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Does anyone know what real Chicagoland (yes, this is a real term) pizza is? It’s nothing like NY pizza, in that it’s more of a pie or a casserole, or something. It’s big, it’s think, it’s heavy, it’s rich. Sauce is on the top, often with a boatload of toppings. It’s the pizza of big shoulders. I actually kinda like it once in a while. I’ve hadd my fair share, having working the the Chicago area for almost a year. Much like NY, there are some real pizza battles over there and most people claim their favorites.

The top contenders, I would say, seem to be the first of the lot, Pizzeria Uno (nothing like the chain outside of CHI), Lou Malnati’s, Gino’s East, and Giordano’s.

I liked them all. It was interesting to go to the real Uno’s (and Due across the street). Gino’s makes a sick sausage pattie layer that covers the whole pie, tucked in under the cheese. I think most of these guys will ship to you, or you can do it up yourself (Food Network). While I can’t lay claim to the quality of the recipe, I would say that you’d be well served to give these places a shot, if you crave pizza in a little different way…even if you have to use a knife and fork. Just don’t mention you’re from NY…that’ll open up a whole other Second City can o’ worms.

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