Chicago Pan at Art of Pizza

Had a friend in from out of town who wanted to try Chicago deep dish so we ordered delivery from Art of Pizza. This large was enough to feed four men for dinner–great value at $25.40 + tip. Also, I always forget this until the delivery arrives but Art of Pizza throws in a 1-liter soda for free unannounced but it’s always 7up which is gross. I solemnly swear that the next time I’m going to remember to ask for Diet Pepsi. (It’d be preferable if they just had Diet Coke instead because it’s so much better but sometimes that’s just the way things go.) My Chicago deep dish power rankings and brief explanations after the jump.

1. Art of Pizza

1A. Pequods

I keep vacillating back and forth on this one but think I’ve drawn a firm conclusion. I know a lot of people would disagree but I think that Art of Pizza is a better overall pizza while I’d rather eat Pequod’s which has a vastly superior decor, mood, and location. (I feel the same way about Kuma’s vs DMK for burgers – waiting three hours for your incredible burger at Kuma’s while watching other people eat theirs and being tortured by intolerable death metal makes a trip to Kuma’s a scarce occurrence.) Really gotta strip the meal down to the fundamentals on lists like this.

Specifically, Art of Pizza gets the nod because I am a big fan of crust; the Pequod’s slice ends abruptly with a very thin layer of caramelized crust while Art of Pizza’s crust is a superb treat at the end of the toppings. I also like Art of Pizza’s sauce better but prefer the cheese and toppings at Pequod’s.

3. Lou Malnati’s – People who grew up with Lou Mal’s as their Chicago deep dish staple will swear by it and say it’s the best but stop that: it’s not. It’s very good and certainly the best of the chains but it just isn’t better than Pequod’s and Art of Pizza, who produce their deep dish on a much more personalized scale. Lou Malnati’s has variance,  too. Sometimes it’s great but sometimes the sauce and toppings don’t seem fresh. There is nothing wrong with eating Lou Malnati’s when it’s convenient, though, and it’s wonderfully accessible all over the Chicagoland area.

4. Gino’s East – Pretty good, but not quite as good as Lou Malnati’s. Crust is more flour-y than I’d like.

5. Giordano’s – Could reasonably be interchangeable with Gino’s. I’ve only had it once so I can’t really speak on any broader trends at play.

6. Chi-Pie – This is the worst by a lot. Like, I don’t understand how they stay open when there never seems to be any customers. The slices sit in the heater display forever. It almost makes it not worth eating pizza. Almost.


I haven’t been to Pizzeria Due but I’ve heard good things. I also have never eaten at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago–I’ve heard it’s better here than it is everywhere else, though.


2 Responses to Chicago Pan at Art of Pizza

  1. Bud Schram says:

    It is hard to believe that you have not been to Pizzeria Uno or Due! I am interested in hearing
    what you say about those two Chicago Establishments!

  2. I still find your rankings on this subject to be terribly off. When I move down, I’m going to do a pizza binge to verify if I am biased towards Giordano’s or not, but I rank that number one. Gino’s East is a not too distant second and the rest are all tied for third because my sample size (< 2 tastes each) is too small to justifiably rank them any different from each other.

    Also, are we putting stuffed and deep dish in the same category for these rankings? They are similar but I feel like different enough that comparing them is apples to oranges.

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