Solve a riddle for a Bostonian.
Okay, I aways thought "Chicago-style" pizza was the deep dish variety. But two very good friend (both from the south side) insist most Chicagoans prefer "regular" pizza. They mentioned Vito & Mike's, and the original Home Run Inn as more typical of what folks in Chicago eat.
So what's the deal? Deep dish or not? Or is it a 50/50 proposition?
My sense is that "Chicago-style" pizza is called "Chicago-style" pizza because it presumably originated here. I'll leave the historians/archivists fight over the where-when-what-and-how but Chicagoans are a pretty eclectic bunch and so you can find throughout town versions and preferences for deep-dish/pan/stuffed, thin/cracker-thin, New-York/New-Haven, Neapolitan/Roman/Milanese syles of pizza, among others.
I totally agree with jbw. There are millions of people in the city, much less the metro area. There is certainly no one "Chicago" taste bud. Different people come here with different taste preferences. Don't fall prey to "Saturday Night Live" stereotypes. Furthermore, any one person (such as, say, ummm...me) can have pizza love for multiple styles. I'd place the original (not franchise) Pizzeria Uno/Due high on my list of last-meal-before-I-die. But I also love Home Run Inn, which is kind of a 'tweener in the Pan vs. Thin debate and Father & Son in the cracker-thin category. Then there's the suddenly hot & supposedly authentic Napoli-style pizzas featured at Ballo and Spaca Napoli which I haven't had, but look forward to sampling based on all the raves. Without trying to be trite, it really is All Good.
Home run is "OK" Aurellios is better.. I never had their Deep Dish, but man.. their thin is AWSOME!!
Visiting customers ask me alot where to find the best "Chicago Style" pizza, I tell them where to go for MY favorite, and I always pre empt that with the disclaimer that pizza's in chicago are like any reginal dish in any city... every pizza is different and everyone has their favorite. ( Aurellios has the best thin crust, and Nancys or Lou Malnatis has the best deep dish)
I grew up on the southside of Chicago and now live for the last 15 years on the Northside. The way I see it, southsider's primarily eat thin while downtown and northsider's eat more deep dish. My dad was a huge fan of Pizzeria Uno & Due's deep dish while the rest of the family prefered Barraco's in Evergreen Park, Palermo's in Oak Lawn, or Aurelio's. I recently found out that I'm gluten-intollerant/celiac, so pizza is now out of the question...what a major bummer! If you haven't tried Spacca Napoli at Sunnyside and Ravenswood on the Northside, I hear that it's fantastic...the best traditional Naples thin pizza.
For me what distinguishes Chicago pizza from all the rest is not Home Run Pizza, Connies etc but any pizza which as its top layer is tomato sauce/tomato chunks (Pizanos, Lou Mals). So if you are looking to find out what all the fuss is about go deep dish, b/c the other slices can be found anywhere.