Pequod's Extra Sauce, Extra Cheese Pie
It's simple pizza—about as plain as a sausage deep dish gets, but its crust is one of the best in the city. There is nothing gourmet about the pizza at Pequod's, and there is no single ingredient we can point to as being close to the best in Chicago. But the way everything comes together is simply magical.
Spacca Napoli's Diavola
The charred crust at Spacca Napoli is consistently beautiful with a slightly crisp outer shell on the end crust, but not very much. It's a delicious piece of bread, and it's about as good as pizza crusts get.
Burt's Place Extra Sauce, Extra Cheese PIe
Every discussion of the pizza at Burt's Place really should begin and end with the crust. I'm not sure if the chef, Burt Katz, invented the idea of putting a little extra cheese between the dough and the pan to get some chewy browned deliciousness, but he seems to be responsible for making it a permanent part of the pizza landscape.
Burt's Place: 8541 Ferris Avenue Morton Grove, IL 60053 (map); 847-965-7997
Dough Boys Stuffed Pizza
But where Dough Boys really stands out is exactly where you'd expect it to: the crust. Made with lard, it's got a far flakier and crisper texture than any other crust in its class, with a burst of fatty flavor running through the whole pie.
Dough Boys: 626 S. Racine, Chicago IL 60607 (map); 312-226-5550
Pat's Thin Crust with Sausage
Every single person who sets foot in Pat's should order a thin crust pizza with sausage. The housemade hunks of fatty, juicy, and chewy pork are little bombs of pepper and fennel. The cheese is moist and always comes out of the old Fauld's oven with some nice browning, and the sauce imparts a pleasant tang.
The impossibly thin crust is somehow simultaneously crisp and soft and even the inner squares retain their rigidity for the duration of the meal. More than sixty years after opening, Pat's is still going strong in the same neighborhood and run by the same family. Here's to hoping they stick around for 60 more.
Great Lakes Heirloom Tomato
Great Lake: 1477 W Balmoral Avenue, Chicago IL 60640 (map); 773-334-9270
Lou Malnati's Malnati Chicago Classic
The Malnati Chicago Classic, which combines a buttercrust with their awesome well-seasoned homemade sausage is Lou Malnati's at its finest. And that means it's one of the best deep dish pizzas known to man.
Art of Pizza's Stuffed Spinach Pie
Art of Pizza: 3033 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60657(map); 773-327-5600