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Desi Rottman is a contributing writer to The Hudsucker. By day, she now works in the sports & entertainment industry, and by night she's an avid runner, Pinterest addict and music enthusiast. Desi grew up in the Mitten state before moving south to warmer weather.

Chicago’s Pizza Underground: 5 Places You Need to Check out Now

When you think of Chicago pizza, you probably think of traditional deep dish from Giordano’s. While Chicago might be known for this, there are a lot of people that don’t even consider it to be pizza (gasp!).

The marketing behind deep dish is powerful, but there are plenty of other spots beyond the deep dish to check out. Put these on your list for your next Windy City trip, and check out the neighborhoods while you’re at it. Eating your way around the city makes for great tourism!

Paulie Gee’s

Address: 2451 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square

Paulie Gee’s Logan Square was opened by pizza lover Derrick Tung, and it’s the first Paulie’s location outside of New York City. Head in for their creatively named Neapolitan pizzas (Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me and Cream of Some Fungi are among my favorites) and head to the back to check out the gorgeous wood-fire ovens. Enjoy the specialty cocktails, local beer list, and craft sodas as well. My favorite? His Detroit-style squares. After deciding to open a pizzeria, he and his wife went on a road trip to try different regional pizza varieties, and this pitch perfect rendition will sate any Michigander’s craving.


Address: 2207 N. Clybourn, Lincoln Square

When you stop in to Pequod’s, make sure to ask about their history – there’s a surprising amount of drama involved for a pizzeria. At their only location in the city, you’ll find both deep dish and thin-crust, which makes it a great option for when you and your friends just can’t decide. (Especially because both options are equally delicious.) One of the biggest restaurants I can think of, they do get pretty busy, but you can take your table pager over to their sister restaurant to wait until you get the call. They have great lunch specials too – you can’t beat $5 for a pizza and a pop!


Address: 1615 N. Damen, Wicker Park

I am of course always biased in my love for Dimo’s, but they also have really darn good pizza. Their Wicker Park location is convenient to tons of great bars, coffee shops, bookstores and record shops, so it’s a great spot to pop into to refuel. All of their slices are winners — from their classic Chicken and Waffle, the popular Mac and Cheese pie, and delicious vegan choices to their seasonals, I’ve never had a bad experience here. (Aside from when the season is up and I can’t get my new faves anymore.) The line rolls fast and the dining room is big, so you’ll always find a spot to hang out. Drink some local craft beer and grab a mind-blowing brownie or chocolate chip cookie to round out your meal.


Address: 2607 N. Milwaukee, Logan Square

Put this on your itinerary for a Tuesday to take advantage of their two for $20 deal! Reno’s flatbreads are super crispy with well-proportioned ingredients (and a menu of sandwiches and pasta in case your dining partners are sick of pizza.) I’m the biggest fan of their Fancy Nancy — I would never have thought to put a burrata on a pizza, but I’m sure glad that they did. It’s a great spot to head all day with a bangin’ breakfast and coffee bar menu, too!

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company

Address: 2121 N. Clark, Lincoln Park

If you take no other advice from this post, take this: GO TO CHICAGO PIZZA AND OVEN GRINDER COMPANY. Wait in the line, and be happy about it. Usually it’s not too bad to weasel up to the bar for a few pre-meal drinks. (Do pack some snacks, though – depending on party size, the wait can be over three hours for large parties.) The earlier you arrive, the more likely you’ll get in the first seating. (The first time I went, we arrived five minutes before opening and still had to wait almost an hour.) This isn’t your traditional pizza at all — their pizza pot pies are baked in a bowl and flipped at your table by the server. They offer a meat option or a vegetarian option (with or without mushrooms in both variation) and your outlook on life will be changed. While you’re in the neighborhood, check out the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre across the street, then to Chicago’s free Lincoln Park Zoo!

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What are some of your favorite places in Chicago to check out pizza? Let us know in the comments below, and check out more of our writer Desi’s adventures at Desi Does and Desi Does Pizza.



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