HOME > Chowhound > Florida >


Real Chicago pizza

  • g

Does anyone know where to get a real Chicago pizza in the Broward/ South Palm Beach area? I am talking about the original thin crust pizza that is cut in squares. Traditionally the sauce is slightly sweet and the sausage is a bit spicy. Even the 1960's invention of the deep dish pizza might do.
The Flicker lite on the Hollywood beach used to do an OK job about a decade ago, and Villa Rose on 441 in Hollywood is good, but not exact. There are handful of good Chicago hot dog and beef places so there has to be a real Chicago pizza place in South Fla.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The answer is no.I've been in and around Florida since 1976 and it just does not exist. In the 80's there were Uno's franchises in both Ft. Lauderdale (on US 1 and Cypress Creek, now an Outback) and Kendall.They of course prepared the deep dish type of Chicago Pizza. They are now both out of business. There are however, a number of Uno's in Orlando and one in Daytona and one in Melbourne.Even they don't taste the same as Chicago.But I digress. The real reason that there is no true tasting "Chicago" pizza either thin or deep dish is the water.I have talked to the cooks at a number of the Florida Uno's and they all told me the Chicago water (Lake Michigan) has a different taste than the more heavily clorinated water in Florida.A family from Naperville recently opened a pizza place in Stuart, Florida across from the courthouse on East Ocean blvd.They have ALL of their ingedients shipped in from the Chicago area.They TRY to make the type of pizza you are looking for but I've tasted it and it does not taste like Chicago pizza.It's the water.

    3 Replies
    1. re: daflabear
      s.m. koppelman

      I've heard the same line about the water when people whione about the absence of New York-caliber bagels and properly crusty, chewy Italian bread.

      Which would be all well and good if there weren't New York-caliber bagels in Florida (there are) and crusty, chewy Italian bread (there is).

      Which doesn't mean really good Chicago has to exist somewhere in the state, but the water's not the problem.

      1. re: s.m. koppelman

        Have you had a great bagel or nice bread that was baked in South Florida? Or better yet, how do you know what a great or mediocre baked good is?

      2. re: daflabear

        there really is no real chicago pizza other than in chicago. i have many pizza shipped from Giordanos and from Lou Malnatis. until there is some good pizza spots here in florida i would rather ship my pizzas in once a month...i cant stand New York Pizza...i might as well eat my paper plate...

      3. I have to begin this post with a disclaimer. I am not from Chicago and I am not an authority on "real Chicago pizza"... but having said that, my college roommate is from Chicago and when we took a trip there a several years ago, he took me to a place called Aurelio's pizza in his hometown in Illinois. I was suprprised that the pizza was thin crust, because I always think if thick pizza when I think of Chicago style pizza. Anyway, I digress...

        A few years ago when I was over in Naples, Florida, I ran across an Aurelio's pizza. It is actually a franchize of the restaurant that started in Illinois. I'm not sure if you are familiar with that chain, but if you don't mind taking a drive, it might be worth the trip. Here is their website:


        1. Villa Rose in Hollywood Florida- been there forever. They make their own sausage on premises. Cut pizzas into squares and is AWESOME!

          Link: http://miami.citysearch.com/profile/2...

          1. Coconut Grove in Miami has a restaurant called Chicago's that serves up deep dish pies. You could check that out! I'm not sure how it would compare with Villa Rose though since I've never been there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mialebven

              We went two Sundays ago and it was horrible

            2. besides unos in north florida( not like downtown chi towns ) ive searched wide and far the only authentic thin chicago pizza in florida is pusateri's in stuart across from the courthouse on ocean, there is a place in hollywood called villa rose on 441 south of taft street that makes chicago thin thats awesome, they just dont know there making chicago thin pizza lol

              1. Pusateri's in Stuart is probably the best you are going to find .. Chicago style thin crust, Chicago hot dogs etc...across from the courthouse & they have funny hours. I believe they are closed on Mon & Tues & shut down by 830 or 9 other nights! If you call ahead they will make whatever pies for you frozen to take & bake. We drive 45 min to get there.... website is bestfloridapizza.com

                Pusateri's Chicago Pizza
                221 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994

                1. Though this pertains to thin crust, it begs the question: "IS there any deep dish in Florida?" Whenever I'm in Chicago, I bring back several frozen pies from my fave Gino's East (the mail-order are NOT the same as the flagship store), and they weigh a TON (and I'm a strictly carry-on-baggage kind of guy).

                  My only success in Florida was a Chicago offshoot in Orlando (Giordano's?) back in 2004, but on a more recent visit it had disappeared. Is there any Chicago deep dish left in the State of Florida?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: non sequitur

                    Giordanos and Unos have a few locations around Florida.


                    1. there are a few Giordano's in the Orlando area.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: swoll50

                        Although I am from Detroit, I grew up eating at UNOs in Ann Arbor and other quasi deep dish places around Michigan and the Midwest. Whenever we are in Orlando, we always hit up Giordanos but I still would love to find a great deep dish down here in north broward county. I guess I will have to head down to the Flickerlite some time and check this one out.

                      2. The answer is: Capone's Flickerlite on A1A Hollywood Beach.

                        By far the best rendition of Chicago style pie this side of Wrigley! They have two deep dish receipes and one hand tossed recipe. Have yet to go deep myself, but here's a lame shot I took of someone else's with my camera-phone recently.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: netmover

                          Chicago pizza is great! While in FL, why not sample a FL tradition, or a Tampa tradition anyway? Scachatta!



                          1. I grew up in Chicago and it amazes me that non-Chicagoans are shocked when I tell them that the pizza type I and all my friends ate exclusively while growing up in the city has always been thin-crust. Whether in grammar school or high school, whenever we had pizza parties or just went out for pizza, it was always thin. Deep dish was never even mentioned. In fact, deep dish was a foreign concoction to me, which I discovered only after I graduated from college, started working, and going on business travels to other places. Those out of towners refused to believe that I'm a true Chicagoan because they associated the deep dish with true Chicago style and they couldn't grasp the concept of a Chicagoan who doesn't really like deep dish as much as thin crust. I'm sure there are other Chicagoans who grew up on deep dish, but in the working-class neighborhoods within the city proper where I grew up, thin crust was the "normal" Chicago pizza, cut into square pieces. The blend of flavors and textures from the sauce, toppings (especially the sausage), and the crust that are unique to Chicago-style is like pizza heaven to me.

                            I recently went back to one of those neighborhoods and discovered that a local pizza place now had deep dish on their menu, but while I waited for my pizza (thin crust, of course), everyone else who came in to pick up theirs all had ordered thin crust just like me. Not a single one picked up a deep dish while I was there. I should mention that I have tried deep dish at Uno's and Giordano's in Chicago and, yes, they were good, but I still prefer thin crust by a wide margin.

                            I will be traveling to Jacksonville for business in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to trying a local pizza that is claimed to be Chicago style. That should be an interesting experience.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ChicagoFoods

                              i agree cf i grew up in skokie and loved the local thin pizza at larosa and ilforno better than thick pizza, my dad hauled us to lou malnatis in lincolnwood and i would choke on the cheese as a kid, dont get me wrong today i love lous but if i had a choice it would be vito and nicks style pies

                              1. re: ChicagoFoods

                                I grew up in Highland, Indiana, about 35 miles south of the Loop ( the downtown area of Chicago). Like you, Chicago Foods, I grew up on normal, hand-tossed, relatively thin crust pizza and a thinner version (think flatbread pizza, but round and normal pizza-sized, cut into squares). I had never heard of Chicago-style pizza before my Dad took me to Uno's (for deep dish style) in downtown Chicago. I love deep dish style pizza, but I do not consider it pizza. It's delicious, but it's a savory pie.

                                Comparing thin crust pizza to deep dish is like comparing French dip sandwiches to Philly cheese steak. sandwiches. The two have some similarities but achieve their "wham! isn't this great?" effect by different means.