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Chicago Pizza Shack (Hamilton)

Mr. Cheeze and I tried this place on the weekend - oh...where we won't travel for good pizza :)


It was delicious. We ordered a stuffed deep dish pizza - we created our own. We ordered a small, managed to finish a slice each and took the rest home. There was so much food!

The crust was nice and thin and remained crisp (even the next day when reheated) despite the enormous amount of cheese that was used (we did not order "extra" cheese). The tomato sauce on top had a nice taste - not acidic or anything. Lots and lots of stuffing ingredients

The only "negatives" - they used "canned"/not fresh olives (not really different from many pizza places) and there was a lot of grease on the pizza pan from the huge amount of meat (pepperoni and bacon) that was stuffed into this pie (we knew what we were in for, so I use negative in quotes).

wow - would definitely go back. Not anytime soon though as my waistline and arteries need some recovery time.

Thanks Mike from Hamilton (and others) for recommending this place on the boards.

Chicago Style Pizza Shack
534 Upper Sherman Ave, Hamilton, ON L8V3M1, CA

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    1. Glad you enjoyed...hope you didn't have to wait too long in line!

      1. A few friends and I are going to try this place (we're REALLY excited). From what I've read in the past, there's long lines. Would there be long lines on Wednesday night? How late does it stay open? Are reservations available/necessary? Would it be better to just order take out?

        2 Replies
        1. re: msprnt

          Okay here we go:

          Lineups start at around 4pm, the restaurant opens at 4:30. The waitresses have a saying "full by five". The shack closes at midnight. Reservations are NOT available.

          Take out is fine but limits choices (if you just want pizza this isn't a problem), depending on where you are (if in Hamilton) they do deliver. But they do have a number of items in the restaurant (pasta in red sauce with clams) that are also tasty...

          1. re: msprnt

            If it's your first time, you really should eat in. If you take out, then you will for sure miss out on that one waitress with the deadpan humour. Then there's the loop of cheesy music ("Volare", etc.) that hasn't changed for I don't know how long. If you go on a weeknight, our experience has generally been that going a bit later (8 and after) makes it easier to get a table - but that isn't always true. Regardless, the wait will be worth it. Enjoy, and please report back.

          2. thanks guys! ....i actually spoke to a friend of mine who had gone the night before (without telling me....), and they recommended the appropriate portions .... but there definitely was a wait ... and it was worth it! .... we got there at about 7:30, after walking around the parks near concession st. (thought it was going to be like main st., markham, but that wasn't the case) .... and we waited about 30 min before being seated... no matter tho as we threw a frisbee around outside while waiting ...

            we knew we'd be stuffed, so we just order a medium regular with italian sausage, green peppers, and mushrooms ("chicago style") and the small stuffed with pepperoni, bacon, and meatballs .... which took about another 30 minutes (which was expected cuz the waitress mentioned it and it says it would take that long on the menu)...so no qualms there....

            the medium regular had a TONNE of italian sausage and the crust was great (not too greasy and not too heavy for a normal crust ... liken it to a domino's/pizza hut hybrid?) ....the italian sausage was spiced nicely too! ...good amount of cheese and sauce too

            the stuffed pizza had a tonne of cheese.....so much so that we cuoldn't really tell what was in it, except for the pepperoni ... the "deep dish" crust was quite deep ... as in about 2 inches high!...not too hard and dense....quite the good balance of textures! regardless, it was really really good!... and filling, my friend was pretty much full on one slice, but kept eating .... i was wondering tho, whether the top of the stuffed pizza was pure cheese (not sure what kind) or had a dough (with cheese and sauce) on top?.... regardless, it was really good.... nothing i've ever had in the GTA .... and a definite treat!

            we stayed away from the olives (as per the OPs discovery) and tomatoes (a la, current salmonella scare) ... but we wanted a good meaty pie anyways! would definitely go back, but not too frequently.... for fear of waistline explosion!....haha

            1. Well, finally made it to this place last night and it did not disappoint. We must have been lucky as we arrived just after 4:30 and easily got a table but it filled up quickly after that. We ordered the deep fried ravioli for an app and 2 small deep dish pizzas , 1 meat lovers and 1 veggie. Bar far the best pizza I've had in a long time and the ravioli are highly recommended. Amazing how they keep that amount of crust moist and great tasting. I've been to Chicago and have had deep dish there and this place matches it perfectly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cheezy1

                I am tired so I am going to make this short. I finally drove down to Chicago Pizza Shack from Toronto and was pleased with the restaurant. My friend and I arrived around 10:30 p.m and there was only one couple finishing their late dinner. The server was very friendly and helpful offering us recommendations on what to order. We were definitely ordering stuffed pizza but we were thinking about ordering extra cheese, thank God that she told us not to because there was a ton of cheese in it already. The stuffed pizza was like nothing I have had before, not greasy but very thick and stuffed with cheese and all the other toppings we ordered. It was huge and we had tons of leftovers as a result of ordering a large, next time we will just get a small pizza. It took about 30 minutes to make the pizza so we ordered their mixed appetizer, breaded mushroom caps and fried ravioli. I would highly recommend anyone to try this because it was really tasty and would tie you over before the main event arrives. Overall, I would endorse this restaurant not only for the food but for their friendly service as well!

              2. Would love to hear someone thats tried & is familiar with maple vs. hamilton

                i've only tried maple. twice.

                4 Replies
                1. re: duckdown

                  I've tried both places once and I liked the one in Hamilton much better.

                  The one in Hamilton is actually better then a couple that i've tried in Chicago also.

                  1. re: flipcyde

                    interesting! thanks for the heads up.

                    so the two pies are alot different from eachother? (maple vs. hamilton)


                    1. re: duckdown

                      I would say that the crust at CPS in Hamilton is almost like a thick pie dough, whereas CPK in Maple is more bread-like and similar to Sicilian pizza. CPS in Hamilton def. puts more meats and toppings on theirs. Both are exellent, however.

                  2. re: duckdown

                    I have tried both now and fair to say I enjoyed this one much more. I should note that I dined in at Chicago Pizza Shack and did take out for Chicago Pizza Kitchen, that being said I still think the former makes a much better stuffed pizza.

                  3. Dang, I still gotta plan that road trip.

                    1. This is worth the drive from T.O. They are closed on Sunday I believe so make sure you check. It is definitely deep and delicisios - the sauce and everything just taste so good. It is "cozy" so you may have to wait for a party bigger than 4. We were 2 sets of couples and a regular sized was more than enough!!!!

                      1. This is an ok place... Having lived in a few places, Chicago included*, Hamilton's Chicago Pizza Shack (CPS) would be ordinary compared to other choices.

                        I'm new to Hamilton, so I hope there is better pizza than this, Toronto included! And yes, I've tried Bronzie's, Capri... Going to try Mr. Grande this week. Fingers crossed.

                        * But to each their own, I spoke to a CPS servers on one of a couple visits there and she said the owner was inspired/trained by Giordano's, which I'd rank low for Chicago deep dish pizza... However, Giordano's is very popular, even in Chicago. That being said, CPS is not really like Giordano's...

                        1. After all the hype I read about this place I was dying to try it. Pizza let down IMHO...sorry guys. I ordered the meat stuffed crust small pizza to go...yes it did indeed take the 35 minutes they said it would. I'm okay with that. The aroma when you walk in is intoxicating...this was at 8:30 pm and the place is packed. I got my pizza drove home and eagerly anticipated my first bite of this enormous zaa!

                          The only thing I didn't like was the crust. A flat piece of tasteless cardboard would have been more appetizing. Now I haven't been to Chicago to determine what an authentic Chicago style pizza should taste or look like but i do know if i like something.

                          I hate harping back to my days in Montreal but that is where I have had my best Pizza experience. I'll find out the name and let you all know soon...old age i have a hard time remembering the name but not the flavours!

                          Chicago Style Pizza Shack
                          534 Upper Sherman Ave, Hamilton, ON L8V3M1, CA

                          1. Is there a menu posted online anywhere??

                            1 Reply
                            1. What is the farthest you have had them deliver? I live in around the Danforth Toronto, and was wondering a) if they would come this far (yes I know I can just call them) but more importantly b) what have you done to get them to deliver to you long distances? is it just a matter of paying a higher delivery price? or is there a min order or what?

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: hungryabbey

                                They deliver to Hamilton only...my house (near Ivor Wynne Stadium) is the extreme north east of where they deliver! You'd have to drive to Hamilton or the the (non-affiliated) Chicago Style Pizza place in Maple for your fix.

                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                  pay a cabbie to transport your pizza for you, itll be a bit expensive tho...

                                  I bet you could purolate it, cold pizza is great!(so long as they take caution transporting it...)

                                    1. re: jmarcroyal

                                      Taxi from Hamilton to Toronto is approximatel 80-120 dollars depending on traffic! Plus the cost of the pizza, you'd better be wanting some pizza! They open at 4:30 pm 7 days a week for those considering on making the drive.

                                      1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                                        I'm still planning my Harbour Diner -- Chicago Pizza Shack GO Transit road trip. It's doable, just that the Shack and the Diner are at opposite ends of the city. :)

                                        Harbour Diner
                                        488 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8L1J1, CA

                                        1. re: Pincus

                                          Maybe you can arrange a meet up and hook a ride with someone.


                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            Except there's other stuff I want to do while in Hamilton, so I'd be ruining someone's day...

                                          2. re: Pincus

                                            Pincus any idea if CPS is walkable from the GO station or would a cab be in order. You've got me thinking on this one!

                                            1. re: abigllama

                                              Definitely not walkable! The trip would for sure require a cab. It's been a couple years since I've lived in Hamilton, so someone else might be able to give you a better idea on how far/how much a cab ride would be.

                                              1. re: ms. cornbread

                                                That's ok it could make for a fun food pilgramage of the cab ride isn't too steep. We've always meant to stop on this place on the way back from the falls but have always been either too hungover or just wiped out to bother.

                                                1. re: abigllama

                                                  Harbor diner is totally walkable from the go station, maybe 20/25 minutes? I don't know that I would do it super late at night but you'd likely be fine. googlemaps is being annoying and won't calculate the drive from there to upper sherman but I'd say probably a 20 minute drive depending on traffic from downtown and then back down again for the go station.

                                              2. re: abigllama

                                                Like others have said, definitely a cab, or an hour's walk, or figuring out the Hamilton transit system. Walking might be the best to burn some calories both ways. ;-)

                                              3. re: Pincus

                                                Just for a picture of time and direction, there's a GO station right at the base of the "mountain" (i think at james, south of Main?). If you get a cab ride up the mountain from the GO station, it'll take about 10-15 minutes to get to the restaruant ....depending on traffic.

                                                I went a few weeks ago on a Thursday and they had their small stuffed pizza with 3 toppings for $15.99. Which is quite the deal considering their plain small stuffed pizza with one topping was just a bit less. One of these small pizza's can comfortably fill 3-4 people (with some salad/apps while you wait).

                                        2. Chicago style pizza! I didn't know there was a place in Hamilton! It sounds like it might be worth a trek to check out.
                                          But depending on where you live. There is a Chicago Style Pizza place in the GTA. Near Major Mackenzie and Keele in Richmond Hill.

                                          I've tried it there and it is as good as I can remember.

                                          But I would like to hear if others tried this place and give a comparison to the Chicago Style Pizza Shack in Hamilton.

                                          Chicago Style Pizza Shack
                                          534 Upper Sherman Ave, Hamilton, ON L8V3M1, CA

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: engkev2000

                                            This was great. Better than the Gino's we had on Chicago. I just wish we could get spinach as a topping. We'll be back for sure!

                                          2. Just made the trek to CPS from Woodbridge. Not a bad drive, but then again, I'll drive almost anywhere for good food.
                                            Waited in line about half an hour and then another half hour for the pizza.
                                            We ordered a large stuffed pizza with sausage, mushrooms and onions.
                                            Verdict? Good, but...
                                            Now that I've tried both CPS and CPK, I give the resounding victory to CPK in Maple.
                                            The crust is the deciding factor here with CPK's crust more bread like in texture. Spiros uses a sour dough starter that he brought back from San Francisco which gives the crust a slighty tangy flavour.
                                            CPS crust was somewhat blah tasting and slightly underdone and doughy. Perhaps it could've used another 10 minutes to bake.
                                            CPK uses a home-made sausage with a more pronounced anise/fennel flavour much tastier than the somewhat generic tasting crumbled sausage CPS uses.
                                            Also missing was the chunky tomato sauce Spiros uses which gives it a nice stewed tomato flavor. CPS had a thin layer of sauce which kind of gets lost in the whole thing.
                                            CPS does put in a ton of toppings especially cheese. It took me forever to cut off all those
                                            gooey cheese strings oozing from it.
                                            Having said all that, CPS does put out a good product and better than anything the GTA has to offer except for Chicago PIzza Kitchen.
                                            Please Spiros, reopen soon!!!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: 1roadstr

                                              Huh, funny how you take some things for granted. I was eating CPS pizza when they were located on Upper Wellington when I was a kid. They then moved to Upper Sherman a 45 second walk from where I grew up. Never any line ups back then. Haven't had their pizza in years. I prefer thin crust pizza with just veg now but my husband would love this pie. It's only a short drive up the hill from where I live now. Now you got me thinking! Since a lot of the contributors are from TO what ever happened to Uno Pizza down by the Esplanade. We were in TO and went for some pizza and there gone. Did they relocate or just close?

                                              1. re: 02putt

                                                Uno Pizza closed years ago (10 years or more?). Not a great loss, as it was a sad shadow of the original Uno's in Chicago, though it did fill a niche downtown.

                                                1. re: 02putt

                                                  Okay, all this talk about Chicago Pizza Shack wore me down. I took my husband.and we arrived at 4:35pm as the other comments said it was very busy. It was but we managed to get the second to last table. After reviewing the menu I decided on the mixed ravioli as I don't like thick crust pizza anymore. My husband had the Red Clam Linguine with an extra sausage. We also ordered the mixed garlic bread and Bruschetta with goats cheese as an appetizer. Everything was fantastic although my husband said the sausage was denser than he liked but this is his personal preference and it didn't stop him from eating it! Our bill including 2 glasses of wine and 2 diet cokes $43. Once I saw the pizzas coming out I wish I had ordered one. They looked fantastic. Will definitely order one next time. Here's a bit of advice. Noticed the tables started to clear out around 5:30 as the 4:30 diners were done. Take out was also super busy from 5:00-5:30 and then that to died off. I would imagine it is this way all night. Thought I had died and went to heaven upon exiting as directly across the street is Hewitt's Dairy. Only some of the best Ice Cream to be found! But they were closed for winter.
                                                  On a side note it was very nostalgic for me going back to the old neighborhood I grew up in and seeing the corner store, where National Bakery once stood and of course my parents house. It then hit me you can never go back home. Home is not a place - it is a place in time. A place where you can visit but never return. Thanks for the memories!

                                                  1. re: 02putt

                                                    Did that National Bakery have those amazing morsels called taffy tarts like the one in Kingston had years ago?

                                                    1. re: 02putt

                                                      Went their 3 weeks ago, what a huge disappointment!!!!!!!!!!! Stuffed pizza was 5/10, the dough was dry, not risen, frozen pizza like! Try Gerard pizza in t.o!

                                                2. How does this compare to Mickey's Pizza?
                                                  Feed Your Dragon http://www.feedyourdragon.com/Mickeys...


                                                  1900 Lakeshore Rd. w.

                                                  Mississauga On L5J 1J7