Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is more a decadent pie than a plain old pizza. It's the grand pooh-ba of pizza and a beloved, decadent Chicago icon. Yet some local pizzerias forgo the deep dish for still delicious yet more unique takes on the round Italian classic. Here are five mouthwatering alternatives to the ubiquitous deep dish, and the Chicago pizzerias that serve them up.
Get it at: Pisolino
Pisolino, an authentic caffè italiano in blooming Avondale, features Pugliese-style pizza: Named after the Puglia region—the heel of the Italian boot—Pugliese pizza is a tad heftier than its Neapolitan cousin. Go for the Stonato: pepperoni, wild mushrooms, mozzarella, grana, tomato puree— paired with a quartino of vino and plan on indulging in a post-lunch pisolino (nap).
Pisolino | 2755 W. Belmont Avenue | (773) 293-6025 | pisolino.com
Get it at: PIZZERIA DA NELLA
Neapolitan-style pizzas are constantly popping out of the blazing wood-fired oven at Pizzeria Da Nella. The Pizza Margherita here is perhaps the best Neapolitan-style pizza in the city and features all the hallmarks of the Naples original, including an ultra-thin crust topped with San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. Little ones will love the Mickey Mouse shaped Margherita at this Lincoln Park pizzeria where kids eat free on Tuesdays!
Pizzeria Da Nella | 1443 W. Fullerton Avenue | (773) 281-6600 | pizzeriadanella.com
FOCACCIA-STYLE PIZZA BREAD
Get it at: D'AMATO'S
Though it's classified as a bakery and not a pizzeria, D'Amato's is known for its thick, tomato-topped focaccia, which, together with a bottle of San Pellegrino, stands as a meal in and of itself. The creamy cannolis, outstanding Italian bread and rich butter cookies are among the best in the city. Nick D'Amato purchased the bakery in 1971, but the grand, coal-burning oven, still used today, has been around since 1914.
D'Amato's Bakery | 1124 W. Grand Avenue | (312) 733-5456 | damatosbakerychicago.com
PIZZA POT PIE
Get it at: Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co.
Chicago Oven Grinder Pizza Co. is best know for a truly unique Pizza Pot Pie. Similar to an upside-down pizza in a bowl, this over-the-top pizza arrives at the table with a bubble of a crust ready to pop with steam, all indicative of the gooey deliciousness that awaits inside. The pizzas here lean toward a pot pie classification: large and deep and stuffed with meaty sausage, mozzarella and a house-made, tangy tomato sauce, they arrive in a crock with the dough puffed up several inches above the edge.
Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co. | 2121 N. Clark Street | chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com
Get it at: PAULIE GEE's LOGAN SQUARE
Paulie Gee's is a NYC import that is making a mark in the land of deep-dish pizza: The Brooklyn-style pizzas at this hipster-friendly joint in Logan Square arrive laden with an eclectic mix of toppings. Keep it local and stick with a Logan Square, a square-cut pizzas that is so popular they're limited to 30 per day and are only served on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
Paulie Gee's | 2451 N. Milwaukee Avenue | (773) 360-1072 | pauliegee.com/logan-square/
Of course, if you want to stick with a good-old Chicago pie, I wouldn't blame you! Here's a list of some of my favorite pizza parlors in Chicago. Can't get enough pizza in your life? You can even take a bus-guided pizza tour around the city!