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A deep-dish pizza in a pan topped with pepperoni and cheese.
Milly’s Pizza in the Pan, which opened a permanent location in February, is one of the city’s best.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Where to Devour Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

Don’t be ashamed. It’s a Chicago classic.

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Milly’s Pizza in the Pan, which opened a permanent location in February, is one of the city’s best.
| Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Originally invented in the ’40s, the Chicago deep-dish pizza is typically characterized by a tall, bread-like crust and thick layers of mozzarella cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Some non-Chicagoans mistakenly dismiss it as a casserole, but it is, in fact, a pizza. A popular variation is stuffed, which has another thinner layer of crust on top.

Yes, it can be polarizing. Yes, non-Chicagoans assume that it’s all anybody eats here. This is not true. Most Chicagoans tend to prefer tavern-style for everyday eating, reserving deep dish for special occasions, like entertaining out-of-town visitors. But the fact is, deep dish is delicious, and no one should spend time in Chicago without trying it. Many pizzerias around town offer deep dish, but these spots do it best.

For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may still pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Burt's Place

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Legendary pizza maker Burt Katz passed away a few years ago but his legacy lives on at this Morton Grove restaurant. The pizzeria’s popularity surged after a 2009 visit from Anthony Bourdain. 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. The revamp brought some improvements to the dining experience as well, including a remodeled space, carryout service, and tables for walk-in diners.

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

George's Deep Dish

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George’s Deep Dish in Edgewater puts a new spin on pizza with its pastry-like crust. It’s puffy with caramelized edges and a dash of sweetness, and the toppings are all high quality. Chef George Bumbaris winningly has named all the specials after other famous Georges (Orwell, Clooney, Weasley, etc). Bumbaris only makes a limited number of pizzas per day and the restaurant is takeout- and delivery-only, so plan ahead accordingly.

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 — and also some of the hardest to get, since Maleski made just ten pizzas a night. In February, Maleski realized his dream of moving into a permanent space with seating. Milly’s is still a one-man operation, but that one man can now make 35-40 pizzas a day. For the best chance of snagging one, order ahead.

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. Click here to order carryout or delivery. There’s also a location in West Town.

A slice of deep dish pizza being lifted out of the pan.
Bartoli’s most popular pizza features spinach.
Bartoli’s [Official Photo]

Kitchen 17

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With its dependence on large quantities of cheese, deep dish pizza was always a challenge for vegan cooks. But Kitchen 17 was among the first restaurants in Chicago to crack the code, and now it offers a full range of pizzas loaded with vegan ingredients, including two kinds of house-made cheese. The restaurant also observes Wheatless Wednesday, when all pizzas are available with a gluten-free crust.

Pequod's

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Regarded as one of Chicago’s essential restaurants, Pequod’s is best known for its caramelized crust. The airy dough is baked with a thin layer of cheese, producing crispy edges that have subtle flavor 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.

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. Seating is limited inside the small counter-service restaurant. Delivery and carryout orders can be placed here.

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.

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.

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.

Giordano's

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Deep dish is the Chicago-style pizza that gets most of the attention, but his local chain specializes in an equally popular variant known as stuffed pizza. Similar to deep dish, the crust is loaded with mozzarella and toppings. But an additional layer of dough above the cheese and below the tomato sauce cranks it up a notch. At Giordano’s, diners can try compelling combinations like the Special (sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions) and Bacon BBQ Chicken (barbecue chicken, bacon, balsamic onions, barbecue sauce). For carryout and delivery, click here.

Pizzeria Uno

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The spot that started it all back in 1943 is still one of the biggest attractions in River North. Founders Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo are credited with creating the deep-dish pizza and their famous restaurant churns out options such as the Numero Uno — sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers — to hungry tourists and Chicagoans alike. Aspiring pizza makers can also sign up for cooking classes to learn how to master the craft. Please note that the chain Uno Pizzeria and Grill is a franchise and vastly inferior; the only other restaurant that serves the authentic Uno’s pizza is Pizzeria Due down the street.

Labriola

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The Magnificent Mile is full of tourist traps but this Italian restaurant is a notable exception. Its deep dish features a caramelized, focaccia-like crust that’s crispy on the edges and light and fluffy on the inside. The pies are finished with sharp mozzarella and chunky sauce, and the best-selling Danny’s Special adds fennel sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions to the mix.

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).

A glorious photo of a Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Nancy’s Pizza [Official Photo]

Williams Inn Pizza & Sports Bar

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Williams Inn is a new sports bar that opened in fall 2021 in the South Loop that has 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.

Angelo's Stuffed Pizza

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Angelo’s got a bit of attention last fall 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.

Nino's Pizza

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Alsip locals know to head to Nino’s for the area’s most impressive deep dish. The pie’s tall, flaky crust forms a thick wall around a gooey mound of cheese and acidic tomato sauce. Getting it with the meaty sausage is highly recommended. The kitchen also offers stuffed and pan pizzas.

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.

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Burt's Place

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

Legendary pizza maker Burt Katz passed away a few years ago but his legacy lives on at this Morton Grove restaurant. The pizzeria’s popularity surged after a 2009 visit from Anthony Bourdain. 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. The revamp brought some improvements to the dining experience as well, including a remodeled space, carryout service, and tables for walk-in diners.

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

George's Deep Dish

George’s Deep Dish in Edgewater puts a new spin on pizza with its pastry-like crust. It’s puffy with caramelized edges and a dash of sweetness, and the toppings are all high quality. Chef George Bumbaris winningly has named all the specials after other famous Georges (Orwell, Clooney, Weasley, etc). Bumbaris only makes a limited number of pizzas per day and the restaurant is takeout- and delivery-only, so plan ahead accordingly.

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 — and also some of the hardest to get, since Maleski made just ten pizzas a night. In February, Maleski realized his dream of moving into a permanent space with seating. Milly’s is still a one-man operation, but that one man can now make 35-40 pizzas a day. For the best chance of snagging one, order ahead.

Bartoli's

A slice of deep dish pizza being lifted out of the pan.
Bartoli’s most popular pizza features spinach.
Bartoli’s [Official Photo]

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. Click here to order carryout or delivery. There’s also a location in West Town.

A slice of deep dish pizza being lifted out of the pan.
Bartoli’s most popular pizza features spinach.
Bartoli’s [Official Photo]

Kitchen 17

With its dependence on large quantities of cheese, deep dish pizza was always a challenge for vegan cooks. But Kitchen 17 was among the first restaurants in Chicago to crack the code, and now it offers a full range of pizzas loaded with vegan ingredients, including two kinds of house-made cheese. The restaurant also observes Wheatless Wednesday, when all pizzas are available with a gluten-free crust.

Pequod's

Regarded as one of Chicago’s essential restaurants, Pequod’s is best known for its caramelized crust. The airy dough is baked with a thin layer of cheese, producing crispy edges that have subtle flavor 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.

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. Seating is limited inside the small counter-service restaurant. Delivery and carryout orders can be placed here.

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.

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.

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.

Giordano's

Deep dish is the Chicago-style pizza that gets most of the attention, but his local chain specializes in an equally popular variant known as stuffed pizza. Similar to deep dish, the crust is loaded with mozzarella and toppings. But an additional layer of dough above the cheese and below the tomato sauce cranks it up a notch. At Giordano’s, diners can try compelling combinations like the Special (sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions) and Bacon BBQ Chicken (barbecue chicken, bacon, balsamic onions, barbecue sauce). For carryout and delivery, click here.

Pizzeria Uno

The spot that started it all back in 1943 is still one of the biggest attractions in River North. Founders Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo are credited with creating the deep-dish pizza and their famous restaurant churns out options such as the Numero Uno — sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers — to hungry tourists and Chicagoans alike. Aspiring pizza makers can also sign up for cooking classes to learn how to master the craft. Please note that the chain Uno Pizzeria and Grill is a franchise and vastly inferior; the only other restaurant that serves the authentic Uno’s pizza is Pizzeria Due down the street.

Labriola

The Magnificent Mile is full of tourist traps but this Italian restaurant is a notable exception. Its deep dish features a caramelized, focaccia-like crust that’s crispy on the edges and light and fluffy on the inside. The pies are finished with sharp mozzarella and chunky sauce, and the best-selling Danny’s Special adds fennel sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions to the mix.

Nancy's Pizzeria

A glorious photo of a Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Nancy’s Pizza [Official Photo]

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).

A glorious photo of a Chicago-style stuffed pizza. Nancy’s Pizza [Official Photo]

Williams Inn Pizza & Sports Bar

Williams Inn is a new sports bar that opened in fall 2021 in the South Loop that has 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.

Related Maps

Angelo's Stuffed Pizza

Angelo’s got a bit of attention last fall 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.

Nino's Pizza

Alsip locals know to head to Nino’s for the area’s most impressive deep dish. The pie’s tall, flaky crust forms a thick wall around a gooey mound of cheese and acidic tomato sauce. Getting it with the meaty sausage is highly recommended. The kitchen also offers stuffed and pan pizzas.

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.

Related Maps