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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