Whether you’ve just finished a long day of work or you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend with friends, it’s always a good time for pizza. Especially in the Chicago area, the home of many amazing and original pizza restaurants. To make sure you always have a great pizza place in mind, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite places.

Pequod’s Pizza

fresh Chicago pizza

Image via Flickr by patsun licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0

A lot of folks think deep-dish pizza and Chicago go hand-in-hand, but this isn’t always the case. While Chicago is well known for its deep-dish pizza, Pequod’s Pizza is one spot that steps outside this comfort zone. Pequod’s Pizza makes its pizza using a fluffier dough than a traditional deep-dish crust. Customers also love the way Pequod’s caramelizes their cheese into a tasty, crispy ring along the pizza’s edge.

Come by Pequod’s in the evening and share a large pizza with the whole family. If you want to come in during your lunch hour, Pequod’s offers a seven-inch personal pan pizza that’s the perfect size for a small meal. You can also opt for affordable add-ons such as a fountain drink or a light salad to top off your meal.

No matter what time of day you come in, be sure to take advantage of Pequod’s online booking system. You can put your name in and reserve a table to shorten the waiting time at this bustling establishment.

Zaza’s Pizzeria

Zaza’s Pizzeria creates scrumptious pizzas that have puffy crusts and thin centers that mimic New York-style slices. The restaurant offers nine different 16-inch pizzas, and all of them are handcrafted with local ingredients. One of the most unique ones is the Hot Soppressata Pie, which features soppressata sausage, Parmigiano cheese, chili flakes, fennel oil, and Mike’s Hot Honey. The sweetness of the honey offers a welcome contrast to the other savory flavors, so you’ll likely come back to Zaza’s Pizzeria for this dish alone.

Other signature pizzas from this restaurant include the Truffle Mushroom Pie, the White Pie, the Gold Medal Pie, and the Bruschetta Pie. If you want to build your own pizza, you can add toppings like red onion, green pepper, basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and fennel sausage. All “Build Your Own Pies” come with mozzarella cheese, and you get your choice of any sauce the establishment has available.

Coda Di Volpe

Coda Di Volpe is the creation of chef Salvatore “Sal” Lo Cascio, who received extensive culinary training in Palermo, Italy. Once he completed his training, he moved to Chicago to introduce Neapolitan cuisine to the city’s residents. When you sit down for a nice dinner at Coda Di Volpe, you’ll receive any pizza that you order right from the oven.

One of customers’ favorite Neapolitan pizzas from Coda Di Volpe is the Prosciutto e Arugula. The restaurant’s chefs combine prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella, aged Parmigiano cheese, and a drizzling of balsamic essence that’s been aged for eight years. This pizza, along with all the others at Coda Di Volpe, has a crust with a notably crispy exterior and a soft interior.

No matter what pizza you order, you can choose to add other delicious toppings for a small fee. For instance, you may order fresh arugula to liven up your dish with a peppery taste. You can also get meats like the fennel sausage that the chefs prepare in-house or the San Daniele prosciutto.

Lou Malnati’s

Lou Malnati’s got its start in 1971 and has been growing strong ever since. There are several locations throughout Chicago, so you can visit a spot on your way home from work or take your family for a bite to eat on the weekend. Customers love Lou Malnati’s quaint atmosphere and friendly staff, but the real appeal lies in the restaurant’s trademarked deep-dish crust. It’s a deliciously buttery crust that’s crispy on the bottom, and the dough holds up even under the weight of many toppings. This is a difficult feat to pull off, but Lou Malnati’s manages it well.

When you visit this restaurant, make The Lou the first thing you order. This signature dish is topped with mushrooms, spinach mix, and sliced Roma tomatoes. The cheese blend consists of cheddar, Romano, and mozzarella. Lou Malnati’s offers all its pizzas in four different sizes that serve one, two, three, and four people. With whatever pizza you order, you’ll always get the perfect amount and never have to worry about leftovers.

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the latter part of your meal at Lou Malnati’s. You can order their signature Chocolate Chip Pizza for dessert, which is prepared in a deep-dish pan. The chefs top it with whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to provide you with a mouth-watering way to end your meal. You can order an individual serving if you want, but you’re better off opting for the full size that serves up to three people.

Craft Pizza

Craft Pizza is another pizza spot that mimics New York-style pizza. All its pizzas have thin crusts that are easy to fold as you eat. The dough goes through the proofing process up to 48 hours before being used for pizza to guarantee its perfect texture and flavor. Craft Pizza’s house pies are available in 14-inch or 18-inch sizes, so you can order the amount you want. If you’re looking for something simple, you can get the Plain Jane pie that’s made with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano.

Some of Craft Pizza’s pies expand on the Plain Jane. For instance, The Wicker Pork is the Plain Jane pie plus onions, fresh pineapple, and Canadian bacon. You can also build your own pizza with the Plain Jane as the base or opt for vegan Daiya cheese if you have dietary restrictions.

In a city known for pizza in all its forms, we know we’re only scratching the surface with this list of top pizza spots. We’d love to hear what you think of our choices. If you have comments or other recommendations for pizza places in Chicago, feel free to reach out to us today, give us a call at (773) 777-2670 or visit our showroom to talk in person.