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I grew up with pizza. Pizza in the U.S. is everywhere, and everybody has their different take. Sure, go ahead fold your slices, New Yorkers. Yeah, I guess you can put more vegetables on it, Californians. I have even eaten it in Europe with an egg on it. The least tolerable pie I have eaten had tuna on it. Up to you.
The best in this great land of ours is in Chicago. Yeah, that’s right. There’s just something extra hearty and delicious about it. And I have had simple ones in Italy. They are spectacular, too. The simple pie focuses on the best ingredients; tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, maybe a little garlic and olive oil and done – the classic Margherita.
On the other hand, Chicago style pies span the world of flavors. From heavy deep-dishes that can fill the biggest appetites. To dainty thin crusts where a whole pie might go down with ease. And I have had a lot in my time and I am sure there are some places that I am going to leave out, but if I had to pick just six places, these would be it. This does not mean they are the most amazing, but they are some of the most delicious.
All of the ones I present are pizza restaurants that I would nominate for the US Food Awards. These food awards are special because they give locals the opportunities to give recognition to their favorite restaurants because of just that, because those restaurants are the people’s favorites. In no particular order, my nominees for the US Food Awards include:
Moretti’s offers something simple and delicious. And they have an amazing special on Tuesdays, 1/2 price. The pizzas are simple and are great value for money.
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. offers one of the most unique ways to eat a pizza, a “Pizza Pot Pie”. The meal is a beast and stuffed with all sorts of deliciousness - meat, cheeses, mushrooms. You will need a fork and knife to take this monster down, but it is amazingly delicious.
One of the legends of the Chicago-style deep-dish. It is a monster. Try eating more than 2 slices and you might just burst. If you have a big appetite, then I say “dig in”. One of my favorites is a sausage deep-dish. And the pizza is about 2 inches in thickness, smothered in cheese and flavor.
With a name like Chicago’s Pizza, there could only be one place that you could be. In addition to serving great thin and deep-dish, one of the reasons I love this pizza is because they are late-night pizza kings. Perhaps you are familiar with having rowdy late nights and getting the munchies. As such, I suggest Chicago’s Pizza is the place to call. Although honestly I do not remember it that well, I swear we have gotten pizzas after 5 AM.
Just thinking about the name makes my mouth water. Rosati’s Pizza makes some of the best thin-crust pies around, hands down, bar none. I grew up eating this pizza. And I remember picking up pizzas in the summer and the stifling heat inside the shop. However, I never understood how they could deal with the heat in the store, but I always appreciated the pizzas they made. It is amazing pizza and one of the best things about their pizzas, is the sauce. It is unlike any other I have tried and makes their pizzas shine.
Following in a close second to Rosati’s, is Papa Saverio’s. They also make a pretty good deep-dish, which my family likes. But for me, I want a thin-crust, easy-cheese and pepperoni. Easy-cheese means half of the normal amount of cheese. I feel like cutting down on the cheese really allows their sauce to sing. And it is a great sauce.
I know there are tons of pizza places in Chicagoland. These are some of my favorites and the ones that I would recommend for nominees for the US Food Awards. There are a million ways to have a pie and these are the ones I suggest you start with if you ever come to Chi-town.