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Apr 1, 2007 06:55 PM

Chicago style pizza in MSP?

With the demise of Pizzeria Uno in Edina, I am having trouble locating any decent deep dish pizza in MSP. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I don't think Greenmill's version is very good. Is there any other options?

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  1. As a Chicago native, I think the Uno's franchises are an abomination on the Earth.

    Ahem. That said, the short answer is Rainbow. That is, Rainbow Foods carries Gino's East frozen pizzas. These are much closer to the real deal than the Uno's franchises (or the Uno's frozen pizzas). Home Run Inn pizzas (a Chicago thin-crust pie) are also becoming ubiquitous in Twin Cities freezers.

    Your other best (but more expensive) option is to order over the web from Lou Malnati's. They'll overnight you par-baked Malnati's pizzas, but you will pay for the privilege.

    I haven't found anything local that comes close to a true Chicago deep dish. Green Mill is probably the closest to a stuffed pizza, though the cup of room temperature sauce they give you to apply yourself is just odd.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jordan

      I am not a Chicago native, but I love their pizza! It's funny, for the most part I agree that the Uno's restaurants are not that good (we have tried them in several states). Strangely, I found the one in Edina to be as close to the real deal as any (particularly the extra large Chicago classic - it seemed the bigger the pizza, the better it tasted. Anyway, I didn't realize that Rainbow carries Gino's East. I have heard of Home Run Inn pizza, but admit I am skeptical. Have you tried it? I know you can overnight the Lou Malnati's and the Giordano's pizza, but they won't ship sausage. Sigh...

      1. re: TDS1

        Yes, I like the Home Run Inn frozen pizzas quite a bit. (They're thin-crust, not pan or stuffed.) I would go with either the plain cheese or the sausage.

        1. re: TDS1

          another source for frozen gino's east pizza is cub (at least the cub in roseville). they usually only have a few but boy are they good! we like the sausage pizza. this from someone who usually prefers neopolitan style or very thin crust pizza. since i cook most evenings, it's a double treat to know all i have to do is fire up the oven and have a little taste of chicago.

          1. re: carolita

            oh darn. was just at the roseville cub for another frozen gino's east chicago pizza and none there. my produce mgr. friend checked it out for me and the distributor is no longer carrying. so i got the davanni's deep dish sausage and pepperoni. disappointment - oh so salty!

        2. re: Jordan

          The only problem with Lou Malnati's shipped pie is that when it arrives and you reheat it, the ingredients leak out liquid (I think the main culprit is the delicious sausage) and that sogs the end result. If I get it again, I will be the wiser and do some moisture absorption before heating.

          (um, thanks, Jordan).

          1. re: cheeseguysgirl

            >> The only problem with Lou Malnati's shipped pie is that when it arrives and you reheat it, the ingredients leak out liquid (I think the main culprit is the delicious sausage) and that sogs the end result. If I get it again, I will be the wiser and do some moisture absorption before heating.

            When ordered locally for carry-out or delivery, deep-dish has a tendency to get soggy when it's sliced. Many of us who live in Chicago have learned to specify our pizza UNsliced, and slice it at home. That may (or may not - ?) be the culprit on frozen deep-dish pizzas as well.

            Here are a few facts for deep-dish fans. Ike Sewell is generally credited as the founder of deep-dish pizza when he established Uno in 1943, although his wife was actually the owner of Uno and Due (opened 1955, a block away from Uno). When Ike died in 1990, she sold the restaurants and all rights to the company that went on to open franchise locations of Uno Chicago Grill, but the sale was accompanied by an agreement not to change the pizza recipe at the original locations of Uno and Due in downtown Chicago.

            In the early decades of Uno and Due, one of the principal characters there (variously mentioned as manager, bartender, etc) was Rudy Malnati Sr., whose sons worked with him in the restaurant for years. His son Lou went on to found his namesake chain with his first location in Lincolnwood in 1971; it now has 33 locations. His other son Rudy Jr. founded a Chicago-based chain called Pizano's in 1991; it now has 3 locations.

            I also see various mentions here of Giordano's. Giordano's specializes in double-crust "stuffed" pizza, which is somewhat different from the single-crust deep-dish served at Uno, Due, Malnati's, etc. The first place in Chicago to serve stuffed pizza was Nancy's, although Giordano's followed shortly thereafter, both in the early 1970s, and both based on recipes from family in the Torino (Turin) area of Italy. Other places serving stuffed pizza in Chicago include Edwardo's, Bacino's, and Carmen's.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I love Giordano's and Gino's East.... tough call on which one I like better.

              1. re: danionavenue

                Tried the Gino's East (frozen) from a grocery store, and was impressed. It was very good for a store bought pizza. Can't compare to an actual pizza place in Chicago, but was fairly close to some of the better Chicago pizzas I've had in CA (Zachary's and Little Star).

        3. I'm no expert, but I like the Italian Pie Shoppe on Grand Avenue, in St. Paul (though I haven't yet been there since they relocated to their new spot just West of Snelling).

          There's also Old Chicago in Har Mar in Roseville.


          6 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I can't speak to the Italian Pie Shoppe, but Old Chicago's another chain, like Uno's, that is a pretty far cry from a real Chicago pan pizza.

            1. re: Jordan

              Ah that's too bad about Old Chicago. It did look sort of chain'ish, so I always avoided it, even though I was never really sure (the call of China Jen across the street is just too strong for me to waste my precious chow-time on a maybe chain.) But, you're right, now that I realize they're a chain, it was easy to find their website, where they list many, many locations:



            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              My parents are Chicago natives and the Italian Pie Shoppe is pretty much the only place they'll get deep dish pizza. Green Mill also has it, though the wait is long...Pie Shoppe is definitely the way to go!

              1. re: chompchomp

                Which is better at the Italian Pie Shoppe - the deep dish or stuffed

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                We used to go to the Italian pie shop a couple times a month, the pizza is great. But I'm not a big fan of their new location, it's too crowded if your party is larger than 2 on Fri and Sat. nights
                In addition to their deep dish - the italian cheese fries are awesome - the kids love them. Or favorite pizza combination is their thin crust with pepperoni and banana peppers.

                Another great place for pizza in Saint Paul - Red Savoy's

              3. I don't hold myself up as an expert of authenticity either, but I think Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge on Lowry & Marshall in NE Minneapolis makes a delicious deep dish pizza.


                1 Reply
                1. re: StPauliGirl

                  That place looks great! Thanks for pointing it out!!

                2. I live with a pizza fanatic and can honestly say I have never had a pizza in Minneapolis that is anything like Gino's East, Pizano's or Giordano's (places I consider to have the quintessential Chicago-style pizzas). For me, it's all about the polenta crust, the rolled layer of sausage, and the sauce on top and no place in the TC's has these as far as I've found.

                  Sadly, the closest is probably Old Chicago, but it's not that close and you can tell the crust was frozen and it's wheat flour. Suzy's pizza is good, but I know the shells come frozen there and the dish is not "deep" really.

                  I would follow Jordan's recommendation and have Gino's (they ship as well now) or Malnati's send you a frozen pie. Or lets start a petition to get Giordano's to open an outpost up here!

                  1. What about Fat Lorenzos? Cedar Ave I believe in SoMpls

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: dellwood ted

                      Ick. No. I don't understand why this place is popular.

                      1. re: Jordan

                        Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will need to put the Italian Pie Shop and Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge on my list to try!
                        Foureyes137, I am with you - I would love to have a Giordano's here. You would think it would do well at MOA or something.

                        1. re: Jordan

                          Amen. I live 5 blocks from Fat Lorenzo's. I tell people I live near there, and they usually trip over their tongues gushing how great Fat Lorenzo's is. After a few times trying it out, I haven't been back in over 2 years. (Except for their gelato....)

                          Fat Lorenzos
                          5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                          1. re: foreverhungry

                            I had the same experience when I lived in Diamond Lake. The place is always crowded, though -- I can't figure out why. The pizza is doughy and pedestrian, at best.

                            1. re: Jordan

                              Lots of folks seem to like thick doughy crust with lots of cheese. It seems the more cheese, the better the pizza, for some folks. I don't get it.

                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                Yup, and that's why everything on these forums or any forums shouldn't be taken as gospel. I love a greasy, gooey, cheesy pizza but that may not fit somebody else's mold of a good pie. That's why these pizza threads seem to go on forever. Everyone has a different opinion. That's what is so great about it all. Even if you don't get it, someone else does and will. To each their own.

                        2. re: dellwood ted

                          I really like Fat Lorenzo's pizzas, but they don't do deep dish or Chicago style.

                          1. re: Kilgore

                            another vote for the Italian Pie Shop

                            & their thin crust pizza is excellent as well.

                            The one on Grand Ave is now smaller than before. They do have takeout as well.

                            1. re: St Paul Susie

                              ***slightly off-topic alert***

                              hey i wanted to give all of you pizza lovers this great link to "the pizza project" below: these folks mapped independent MSP pizza places that deliver, and their delivery areas, in an effort to show that there is practically nowhere in MSP you can't get a non-chain pizza delivered to your home or workplace. it's got a lot of great indie pizza places that chowhounds might want to check out! note that places that only have carry-out pizza are not on the list.


                              1. re: soupkitten

                                Pretty cool. Next thing they need is a reverse lookup tool so that you could plug in an address and get a list of the places that deliver.