10 Must-Try Chicago Pizza Joints That Are Actually Hidden Gems

If you know one thing about Chicago, it’s probably the pizza.

@westloopsoul / @chasingthetaste / @sultansfavorite / @konradts /

Chicago might be best-known for its deep-dish pies, but that’s just where the city’s highly sophisticated pizza palette begins. Skip the big name tourist traps and make your way to these insanely delicious, unique Chicago pizza joints.

1. Coalfire, Lakeview and West Town

There’s much to be said about perfecting a char, and Coalfire has done it. The crisp, crunchy crust combined with specialty meats like prosciutto, mortadella, and Calabrese salami is well-worth straying from whatever diet you’re on.

2. Bonci, West Loop and Wicker Park

For an authentic Italian experience, Bonci has brought pizza straight from Rome to Chicago. These Roman-style square slices contain fresh, organic ingredients. Chef Bonci cooks up wild combinations you’d never think of, like hummus and mortadella, or ’nduja and foie gras. You don’t need to understand those words to know it’s good.

3. Burt's Place, Morton Grove

If you’re up for an adventure, Burt’s Place is absolutely worth a trip to the 'burbs. Home of the caramelized-crust pan pizza, it’s the deep-dish you didn’t know you were missing. It’s been a staple in Morton Grove for nearly 30 years and for good reason.

4. Dante's Pizzeria, Avondale and Logan Square

Despite what some Chicagoans may tell you, it is, in fact, not a sin to eat New York-style pizza within city limits. Dante’s Pizzeria has absolutely changed the game: their crust is both crispy and chewy, and their pies will literally blow your mind. The Charon has shrimp, prosciutto di parma, pineapple, and jalapeño, and hi, why aren’t you there yet?

5. Pizzeria Bebu, Lincoln Park

Arguably one of Chicago’s best new spots that deserves even more attention, Pizzeria Bebu is pure ecstasy in pie-form. Chef Jeff Lutzow is a master of flavor and Bebu does not let down. Located in the Clybourn Corridor, these perfectly baked thin-crust pies will change your life.

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6. Longacre, Uptown

Detroit-style pizza? In Chicago? Before you poo-poo this wild idea, please understand that there might be nothing more mouth-watering than crunchy, focaccia-style crust loaded with your favorite toppings. Longacre is dishing up these square slices in the Uptown neighborhood. It’s unreal and deserves your love!

7. Big Bricks, North Center

Craving thin crust? Craving barbecue? Head to Big Bricks for some bomb, slow-smoked barbecue on a thin-crust pizza. It has the perfect amount of smokiness to enhance the flavor of the meat, so grab one of their signature craft beers and dig in. Fun fact: eating an entire thin crust pizza equals one slice of deep dish (we hope).

8. Roots, Lincoln Square and West Town

Quad Cities-style pizza, guys, it’s A Thing. Roots dishes up dark-roasted malt dough that's hand-thrown, loaded with fresh toppings, covered in cheese, and then cut into in strips. A moment of silence for this greatness, please.

9. Forno Rosso, Dunning and West Loop

Crisp, light, gorgeous. Forno Rosso has brought pizza from Naples to Chicago and it’s here to stay. The classic pies are kept simple with no more than four toppings, and they're made from dough that's been cured for 24 hours. Have you ever committed to anything for that long in your life? Commit to trying Forno Rosso.

10. Dimo's Pizza, Wicker Park and Wrigleyville

Finally, it wouldn’t be a true Chicago list if we didn’t include a spot to grab a slice after a night of drinking. Dimo’s might have a line at 1 a.m., but it’s well worth the wait to satisfy your drunk cravings. With crazy pies like the BBQChickenBaconCheddarRanch or the Chicken 'n' Waffles, Dimo’s will literally bring you back to life.

Did we miss your favorite underrated Chicago pizza place? Let us know in the comments!

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