Sono Wood Fired

This pie’s prosciutto comes out of the wood-fired oven almost caramelized. Factor in the textural crust, smoked mozzarella, charred onion, and properly bitter radicchio, and you’ve got one great rustic pizza. 1582 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-255-1122

Pizzeria Uno

Even with franchises from Honduras to South Korea, it’s tough to hate on the original Uno’s, with its tangy sauce and thick cornmeal crust practically dripping with butter. Instead, hate on having to wait 45 minutes for your pizza and then being forced to consume it among hordes of tourists. Maybe place an order to … Read more

Lou Malnati’s

The Malnati family built an empire on a craveable trademarked crust—a bit flaky, very buttery, totally excessive—that’s not for the faint of stomach. Then again, if you’re ordering deep dish, what do you care? loumalnatis.com

Elio Pizza on Fire

On fire, indeed. The compact igloo-shaped oven crackles with applewood, hickory, and maple flames that scorch up to four pizzas at a time. Sicilian-born pizzaiolo Elio Bartolotta handcrafts each one, lovingly applying ultrafresh toppings—whether basil, eggplant, mozzarella, mushrooms, plum tomatoes, spinach, or zucchini—and supervising the constant traffic in and out of the oven. The guy … Read more


Admit it: A part of you rooted for the failure of this out-of-town behemoth, a star-studded Italian grocery store slash fine-dining restaurant slash casual grazing spot. It’s too big, too loud, too tourist-trappy. But if you can get past your prejudgments, you can revel in one of its sublime pies dappled with glorious mozzarella—often handmade … Read more


“The pizzas come when they come,” you’re told when you order. That means you could be midway through your relaxed dinner at this temple of rustic Italian food when your pie makes its grand appearance and overshadows everything else on the table. A thin, snappy base laden with milky mozzarella and note-perfect toppings (spicy fennel … Read more


This is what deep dish once was: a light, crunchy yellow crust thinly veiled with mild mozzarella and sweet, chunky sauce hiding nubs of fennely sausage and fresh vegetables. It’s a pie with a capital P—less filling than it is exhilarating. Bartoli’s owner, Brian Tondryk, has pizza in his blood: Fred Bartoli, a founder of … Read more

Pizzeria da Nella

Nella Grassano arguably introduced the Land of Deep Dish to Neapolitan-style pizza while the pizzaiolo at Spacca Napoli (see No. 27), where she crafted the impeccable Margherita pies that put the place on the map. Grassano was destined for her own pizzeria, complete with a fancy oven, which she and her husband, Frank, opened in … Read more

Boiler Room

A side of heavy drinking often accompanies Boiler Room’s pizza. That’s no shock, given the sheer enormity of the pies and the existence of the PB&J: a slice of pizza, a Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy, and a shot of Jameson for $8.50. But given BR’s rep as a late-night party spot, it is a surprise … Read more

Vito & Nick’s

They don’t make them like this anymore: the low-ceilinged, wood-paneled, Christmas-light-covered dining room; the vinyl-topped barstools filled with old guys who bring to mind Bill Swerski’s Superfans commiserating over $1.50 Old Styles. Same goes for the pizza, an exemplar of a regional style that gets far less love than its thicker counterpart. The crust is … Read more