Chicago can claim to have one of the few truly iconic American culinary meals with their deep dish pizza. It speaks to a reckless abandon and optimistic outlook. Worry not about the future and enjoy the present thoroughly, deeply. For those who have not tried a deep dish pizza, it is an experience. It is almost not comparable to other pizzas, enjoy it for what it is: rich, decadent, heavy, delicious, over the top.
Usually served in a cast iron pan, cutting out the first cheesy slice makes for a great picture. Although there are so many quality pizzerias in Chicago, a couple in particular always top the lists.
Lou Malnati’s sets the standard and also produces the most with over 50 stores in the Windy City. Most people recommend it and for good reason. The Lou has the signature buttercrust, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and three cheeses. Lou Malnati’s uses California vine-ripened tomatoes and Wisconsin Mozzarella and their buttercrust, which is trademarked, is crispy on the bottom and can handle the heavy ingredients.
Pizzeria Uno is the actual birthplace of the Chicago deep dish style pizza and continues to provide excellence in every pie. Rudy Malnati Sr. (father of Lou Malnati) was the pizza chef and one of the inventors of this recipe. A crispy short dough for the pie is covered with cheese and crushed tomatoes. Any topping is liberally applied but the sausage adds a thick savory layer to an already solid pizza.
Where can one find the best deep dish outside of Chicago? San Francisco has a pizzeria named Capo’s (presumably for Al Capone) owned by Tony Gemignani. A 13 time World Pizza Champion, Tony has won all sorts of awards for his pizzas as well as Guinness world records. Capo’s uses Ceresota flour from one of Chicago’s oldest mills and a mix of butter and lard in the crust for ideal flavor and consistency.
Celebrate Chicago’s namesake pizza, on this, the day of the deep dish pizza.