The best vacations in New York and Chicago don’t just mean exploring world-class streets, parks, and museums; they also have to include sampling the cities’ distinctive foods and flavors.
Of course. We’re talking about delicious pizza pies, and each city’s original take on them. The Italian-inspired delicacy spread throughout the world long ago, but if anyone loves pizza more than native Italians, it may well be the people of New York and of Chicago.
If you consider yourself a true connosieur of mozzarella cheese, then you need to book a trip to Chicago, New York, or both. Pack your bags and remember that, once you visit Chicago’s modern Millennium Park or New York’s famed Central Park, you’re going to want to recharge with a slice of local pizza and join in the debate about which city bakes the better pie.
Keep reading and learn how the two cities’ pizzas diiffer and exactly where you can find the best contenders in both cities.
So what’s the difference between New York- and Chicago-style pizza?
Authentic New York pizza is known for its thin and crunchy crust, lightly covered with just the right amount of ingredients. It’s easy to eat with one hand, while walking down the street or even strolling through Central Park.
The much denser Chicago-style pizza, also known as deep dish pizza, measures more than an inch thick, and includes a heavy layer of sauce, cheese, veggies, and sometimes meat on a soft, thick crust.
It may sound surprising, but Chicago-style pizza tends to be less saucy due to the multiple layers of ingredients. It’s prepared somewhat like a “flat” lasagna, so that the slices will hold together when served.
The Top 3 Pizzerias in New York
1.- Joe’s Pizza
This legendary pizzeria in Greenwich Village is widely known as the best place to have the original New York-style pizza. Since 1975, it’s been the best spot to grab a huge slice of pie to go, while exploring the streets of the Big Apple.
You can also order a freshly baked pizza, made-to-order, covered with melted cheese that will stretch as you pick up a slice. If you’re in a hurry, just grab a couple of ready-made slices and go.
Where: 7 Carmine Street, West Village
2.- Rubirosa Ristorante
A cozy restaurant nestled in Nolita, Rubirosa serves up one of the tastiest pizza pies in New York. Its reputation is known far and wide, and the small restaurant fills up quickly, so making a reservation before your vacation is highly recommended.
Vodka pizza and the Rubirosa Supreme are two of their most popular pizzas. If you want to try them both, but only have the appetite for a single pizza, you can order a pie that’s half of each recipe. Rubirosa also serves gluten-free pizzas that don’t sacrifice flavor and quality, plus a wide selection of classic Italian dishes.
Where: 235 Mulberry Street, between Prince Street and Spring Street.
3.-John’s of Bleecker Street
Founded in 1929, John’s of Bleecker Street is one of New York’s most traditional pizzerias, offering fresh, crunchy pizzas that are baked in one of the very last wood-fired ovens left in the city. Rather than featuring pre-planned specialty pizzas, John’s encourages you to choose from a menu of ingredients and customize your pie to your liking.
John’s also doesn’t cut its pizzas into slices, so you’ll need to rely on your wits to figure out the best way to dig into your meal. Bring your appetite because the pizza portions are generous.
Where: 278 Bleecker Street, West Village.
The Top 3 Pizzerias in Chicago
1.-Uno Pizzeria & Grill
Good things come to those who wait, so bring some patience along with your appetite when you dine at Uno. Baked to order, Uno’s deep dish pizzas take 45 minutes to prepare and are well worth the wait. You’ll be rewarded with your first bite, as the combination of flavors and textures delights your tastebuds.
This pizzeria is a must-see destination on your next Chicago visit, given that Uno introduced the deep dish pizza to the world back in 1947. When the weather permits during Chicago’s beautiful summers, head out on to the patio and savor your pizza with a cold beer.
Where: 29 E Ohio Street.
This local pizzeria serves up a different take on the traditional deep dish. Pequod’s caramelizes its pizza dough, giving it a tasty, unique flavor that’s hard to stop eating. All pies are custom-made to order, so diners simply choose their ingredients and wait for their irresistiblely flavorful pizzas.
In addition to deep dish pizzas, Pequod’s also offers a wide variety of appetizers and salads. If you’re not in the mood for deep dish, equally delicious thin pizzas are also available.
Where: 2207 N Clybourn Avenue, between W Webster Avenue and N Greenview Avenue.
3.-Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Like all great deep dish pizzas, Lou Malnati’s pies take their time to make. But after a 45-minute wait, you’ll deem it all worthwhile when you taste their rich pizzas baked on deiclious butter dough. Serving locals and visitors alike since 1971, the pizzeria is proud to prepare its food with fresh ingredients.
Don’t miss the Malnati Chicago Classic pizza, or you can opt for gluten-free options if you prefer. The restaurant is routinely full, but you can place your order the moment you arrive and when you’re assigned a table, your pizza will be ready.
Where: 439 N Wells Street, between Illinois Street and Hubbard Street.
If you are already trying to decide which city to go visit first and start sampling your favorite pizza style, don’t forget that you can find accommodations in Chicago and New York with a 70% discount, allowing you to focus on your first priority—eating the best pizza. Sign up, find your next destination, and start discovering the world.