So Who Really Has The Best Pizza in Chicago?
Lets face it – You could write a whole blog about PIZZA!
Ask 100 people is Chicago what their favorite pizza is and you would probably get 100 different answers!
First, a brief history;
Chicago-style pizza is a very specific variety of pizza. Pizza is traditionally considered to be a type of hearth cake such as focaccia. The Chicago-style pizza shares more in common with a casserole, such as lasagna. True Chicago-style pizza, a unique deep dish variety, features a buttery crust-cheese -chunky tomato sauce construction. While stuffed, pan and thin-crust style pizzas are also served in Chicagoland, it is for the deep-dish style that Chicago pizza is most famous.
The Chicago-style “deep-dish” pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943, reportedly by Uno’s founder Ike Sewell. The pizza begins with a simple, thin layer of dough (made with olive oil and often dusted with cornmeal) that’s laid into a deep round pan and pulled up the sides, then pan-baked before the toppings are added to give it greater spring. The crust is lined with meats and/or vegetables such as Italian sausage (a Chicago staple), onions and peppers, either under or mixed with mozzarella cheese. On the usual pizza, about a pound of cheese is used. Then a layer of seasoned crushed tomatoes goes on top and the pizza is baked to completion.
Rocco Palese, who founded Nancy’s in 1974, generally gets the credit for Stuffed pizza. He based his creation on his mother’s recipe for scarciedda, an Italian Easter pie. Other pizzarias that make stuffed pizzas include Edwardo’s and Giordano’s. Stuffed pizzas are often even taller than deep-dish pizzas, but otherwise, it can be hard to see the difference until you cut into it. A stuffed pizza generally has much higher topping density than any other type of pizza. As with deep-dish pizza, a thin layer of dough forms a bowl in a high-sided pan and the toppings and cheese are added. Then, an additional layer of dough goes on top and is pressed to the sides of the bottom crust.
PAN PIZZA in Chicago is similar to the deep-dish style, and baked in a similar deep-sided pan, but its crust is quite thick — a cross between the buttery crisp crust and foccacia. Toppings sometimes go on top, as with thin-crust pizza, rather than under the sauce.
Now, as for who has the best? We looked at serveral polls taken over the last 2 years. These were the popular choices that the public voted on, in no particular order:
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria – 439 N Wells St, Chicago
Whether you crave deep dish or thin crust, this comfortable, casual pizza joint serves up some of the best in town.
Giordano’s – 730 N Rush St, Chicago
Local favorite serves up stuffed and thin-crust pizzas within a stone’s throw of the Mag Mile.
Gino’s East – 633 N Wells St, Chicago
Graffiti-covered walls and to-die-for deep dish draw crowds of families and tourists to this classic pizzeria.
Pizzeria Uno – 29 E Ohio St, Chicago
Traditional deep-dish pizza is worth the wait.
Bricks Chicago 1909 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago/Lincoln Park
Gourmet pizzas are the order of the day at Bricks. This pizzeria has a host of pizzas sporting interesting names. Try the “Painful.”
Edwardo’s Natural Pizza – 1321 E 57th St, Chicago/ Hyde Park
this edition of the popular pizza chain is highly regarded for its gourmet pizza pies, stuffed pizzas, and calzones.
Spacca Napoli – 1769 W. Sunnyside, Chicago / Uptown
This spacious Neapolitan-style pizzeria is just what Chicago needs: A place where you can stroll in, order up a glass of vino, and in less than 10 minutes be presented with a bubbling, slightly charred, basil-infused pizza straight out of a wood-burning oven. Ahhh, Italy.
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