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Chicago Style Pizza in Boston?

Does this exist?

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  1. I want to a be smart ass and say Uno!

    But I have to say I never have actively looked for it but a Chicago guy here at the office was lamenting the same thing a few weeks ago. He just relocated to the South Shore area from Chicago.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      At least he can get Chicago hot dogs at Windy City.

      1. re: rknrll


        Liza- stop in and see Grady at Windy City eats in Norwell or Weymouth. If there is good Chicago pizza in the Boston area he will know.

        Or got to their FB and post the question.

        1. re: foodieX2

          edit: I said what owades just said below, oops

        2. aka the "cheese and sauce" cassrole, you mean?

          1. Boston was the first location of the franchised Pizzeria Uno chain outside of the original Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Due in Chicago, and I believe the headquarters of the chain is still here. They have as good a claim to "Chicago-style pizza" as anyone, and I think what they serve in their Boston-area shops is a pretty good match to the Chicago original--which itself was the originator of the canonical Chicago pizza. There are some other local variants in the Chicago area, like the "stuffed pizza" at Giordano's, but Uno's is what most people think of as Chicago pizza. (If I'm actually in Chicago, I'd probably pick Gino's East for my pizza spot.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: owades

              Granted, there is a high degree of inter-franchise variability even in Chicago, I can't say what I've had here (Symphony location) even remotely resembled the Chicago OG. What I had was clearly a pre-fab product, bone-dry crust, rightside up layering, and not much for layers at that. Reminiscent of a high school cafeteria personal pizza, and probably serves that purpose for the neighbourhood.

            2. So funny... I never really thought of Uno's) even though I've been many times.) I guess that will have to do!

              1 Reply
              1. re: liza8402

                don't go to the one in Kenmore, I think I heard the one in Harvard Sq was ok

              2. I see a number of "deep dish" pizzas but none except Uno's are real Chicago style with the crust baked in in an individual pan with the ingredients layered, etc.

                1. No, good Chicago style pizza does not exist in Boston.

                  The chain Uno locations are nothing like the original Uno and Due locations in Chicago (which are independently owned). The chain, now called Uno Chicago Grill is a crappy entity unto itself.

                  1. I just moved to the suburbs of Boston from San Francisco. SF is doing great things with pizza, both deep dish (Zachary's, Little Star) and hyper thin (Ragazza, Baretta).

                    Anyway, my point, I actually went to an Uno's in Dedham. They had a special, I think 2 deep dish pizzas for $10 or something like that. Are people tempted by these specials? Our food is so bad, we have to practically give it away! Utterly and completely dismal. I would not eat there ever again.

                    I'm just trying to find a decent slice somewhere in New England!

                    28 Replies
                    1. re: blackpippi

                      blackpippi, I strongly suggest giving Max and Leo's in Newton a try. I find their coal fired pizza (which is NOT deep dish) is the best in all of Greater Boston. http://maxandleos.com/

                      1. re: blackpippi

                        do people in chicago search for "boston-style" pizza?

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Well, there's a difference: Chicago deep dish really is its own distinctive thing. If Boston has a distinctive style, it's "frozen-crust greasy Greek-American pan pizza", which I'd rather not coalesce as an idea anywhere in the country. Not saying we don't have great pizza joints here, but the most common version isn't something we want our Chamber of Commerce to promote.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            when i moved from nyc to here for college, the shock of that krap pizza and the awful bagels almost made me want to change schools. :)

                            funny enough, there is a chain in canada called "boston pizza". have never ventured in, but i don't know if that means canadian pizza is typically even worse than ours!

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              I only know of the Boston Pizza chain because they briefly changed their name to Vancouver Pizza during the 2011 Bruins/Canucks Stanley Cup Finals. (It didn't help, obviously.)


                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                I went to a restaurant once in Maine (?) called the San Francisco Kitchen. It was a Chinese restaurant that served sourdough bread.
                                Maybe Boston Pizza is pizza served with a side of Dunkin' Donuts coffee?

                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  Well, I don't know about Canadian pizza in general, but "boston pizza" is terrible. We stopped in one while hungry/exhausted after a canoe camping trip, and while the food did the job of being hot and greasy and not cooked over a camp stove, it was pretty nasty.

                                  1. re: antimony

                                    hot, greasy and somebody-else-cooked-it sums up the recommendations for about 90% of local boston pizza joints. why pizza like the original regina's never got off the ground is beyond me.

                                    blame college students? drunk and happy to eat whatever? places could suck and still make money as long as they were near campus and student housing?

                                    now, it's too late for anything but "artisan" pizzas to be dotting the landscape because rent is so high.

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      To be fair, "Hot, greasy, and somebody-else-cooked-it" is often exactly what is called for. It just doesn't usually reach a Chowhound threshold of discussion-worthiness. Even New York is afflicted with the problem that 90% of its pizza joints aren't worth talking about.


                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                  'bout the only pizza I could recommend would be Regina's and only in the Northend. BTW - Agree the Greek crap is aweful.

                                  1. re: treb

                                    Have you tried Otto yet? I think there's more than one worthy pizza joint in Greater Boston, and that's one of the newer ones.


                                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                                    Do you think there's hope for pizza in Boston? I know there are good joints here and there, but we don't seem to have our own respected pizza culture. What do you think it would take to start the pizza revolution in Boston?

                                    1. re: xerxes_xerxes

                                      "What do you think it would take to start the pizza revolution in Boston?"

                                      Consumers who are willing to pay for a higher quality product, for a start. There are so many * House of Pizza places that charge $10 or $12 for a pie that it can be really tough for a business to compete and break free of that mold. Customers might enjoy it, and might return, but first you have to get 'em in the door.

                                      And of course, this requires a decent product, which can take a long time and a lot of capital to develop. Putting a bunch of money into developing a product for a highly saturated, competitive, and low price driven market? Doesn't sound like a good business plan to me.

                                      Know any wealthy, charitable, and slightly naive angel investor types? If so, let's do it :-)

                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                        I think one major issue is the dough. A good dough requires several days, not hours, to develop. That's a love for the product.

                                        1. re: treb

                                          the cardboard dough was my instant hate of boston pizza when i moved up here and remains so to this day.

                                          haymarket pizza is super cheap, has been around forever and has very good dough. when i need pizza dough, that's my go-to place. it can be done.

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            Yah, Haymarket, simple old school, been there forever and great.

                                        2. re: davis_sq_pro

                                          All good points. I think we would also need to make pizza "cool" again, too. Though what reallyt is needed is a deap-seated respect for pizza, rather than a fad that will fizzle.

                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                            I'd argue that the pizza revolution has been started. MC Slim JB refers to Otto which I think is a stellar example. Others include Figs, Cambridge 1, the (less than exemplary) Upper Crust, Flatbread Company...

                                            1. re: addiez

                                              I haven't tried Otto yet, but will have to do so soon after reading this.

                                              Figs and Cambridge 1 have both been around for 10+ years if I'm not mistaken. I think they're great examples of evolution, but not revolution. When my local House starts offering fresh mozz, then we'll be in revolution territory :-)

                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                Can you think of an example of another food revolution we had in Boston? Food trucks perhaps? Coffee?

                                                1. re: xerxes_xerxes

                                                  i think seattle will lay claim to coffee, but we had plenty to do with ice cream, back in the day of steve's and herrell's.

                                                  not "food", but harpoon was pivotal in the micro-brew movement.

                                                  fig's on beacon is a s***hole, with awful service and yet is always busy, so i don't know that lack of demand is a barrier. however, i do think the perception of tiny margins is.

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                    Couldn't agree more on Fig's, and said as much a few years back


                                        3. re: MC Slim JB

                                          Driving through New Jersey back in the early '70s I saw a pizza place that offered "Boston-style" pizza. Being a native, I had to stop in and find out what they meant. They told me that Boston-style pizza is made with cheddar instead of mozzarella. I told them that I'm from Boston and never heard of such a thing. They told me in colorful language exactly how much they cared.

                                          Curiously, I seem to recall that years later (sometime in the 1980s?) there was a short-lived chain around here that served pizza made with cheddar. Can't recall the name, though. Ah, senility.

                                          1. re: BobB

                                            haha! Love this story. Maybe you're on to something, maybe instead of emulating NY-style pizza we should strike out on our own and rethink it entirely. I'm a big fan of cheddar...

                                            1. re: BobB

                                              That was Ruggles British Pizza! They were in downtown crossing, and you could get a pitcher of Bass Ale with your pizza!

                                              1. re: JudyHP

                                                Ruggles! Yes, that was it. Thanks. And for the record, I've spent a lot of time in the UK, and have never seen pizza made with cheddar there either.

                                                1. re: BobB

                                                  don't think i've actually eaten pizza in the uk, but i've also never seen a ruggles there -- not even in the 80s.

                                      2. Your best option (by far) is to order a deep dish pizza or two from Chicago and have it shipped to you for hearing in your oven. I strongly suggest Giordanos. Enjoy!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Delhiwala

                                          Wow -- I had no clue this existed. Thank you!!

                                          1. re: liza8402

                                            I ordered a few deep dish from Lou Malnatis via the web site Taste of Chicago. If you subscribe to the site, every few months they email a special offer to you. When I got it, a free cheese cake from Eli's Cheese cakes was included.

                                            1. re: catsmeow

                                              When I was in Chicago for a six month assignment, twenty years ago, I dated someone who wanted to take me out for pizza. I swore he said we were going to Luminati's - that the pizza would illuminate my life!

                                        2. We've just resorted to making our own with the recipe taken from this Chowhound thread:


                                          Take the recipe described by 'stevel6'. This gives as close a pie as I've found to what I've had in Chicago.

                                          1. You can also web order Lou Malnati's which is my favorite Chicago style, they actually turn out pretty ok, gotta add on some Garrett's as well.

                                            1. hopefully not... Chicago style pizza is really a calzone mislabeled as pizza. Was not impressed with that thick, stuffed, have to eat with a fork thing they call pizza. Pizza should be crispy, crispy, thin, thin, thin so you can fold it and the crust at the point is crispy enough so not to limply fall before you get it to your mouth

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                The dough on Chicago pizza is also buttery like a pie crust...what!!! I mean, if you really want a Chicago Style Pizza then go to Chicago!

                                              2. A friend tells me that the recently-closed Sicilia's in Allston did a fair version of Chicago deep-dish -- not that that helps anyone.

                                                I have fond memories of the style (including the "stuffed" variant) from my brief time living in Chicago -- I worked around the corner from Gino's East -- even if many consider them an abomination in the eyes of the Pizza Gods.