Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Jul 2, 2010 03:24 PM

Looking for really good Chicago style deep dish pizza in Jersey

We are having a very un-fulfilled craving for some deep dish pizza, and Pizzeria Uno is not doing it for us...does anyone have a place to recommend?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As a native South Philadelphian/South Jersean - I can tell you - you will not get 'real' Chicago-style pizza in New Jersey. I just got back from Chicago (2nd visit) and there is absolutely nothing like it. I ate at Lou Malnati's and Giordanos pizza - both were awesome - and I cannot find anything like it anywhere near our area. If you do find it - let me know. Also, you won't find their awesome Italian beef sandwiches around here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Xena060870

      Being a Chicagoan who moved to Jersey, I can tell you how much I miss Italian Beef. I was suggested to try a Philly Cheese Steak, but it just tastes like an Italian Beef with different seasonings and dry. Perhaps Portillo's will open up out here someday.


      No problem they will ship Deep Dish Pizza anywhere!

      1. Giordano's will ship and it cooks perfectly if you follow the directions. Pizzeria Uno just isn't right... then again the City mainly focuses on Stuffed pizza now (Nancy's, Giordano's, Rosati's).

        You will have more trouble if you try to find Chicago-style Thin Crust... the people outside of the midwest don't even understand what it is let alone know where to find it.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Ameise

          Some of us understand it. But NJ doesn't have much if any.

          Conversely, if you could work to understand the various types of NJ pizza, you might actually come across something you enjoy. There's plenty of crap out there, but plenty of exceptional pizze.

          1. re: tommy

            Indeed, some of us understand it, and others obviously don't. True Chicago deep-dish pizza is wonderful, sheer heaven in all its glory. There are two styles - the single-crust "pizza in the pan" served by the original locations of Uno and Due*, Lou Malnati's, and Pizano's; and the double-crust "stuffed pizza" served by Giordano's, Bacino's, and Edwardo's. I absolutely love both of them, and am thrilled that I live in Chicago and can get them any time I want. Once I tasted Chicago deep-dish, there was no way I was ever going to be satisfied with the NY/NJ-style thin crust I grew up with. Deep-dish all the way!!!

            Here's an interesting fact about deep-dish: Uno (1943) and Due (1955) were started by Ike Sewell, and owned by his wife. After Ike died, she sold the franchise rights which became the chain Uno's Chicago Grill. Part of the sale included a requirement that the original recipe would continue to be used in the two original locations of Uno and Due in Chicago's River North. That's why the pizza is dreadful in their franchise locations but still great in downtown Chicago.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Debating which is better is pointless.

              The point is, an awful lot of people have had Chicago pizza in Chicago, and "understand it."

              I don't have much of a sampling size, but my friends and family in Chicago tell me that the franchise does indeed serve something utterly different from the original Uno and Due.

              1. re: nsxtasy

                The crust on stuffed pizza is a completely different animal than the crust for either deep-dish or thin crust pizza. I've been making all three for decades, and there's little similar about the stuffed pizza dough except it's dough. It's much softer and more pliable.

                Reading this thread makes me want to go home and make a deep dish pizza... Uno's style.

                Oh, and I thought Uno's shipped also. Or do they just have carry out on the raw pizza?

                1. re: ChefJune

                  ChefJune, please, share your secrets. Have made numerous attempts over the years with varying success, close but no cigar!

            2. re: Ameise

              >> Giordano's will ship and it cooks perfectly if you follow the directions. Pizzeria Uno just isn't right... then again the City mainly focuses on Stuffed pizza now (Nancy's, Giordano's, Rosati's).

              That last part is not really true; single-crust deep-dish pizza in the pan is as popular as ever in Chicago, although double-crust stuffed pizza is also very popular. However, just to give a bit more overview...

              Thick crust pizza in Chicago comes in two primary varieties. The original "deep-dish" "pizza in the pan" uses a single crust, and its construction is described very well below by jfedorko. This was first created by Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943 and they opened Pizzeria Due a block away in 1955. Both remain in the same locations. In their early decades, one of the primary workers/managers there was Rudy Malnati Sr. and his sons worked there for many years as well. In 1971 his son Lou opened his namesake restaurant which now has several dozen locations in Chicago and its suburbs. In 1991 another son Rudy Jr. opened Pizano's which now has three locations in Chicago and its suburbs. There are other places in the Chicago area which also serve similar single-crust deep-dish, notably Gino's East.

              In the early 1970s, the second variety, called "stuffed pizza", was introduced in Chicago, first by Nancy's and shortly thereafter by Giordano's, both based on family recipes from the Torino (Turin) area of Italy. This double-crust pizza starts with a bottom crust, then has a layer containing the cheese and added meats and vegetables (they're not on top so the word "toppings" doesn't really fit), then has a second crust on top of that, and the tomato sauce on top. Giordano's is the most well-known place for stuffed pizza in Chicago, but there are others, including Nancy's, Bacino's, Edwardo's, and Carmen's.

              As for thick pizza being similar to a casserole, there's one place in Chicago whose pizza resembles a casserole or a "pizza pot pie", and that is a place called Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company. It's been around a long time but they have only one location and I'm not aware of any others that have copied them.

              There are other varieties of pizza in Chicago, of course, including various types of thin crust ("New York style", as the foldable thin crust predominant in NJ is typically called; "Chicago style", which is thin crust with a crackerlike consistency and typically cut into squares; certified authentic Neopolitan pizza similar to Ah Pizz in Montclair and A Mano in Ridgewood; etc).


              1. re: nsxtasy

                You just made me want to move back home to DuPage County. Thanks :P.

            3. The original comment has been removed
              1. I posted before and it never got posted.....Try VALENTINO'S in BELFORD NJ, the MIDDLETOWN SECTION......they have what you are looking for.