Chicago Town Pizza: The Windy City ‘s Pizza Scene


Chicago, the Windy City, is renowned for its vibrant and diverse pizza scene. Packed with a wide array of pizza styles and flavors, the city offers something to satisfy every pizza lover’s palate. From deep-dish to thin-crust, Chicago Town Pizza has evolved over the years to become a culinary attraction in its own right. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of Chicago’s diverse pizza scene, exploring the different styles, iconic pizzerias, and unique toppings that make this city a pizza mecca.

Chicago Town Pizza: The Windy City 's Pizza Scene

A Brief Overview Of Chicago’s Diverse Pizza Scene

Chicago’s pizza scene is as diverse as the city itself, with various styles that have gained popularity over time. Here are some of the most notable styles you can find in the Windy City:

1. Deep-Dish Pizza: Perhaps the most famous style associated with Chicago, deep-dish pizza is known for its thick, buttery crust that forms a deep, well-like structure. The crust is then filled with layers of cheese, toppings, and tomato sauce. Pioneered by pizzerias like Pizzeria Uno and Lou Malnati’s, deep-dish pizza offers a hearty and flavorful experience.

2. Stuffed Pizza: Similar to deep-dish, stuffed pizza takes indulgence to the next level. It features an extra layer of dough on top, creating a truly substantial and filling pizza. Giordano’s is one of the iconic pizzerias that specializes in stuffed pizza, offering a satisfying combination of cheese, toppings, and sauce.

3. Thin-Crust Pizza: While deep-dish and stuffed pizza dominates the Chicago scene, thin-crust pizza also holds its ground. This style features a thin, crispy crust that provides a lighter alternative. Pizzerias like Art of Pizza and Vito & Nick’s are known for their delicious thin-crust pizzas, offering a variety of toppings and flavors.

4. Neapolitan Pizza: Inspired by the traditional pizzas of Naples, Italy, Neapolitan pizza has gained popularity in Chicago. Thin, soft, and slightly chewy, this style focuses on high-quality ingredients and simplicity. Pizzerias like Forno Rosso and Spacca Napoli are acclaimed for their authentic Neapolitan pizzas cooked in wood-fired ovens.

5. Tavern-Style Pizza: A local specialty, tavern-style pizza is characterized by its thin and crispy crust, square shape, and cut into small squares or “party cut.” It often features a thin layer of toppings and is perfect for sharing. Pizzerias like Home Run Inn and Vito & Nick’s are known for their delicious tavern-style pizzas.

Chicago’s pizza scene is not just about the styles; it is also about the unique toppings and flavor combinations that make each pizzeria stand out. Whether you prefer classic toppings like sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms, or you’re adventurous enough to try unconventional options like barbecue chicken or shrimp, Chicago’s pizzerias have got you covered.

In conclusion, Chicago’s pizza scene is a delightful blend of tradition, innovation, and diverse flavors. With its iconic deep-dish and stuffed pizzas, along with other styles like Thin Crust and Neapolitan, the Windy City offers an unparalleled unparalleled pizza experience. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the multitude of pizzerias in Chicago is a culinary adventure that should not be missed. So grab a slice, savor the flavors, and immerse yourself in the rich pizza culture of the Windy City.

Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza

History And Origins Of This Iconic Pizza Style

Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is an iconic culinary creation that has gained worldwide popularity. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1940s when it was first served at Pizzeria Uno, one of the oldest pizzerias in Chicago. Created by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, this unique pizza style was a departure from the traditional thin-crust pizzas commonly found in other parts of the United States.

The deep dish pizza is characterized by its deep, thick crust that forms a bowl-like shape. It is typically topped with chunky tomato sauce, cheese, and various ingredients like sausage, vegetables, and herbs. The pizza’s construction involves layering the cheese first, followed by the toppings, and then the sauce.

Chicago Town Pizza: The Windy City 's Pizza Scene

One theory suggests that the deep dish pizza was inspired by Italian focaccia bread, which had a thicker dough base. Sewell and Riccardo wanted to create a pizza that had a more robust and substantial taste, so they experimented with a recipe that resulted in a thick crust, allowing them to pile on generous amounts of cheese and toppings.

Over the years, Chicago’s deep-dish pizza has gained prominence and evolved into a beloved staple of the city. It has become synonymous with Chicago’s culinary culture and has attracted pizza lovers from all corners of the globe who visit the city to experience this unique creation firsthand.

Chicago is home to numerous pizzerias that specialize in deep-dish pizza. These establishments have perfected the art of creating mouthwatering and satisfying deep-dish pies. Here are some popular places to indulge in this iconic pizza style:

  1. Pizzeria Uno: As the birthplace of deep-dish pizza, Pizzeria Uno remains a top destination for pizza enthusiasts. Established in 1943, this iconic pizzeria continues to serve its signature deep-dish pies made with high-quality ingredients and a commitment to preserving the traditional recipe.
  2. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria: Another legendary pizzeria that has been delighting Chicagoans for over 50 years, Lou Malnati’s is known for its buttery, flaky crust and its secret family recipe sauce.
  3. Giordano’s: Giordano’s is renowned for its stuffed deep-dish pizza, which takes the traditional deep-dish concept to a whole new level. The crust is filled with a layer of cheese, toppings, and sauce, creating a delightful surprise with each bite.
  4. Pequod’s Pizza: Pequod’s has gained a loyal following for its unique caramelized crust, which adds a touch of sweetness and crunch to the deep dish experience. The combination of cheese, sauce, and toppings perfectly complements the distinctive crust.
  5. Gino’s East: With a history dating back to 1966, Gino’s East is one of Chicago’s most recognizable deep-dish pizza establishments. It is known for its golden, flaky crust and generous portions of cheese and toppings.

These are just a few examples of the many outstanding deep-dish pizza places in Chicago. Each pizzeria has its take on this classic style, offering a delicious and indulgent experience for pizza lovers.

In summary, Chicago’s deep-dish pizza holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Its rich history and unique ingredients have made it an irresistible culinary masterpiece. Whether you try it at the original Pizzeria Uno or one of the many other renowned pizzerias in the city, Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is an experience not to be missed.

Tavern-style Pizza

Chicago is renowned for its deep-dish pizza, but there is another style that has captivated the locals and visitors alike – Tavern-style pizza. This thin and crispy pizza has unique characteristics that set it apart from the traditional deep dish.

Exploring The Unique Characteristics Of Tavern-style Pizza

Tavern-style pizza, also known as Chicago-style, tavern-cut, or party-cut pizza, has a thin and crispy crust. The crust is typically rectangular or square-shaped, allowing for easy sharing among friends or at gatherings. The dough is usually rolled out thin and topped with tangy tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings. One distinct feature of this style is the reverse order of toppings, with the cheese being placed on the crust first, followed by the toppings, and then the sauce. This allows the cheese to melt over the toppings and create a delicious blend of flavors.

The thin crust is crispy and flaky, providing a delightful texture with each bite. It is also sturdy enough to hold a generous amount of toppings, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a pizza with a lot of flavor. The combination of the crispy crust, gooey cheese, and savory toppings creates a unique taste experience that keeps people coming back for more.

Chicago Town Pizza: The Windy City 's Pizza Scene

Notable Tavern-style Pizza Joints In The Windy City

When in Chicago, you can’t miss the opportunity to try some of the best Tavern-style pizza in the city. Here are a few notable establishments that have perfected this style:

  1. Pat’s Pizzeria and Ristorante: Pat’s is one of the oldest pizza joints in Chicago, serving up their famous Tavern-style pizza since 1950. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Pat’s offers a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy their delicious thin-crust pizza. The combination of high-quality ingredients and their secret family recipe creates a pizza that is beloved by locals and visitors alike.
  2. Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria: Vito & Nick’s has been a staple in the Chicago pizza scene since 1932. This family-owned and operated establishment is known for its thin and crispy Tavern-style pizza. The simple yet flavorful toppings and perfectly baked crust have garnered Vito & Nick’s a loyal following over the years. If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago pizza experience, this is the place to go.
  3. Aurelio’s Pizza: With multiple locations in and around Chicago, Aurelio’s is a go-to spot for delicious Tavern-style pizza. Aurelio’s has been serving their signature thin-crust pizza since 1959, and they continue to uphold their commitment to quality and taste. The combination of their secret family recipe, fresh ingredients, and exceptional service makes Aurelio’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  4. Home Run Inn: Home Run Inn is a Chicago institution that has been serving pizza since 1947. Their Tavern-Style pizza is known for its thin, flaky crust and the perfect ratio of cheese to sauce. Home Run Inn takes pride in using only the finest ingredients and maintaining the same recipes for over 70 years. Whether you visit their original location in the South Side or try one of their many frozen pizza options, Home Run Inn delivers a delightful tavern-style experience.

If you find yourself in the Windy City, be sure to indulge in some Tavern-style pizza for a taste of Chicago’s unique pizza scene. Whether you prefer the famous deep-dish or the crispy goodness of Tavern-style, Chicago offers a pizza experience that is sure to satisfy any pizza lover’s cravings.

Chicago Pizza Tours

Experience The Best Of Chicago’s Pizza With Guided Tours

Chicago, known for its deep-dish pizza, offers a vibrant and diverse pizza scene that attracts pizza aficionados from around the globe. To fully immerse yourself in the world of Chicago pizza, consider embarking on a guided pizza tour that takes you on a journey through the city’s iconic pizzerias and hidden gems.

A pizza tour is a unique and enjoyable way to explore the culinary delights that Chicago has to offer. Led by experienced guides, these tours provide insider knowledge and behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s most renowned pizza establishments.

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste a variety of Chicago-style pizzas, from the classic deep-dish to the thin-crust varieties. Each pizza has its own unique characteristics, flavors, and techniques that have made it a staple in the Chicago pizza scene.

Not only will you indulge in delicious pizza, but you will also learn about the history and evolution of Chicago’s pizza culture. Guides often share fascinating stories and facts about the origins of famous pizzerias and the secret ingredients that make their pizzas stand out.

In addition to the mouthwatering pizza, these tours offer a chance to explore different neighborhoods in Chicago. From downtown to the trendy Wicker Park and historic Lincoln Park, you will get to know the city’s diverse communities while satisfying your pizza cravings.

Whether you are a pizza enthusiast or simply curious about exploring Chicago’s culinary scene, a guided pizza tour is an excellent way to discover the city’s flavorful heritage and vibrant food culture.

Jonathan Porter: The Ultimate Pizza Insider

When it comes to knowing the ins and outs of Chicago’s pizza scene, Jonathan Porter is an unrivaled source of knowledge. As a renowned food critic and self-proclaimed pizza aficionado, Porter has dedicated his career to exploring and celebrating the best of Chicago’s pizzas.

With his innate passion for pizza and deep understanding of the city’s culinary landscape, Porter has become the go-to expert for recommendations and insights into Chicago’s pizza culture. His expertise has been invaluable to locals and tourists alike who want to experience the ultimate pizza adventure.

Porter’s extensive research and collaborations with local pizzerias have given him unique access to the behind-the-scenes world of Chicago’s pizza makers. Through his popular blog and social media channels, he shares his personal experiences, honest reviews, and insider tips to help pizza lovers make the most informed choices in their pizza quest.

Not only does Porter showcase the iconic deep-dish pizzas that Chicago is famous for, but he also sheds light on the lesser-known but equally exceptional thin-crust pizzas and other unique variations found throughout the city. His commitment to highlighting the diversity of Chicago’s pizza scene encourages exploration and appreciation of the artistry behind each pizza creation.

Whether you are looking for a hidden gem in a quiet neighborhood or a legendary pizzeria that has been serving up pies for decades, Jonathan Porter’s expertise can guide you toward an unforgettable pizza experience in the Windy City.

As you venture into the world of Chicago pizza, let the expertise of Jonathan Porter and the excitement of guided pizza tours be your compass to discovering the best that the city has to offer. With each bite, you will savor the rich flavors and traditions that make Chicago’s pizza scene truly one-of-a-kind.


Chicago Town Pizza: The Windy City’s Pizza Scene showcases the vibrant and diverse pizza culture of Chicago. From deep-dish to tavern-style and everything in between, Chicago’s pizza scene offers something for every pizza lover. The city’s rich history, unique ingredients, and talented chefs contribute to the exceptional quality and variety of pizzas found in Chicago.

Appreciating The Variety And Richness Of Chicago’s Pizza Scene

Chicago’s pizza scene is a testament to the city’s culinary creativity and passion for food. With a range of styles and flavors, there is always something new to discover and enjoy. Whether you prefer a deep-dish pizza loaded with cheese and toppings or a thin, crispy crust with just the right balance of flavors, Chicago has it all.

One of the highlights of Chicago’s pizza scene is the world-famous deep-dish pizza. Originating in the city in the 1940s, this iconic style features a thick, buttery crust, generous layers of cheese, and hearty toppings. It’s a pizza that requires a knife and fork to appreciate its deliciousness fully. Pizzerias like Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Gino’s East have become institutions in the city, attracting both locals and tourists alike.

Another popular style in Chicago is the thin-crust, tavern-style pizza. Its crispy, cracker-like crust characterizes this pizza and cut into squares. It is often enjoyed with a cold beverage at neighborhood taverns and is a favorite among locals. Places like Vito & Nick’s, Pat’s Pizzeria, and Aurelio’s serve up fantastic versions of this beloved style.

Chicago’s pizza scene also embraces innovative and unique creations. You can find pizzas topped with unconventional ingredients like barbecue sauce, pulled pork, or even macaroni and cheese. These bold and creative combinations push the boundaries of traditional pizza, offering a delicious and memorable experience.

Moreover, Chicago’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients further elevates its pizza scene. Local farms and artisanal producers supply fresh produce, specialty meats, and artisan cheeses that contribute to the exceptional taste and quality of Chicago pizzas. The emphasis on quality ingredients ensures that every slice is bursting with flavor and made with care.

In conclusion, Chicago’s pizza scene is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, styles, and traditions. Whether you’re a fan of deep-dish, thin-crust, or experimental pizzas, Chicago offers a culinary experience like no other. The city’s rich pizza culture, talented chefs, and commitment to quality ingredients make it a must-visit destination for pizza lovers from around the world. So, the next time you find yourself in the Windy City, be sure to indulge in its fantastic pizza offerings and discover why Chicago is hailed as a pizza paradise.

FAQ about Chicago Town Pizza: The Windy City’s Pizza Scene

Q: What are some famous deep-dish pizza places in Chicago?
A: Some famous deep-dish pizza places in Chicago include Pequod’s Pizza, Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta, and Pizzeria Uno.

Q: Is deep-dish pizza the only style of pizza in Chicago?
A: No, there are many styles of pizza in Chicago. Tavern-style pizza, also known as “party cut” or “bar cut” pizza, is another popular style in the city.

Q: What is the difference between deep-dish and tavern-style pizza?
A: Deep-dish pizza has a thick crust and is typically filled with cheese and toppings, with sauce on top. Tavern-style pizza has a thin, crispy crust and is cut into small squares.

Q: Can I take a pizza tour of Chicago?
A: Yes, Chicago Pizza Tours offers guided tours of three of Chicago’s best pizzerias.

Q: What is the National Pizza and Pasta Show?
A: The National Pizza and Pasta Show is an event where professionals in the pizza and pasta industries come together to network and learn about the latest trends and products.

Q: Where can I find more information about the pizza scene in Chicago?
A: The Daily offers a guide to pizza in the Windy City, which covers various styles of pizza and popular pizza places in the area.

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