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Feb 28, 2011 05:56 PM

Looking for Chicago-style Thin Crust

Hi there. My girlfriend and I recently moved to New Jersey from Chicago. One thing we desperately miss is what we call pizza (which apparently differs from the East Coast definition).

I am not referring to Chicago-style Deep Dish a la Giordanos or such. I have been pushed to Uno's in this respect, but it is far too different from anything we'd have in Chicago - granted it is closer.

I am looking for somewhere that has true Chicago-style Thin Crust... a good example would be Nancys or Giordanos Thing Crust. The crust is about two or three times thicker than 'New York style', and has richer toppings. Usually, it does not have a heavily risen crust - toppings are put to the edge and our crust is just the small amount that expands out from under it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? We haven't been able to stomach New York-style pizza... it just seems like thin cracker and grease to us (no offense).

A good example are these pictures:

Thanks in advance!

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  1. yuck!! those pics look soo bad!!! sorry!

    Anyway..maybe not what you want but... I happen to really like Denino's in Matawan/Aberdeen. The owner, Mike is so sweet and will definately make you happy! The chicken parm is great!!!! And at $ cannot go wrong!!!


    Denino's Pizza Place
    1077 State Route 34 Ste F, Matawan, NJ 07747

    2 Replies
    1. re: Angelina

      I like Denino's, but I wish they would add a little more zip to their pizza sauce.....I find it rather bland.....however, the crust is excellent.

      One thing worth noting. In all my years, I have rarely seen any meat topping pizza topped in the same fashion as in the pictures the Op has provided. The meat is never placed evenly or even in as much abundance...with the exception of Pizza Chains.

      1. re: Angelina

        Being born and bred in Chicago and residing there for 28 years before moving to NJ, I can look at those pics and drool! That is heaven on a pizza pan, and you just can't find pie like that around here! YUM! Thanks for posting! -mJ

      2. Pompei Pizza in Bayonne, NJ has a good thin crust pizza

        1. A bunch of places in north jersey serve something similar. Star, Kinchley's, Nellie's, etc.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tommy

            I like Nellie's a lot too, forgot about that place.

            1. re: tommy

              I like the pizza at Kinchley's......however, the *Garbage Pie* is one of the worst pizzas I have ever had.....too much for the crust.

              1. re: fourunder

                It would never occur to me to order such a thing. Although I did try at Star Tavern with the boys once. Never again.

                1. re: tommy

                  For me, when it comes to pizza......less is more. The garbage pie was was ordered on my very first visit decades ago and recommended by the you said...never again.

            2. Route 3 in Clifton has the chain Pizzeria Uno, which I believe serves that "pizza" with all the stuff in it, Chicago style. Never tried it, though. We Easterners have an aversion to this style of pizza, having grown up with a thin crust, cheese & sauce only version. But that's what makes horse races.

              5 Replies
              1. re: menton1

                The thin crust Chicago pizza to which the OP is referring is different than the deep dish stuff that you're likely referring to. Although the description in the OP is a bit confusing.

                1. re: tommy

                  Oh well, interesting that the OP hates NY Pizza, wonder if they've ever had the good stuff in the city, DiFara's, Patsy's, or the Trenton pies or the New Haven Pies...

                  Never been to Chicago, but even though their pizza looks gross, I would love to try the Chicago Italian Beef sandwiches with the "dip". Those look very appealing on TV...

                  1. re: menton1

                    Italian beef, spicy and wet, is probably one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. The pizza doesn't do much for me, but not much unlike NJ, I had 10 people tell me to go to 10 different places, and that all the others sucked. Although I only tried one, I'm assuming none are to my liking.

                    Related, the OP's definition of "new york style pizza" seems way off the mark. It's generally not a cracker style in the least.

                    1. re: tommy

                      OP needs an outing to Patsy's on the way-upper East side...

                    2. re: menton1

                      LOL @ the pizza looking gross! Ya'll are missing out here! Whether it be the REAL deep dish of Chicago at the original restaurants, or the thin crust, it is definitely something that I miss! Nothing like it, or even close on the East Coast. Hence the reason the original Pizzera Uno or Due is always a must stop when I go home!

                      And what I would do for Italian Beef and Vienna Beef hot dogs out here! Sad that I was down in San Antonio the last two months and could find them both there with no problem. Come on NJ! Make it happen! -mJ

                2. I'm thinking that the OP is NOT looking for NY/NJ thin crust pizza. He describes Chicago thin crust as being 2-3X as thick as this area's thin crust.

                  Being that Chicago deep dish has a very thick crust, perhaps what we call regular crust here is closer to what he is looking for when he says "thin" crust.

                  So instead of suggesting local thin crust like Star, Kinchleys and others, I'd go with suggesting the best regular pizzas.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: briansnat

                    Judging by the photos and the rest of the description I assume that the '2-3x' part of the description was a typo or inaccurate.

                    But if it's not then I have no idea what is being asked. The pictures show something close to a cracker style crust, not something even remotely as thick as a NY slice.

                    1. re: tommy

                      Yeah, I was going to suggest sicilian but am similarly confused about thickness.

                      1. re: tommy

                        It's thicker but is also cracker crust. We use the same dough for our thin crust as our deep dish, and it expands but hardens on the bottom.

                        1. re: Ameise

                          You're likely not going to find anything like that in NJ, other than Uno. The dough is the single most defining factor here to my mind, and you probably won't find places in NJ that use butter or lard.

                          I guess you'll have to either
                          1) go without pizza
                          or 2) learn to appreciate the many types of pizza that NJ offers.

                          Good luck.

                          1. re: tommy

                            Unfortunately, Uno doesn't use the right crust either. We've had Uno's... it just wasn't right.

                            1. re: Ameise

                              What part of the state do you reside....and/or, how far are you willing to travel.

                              1. re: Ameise

                                I don't know how old you are, but is the Pizza you are seeking reminiscent of a Frozen Pizza that used be be made by a company called *John's Frozen Pizza*, which was widely popular in the Midwest pre-80's

                        2. re: briansnat

                          I don't hate NY style pizza, and it predominates in NJ, but I do love Chicago-style pizzas. The dough is much different, regarless of the thickness. More buttery.

                          1. re: GraydonCarter


                            Haven't found anything like that in NJ, so the OP might be SOL. Our cracker crust style pizza is very much like a cracker. The thin crust that I've had in Chicago seems to be made from the same buttery/pastry dough that their deep dish pizza is. And they also seem to be topped more than our NJ cracker-crust style, unless you get it loaded with stuff.

                            I think the important difference here is how the dough is made, regardless of the thickness, as you suggest.

                            1. re: tommy

                              I think we also use a different kind of sauce. The seasonings on Chicago-style seem to be richer or different. The crust is definitely different... we've tried a few places and haven't yet found anything close. The NY Style isn't appealing to us because it doesn't have that 'hearty' feel, I suppose. The NJ Cracker Crust that we've found seems just as that... a cracker.

                              1. re: Ameise

                                The various styles of pizza found in NJ (and there are at least 4 off the top of my head), many of which are not "NY style," use different types of sauces within the confines of NJ.

                                You're better off making it yourself.

                            2. re: GraydonCarter

                              Try Patsy's Tavern in Paterson. The crust does have a "buttery" character and is thin crust.

                            3. re: briansnat

                              I have a difficult time even calling what OP is looking for as pizza. Call ME a snob...I know it. But overstuffed/topped to me is a casserole...NOT a pie in the NJ sense. Born & Raised - Exit 161