizza owes much to Lou Malnati’s — not too thick, not to thin. The sauce is slightly sweet without as much pulp. The team uses cupped pepperoni, a rarity in the deep-dish game, and the Bee Sting is glazed with habanero honey. The overall ambiance and quality of the pies make the trip worth it for Chicagoans who love deep dish. There’s also a good beer selection.

Burt's Place

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Before Burt Katz died in 2016, the eccentric pizza maker impressed Anthony Bourdain in a 2009 No Reservations segment. Bourdain claimed this was the deep dish that legitimized the form. Katz’s failing health forced a closure. Reopened in 2017 under new ownership, Burt’s Place continues to turn out Katz’s renowned pan pie with caramelized crust, a recipe he also introduced at Pequod’s. Katz was known for his commitment to quality ingredients and a focus on small details. This new era of Burt’s continues the legacy.

A half portion of pizza in a pan sitting on a patio table.
The caramelized crust is the X factor at Burt’s Place.
Burt’s Place

Louisa's Pizza & Pasta

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Pizzaiola Louisa DeGenero honed her skills at Pizzeria Due before relocating to the South Suburbs in 1981. Today, her family carries on her legacy with pies that are a paragon of the form. The crisp and buttery crust is complemented by hunks of Anichini sausage, part-skim mozzarella, and bright and chunky tomato sauce seasoned with homegrown herbs.

Angelo's Stuffed Pizza

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Angelo’s got a bit of attention in 2021 when it collaborated with its Archer Heights neighbor Birrieria Zaragoza on a goat birria stuffed pizza. The pizza itself drew mixed reactions and is no longer available, but Angelo’s still allows customers to experiment with toppings like frijoles and nopales. And, like all great Chicago pizzerias, it offers a “well done” option for customers who like their crust extra crispy.

Kitchen 17

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For vegans, K17, is life as one of the first to offer deep-dish vegan pizza. This is the third iteration of Kitchen 17, which recently moved from Lakeview to Logan Square. The vegan cheese is made on-premises with soy.

Bartoli's

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Bartoli’s owner Brian Tondryk comes from an esteemed family of pizza experts. His grandfather was a founder of Gino’s East, so it’s no surprise that Tondryk’s pies are similarly remarkable, boasting a light, flaky crust and layers of mild mozzarella and sweet red sauce. There are several versions to choose from, but Nonna Bartoli’s special spinach and cheese pizza is a standout. There’s also a location in West Town. Pizzas are also available by the slice.

My Pi Pizza

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Located in a Bucktown strip mall, My Pi ranks up there with the city’s best. The pizza’s light and crispy crust is covered in Wisconsin cheese and sweet sauce full of chunks of San Marzano tomatoes. The menu also offers a variety of vegan-friendly toppings, such as artichokes and vegan sausage. The spinach variation is also worth noting. This pizzeria has had numerous locations since 1971, including a well-known spot in Lincoln Park.

George's Deep Dish

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George’s Deep Dish in Edgewater puts a new spin on pizza taking a inspiration from Greek pastry. The pie features premium ingredients and whimsical combos. The edge of the crust is caramelized, and will likely spoil deep dish for diners. Once you try George’s is hard to go back. The Halas, named after the Chicago Bears’ legendary coach and owner, is a fan favorite.

The Art of Pizza

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This Lakeview classic is still chugging with a modest dining room off Ashland and one of the few places that sells deep-dish slices. Art of Pizza continues to hold on to a strong fanbase, and its deep-dish features a flaky and buttery crust.

Pequod's

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Pequod’s is best known for its caramelized crust. The airy dough is baked with a thin layer of cheese, producing crispy edges and a bit of chewiness. It acts as the perfect base for toppings like sausage, Italian beef, meatballs, and giardiniera. Individual-sized pan pizzas are available for those dining solo. Click here to place an order for carryout or delivery. There’s another location in suburban Morton Grove.

Two Pequod’s pizzas. Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago

Milly's Pizza In The Pan

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Robert Maleski began making and selling pizza as a pandemic project in a Logan Square ghost kitchen. But his deep-dish pies with a ring a caramelized cheese baked into the crust were quickly recognized as some of the city’s best. In 2022, Maleski moved into a permanent space in Uptown with seating. Milly’s makes 35 to 40 pizzas a day. The pizza is similar to Pequod’s, but more consistent because Milly’s doesn’t deal with such high volume.

A deep dish pizza with crispy outer ring. Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Nancy's Pizzeria

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Rocco Palese invented stuffed pizza at Guy’s Pizza in Hermosa, but when he opened his own place, which eventually grew into a chain, he named it after his wife, Nancy. Each pie is two-and-a-half inches tall and packed with tons of cheese, sauce, toppings, and two layers of dough. Folks can customize their own ingredients or opt for one of the greatest hits, such as the Spicy Pepino (pepperoni, giardiniera, banana peppers).

Lou Malnati's

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Chicago’s most ubiquitous pizza chain is also one of its finest. Opened in 1971, Lou Malnati’s has helped spread the popularity of deep dish across the city and country. The Malnati clan claims to have had a hand in the dish’s creation and its signature “Malnati Chicago Classic” — sausage, cheese, and tomato sauce on a special butter crust — still sets the standard for an excellent pie. Lou’s also has some newish menu items like a lower-carb sausage crust.

Pizano's Pizza & Pasta

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The history of deep-dish pizza is intrinsically linked to one Chicago family — the Malnatis. Rudy Malnati Sr., a longtime employee at Pizzeria Uno, is credited with helping to invent the style. His sons would go on to start a pizza empire by opening Lou Malnati’s and this smaller mini chain, Pizano’s. What sets the pies here apart from the competition is the dough, which was developed by owner Rudy Malnati Jr.’s late mother, Donna Marie Malnati. The namesake “Rudy’s Special” is a harmonious marriage of that golden crust with sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.

Beatrix Market

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Beatrix Market is a clutch spot for quick grab-and-go drinks and sandwiches for customers near DePaul University’s Loop campus. But what if we told you that this location, part of the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ empire, also serves personal-sized deep-dish pizzas in cheese, pepperoni, sausage, or veggie? These cost less than $10 and are impressive. Eighteen-inch sizes are also available.

Williams Inn Pizza & Sports Bar

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Williams Inn is a sports bar that opened in 2021 in the South Loop with a historic name. The owners’ stuffed pizza was first served at a restaurant that burned down in 2010. But they’ve rebuilt and the pizza has returned. And it’s delicious.

Gino's East

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Dating all the way back to 1966, Gino’s East is one of the city’s most celebrated deep dish specialists. Expect a heavy helping of mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce atop cornmeal crust made from a secret recipe. Menu highlights include the Diavola (spicy pepperoni, basil, white truffle oil) and the Chicago Fire (spicy sausage, roasted red peppers, red onions). To order carryout or pickup, click here.

Uncle Jerry's Pizza Company

Cary is a town about an hour’s drive northwest of Chicago and Uncle Jerry’s provides city-dwellers with a compelling reason to visit. The pizzeria stands inside a butcher’s shop; Orchard Prime Meats will cut steaks to order. It also provides Uncle Jerry’s with fresh sausage made on-premises. The pizza owes much to Lou Malnati’s — not too thick, not to thin. The sauce is slightly sweet without as much pulp. The team uses cupped pepperoni, a rarity in the deep-dish game, and the Bee Sting is glazed with habanero honey. The overall ambiance and quality of the pies make the trip worth it for Chicagoans who love deep dish. There’s also a good beer selection.

Burt's Place

Before Burt Katz died in 2016, the eccentric pizza maker impressed Anthony Bourdain in a 2009 No Reservations segment. Bourdain claimed this was the deep dish that legitimized the form. Katz’s failing health forced a closure. Reopened in 2017 under new ownership, Burt’s Place continues to turn out Katz’s renowned pan pie with caramelized crust, a recipe he also introduced at Pequod’s. Katz was known for his commitment to quality ingredients and a focus on small details. This new era of Burt’s continues the legacy.

A half portion of pizza in a pan sitting on a patio table.
The caramelized crust is the X factor at Burt’s Place.
Burt’s Place

Louisa's Pizza & Pasta

Pizzaiola Louisa DeGenero honed her skills at Pizzeria Due before relocating to the South Suburbs in 1981. Today, her family carries on her legacy with pies that are a paragon of the form. The crisp and buttery crust is complemented by hunks of Anichini sausage, part-skim mozzarella, and bright and chunky tomato sauce seasoned with homegrown herbs.

Angelo's Stuffed Pizza

Angelo’s got a bit of attention in 2021 when it collaborated with its Archer Heights neighbor Birrieria Zaragoza on a goat birria stuffed pizza. The pizza itself drew mixed reactions and is no longer available, but Angelo’s still allows customers to experiment with toppings like frijoles and nopales. And, like all great Chicago pizzerias, it offers a “well done” option for customers who like their crust extra crispy.

Kitchen 17

For vegans, K17, is life as one of the first to offer deep-dish vegan pizza. This is the third iteration of Kitchen 17, which recently moved from Lakeview to Logan Square. The vegan cheese is made on-premises with soy.

Bartoli's

Bartoli’s owner Brian Tondryk comes from an esteemed family of pizza experts. His grandfather was a founder of Gino’s East, so it’s no surprise that Tondryk’s pies are similarly remarkable, boasting a light, flaky crust and layers of mild mozzarella and sweet red sauce. There are several versions to choose from, but Nonna Bartoli’s special spinach and cheese pizza is a standout. There’s also a location in West Town. Pizzas are also available by the slice.

My Pi Pizza

Located in a Bucktown strip mall, My Pi ranks up there with the city’s best. The pizza’s light and crispy crust is covered in Wisconsin cheese and sweet sauce full of chunks of San Marzano tomatoes. The menu also offers a variety of vegan-friendly toppings, such as artichokes and vegan sausage. The spinach variation is also worth noting. This pizzeria has had numerous locations since 1971, including a well-known spot in Lincoln Park.

George's Deep Dish

George’s Deep Dish in Edgewater puts a new spin on pizza taking a inspiration from Greek pastry. The pie features premium ingredients and whimsical combos. The edge of the crust is caramelized, and will likely spoil deep dish for diners. Once you try George’s is hard to go back. The Halas, named after the Chicago Bears’ legendary coach and owner, is a fan favorite.

The Art of Pizza

This Lakeview classic is still chugging with a modest dining room off Ashland and one of the few places that sells deep-dish slices. Art of Pizza continues to hold on to a strong fanbase, and its deep-dish features a flaky and buttery crust.

Pequod's

Pequod’s is best known for its caramelized crust. The airy dough is baked with a thin layer of cheese, producing crispy edges and a bit of chewiness. It acts as the perfect base for toppings like sausage, Italian beef, meatballs, and giardiniera. Individual-sized pan pizzas are available for those dining solo. Click here to place an order for carryout or delivery. There’s another location in suburban Morton Grove.

Two Pequod’s pizzas. Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago

Milly's Pizza In The Pan

Robert Maleski began making and selling pizza as a pandemic project in a Logan Square ghost kitchen. But his deep-dish pies with a ring a caramelized cheese baked into the crust were quickly recognized as some of the city’s best. In 2022, Maleski moved into a permanent space in Uptown with seating. Milly’s makes 35 to 40 pizzas a day. The pizza is similar to Pequod’s, but more consistent because Milly’s doesn’t deal with such high volume.

A deep dish pizza with crispy outer ring. Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Nancy's Pizzeria

Rocco Palese invented stuffed pizza at Guy’s Pizza in Hermosa, but when he opened his own place, which eventually grew into a chain, he named it after his wife, Nancy. Each pie is two-and-a-half inches tall and packed with tons of cheese, sauce, toppings, and two layers of dough. Folks can customize their own ingredients or opt for one of the greatest hits, such as the Spicy Pepino (pepperoni, giardiniera, banana peppers).

Lou Malnati's

Chicago’s most ubiquitous pizza chain is also one of its finest. Opened in 1971, Lou Malnati’s has helped spread the popularity of deep dish across the city and country. The Malnati clan claims to have had a hand in the dish’s creation and its signature “Malnati Chicago Classic” — sausage, cheese, and tomato sauce on a special butter crust — still sets the standard for an excellent pie. Lou’s also has some newish menu items like a lower-carb sausage crust.

Pizano's Pizza & Pasta

The history of deep-dish pizza is intrinsically linked to one Chicago family — the Malnatis. Rudy Malnati Sr., a longtime employee at Pizzeria Uno, is credited with helping to invent the style. His sons would go on to start a pizza empire by opening Lou Malnati’s and this smaller mini chain, Pizano’s. What sets the pies here apart from the competition is the dough, which was developed by owner Rudy Malnati Jr.’s late mother, Donna Marie Malnati. The namesake “Rudy’s Special” is a harmonious marriage of that golden crust with sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.

Beatrix Market

Beatrix Market is a clutch spot for quick grab-and-go drinks and sandwiches for customers near DePaul University’s Loop campus. But what if we told you that this location, part of the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ empire, also serves personal-sized deep-dish pizzas in cheese, pepperoni, sausage, or veggie? These cost less than $10 and are impressive. Eighteen-inch sizes are also available.

Related Maps

Williams Inn Pizza & Sports Bar

Williams Inn is a sports bar that opened in 2021 in the South Loop with a historic name. The owners’ stuffed pizza was first served at a restaurant that burned down in 2010. But they’ve rebuilt and the pizza has returned. And it’s delicious.

Gino's East

Dating all the way back to 1966, Gino’s East is one of the city’s most celebrated deep dish specialists. Expect a heavy helping of mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce atop cornmeal crust made from a secret recipe. Menu highlights include the Diavola (spicy pepperoni, basil, white truffle oil) and the Chicago Fire (spicy sausage, roasted red peppers, red onions). To order carryout or pickup, click here.

Related Maps