Pizza is a common favorite food, and for good reasons. Cheesy, doughy goodness with infinite possibilities for toppings? Yes, please. That's not to say that all pizzas are created equal.
There's great pizza and mediocre pizza, Americanized pizza and authentic Italian pizza. Deep dish versus thin crust, wood-fired versus doughy. In short, there are so many elements that go into what makes a pizza a good pizza.
Being a Chicago native (and major pizza enthusiast), I'd like to think that I know a bit about pizza. Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza, but it also has many lesser-known delicious thin crust restaurants. So here are my favorite pizza places in Chicago.
Pequod's makes a mean pan pizza that is not a traditional deep dish. This pizza comes out sizzling in its pan, with your choice of toppings and cheese bubbling over the edges. Check out Pequod's if you can't decide between deep dish and thin crust.
For a classic deep dish that is not as well known as the big name restaurants, Bacino's is always a solid bet. The buttery crust is what gets me. I like mine stuffed with spinach and onion, but you can't go wrong with other toppings.
Out of the more famous deep dish restaurants, Lou Malnati's wins my vote. Lou Malnati's makes an out-of-this-world tomato sauce. It's sweet, chunky, and everything you could ever wish for.
Pizzeria Da Nella has its ingredients flown in from Italy. They do an amazing wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. I love the smoky, flaky crust. They also do a stuffed pizza, which is not deep-dish but rather a regular thin crust with a layer of crust on top. When put in the wood-fire oven, you get an airy, oozing globe-shaped pie.
Piece makes some freakin' huge pizzas. I would call this more of an Americanized pizza. The crust is rubbed with a tasty cornmeal layer on the bottom. If you're a meat eater, get the sausage. It's to die for.
Osteria La Madia is another one of my wood-fired Neapolitan favorites. Their crust uses the most basic ingredients, and you can actually taste the quality. They also change their pizzas seasonally.
I've never seen a crust as thin as Spacca Napoli's. Nor have I ever tasted a crust that melts in your mouth like Spacca Napoli's. True Italian pizza, Spacca Napoli makes their crust with extra virgin olive oil and their sauce from traditional San Marzano tomatoes. Yum.
I know, I've made it difficult for you to decide where your next Chicago pizza venture is. The good news is that you can't go wrong. Happy pizza journeys!