A Chicago landmark good enough to eat
Deep dish is not just a pizza. It’s a Chicago landmark—albeit one that manages to anger some critics for its casserole-like look. But coming to Chicago and not eating a cheesy, crispy-crust deep dish is like going to New Orleans and not having gumbo, or leaving New York without biting into a bagel with a schmear.
While deep dish is nearly guaranteed to hit you hard in the gut, My Pie is delicate, relatively speaking, mostly owing to the well-balanced, fresh San Marzano tomatoes from California. You don’t even have to come to Chicago to eat it. The pizzeria ships to all states.
Pequod’s has been baking pizza in a cast-iron skillet with a trademark ring of caramelized cheese around the crust since 1970. This magic lends the pizza a chewy texture. Pequod’s was founded by local pizza legend Burt Katz, who has since gone on to open Burt’s Place, featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.
The buttercrust at Lou Malnati’s is what some might call a game-changer—and for a mere extra 75 cents. Top that with sauce with California tomatoes, Wisconsin cheese, and homemade sausage, and that’s a fine Chicago meal, with all four food groups represented. Like Pequod’s, Lou’s opened in the ’70s; it now has about 30 locations.
There is definitely an art to pizza, but the Art of Pizza refers to something else entirely. Owner Art Shabez balances the fresh cheeses with herby tomato sauce so ably on a crispy crust that you can almost pick the slice up without a collapse. A feat.