The Best Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago

Roll up your sleeves, loosen your belt, and prepare for a next-level pizza experience at these Chicago originals.

To a New Yorker, folding a slice of pizza like a taco is the most regal way to eat it, but consider carving into a slow-cooked, thick, cheesy, and sauce-smothered pie with a knife and a fork… now that’s class. Deep dish pizza: It might be one of the most controversial items in Chicago’s culinary repertoire, and since everyone seems to have an opinion about it, ours is that no two deep dish pies are created equal, so you might as well try them all.

If reading this doesn't make the deep dish lovers out there fall even deeper in love, at the very least it might convince the haters to give the venerable casserole-like discs a second chance—because no one does deep dish quite like Chicago. Here are the very best purveyors of deep dish pizza to try right now.

This modern deep dish wonderland pulls inspiration from its predecessor, harnessing the best parts of each pizzeria of yore. The dough starts as cold-fermented focaccia and finishes with a delectably crispy caramelized edge, the tomato sauce is just the right amount of sweet, and the cornmeal underside gives the whole thing that extra crowd-pleasing crunch. This joint only makes small batches daily and sells out quickly, so you better order ahead if you want in on all the cheesy, saucy glory.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Tock.

Launched as a ghost kitchen, this diminutive pizzeria opened in 2020 under the wing of pizza master Robert Maleski and was inspired by his Grandmother Emily, the one who taught him how to cook. While the pies may not technically fit the deep dish definition, Milly’s pan-style pies still have that girth that Chicagoians know and love. Now operating out of a location on Argyle, each of their tasty pies are packed with care. Try their the popular Clickbait, loaded with red onion, mushrooms, mini peppers, Kumato tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, jalapenos, Calabrian chilis, and fresh ricotta cheese, or if you’re feeling creative, the You Do You comes with a cheese base and lets you build the rest.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Tock.

Burt's Place

Morton Grove
$$$$

Driving a tad out of the way will be worth it once you arrive at this celebrated suburban titan. Burt’s Place sits about 25 minutes north of downtown, and has been a neighborhood favorite ever since its founder, the late Burt Katz, set up shop in 1989. The esteemed pizza parlor reopened in 2017, continuing Burt’s legacy by upholding all of his original recipes and pizza-making technique. Their hefty pies are a perfect blend of cheese, sauce, and bread and each pairs brilliantly with one of their seasonal rotating beers on their pleasant patio. Like we said, it's worth the drive—no matter how much gas is setting you back these days.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Gino's East

Multiple locations
$$$$

A 1966 original, this venerable multi-outpost pie slinger has converted many a deep dish-skeptic over the decades. Privileging gooey mozz and peppery tomato sauce over an ample cornmeal crust, the recipe here is locked up in some vault somewhere, so don’t even try to ask. Roll up your sleeves for inventive combos like the appropriately titled Chicago Fire, laden with hot sausage, roasted red peppers, and red onions.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Toast.

Giordano's

Multiple locations
$$$$

Basic? Sure. But delicious? You bet. This locally based deep dish giant has proven itself a master of the art throughout its long-ranging tenure, whipping up a variety of bloated pies including the coveted stuffed variety and even offering frozen options for easy transport. An extra layer of dough above the cheese keeps all the internal fixings—think pepperoni, sausage, veggies, the works—intact while the surface oozes with fragrant marinara sauce, beckoning passersby like a sodium-loaded siren song.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery online.

This is where the original deep dish style—a crispy, short-edged crust layered with cheese and crushed tomatoes, in that order—was invented in 1943. The budding empire later expanded to its sister restaurant Pizzeria Due, located a whole block away, after it quickly caught on. And while we think there are places doing the original style better today, we can’t help but salute this admitted tourist trap as a piece of living history. This is one heavy meal, especially if you opt for sausage—a solid disk of spiced meat plopped atop the crust like a hubcap on a tire. Despite the long waits, it's a Chicago institution, and we maintain you have to try it at least once.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Tano's Pizzeria

Irving Park
$$$$

Even thicker than the original deep dish standard, stuffed pizza dates back to the 1960s and is built sort of like a pizza pot pie, sporting an added cap of crust covered in sauce. Usually the crust is more bread-like and flaky than the traditional style. Tano's continues their family recipe from their former old school Italian joint, Manzo's, and the stuffed pie is dressed with a signature—if a bit too cloying for some—tomato sauce.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Pizano's Pizza

Multiple locations
$$$$

Rudy Malnati Sr. is one of the OGs credited with inventing deep dish at Pizzeria Uno, and his son Rudy Jr. is behind this local hero. Unfortunately, Mama Malnati had already given the family recipe to brother Lou for his own chain, so she devised a new one for Rudy. That's why we give the nod to Lou for classic deep dish (Rudy wins at thin crust). But this is still plenty good, with a similar crispy-crunchy hard shell setting up a sturdy base for robust tomato and cheese.
How to order: Reserve and order takeout and delivery via online.

Nino's Pizza

Alsip
$$$$

The old-timers claim that deep dish is north side pizza and real Chicagoans—by which they mean Southsiders—eat tavern-cut thin crust. There's some truth to that (though Giordano's started on 63rd Street, for one), but these days, deep dish is all over the South suburbs. Few examples are more dramatic than the pies served at this Alsip mainstay, with a ring of flaky crust as tall as a medieval wall barricading a thick lake of gooey cheese and supple tomatoes.
How to order: Call 708-423-9100 for takeout and delivery.

Bartoli's Pizzeria

Multiple locations
$$$$

Bartoli's claims it descends from a classic (the family opened Gino's East but sold it long ago), and the deep dish here is pristinely balanced with a lovely, flaky crust that doesn't sit like a gut bomb. The sauce is a little sweet, as old-school ones so often are, but it pairs well with both neutral toppings like spinach and something with little kick like pepperoni. It's also hawks slices to-go, if you don't think you can pound down an entire pie yourself.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Pequod's Pizzeria

Multiple locations
$$$$

The third key style of Chicago deep dish is pan pizza, where the ingredients sit atop a puffy crust. What sets Chicago's pan pizza apart from similar styles across the country is the crispy edge of caramelized cheese turned lacy and almost black—the invention of Burt Katz, who launched and sold several pizzerias from the 1960s on, including this very one. From cheese that's sharp enough to cut your gums to the acidic blast of the tomato sauce, this is put-hair-on-your-chest pizza, one to work up to only after you've proven you can take on milder versions. Lines snake out the door here on weekends, so if you're not up for risking an hours-long wait, make sure to snag a reservation ahead of time or plan to post up in the recently added bar next door to bide your time in style.
How to order: Reserve via Tock or order takeout and delivery online.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

Multiple locations
$$$$

Whether or not he invented it, Lou's pops Rudy was definitely present during the birth of what probably comes closest to the original deep dish pizza. And, in true Malnati fashion, pies here continue to extol the virtues of simplicity: buttery crust, a thick layer of cheese, bright canned tomatoes, and massive, frisbee-sized servings of Italian sausage with a hint of wine.
How to order: Join the waitlist or order takeout and delivery online.

The Art of Pizza

Lakeview
$$$$

A ChicagoTribune poll some years ago named this the best deep dish in town, and as far as the stuffed stuff goes, we can’t argue. It gets everything right, from the flaky crust to the brightly spiced tomato sauce on top. The pies are big and loud enough on their own, that we rarely even mess with meat. If you’re ordering by the slice, the Spinach Mushroom Onion reigns supreme.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Slice.

This old-world joint took the concept of deep dish and revolutionized it with the creation of its pizza pot pies. They're formed bottom-up in a ramekin, first loaded with layers of sliced cheese, button mushrooms, and a sauce steeped with homemade pork sausage, before getting topped off with a triple-raised Sicilian crust. It's baked, then brought over to the table and flipped over right in front of you, Dairy Queen blizzard-style. All the fillings settle into the crust, creating a gloriously lava-like meal you have to see to believe.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast.

Available for Reservations
Nancy's Pizzeria
Photo courtesy of Nancy's Pizza

Nancy's Pizzeria

Multiple locations
$$$$

While the title remains contentious, Nancy's claims to have invented stuffed pizza. Instead of simply imitating pan pizza, founders Nancy and Rocco Palese created their own pie based on a family recipe for scarciedda, an Easter cake traditional to parts of Italy, and thus their version of American stuffed pizza was born. The signature version features two layers of crust, with cheese and toppings crammed inside and sauce covering the top. The original 12-inch pie weighs in at an impressive 5 pounds and stands 2.5-inches tall, so prepare your stomach—and your soul—before arrival.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery online.

My Pi Pizza

Bucktown
$$$$

Deep dish at My Pi is an all-American affair, showcasing ingredients that are said to be superior to Italy's. All the cheese comes from Wisconsin, and the San Marzano vine-ripened tomatoes are grown in California. These tomatoes are the reason My Pi is known for its famous chunky sauce—it's much more sweet than acidic, and seasoned with a special blend of herbs and spices. But what makes this pizza really stand out is the crust: It's raised three times and the final proofing happens in the oven, so you're in for a tender, yeasty bite.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery online.

Labriola Cafe

River East
$$$$

One of the best deep dish pies is hidden in plain sight right in the middle of Chicago. Instead of flaunting a traditional golden-brown crust that soars in height, Labriola's sports a thinner crust that almost resembles the outside of a dark loaf of bread. The sauce is chunky, the mozzarella is sharp, and if you order Danny's Special, the most popular menu item, you'll get a taste of some of the crispiest sausage in town.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations
Elanor Bock is a Chicago born, New York-based professional dancer, writer, and renaissance woman, excelling at philosophy, mathematics, outdoor adventuring, and balancing six martinis on a tray in a crowded bar. Like her dog Oli, she is highly motivated by treats. Follow her on instagram @rathernotthanks.
Mike Gebert is a James Beard Award-winning food writer and video-maker based in Chicago. He’s the creator of the acclaimed blog Sky Full of Bacon and a contributor to the Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, Thrillist, Where Chicago, Serious Eats and others, and was the editor of Grub Street Chicago.