Stuffed pizza, tomato pie, pan pizza, whatever you want to call it, Chicago is home to the famous deep dish pizza! First of all, I am not here to tell you where you can find the best deep dish in Chicago. That would be an impossible task! If you ask 10 Chicagoans for their best deep dish pizza recommendation, you will get 10 different answers. I've enjoyed my fair share of deep dish slices, each Pizzeria giving it their own flare with small, subtle differences. While I can't pick a favorite, I do, however want to tell you why you need to try, embrace, praise, and enjoy each bite. When in Chicago, eat deep dish!
The way Chicago deep dish was created allows for maximum sauce, toppings, and ooey gooey cheese, perfect for pulling into long dramatic cheesy strings. Baked in a pie or cake pan, the crusty pizza sides stand tall, holding all the pizza goodness inside. I always eat my deep dish pizza slice with a fork and knife, taking a stab at any of the toppings that might have fallen from the center filling. The only bummer about ordering a deep dish pizza is the wait time, which can range from 30 - 45 minutes once your order is placed. Knowing this, I always come prepared and arrive with a small appetite, and by the time our pizza comes I am ready to dig in!
When I first tried deep dish pizza, I must admit I was a little intimidated. I like cheese but not too much, some meaty pizzas are way too rich for me, and I couldn't figure out what mystery was hiding between the top layer and the bottom crust. My very first deep dish order was a personal sized veggie pizza which left me addicted after the first bite. The pizza was not overly cheesy and I loved the vegetable loaded saucy filling and flakey crust. I had no problem finishing my pizza ... and every pizza pie after that!
With five trips to Chicago under my belt I've tried almost every major deep dish spot in the city. My list includes: Duo, Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, Home Run Inn, and Gino's East, all of which were fantastic. When I was in Chicago last October, I heard quite a few people talking about The Art of Pizza, a spot now at the top of my list for next time!
While there is some debate about who created the original deep dish pizza, one thing is for sure, if you haven't already, you must try a slice! They all claim to be the best and have the original, so just go ahead and give 'em a try. This pizza experience is unlike any other, guaranteed.
Do you have a go-to deep dish restaurant? Lucky for me Gino's East and Lou Malnati's have recently opened in the Phoenix Area, which means I can have an authentic pie anytime! Won't you come join me for a slice?