Best Chicago Pizza Beyond Chicago-Style Pizza
Chicago's heralded and mocked mercilessly for its signature deep dish-style pizza, but truth be told, the average resident prefers a thinner crust. As in the crisp, Neapolitan-style crusts cooked at high temperatures in brick ovens.
They're also topped with the freshest and most authentic ingredients around, ensuring that guests have the absolute best dining experience. We've compiled several of our favorites around town, ranging from a pie meant for brunch to an eatery sourcing everything from scratch on premises, right down to the crust.
The original location is based in Little Italy, and it feels like it's been there much longer than six or so years. The fare is rustic and familiar, yet turned up with seasonal ingredients certain to make each dish pop. One of the signature offerings is the unconventional pizza della fattoria, which comes topped with a farmed egg, potato, pork belly, scallions, asiago and béchamel. Of course there are also always a few meatless pizza choices with fresh vegetables and imported cheeses for vegetarian appeal. 1359 W. Taylor St., 312-226-5550
Nellcôte cranks out some delicious pies in what the owners consider an upscale rock 'n' roll atmosphere. Toppings are as simple and fresh as possible (lamb, house-made fennel sausage, grilled blue shrimp, roasted eggplant), and these pizzas are so fancy that you'll want to eat them with a knife and fork. Chef/partner Jared Van Camp's aim is to make the freshest pizzas in Chicago, and he's achieved that by making the crust from scratch. The dough is crafted from house-milled flour--the first local restaurant to do so. Nellcote is located in the West Loop. 833 W. Randolph St., 312-432-0500
Osteria Via Stato
You can order tavern-style pizza from this dual Italian-focused eatery, which consists of the ultra-casual Pizzeria Via Stato and slightly more formal Osteria Via Stato. Chef/partner David DiGregorio showcases seasonal fare based off family recipes and many trips to Italy. Standard toppings range from house-made sausage and hand-pulled mozzarella to crispy pepperoni and vidalia onion. And pizzas of the month feature such offerings as farm eggs, heirloom tomatoes and fennel pollen. 620 N. State St., 312-642-8450
Pizano's Pizza and Pasta
This Chicago landmark opened in 1991, and its late hours are ideal for nightcrawlers. While soaking up booze with a deep-dish pie is an obvious move, the thin-crust options are absolutely divine. Keep them simple with the "meat lovers' delight" (sausage, bacon, pepperoni, Canadian bacon), BBQ chicken or the Pat Brickhouse special of sausage and mushroom. 864 N. State St., 312-751-1766 or 61 E. Madison St., 312-236-1777
Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar
More late-night dining is on tap at this bustling River North wine bar and pizzeria. There are so many to choose from that it may get overwhelming to pick one, but you cannot go wrong. There is the vegetarian-friendly quattro stagioni (artichokes, roasted peppers, grilled zucchini, Portobello mushrooms, grana), plus those topped with the likes of Neapolitan sausage, braised beef short rib, sweet basil and oven-roasted cherry tomatoes. 626 N. State St., 312-698-5000
Celebrity hot spot RPM Italian showcases what we like to call "disco pizza," pies so pretty that you almost don't want to eat them. But because they're as tasty as they look, you'll definitely want to dig in. The wood-oven pizzettes are charred pepperoni, cremini mushroom and prosciutto; seasonal additions include the likes of the rapini of pecorino cheese and topped with ricotta, provolone and Fresno chilies. 52 W. Illinois St., 312-222-1888
The hip Logan Square neighborhood is brimming with all sorts of great pizza shops, and Reno is one of the shining stars. You can order one of the usual suspects (vegetarian, Margherita, fennel sausage) or head here for a brunch offering that's topped with a scrambled egg, caramelized onion, bacon, green onion and sriracha. That should pair well with a freshly squeezed mimosa. 2607 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-697-4234
Sleek Italian eatery Siena Tavern boasts a sexy pizza bar at its River North location as well as at its stunning new outpost in the West Loop called Bar Siena. There are several varieties from which to choose, such as burnt pepperoni, prosciutto pear and caramelized Brussels sprouts, but the best topping is the pièce de résistance: the optional freshly shaved truffles served tableside. 51 W. Kinzie St., 312-595-1322