The Real Truth Behind Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza Hype: Unveiling the Myth of Crappy Chains

Chicago’s deep dish pizza has long been a subject of both adoration and controversy. Some hail it as the epitome of pizza perfection, while others dismiss it as a mere gimmick, a far cry from the traditional thin-crust pies of New York or Naples. The debate often centers around the city’s numerous pizza chains, which some critics argue are responsible for the deep dish’s less-than-stellar reputation. But is there more to Chicago’s deep dish pizza than meets the eye? Let’s delve into the real truth behind the hype and unveil the myth of the “crappy chains”.

The Origins of Chicago’s Deep Dish Pizza

The deep dish pizza was born in Chicago in the 1940s, a creation of Pizzeria Uno’s founders, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo. Unlike traditional thin-crust pizzas, the deep dish boasts a thick, buttery crust that can hold a generous amount of toppings. The cheese goes directly on the crust, followed by the toppings, and finally, the sauce. This inverted structure is a defining characteristic of the deep dish pizza.

The Rise of the Chains

As the popularity of deep dish pizza grew, so did the number of pizza chains offering it. Some of these chains, like Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s, have become synonymous with Chicago-style pizza. However, the quality of the pizza can vary greatly from one chain to another, and even from one location to another within the same chain. This inconsistency has led some to dismiss all chain deep dish pizzas as subpar.

Unveiling the Myth

While it’s true that not all chain pizzas are created equal, it’s a mistake to write off Chicago’s deep dish pizza based on a few bad experiences. There are plenty of local pizzerias that serve excellent deep dish pizzas, made with high-quality ingredients and a lot of care. Places like Pequod’s, The Art of Pizza, and Labriola are just a few examples of establishments that uphold the high standards set by the original deep dish creators.

The Verdict

So, is the hype around Chicago’s deep dish pizza justified? The answer is a resounding yes. While there are certainly some “crappy chains” out there, they don’t represent the entirety of the deep dish pizza scene in Chicago. The city is home to a multitude of pizzerias that serve top-notch deep dish pizzas, proving that this style of pizza is more than just a gimmick. It’s a culinary tradition that Chicagoans are proud of, and one that pizza lovers everywhere should experience at least once.