The Absolute Best Pizza in Chicago

Deep dish, tavern-style, Neapolitan, Sicilian, New York, and everything in between.

Let’s do an experiment. Clear your mind, take a deep breath, and focus on two simple words: Chicago Pizza.

Now let your imagination run wild. What are you picturing? A kiddie-pool-sized deep-dish pizza, with thick cascading ribbons of cheese and an exterior crust crisped to a golden brown? Perhaps your mind is fixating on impossibly thin, cracker-crisp pizzas, cut into tight squares, just like the ones you had with your little league team at the end of every season. Or maybe you’re imagining the unyielding heat of a brick oven, flames licking pristinely proofed pizza dough until it blisters and blackens along its crust, striking a brilliant balance between crispy and chewy.

Rising far beyond our city’s inescapable association with deep-dish (and the subsequent “is deep-dish pizza actually pizza” controversy), Chicago’s pizza landscape is defined by its diversity. Want a classic Neapolitan Margherita pie dotted with fresh-cut basil? You’re probably only 15 minutes away from it—and on your way there, you’ll likely pass several other top tier joints offering newfangled creations like Nacho Pie or a Pickles and Mortadella number.

We’ve compiled this list both as a celebration of all the different wonderous styles that call Chicago home, as well as a handy way to satisfy your craving no matter where your hankering leads you.

Home Run Inn Pizza
Home Run Inn Pizza

Tavern style, along with deep dish, is Chicago's hometown classic. Most people just call it thin crust, and it's exactly what it sounds like: a thin-crust (like, cracker-thin), often circular pizza cut into squares, not wedges. 

Multiple locations
You’re not allowed to argue with me on this one: Home Run Inn is the best frozen pizza ever (Thrillist's frozen pizza ranking attests to it). It's on this list because, if you’re not from Chicago, this is one of the few things in your local freezer aisle that you can experience along with us. Obviously, it’s much better fresh from one of the eight locations in Chicago, but even from your oven, there’s something about that damn buttery crumbly crust that keeps everyone coming back for more.
How to book: Contact your nearest location for reservation information or order take-out and delivery online.

Ashburn
If I didn’t mention Vito and Nick’s on this list I'd be strangled, which is why it’s the very first entry. The pies at this cash-only Southside favorite are generously topped all the way to the edge, and if an Italian beef-draped thin-crust pizza doesn’t scream Chicago, I don’t know what does. By the time you've finished your meal, you’ll be leaving with a Chicago accent.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 773-735-2050 for take-out.

Pat's Pizza Chicago
Pat's Pizza Chicago

Lincoln Park
If you want to experience Chicago's love for sausage, you’ve got to visit Pat’s Pizza and taste the hand-pinched gumball-sized meats covering one of their microscopically thin slices. When I say hand-pinched, I mean that the sausage is applied raw and cooks in the oven, so as it bakes, the flavor seeps into the entire pie.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out online, or get delivery via GrubHub, Uber Eats, or Postmates.

Albany Park
A cursory glance at Marie's storefront will tell you it's a classic. It’s been around since the 1940s, and hasn’t changed a bit. This is textbook tavern-style pizza, thin and hearty, but the restaurant's spirit is just as engaging. Although its indoor dining space is currently closed due to the pandemic, they’ve recently converted their parking lot into a beautiful outdoor eating space complete with picnic tables and an eye-catching mural. Plus, there’s an entire liquor store attached to the restaurant. And yes, you can bring the booze right to your table.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served patio seating, order take-out via ChowNow, or get delivery via GrubHub and DoorDash.

Pequod's Pizza Chicago
Pequod's Pizza Chicago

Yes, that deep-dish. A round, high-walled fortress of cheese and dough with sauce on top, this pie is both eternally revered and endlessly teased. It's a Chicago culinary legend, rivaled only by Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dogs. 

Lincoln Park
This OG deep dish slinger serves up buttery pies loaded down with savory toppings and finished with their signature caramelized crust. Come for the old-school ambiance and gut-busting grub, stay for the surprisingly stocked bar (next door’s Whale Tale Chicago Restaurant and Bar will keep you happy while you wait for those pies to rise) and smile-inducing Pequod’s Salad crowned with an adorable whale-shaped slice of provolone.
How to book: Reserve via Yelp or order take-out and delivery online.

Morton Grove
Dubbed the only deep dish pie worth its carbs by the late-great Anthony Bourdain, this suburban enclave lives off the similarly late-great chef Burt Katz’ venerable legacy (he started Pequod’s back in 1971 before opening up his own palace in 1989). Today, a new generation helms the ship, yet the iconic pies remain the same: perfectly caramelized rounds ladled with an enormous array of farm-fresh toppings, sauce, and cheese.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 847-965-7997 for take-out, or order delivery via Slice.

Labriola Chicago: Ristorante and Cafe
Labriola Chicago: Ristorante and Cafe

Streeterville
Labriola’s deep-dish is one of those pies that holds an impossible amount of toppings. Similar to a Detroit-style pan pizza, there's a halo of what appears to be burnt cheese (it’s not burnt, it’s caramelized) around the edges. It's also one of the very few restaurants just off of Michigan Avenue worth visiting, and its dimly lit space is enough to soothe you after a day of crowd surfing outside.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out via ChowNow, or get delivery via GrubHub.

Multiple locations
This ubiquitous chain is best known for its stuffed pizza, a variant of deep dish that includes a very thin layer of dough on top of the cheese—which is then covered in sauce. These slices are what most people imagine when they think of deep-dish, packed with pounds (yes, literal pounds) of cheese. When you lift that first slice out of the pan, thick strings of cheese will stretch so far, you can stand up on your chair to test how far it’ll go before breaking. As amazing as pizza is, you don't often see it described as entertaining—and this pizza is entertaining.
How to book: Contact your nearest location for reservation information or order take-out and delivery online.

Bucktown
If you’re looking for a deep dish pie that will convert you to the cause, head to My Pi in Bucktown. The pizza here is tried and true: crisp crust, a generous amount of cheese (but, crucially, not too much), and crushed-but-nearly-whole tomatoes. As of now, the restaurant is only offering take-out and delivery service, but they’re also dishing up pizzas slightly unbaked so you can finish them off at home and treat yourself to fresh-from-the-oven deep dish whenever you’d like.
How to book: Order take-out and delivery online.

Milly's Pizza In The Pan
Milly's Pizza In The Pan

Logan Square
New pan pizza places in Chicago are few and far between, which is what makes Milly’s so unique. Like a lot of recent upstarts, Milly’s is run out of a ghost kitchen, and damn, these pies are stunning and they know it—one of them is called Clickbait ffs. This is technically pan pizza, much like Pequod’s, and because of this, it stays true to the caramelized cheese crust, but ups the ante with vibrant toppings like Kumato tomatoes, Calabrian chili, and Castelveltrano olives. It’s a colorful reminder that not all pies need to be various shades of red, white, and brown.
How to book: Order take-out and delivery via Tock.

Pizza Lobo
Pizza Lobo

You're familiar with this one. There aren’t many slice shops here, but the ones we have are well-loved and worth your time.

Ukrainian Village & Logan Square
No need to beat around the bush here—Dante’s serves up slices that are the platonic ideal of New York Pizza: gigantic, floppy, and foldable. It tastes how you always imagine New York-style pie should, but rarely does. The sauce is homemade, and they brush the crust with a wonderful garlic-parmesan-butter blend. The Beatrice comes highly recommended, but brave souls should give the aptly titled Inferno a try as well.
How to book: Order take-out and deliver via ChowNow (Ukrainian Village, Logan Square).

Logan Square
New York-style pies are the name of the game inside this Logan Square addition from ex-Bad Hunter chef Dan Snowden and Heisler Hospitality, where 4000-square-feet of patio space invites guests to feast on specialty pizzas and tasty sides like fried cauliflower, wings, hearty salads, and decadent sub sandwiches. Toppings-wise, BYO pies and standard combos feature premium ingredients, and you can’t go wrong with inventive originals like the Provolone & 'Nduja (pink sauce, smoked provolone, Tempesta 'nduja, bay leaf, ricotta) or the sugar-and-spice Bees Knees (white sauce, fresh mozz Mama Lil’s peppers, red onion, Calabrian chile honey).
How to book: Reserve via Resy, order take-out via Upserve, or get delivery via Slice, Caviar, and DoorDash.

Jimmys Pizza Cafe
Jimmys Pizza Cafe

Lincoln Square
Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe is Chicago’s true-to-form New York slice joint. It arrives on a paper plate, it folds, it's blazing hot (seriously, I’ve burned my mouth on it), and each bite keeps you chasing the next one. We may not have a slice shop on every block around these parts, but Jimmy’s holds its own as the real deal.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or order delivery via GrubHub.

Bucktown
The StopAlong is a throwback love letter to the '80s—think action figures on brightly colored walls and an arcade in the back. The bulk of the menu is New York-style, but utilizes a wider array of toppings than your standard utility slice spot. There's the Major Payne, which has spicy sauce, pepperoni, jalapenos, garlic, and fresh cilantro, and my personal favorite, the Spaceballs, topped with a vodka cream sauce plus meatballs, ricotta, and basil.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Five Squared Pizza
Five Squared Pizza

Detroit style is quietly spreading across America. It’s a thick, focaccia-esque pizza baked in a steel pan lined with cheese along the edges. Once baked, those edges crisp up and caramelize, resulting in a square pie of widely varying textures.

Logan Square & Wicker Park
Paulie Gee’s Logan Square is an offshoot of the original Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. While the menu is dominated by Neapolitan-style wood-fired pies, they also feature a standout rectangular Detroit-style pizza, lined with a white cheddar crust that makes the edges crisp, tart, and crunchy, and topped with a cold tomato sauce for that coveted temperature contrast.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast (Logan Square, Wicker Park), or get delivery via GrubHub (Logan Square, Wicker Park).

East Garfield Park
While Five Squared initially started out as a food truck concept owned by a husband and wife team, the pandemic disrupted what would have been a roaming operation. Now, Five Squared cranks out a plethora of Detroit style squares with fun, organic toppings like gyro and buffalo chicken, available for pick-up or delivery only on Fridays. Hop on the mailing list as offerings change on a weekly basis.
How to book: Sign up online to order via Instagram, email, or text.

Fat Chris's Pizza and Such
Fat Chris's Pizza and Such

Andersonville
Debuting in 2017, Fat Chris’s is a fairly new restaurant, featuring puffy caramelized-cheese square pies with a thick stripe of tomato sauce strewn across the top. While there are some classic topping combinations on the menu, Fat Chris’s shines when it comes to signature creations like Buffalo Chicken and Barbecue Brisket. And unlike every other joint on this list, they sport a killer lunchtime pizza buffet.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Robert's Pizza & Dough Company
Robert's Pizza & Dough Company

The one category that’s seriously picking up steam in Chicago is artisanal pizza, pizza nouveau that defies tradition and creates its own amorphous category. What sets these pies apart is a hyperfixation on dough and baking techniques.

Wicker Park
Craft Pizza does, admittedly, have a lot of competition in the Wicker Park area, but it stands apart from the crowd by tossing up arguably the best dough in the entire city—crispy on the outside but perfectly chewy on the inside. The Devil in the White City is a must-order, but don’t sleep on their Margherita, either.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via DoorDash.

Coalfire Pizza
Coalfire Pizza

West Town & Lakeview
As you’d might expect, Coalfire’s pizzas spring to life inside a coal-burning oven set to a seemingly impossible ambient temperature of up to 1,500 degrees, which is why you’ll often see people describing these pies as “forged.” If you’re going to try to put a finger on what style it is, you can’t—it’s almost a blend of New Haven, New York, and Neapolitan all in one go, marked by a thin, sturdy, charred dough with good chew. There are two locations—if you’re in town for a Cubs game, head to the one on Southport.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast (West Town, Lakeview).

Logan Square
Middle Brow Bungalow is a brewpub, so you’re already on the right track—after all, these folks know how to handle yeast. One bite and you’ll immediately notice (if you’re paying attention, of course, and not scarfing it down) the texture from the dough’s whole grain wheat, while a few more bites will reveal a sourdough-like tang. We’re talking about finely crafted bread here, folks, and if you can’t get enough, there are plenty of loaves to-go.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order take-out via Toast.

Robert's Pizza & Dough Company
Robert's Pizza & Dough Company

Streeterville
Robert’s recently reopened Streeterville outpost hawks pies with an outer crust (yes, cornicione, for you pizza nerds) as puffy as a motorcycle tire. One look at its crackly and chewy cross section and you’ll spot the beautiful bubbly structure hiding within—truly an architectural marvel to behold. While the old space was relatively small, the new space is much larger and perched right on the Chicago River.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out or delivery online.

Pilsen, Old Town, Evanston, & West Loop
When you sub out water for beer in your dough recipe, you know why you’re firmly in the artisan category. That, and if one of your specialties is littered with dill pickle slices and thinly sliced mortadella. Yes, you read that correctly—Bob’s Pizza deliberately bucks expectations with every delicious move, right down to the cheese blend, which includes the unlikely appearance of Swiss.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

Bonci USA
Bonci USA

Certain pizza styles can only be had at a few spots around town. Some are strange; others are just gaining national momentum; all are worth trying.

West Loop
Another style that’s quickly gaining popularity, Pizza al taglio (which translates from Italian to “by the cut”) is a Roman style known primarily for its ultra-bubbly airy crust and wide variety of toppings. Chicago is the first place Bonci landed in the United States, displaying all the options out front and inviting customers to point to what they’d like. It’s then cut by scissors, and you’re charged by weight. Bonci’s crust is light and fluffy like focaccia, and the toppings change every day (sometimes every hour). Go with your gut when you’re peeking into the glass, but don't overlook variations with potato or ‘nduja, a silky, spreadable sausage.
How to book: Stop by for counter service, order take-out via Slice, or get delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, and GrubHub.

Pizza Friendly Pizza
Pizza Friendly Pizza

Sicilian-style pizza comes in thick, square slices. It’s like a focaccia bread topped with tomato sauce, and it’s surprisingly hard to find in Chicago. 

Portage Park
Pop into Sicilia Bakery and you’ll be greeted with an assortment of baked goods stashed beneath a glass display alongside a big section dedicated to sandwiches made-to-order. But look past the cookies and cannoli, and you’ll spot puffy Sicilian slices tucked between the sweets. You can’t go wrong with a classic cheese slice here (and seriously, bring home a few cannoli). Just keep in mind, they’re closed from Sunday through Tuesday.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or order delivery via GrubHub and Uber Eats.

Ukrainian Village
The once-beloved Bite Cafe has been transformed into Pizza Friendly Pizza, a pandemic-fueled slice shop headed by a Michelin-starred chef. They’re serving bubbly, cheffed-up Sicilian-style squares laced with Chicago-style topping combinations like sausage, housemade giardiniera, and fennel pollen (I told you it was cheffy), all out of a little alley, which makes it feel like a members-only secret pizza club.
How to book: Stop by for counter service, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via DoorDash.

Wrigleyville
Once upon a time, pizzamaker Anthony Scardino sold pies out of his apartment kitchen, a little at a time, on weekends only. Now, Scardino has temporarily moved into a restaurant kitchen to expand his budding operation, and you can get take-out pizzas from him every Friday and Saturday. His mainstay is the Grandma-style pie (technically not quite Sicilian, but hey, it’s pizza), sliced into crispy squares and smothered in classic toppings like pepperoni and sausage. The “Extra Credit” portion of the menu features a revolving special inspired by global dishes like Cubano Sandwiches, Al Pastor Tacos, and Elote.
How to book: Order take-out via Tock.

Roots Pizza
Roots Pizza

Multiple locations
This hyper-regional style hails from the Quad Cities, a little subsection of the Midwest split between Iowa and Illinois. The crust is malted and sweet, the sauce slightly spicy, and the pies cut into narrow strips—honestly, it might challenge your entire conception of pizza. Roots is its only purveyor of such goods in Chicago, and if you order a pie with sausage, you’ll find it’s finely crumbled, not in big pieces. The Taco Pizza, topped with ingredients you’d normally associate with a hard-shell kit like seasoned tortilla chips and spicy taco sauce, is a can’t-miss specialty you can’t get anywhere else in the city.
How to book: Reserve via Resy or order take-out and delivery online.

West Town
Out of the more traditional styles of pizza, Sicilian is a bit of a sleeper in Chicago. But at D’Amato’s, an old-school Italian bakery in West Town, you can find the focaccia-like iterations in the wild. They call it pan pizza, and it's served at room temperature (heated upon request). Spot it nestled amid the display cases inside this little gem—and when I say little, I mean there’s zero seating.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or call 312-733-5456 for take-out.

Table, Donkey and Stick
Table, Donkey and Stick

Logan Square
Table, Donkey, Stick initially started as an homage to Alpine inn cuisine, but once the seriousness of the pandemic set in, the restaurant immediately pivoted to Sicilian-style squares. After all, what food delivers better than pizza? Chicago embraced the pies right away, and the pizza has become a menu staple. While there’s a steady roster of four pizzas on the menu, but keep an eye on social media to see what specials pop up.
How to book: Reserve, order take-out, and get delivery via Tock.

Bridgeport
Pizza. Fried Chicken. Ice cream. PFCIC. This three-way collab between a pop-up pizza kitchen (Eat Free Pizza), Korean fried chicken (Kimski), and ice cream (Pretty Cool Ice Cream), has brought three of the best foods together under one roof. While PFCIC showcases multiple types of pizza, its mainstay is sheet pan Sicilian slices with occasional guest stars including a Neapolitan-New york hybrid and a breadcrumb-topped sfincione. You know what to do.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Spacca Napoli Pizzeria
Spacca Napoli Pizzeria

The granddaddy of all pizza, Neapolitan—in all its soft, blistered, wood-fired glory—has a fair representation in Chicago. We’ve got a handful of VPN certified pizzerias that follow the tradition of Naples and have the paperwork to prove it.

Ravenswood
In need of an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza? VPN-certified Spacca Napoli has your back. Pizzamaker Jonathan Goldsmith radiates passion when it comes to his love for all things cheese, sauce, and dough, and Spacca Napoli doesn’t stray from tradition, sticking to classic wood-fired pies, bready and pliant with a charred crust, San Marzano tomatoes, and imported Buffalo mozzarella. If it ain’t broke, right?
How to book: Call 773-878-2420 for reservations, take-out, and delivery.

Coda Di Volpe
Coda Di Volpe

Lakeview
Another VPN-certified Chicago pizzeria, Coda di Volpe whips up bonafide Neapolitan wood-fired pies in the Southport Corridor section of Lakeview. You know how serious it is when you’re given shears to slice your pizza up, and even more so when you realize the pizzas are cooked in a handmade Stefano Ferrara oven (which, by the way, are legendary in the wood-fired world). As a pandemic update, Coda di Volpe now has a walk-up window cheekily named the Foxhole (“volpe” translates to “fox” in Italian), hawking the original lineup of wood-fired pies plus focaccia-style squares for take-away.
How to book: Reserve via Resy or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

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Sam Greszes is a contributor for Thrillist.
Dennis Lee is a contributor for Thrillist.