If I only had one shot, which pizza place should I go to.
I want to be amazed by how good the pizza is, I will one be chicago one night?
What about CHICAGO PIZZA AND OVEN GRINDER restaurant, with its pizza pot pies. Is it really great or just a novelty. I want something that will make my taste buds want more and more.
I personally like Lou Malnati's, but you will elicit a lot of different opinions when asking this question (as evidenced by some pretty heated past threads on this topic). Lou Malnati's has what I consider to be classic, Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I like it better than Gino's or Giordano's -- which serves the "stuffed" version that, IMO, contains too much dough. Others disagree and think that Giordano's is superior. Others like the "burnt crust" style served at Pequod's or Burt's.
I personally would skip Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder and go with a classic deep-dish pizza meal.
Of the ones you have listed, I am partial to Giordanos. However, if you make it up to the Lakeview area on your one day, you should hit the Art of Pizza at Ashland and Wellington. Super fresh ingredients, not too doughy crust and excellent never sour well-seasoned sauce. Its my #1 for Chicago pizza.
Out of those four:
Lou's and Giodarnos with the firm understanding that Giodarno's is completely different then the others as it's stuffed.
Note to the OP; Please be careful with any Uno's & Gino's East recs, as they both have spin off corporate chain entities that truly stink.
For Uno's; only go to the Ohio street location or its sister restaurant Duo's on Wabash
For Gino's East; Only the Wells street location is good.
Malnati's, Giordano's, Bacino's are all equally good regardless of which location you visit.
As to my top pizza picks? in order: Gulliver's, Bacino's and Ricobene's and Giordano's
619 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
29 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
633 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
223 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60606
2727 W Howard St, Chicago, IL 60645
2204 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
222 N Wells St, Chicago, IL
I heartily agree that the original Uno's is far superior to the corporate chain, but I have had good pretty good luck with other locations of Gino's East and Giordano's.
One interesting note, Gino's East is back in its original location as well on Superior just E of Michigan Avenue. When they took over the old Planet Hollywood on Wells, they put up a new bldg on the old location and it was a Joey Buona's for a few years, but I think last year Gino's East moved back in.
All of the four you list are excellent, with the caveat that Uno's refers only to the downtown location. I've enjoyed pizza with consistent quality from many locations of the other three, including Gino's East.
Giordano's specializes in a double-crust "stuffed" pizza, while the other three serve a single-crust "pan" pizza. I happen to love Giordano's the best, but the others are delicious too. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those four. (I feel the same way about a few smaller chains - Bacino's or Edwardo's for stuffed pizza, Pizano's for pan pizza.)
I really do not at all like the "burnt crust" style pizza at Pequod's or Burt's, or the gimmicky "pot pie" pizza at CP&OG. There are too many places in Chicago where the pizza is much, much better, IMHO.
Out of those 4, I'd pick Uno's - it is very good, and the original is a Chicago standard. I never understood Giordano's, the dough is overwhelmingly underwhelming. I do like Gino's, but the scene and line kills it. It is special and unique enough to try though, so if the night you are here is not Friday or Saturday, it is worth it.
BUT, my absolute favorite it Art of Pizza on Ashland. It is amazing. It is ambrosia. It is the tastiest pan pizza I have ever had. The ambience is nonexistent. I am from NJ, and thus hard to convince.
Some of my friends swear by My Pie on Clark. I think it is hit or miss.
My opinion of Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder is that it is NOT PIZZA. It is sauce (meat or not) in a bowl with bread baked over the bowl like a pot pie. I think it is weird and not the way to experience those ingredients in this city.
As an out of towner, Ive been able to visit Uno, Giordanos and Ginos East. I have to favor Ginos East and just thinking about it is giving me quite the hankering for a deep dish with the works. I find their crust and their gravy to be far superior to the others. On my next visit, based on these posts, I look forward to getting to Art of Pizza on my next visit.
I wish it were easier to get them shipped out here in Jersey, really is nothing better.
I've had good luck with Ranalli's Up North (and the one that delivers to Lakeview), but I haven't seen it mentioned here…so maybe I just don't know Chicago-style pizza!
I do hear good things about Art of Pizza, too. So that's a second (or seventh) rec for that from me.
Ranalli's Up North
1522 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613