So if you're a fan of pizza, American food culture or arguably the two best cities in the United States, you're probably well aware of the long-standing debate about whether Chicago style pizza or New York-style pizza is best.
As some who’s spent a considerable amount of time in New York and who currently lives in Chicago, here’s what I have to say on the matter: each style serves a separate, unique purpose for dinner.
The New York slice is a quick, efficient meal, yet it’s massive and full of greasy goodness. It’s a delicious slice of heaven you can fold up and eat on your way to your friend’s house.
Chicago style pizza is an entirely different beast. The Chicago style pizza is less pizza than pie, and that’s why we love it. It’s always loaded with cheese, layered atop a thick, golden, flaky crust. Then, you know the recipe calls for thick, chunky tomato sauce made from a family recipe piled on the cheesy, crusty perfection.
New York’s a fast-paced city where you’re always heading to the next great thing; thus, their slices are conducive to that lifestyle. Chicago’s a classic, homey Midwestern town where you sit down and eat a nice long meal with your friends, which is why it makes sense that their dish is deep and meant to be enjoyed slowly.
Both are amazing. Both will satisfy your cravings. However, we are going to stick with Chicago pizza for this article, so--regardless of the fact if you’re new in town, born and raised here, or visiting for the weekend--you can check out these classic Chicago style pizza places and join in a rich, scrumptious tradition.
Sally’s Baking Addiction
Lou Malnati’s and Chicago style pizza are synonymous. And there’s a pretty dang good reason for that. Pretty much everything about a Lou Malnati’s pizza is perfection.
It’s got all the quintessential Chicago style pizza components: the several layers of melty cheese, the homemade sauce...but...that crust though.
The crust is, in my opinion, what separates Lou Malnati’s from other Chicago style pizza places. The crust is known as “the buttercrust.” Pretty self-explanatory, but, just in case your blood sugar is low when you’re reading this and can’t put two and two together, the dough is made with butter.
And it’s not just the butter. The dough is yeast based and also undergoes a 48 hour fermentation period, which gives it extra flavor.
Couple that crust with Lou Malnati’s Chicago classic--which contains Lou’s lean sausage, vine-ripened tomato sauce, and extra cheese--and you’ve got a perfect pie.
The next restaurant we’re checking out on our culinary journey through Chicago pizza classics is Pequod’s.
Pequod’s is another incredible spot that offers you some of the best options if you’re looking for some classic Chicago pie options as well as a unique, delicious crust.
Pequod’s, like Lou Malnati’s, has a crust that’ll make your dining experience one to remember. “What’s the so special about their crust?” you might ask.
Well, two words: it’s caramelized.
That’s right. Pequod’s dares to try something new, and that’s to caramelize their crust with cheese, which gives it a delicious chewiness that’s rivaled by none.
Add some chunky, savory and sweet tomato sauce on that crust with a protein like pepperoni, and you’ve got yourself a delicious Chicago pizza.
Chicago Serious Eats
The final glorious pizza establishment we’re going to tell you about is the incomparable Giordano’s. Giordano’s pizza was the first pizza I ate when I first moved to Chicago. I fell in love immediately.
When you order from here, you must get the cheese pizza, as it comes with massive quantities of delicious mozzarella cheese.
The cheese is one of my favorite parts about Giordano’s pizza because they pile on massive amounts of it.
However, the sauce is my favorite part. It’s super tangy and gives the pizza the extra zest that makes it so delicious. The crust is light and flaky, but it also has the quintessential thickness of all good Chicago pizza.
This pizza’s a must try. Order some here today!
Chicago is renowned for its restaurants, so it would only make sense that such a culinarily inclined city would also have some excellent ‘za! These pizza places are must for all you pizza lovers out there, and, if you’re not a pizza lover, I’ll bet they’ll convert you!