Pizza is a very controversial topic to Chicagoans, we all have our favorites and the ones we scratch our heads over why people rave about these places. To be fair, here's a list of some of the places that have won hearts other than mine
Gino's East at 633 N. Wells, River North-I've eaten here twice, the first time over on Superior before they relocated and more recently (April 2006) when Jen (coair13) came to town. Now I'd say between the three of us, me, Jen and my husband, we've eaten more than our fair share of pizza and we all agreed that we just didn't care for this pizza here.
Pequod's at 2207 N. Clybourn-we ate here in June 2006 with Steve (spgood301). Time Out rates it one of it's 5 best pizzas, I see it recommended all the time on Chicago forums and although I thought it was OK, I was a little perplexed by all the accolades. Their speciality is pan pizza, the waitress said pepperoni was their most popular. I thought the crust was too thick and the carmelized crust? Tasted like burnt pizza crust, they can call it carmelized if they want.
Art of Pizza, 3033 N. Ashland (Lakeview)-we ate here in December 2006, maybe we should have ordered a whole pizza but we tried the various slices they had sitting out and we tried each kind-stuffed, pan and thin and didn't care for any of them. Way too much crust on the stuffed, even too much crust on the thin crust. Once again I'm perplexed about it's accolades, the Chicago Tribune rated it the best deep dish back in 2001 (and actually there was no true deep dish on the menu).
Pizano's, multiple locations, we ate at the 61 E. Madison location in June 2011 and it's just not my kind of pizza, some people say it's similar to Lou Malnati's but it's not, a little too bready for my tastes, little to no sauce
When you come to Chicago, you just can't miss the classic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. There are many, many pizza places here, and Gino's is one of the most famous. It's very popular with tourists and young people, who like to graffiti their names onto the walls all over the restaurant.
Favorite Dish: When I have guests from out of town, they always want to try the deep dish pizza at this restaurant. I enjoy all kinds of toppings on my pizza, so anything goes! Choose from anchovies, bacon, black olives, chicken, garlic, mushrooms, green olives, green peppers, ground beef, jalepenos, onions, pepperoni, pineapple, red onions, sausage, tomatoes and spinach.
Gino's East is the original creator of Chicago's famous deep dish pizza. The resturant is a biker haven complete with graffiti on the walls.
Favorite Dish: The pizza is Divine!! The more toppings you put on it the better it tastes :-)
Chicago isn't just a meat city, it's also a pizza city, and you can't leave the place without at least trying one of its original pizza inventions once: the Deep Dish Pizza. And if you are going to go for it, you may as well drop in at one of the originals, like Gino's East. Their very first pizza place is just off Michigan, on Superior Street. It's all there with the graffiti on the wall and everything.
For me the deep dish pizza wasn't all that inspiring. It was a soup of rich, meaty tomato sauce in a soggy pie-like dough casing. Everyone else loved it though!
Come with a big appetite, or a friend to share with, as nothing here is small.
Favorite Dish: Hmmm... Deep Dish Pizza. Don't bother with anything else.
An historic Chicago institution, Gino's may not be the best deep dish pizza in the city! The graffiti covered walls and dimmed lights make it a unique pizza experience, but it was about 250 degrees when we ate here...which made it quite ovenlike and unpleasant. One of my favorite sayings about pizza is -
"Pizza is like sex, when it's good...it's REALLY good. When it's bad.....it's still pretty good."
I won't pretend to be an expert on the best Chicago style pizza but it is really good here and from the crowds it seems popular. Prepare to be patient--it takes about 45 minutes for them to prepare your pizza but it is so worth it. And order small because it is extremely filling.
If you want the local specialty of Deep Dish pizza, you should go to this restaurant. It was very good and very filling. It is kind of a popular stop. Most people who go there sign their names anywhere they can find, so its rare to see a wall with no writing on it.
That is a Nice Tradition.
Favorite Dish: Deep Dish Pepperoni
Chicago pies are different. If you've never had a real deep dish, you can't understand this. It doesn't mean you'll like them. Maybe you're a New York style lover, or an Italian, or maybe you can't get enough mayonnaise or ketchup on your Russian-influenced Chinese pizza. But if you've never had Chicago Deep Dish, it's well worth a try.
Chicago pies are big. Deep doesn't mean what you get at most chains. Deep could mean an inch thick. Bring hunger. Leave happy.
Gino's East is a standard among tourist hot-spot restaurants. Write your name on the wall, if you want. They have other food as well, but don't bother if you're only visitin once.
There are just a few locations around the Chicago area. I recommend the one on Wells.
Downtown - Chicago, IL
633 N. Wells St. (Ontario and Wells)
Chicago, IL 60610
Fax: (312) 943-9589
Downtown - Chicago
162 E. Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-266 DEEP (3337)
O'Hare Plaza (Chicago), IL
8725 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631
300 Wrigley Dr
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
1445 Lake Cook Rd
Deerfield, IL 60015
Lakeview (Chicago), IL
2801 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Fax: (773) 327-6710
Orland Park, IL
15840 South Harlem
Orland Park, IL 60462
Fax: (708) 633-1376
Rolling Meadows, IL
1321 W. Golf Rd.
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Fax: (847) 364-6680
St. Charles, IL
1590 E. Main St.
St. Charles, IL 60174
Fax: (630) 513-1558
1807 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60565
Fax: (630) 548-9550
Lake Zurich, IL
561 W. Main Street
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
315 W. Front St.
Wheaton, IL 60187
Fax: (630) 588-8521
820 S. Milwaukee Ave.
Libertyville, IL 60048
Fax: (847) 362-1365
Favorite Dish: The cheeseburger pizza is pretty good, but there are better items on the menu. Here's a link:
Famous for their pizza, Ginos and Ginos East are soem of the best hole-in-the-wall pizza joints in town. We actually went to the original Gino's (not Gino's East). You'll be shocked to see such a small, dark and graffiti-stricken place to have such amazing food but the ghetto-style casualness of this restaurant is what gives it character. Go ahead--leave your name on the wall! But be patient--remember, deep dish pizza takes a long time to make, so don't get there TOO hungry! Give you appetite about 45 minutes after ordering to build up!
Favorite Dish: Take a guess! ;-)
(The pizza, silly!) :)
I often get the question of which deep dish pizza is the best in Chicago and I believe that it is Gino's East ... the trick of this pizza is just to order 2 topping's max !!! after that the pizza becomes almost too much to eat !!!! Be warned it takes about 45 minutes for these pizza to be served to you so know that in advance .... One of the must do eating experiences here in Chicago !!!! If your really hunger a normal person can eat 3 slices but usually 2 will do !!!!
Graffiti everywhere!!!!!!! Even on the glass you drink...but I have to admit that's a little too much. Oh, by the way, graffiti in the restrooms is prohibited, or you'll have to clean the toilet bowls for free if you get busted. Nah! I made it up!
Favorite Dish: Deep dish pepperoni/sausage Supreme with double cheese!!!!!! It was the MOST delicious pizza I had in the whole wide world!!!!! I really miss it A LOT!!!!
The pizza here is excellent too. I think this place may have more of a tourist appeal though! :) Actually, I still enjoy it, but it's the atmosphere here. Old, stained wood booths and tables, ceilings, walls, you name it. A lot of wood here. Then, part of this place's fame is that they allow you to grafiti nearly everything in the place. People sure take advantage of it! So can you! :) So don't forget your white marker!
Favorite Dish: Chicago deep dish pizza
You can't go to Chicago without going to Gino's Pizza.
The 'original' Gino's is downtown. I think it's not really the 'original' anymore - it's in a different building. But it's still got the dark atmosphere, and writing on the walls and tables. And the pizza is good, too.
Favorite Dish: Deep dish, Chicago style pizza
Chicago is a great restaurant city, with options for all kinds of tastes and budgets. If you want a true original, though, you really can't miss out on Gino's. Don't forget to leave a note on the graffiti-covered walls, an important part of the charm. The secret is out, though, so be prepared to wait a long, long time just to get a seat.
Favorite Dish: Chicago-style Pizza--what else?
Our tour book recommended Gino's pizza, so we headed out there, this time to try a thin crust pizza since we'd already tried the typical Chicago deep dish. It was great, very good pizza, and oddly cut into squares rather than slices. The place is a bit dim and rough, with graffiti from the customers on the walls, seats, everywhere. I wish I'd come prepared with a marker to leave our mark. It made me laugh seeing some Dutch swear words that people had written, probably thinking no one else would know what it meant. Though it has a gruff look to it, our waitress was really nice, overall it was a great last meal in Chicago.