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Aug 13, 2007 11:35 PM

Best Chicago Style Pizza and Italian Beef

I've lived in Chicago for over 15 years and now I'm back in LA. Anyone know any places that have good old fashioned Chicago style deep dish pizza and/or Italian beef sandwiches.
In Chicago we had places like Pizza Dué, Lou Malnattis, Giordanos, and Gino's East.
And for Italian Beef there's nothing like the famous Mr. Beef.

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  1. Have you heard about "Taste Chicago"? I've eaten there but don't know that this is the best. . . or even 2nd best although it DOES have a claim to fame and some of the reviews I've read indicate the beef sandwiches are authentic so. . . here's a couple of the chowhound strings

    I say, check it out, what can you lose?

    Taste Chicago
    603 N Hollywood Wy
    Burbank, CA 91506
    Phone: (818) 563-2800

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve2 in LA

      I never lived in Chicago either but I been there a half dozen times and ate at the places mentioned in the OP.

      I agree with Taste Chicago for the combo beef / sausage. In my opinion I like this one better than those in Chicago and I say that from eating in Chicago one night and at TC the next night.

      Tony's Little Italy – try a stuffed pie and IMO that is as close as you will get to Chicago deep dish at the places you mentioned -- I been there, and ate that. BTW, The pizza at Taste Chicago is not deep dish but they got the sauce right IMO, and that goes further than I ever thought it would.
      808 N Placentia Ave Ste B Placentia, CA 92870
      (714) 528-2159

      Oh ya, someone may mention Zelo. Not Deep! IMO, It is overpriced and has a stale corn cobb crust. These "Crust" sit in the ice box and are warmed to your order within twenty min -- not Chicago pizza!

      1. re: JeetJet

        portillos in buena park only thing even close to real Chicago Italian beef here IMO...
        it's just a couple minutes off the 5.
        dipped with mild peppers is tasty.
        pass on taste chicago....just not the real deal.


        1. re: limaboy

          I can't believe there's a Portillo's out here, I had no idea! That was the last thing I ate b/f moving from Chicago to LA.

    2. Can only speak to the pizza side of that. No, there's no great Chicago pizza here. Certainly not at Taste Chicago. Gino's actually had a place here years ago and the fools here didn't support it. Fly into SF and try Zachary's, probably as close as you'll get to what you want on the West Coast.

      1. Well, my flight to Chicago leavels in about 8 hours so I'll get the real thing for the next 10 days, but good stuff CAN be had here in SoCal...maybe not "LA", but heck, in SoCal you gotta drive! Lots of posts on these subjects, but here's a quick rundown:

        Deep Dish Pizza
        1. Tony's Little Italy in Placentia
        2. Chicago Pasta House in Moreno Valley

        Zelo in Arcadia has an interesting CA twist on the concept, Masa in Echo Park claims to be a descendent of Gino's East but is hit and miss, Sal's in Anaheim is pretty good. Romano's in Riverside (3 locations) looks very promising...I've only had the thin crust but it was very good! FYI, not only was there a Gino's East in Manhattan Village, but there was at one time a Giordano's in Orange County!

        Italian Beef
        1. Chicago's Best in Irvine
        2. Portillo's in Buena Park (just like in Chicago but with prices a bit higher)

        Taste Chicago in Burbank gets a lot of pub because of its location and celebrity owner (Joe Mantegna and his wife) but it doesn't match up to the first two. There is a place out in Redlands called Anthony's Chciago Style that looks promising but I have not made it out there.

        FInally, there was a write-up about a new place in Lake Elsinore of all places for both the IB and the pizza...the name escapes me but I want to make the trek out there sometime after my real Chicago journey is complete!

        1. I had a good Chicago hot dog & Maxwell Street Polish at QT's on Woodman this last saturday, they also had Chicago Beef & Beef and Sausage on the menu

          1. Well... first of all, when you have tried all the places (because, for whatever reason, the places around here just don't stack up), Lou Malnati's does mail-order.

            That said, I rarely if ever find a reason to be in Mo Valley, so my go-to for Chicago deep-dish is Tony's Little Italy on Placentia's eponymous avenue. (Edit: no, the street is not actually called Eponymous Avenue, "eponymous" means "having been given its name".)

            Some people will tell you that Casa Bianca is Chicago-style thin-crust pizza, and I don't buy it for a single second.

            For IB, while I actually like the IB at Taste Chicago, Portillo's is better and (for me) closer to home... but they don't have the droolicious anisetta salad that TC does.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              you're saying that there is no resemblance between a casa bianca and aurelio's pie?

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I have a dozen friends from Chicago who would be happy to argue with you about Casa Bianca.

                1. re: martyR

                  I am from Chicago...and had more than my share of great deep-dish pizza there..I also happen to love the sausage pizza at Casa Bianca..and it has the feel of a neighborhood Chicago is not, however, much like Uno, Due, Salerno's, or any of the other great Chicago joints' deep dish.
                  the crust at Zelo is closer (given the corn meal)..but his corn pizza is extraordinary by ANY standard...


                  1. re: limaboy

                    Sorry, I did not mean to imply that it is deep-dish. It's Chicago thin-crust style.

                  2. re: martyR

                    argue with epop or das ubergreek?

                    imho aurelio's in homewood is the best but casa bianca, considering we're this far away, works for me, thankfully, though i keep aurelio's in the freezer.

                    1. re: epop

                      There's just no comparison to me between Aurelio's and Casa Bianca. It could be nostalgia, but Aurelio's is so much better to me.

                      I just came from Portillo's -- still far and away the best for all things Chicago save pizza in this area.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        luckily it does the trick for me but i do wonder why you don't see any comparison--- even the salads are similar.

                        but pizza first and for that reason i'm thrilled to be able to fly in one and sit on the 110 for the other