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Jul 24, 2007 06:24 AM

Looking for the best deep dish pizza!!

I am from philly and am searching to find a great local deep dish pizza. I will not be coming to Chicago, but would like to order one on line. I have Gino's East that I saw on the Food Network that does long distance delivering. Will I be getting the real experience with Gino's? Does anyone have any other suggestions of places that do long distance delivery?

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  1. Your correct Gino's is one and Lou Malnatti's also ships everywhere. Uno's sells the frozen par baked at many grocers around the country as well and I think can be shipped or picked up at any of the restaurants, and they have many locations in pretty much every major city; and a few in the Philly area for sure.

    The problem is, NO you wont be getting the "real experience" with any of them. Because your not getting the freshest ingredients and you just cant duplicate the pizza ovens that these places use, and it does make a huge difference especally on the crust which is key.

    As much as I hate to say it given the option of eating a shipped frozen pie that I paid tipple for Vs. going to a Uno's Chicago Grill, I think I'd go to the Uno's instead. Its clearly not going to be as good as the original Uno's here in downtown Chicago, but its a hell of allot better than anything frozen and cooked in your own oven.

    5 Replies
    1. re: abf005

      I beg to differ. Have you been to Uno's Chicago Grill? It's like claiming Taco Bell is a good approximation of Mexican food.

      I've done the Gino's thing and it didn't work too well. My crust came out dry and a little bland. There seemed to be less sauce on the pie, too. But all-in-all, it wasn't too bad. My personal preference is for Lou Malnati's, though.

      1. re: JungMann

        A second for Lou Malnati's here! While in Chicago we hit them both up one right after the other and I found Uno's really bland which sucked because we waited for like 2 hours to get in there! We walked right in at Malnati's and had the best pizza we had ever had! Whet once more before we left and hit it every time we are in the area.

        1. re: JungMann

          Are you talking of long distance delivery that you tried or do you mean in the restaurant you had it?

          1. re: JungMann

            If you will re-read my post and please note; I clearly stated “As much as I hate to say it”, not what I would term a ringing endorsement of anyplace.

            Even so, comparing Uno’s Chicago Grill to Taco Bell? Not hardly! I dislike the place for a great many reasons, the main one being that I firmly believe they served par baked frozen pizzas at all the Chicago Grill locations (outside of the Uno & Duo originals). Secondly, is that they have an Applebee’s style and quality menu outside of the pizzas, which now seem to take the backseat!

            Anyway, my the point to the OP was not to recommend the best Chicago deep dish pizza or restaurant in which to enjoy it, but rather to point out that no-one really has the “best” frozen pizza and ships it in such a way that one can enjoy the "real experience" the OP seeks. The truth is; it won’t even be close, three reasons:

            Cost: Try to take into account that a frozen pizza shipped from Lou's costs about $40 plus $15 more for the right pan, Vs. that at any Uno’s you can eat a pizza for about $15.

            Equipment: I’ve tried, and it’s not easy, or nearly as good. Commercial pizza ovens just cook at a much higher and more consistent temperature than a home oven, fact.

            Quality; frozen pizza has an aftertaste, all frozen stuff does. The cheese soaks up odors and the crust is never as crisp, sharp or bright tasting.

            So I restate; if it costs significantly less, has somewhat of a manufactured/canned Chicago atmosphere, and uses the proper baking equipment to produce a close proximity of the real thing, then isn’t the OP better off at Uno’s, rather than trying his first Chicago pizza frozen, thawed and cooked at home? I think so.

            Curious: by your own admission above, and as one who appears to know their deep dish pizzas, you said your Gino's frozen experience was inferior. Had you also home cooked a Malnatti's frozen as well? Is Lou’s frozen passable?

            1. re: abf005

              We obviously have a difference of opinion as I find that the pizza at the Uno's chain is bad enough to turn non-Chicagoans off to deep-dish and possibly convert them to cheering on the Yankees. I wouldn't recommend it even with a caveat.

              While there may not be a "best" frozen pizza per se, there certainly is a worst: Reggio's. I only bought it because stocking up on Gino's became very expensive. Needless to say, I should've stuck with Gino's, though the frozen Lou Malnati's came out better, though not by much. It had more sauce, but still had a dry crust. I'd like to see how Giordano's would fare in a home oven.

        2. I was in Chicago just this weekend and waited an hour in line, then about 45 minutes after ordering, for a deep dish pizza at Gino's was uninteresting, no big deal, not the ultimate pizza experience of my life.....what a disappointment! I'm a native New Yorker so I do have some point of reference for pizza to die for....but this was not it. Next time I'm in Chicago I'll definitely visit Lou Malnati's.

          1. Interesting responses so far. I can't say I'm familiar with the Philadelphia area but there are some places around the country that do a decent job with deep dish and/or stuffed crust in SoCal there are a few of them for instance.

            That being said, Gino's East, Lou Manati's, Giordano's and others all do mail order, although they are very pricey when you consider shipping. The best option is to learn to make your own, and the great thing about it is that it is easier to make a good deep/stuffed pizza than it is to make a great thin crust pizza. The dough is easier to work and there is less importance on a hot oven...400-450 is all a deep/stuffed pizza needs, which is why is takes so long. SOme great info on if you are interested.

            1. You should definitely give Lou Malnatti's a try. It won't be as good as those from the restaurant (we fortunately live a couple miles from their original location in Lincolnwood), but it's good nonetheless. We've taken their frozen pizzas on vacation, and they're perfectly fine. Plus, our annual Christmas gift to my brother in California is a package of Lou's pizzas. Suggestion: if you like it saucy, add a can of chopped tomatoes during cooking. (We always order ours with extra sauce, and at Lou's that means large chunks of tomatoes.)

              If you do order, get the 4-pack. Shipping isn't that much more, and you're getting more bang for the buck.