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Top spots for pizza in Chicago

Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is legendary, but there’s more depth to the city’s pizza scene than this. Local food journalist Steve Dolinsky has written a book about his journey through 185 Chicago pizzerias. He also runs pizza tours of the city. Here are some of his favorite stops.

Photo: Labriola

Labriola

Chicago is famous for the deep-dish pizza style that was born in the city in the 1940s. Remarkably, Dolinsky usually dismisses the style and many of the pizzerias serving it as tourist only fare. But he does like a few, including the relatively new Labriola, superbly located on the Magnificent Mile. As well as serving Chicago’s signature dish, this sprawling restaurant with red leather booths in the bar and candlelit tables in the back serves 12 flavors of homemade gelato.

Labriola

535 N Michigan Ave, Chicago

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Photo: Pizzeria Bebu

Pizzeria Bebu

And now for something a little different – artisan pizza at Bebu, located in the historic Lincoln Park suburb. Bebu has an industrial décor with long wooden booths, black ceilings and lots of bolted stainless steel. Its unique thin and crispy crusts are adorned with a variety of special toppings including vodka sauce and littleneck clams.

Pizzeria Bebu

1521 N Fremont St, Chicago

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Photo: Union Squared

Union Squared

Detroit-style pizza was created just a few years after Chic­ago’s deep dish, but it is a relative newcomer to the Windy City. It’s baked in square pans, which were a scrap metal by-product of Motor City’s auto industry. It has a light and fluffy focaccia style crust with a buttery bottom and is topped off with creamy Wisconsin Brick cheese. Try it at this charming little spot in Evanston, a suburb with a burgeoning reputation as a food and shopping mecca.

Union Squared

1307 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

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Photo: Dante’s

Dante’s

In his book, Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why ­Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town, Dolinsky compares America’s two great pizza towns, New York and Chicago. He concludes that Chicago is Pizza City, USA. But as a nod to the Big Apple, his Chicago pizza tour stops at Dante’s, which claims to provide the “Best New York Style Pizza in Chicago.” The décor and menu are inspired by Dante’s Inferno. Come here for giant, flaming slices.

Dante’s

3028 W Armitage Ave, Chicago

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Photo: Pat’s Pizzeria

Pat’s Pizzeria

This family-owned pizza joint in Lakeview has been operating since 1950. They make thin-crust pizza here, a tavern style that originated in working class neighborhood bars as a snack to be held in one hand with a beer in another. Pat’s is also particularly renowned for its fatty, juicy sausages.

Pat’s Pizzeria

2679 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago

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