If you’re looking for the best pizza restaurants near the south in Chicago, we recommend traveling to Barocco’s Pizza. This establishment is almost in the suburbs of the city. But, luckily for Southsiders, Chicago can still claim this delicious pizza place.
What makes a Chicago-style pizza special? Learn more about the ingredients of this popular dish and the history of your favorite pizza restaurants in the city.
What is a Chicago-Style Pizza?
Chicago is a popular travel destination because of its delicious food, countless shops, and beautiful architecture. The Windy City is known for its Italian beef, hot dogs, steak, barbecue, and deep dish pizza. If you’re looking to become familiar with new food on your vacation to Chicago, we recommend visiting a popular pizzeria to try Chicago-style pizza.
Unlike New York City, Chicago is historically known for its deep-dish pizzas. A Chicago-style pizza includes thick crust, cheese, sausage or pepperoni, vegetables, and tomato sauce that is crafted with fresh tomatoes. If you’re traveling to Chicago from New York, you may be astonished to discover pizza crust that is a couple of inches thick. It is not uncommon for tourists to refer to the classic Chicago-style pizza as a pie or casserole dish.
The dough of a deep-dish pizza is inserted into a large circular pan. We recommend adding oil to the bottom of the pan prior to baking it to prevent the crust from sticking to the base of the pan. To ensure there is enough space in the crust for cheese, sausage, and peppers, the dough is pushed to the sides of the pan before it is inserted into the oven. Once the crust is assembled and inserted into the pan, it’s time to add the ingredients to the deep-dish pizza.
Since it takes more time to bake a deep-dish pizza when compared to a thin-crust pie, the mozzarella cheese on a deep dish pizza is usually buried beneath the tomatoes, vegetables, and meat to prevent it from burning in the oven. On the other hand, the cheese on a thin-crust pizza is usually located on the top layer of the pie. The proper order of ingredients and condiments on a Chicago-style deep dish pizza is cheese, vegetables, pepperoni or sausage, and diced tomatoes.
What is The Difference Between Deep-Dish & Stuffed Pizza?
Although a stuffed pizza looks the same as a deep-dish pizza on the exterior, there are a variety of differences that affect the taste, texture, and consistency of the dish. Stuffed pizzas are assembled with a large layer of bread or crust with layers of cheese, meat, and vegetables. Like a traditional pie, a stuffed pizza includes an extra layer of dough that is inserted above the meat and cheese. The only difference between a pie and a stuffed crust pizza is the layer of diced tomatoes that are embedded on the second layer of dough. In addition, a stuffed pizza is baked with canola oil rather than corn oil.
When Was the Deep-Dish Pizza Introduced to Chicago?
The first form of deep-dish pizza was introduced to Chicago in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno by Ric Riccardo and Ike Sewell. This new recipe included thicker crust and unique layers of cheese, meat, vegetables, and tomatoes. Once this new style of pizza was introduced, it immediately became popular with Chicagoaens. Today, there are over 200 Uno Chicago Grills in various locations across the world. However, the original Pizzeria Uno in Downtown Chicago holds a special place in Chicagoens hearts and remains popular. In fact, it is not uncommon to observe endless lines of families and tourists that are waiting for the opportunity to try the original Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
Pizzeria Uno was the first place to serve deep-dish pizza in the city of Chicago. The pizzeria has been serving delicious food to residents for over 70 years. On the other hand, there are many signs that indicate Ric Riccardo and Ike Sewell were not the original creators of this recipe. In fact, the Malnat’s family may be responsible for this popular Chicago dish. A member of the Malnati’s family, Adolpho Rudy Malnati, Sr., worked at Pizzeria Uno when it opened. According to the Malnati’s, Rudy Malnati collaborated with Ric Riccardo to create the classic recipe.
The family claims the pizza became popular because Rudy Malnati and Ric Riccardo would give away slices of deep-dish pizza in the neighborhoods of Chicago. In addition, there is evidence that suggests Rudy Malnati and Ric Riccardo operated Pizzeria Uno together. Once Ric Riccardo passed away, Rudy Malnati created a partnership with his son, Lou Malnati, to maintain and operate Pizzeria Uno. The partnership was successful until Rudy Malnati, Sr. passed away. Once Lou Malnti’s father died, a conflict occurred between staff and management at Pizzeria Uno.
Unfortunately, the staff at Pizzeria Uno did not see Lou Malnati as a leader. Lou Malnati left Pizzeria Uno and opened his own pizza restaurant in 1971 called Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. The history of the Chicago style deep-dish pizza will vary depending on the family members or people you talk with. It may not be totally clear if the deep-dish pizza was created by Rudy Malnati, Ike Sewell, or Ric Riccardo. On the other hand, this Italian dish has become an icon for the city of Chicago and its unique history.
What Are the Differences Between Lou Malnati’s and Pizzeria Uno’s Deep-Dish Pizza?
The deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is baked with lighter dough and sweeter tomatoes. In addition, a classic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s features less cheese when compared to Pizzeria Uno’s. Unlike a standard pizza, a deep-dish pie at Lou Malnati’s is cooked with a delectable buttercrust. This type of crust is cooked with butter instead of oil to give it a sweat taste. The popular Malnati Chicago Classic includes tomatoes, sausage, cheese, and buttercrust.
How Many People Does a Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Feed?
According to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, a standard large deep-dish pizza can feed between 4 – 6 people. A medium Chicago-style pizza is enough for 3 – 4 people while a small pizza is able to accommodate 2 – 3 people. If you’re ordering a thin-crust pizza, we recommend ordering additional food to ensure everyone is satisfied. A large thin-crust pizza will feed around 3 – 4 people while a medium pizza will satisfy around 2 – 3 people.
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Are you looking to experience the unique culture and residents of Logan Square? Logan Square has risen in popularity in recent years among Chicago residents. If you’re looking for places to party in Logan Square, these are the best bars to visit with friends.
As an avid NPR listener and self-described Snapchat addict, Jessica Hamrick is excited to showcase her love for all things media as an Editor at UrbanMatter. Her short-yet-illustrious academic career was dedicated to finding the intersections between writing and marketing and she’s definitely found it here. In her free time, Jessica can be found hanging out with her dog Indie, watching the Food Network or commiserating with fellow, unfortunate White Sox fans.