Best Pizza in Chicago?

Double Chili Cheeseburger
2011/08/28 00:32:57
When I was in Chicago in the Spring, my sister introduced me to Pequod's Pizza.  From what I understand it used to be owned by the legendary Burt Katz and is similar but I can't say as I haven't tried both.  I liked Pequod's but I didn't think it was the best one I had tried.  Sure the edges of the crust are wonderful.  That's because they bake an extra layer of cheese between the edge of the pizza and the pan to create a delicious layer of burned cheese.  However, everything leading up to that part, I  found to be kind of average.  Well, then I read this article on serious eats 
and I knew that I had ordered wrong.  So this time we ordered it with extra cheese and extra sauce and now I have a far and away favorite.  I'll have to try one from Burt's to compare but considering this was so good without having to go through all the steps of pre-ordering and getting there (in fact we just called and had it delivered) it might be hard to talk me into it.
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 02:15:28
What's the difference between "all the steps of pre-ordering" and calling up to have the pizza delivered?  Both involve calling the restaurant beforehand and getting your pizza at an appointed time.  The only difference seems to be the venue in which you eat the pie.  Delivery allows you to stay at home, but you are eating a pizza that is at least 30 minutes removed from the oven it was baked in.  The other option forces you to go to the origin point of the pizza, but, assuming you're on time, provides you with a pie that is at its optimal best; fresh from the oven by seconds, as opposed to the better part of an hour.
I've posted here on Roadfood about the incredibly easy (yet blown out of proportion to almost mythic levels) procedure for ordering a pizza from Burt's.  As I said in that thread, you simply call far enough in advance (usually several hours before he opens is more than enough, although some folks coming in from out of town will call weeks in advance), know what you want when you make the call (his menu is available at, show up on time (about 15 minutes before the pizza is supposed to be out of the oven) with the same number of people you said you were going to come in with when you called, then sit down and enjoy a hot, fresh pizza.
I swear it is just that easy.  Burt even convinced the village to increase the amount of street parking in front of the store, so parking is even easier than before.
Believe me, I am not trying to sell you on coming to Burt's.  I'm just saying, there is no real difference in the "pre-pizza procedure" for delivery or eating in at Burt's other than the actual travel.  Either the pizza comes to you; half an hour old, or you come to the pizza; fresh out of the oven.  Other than that, the phone call is exactly the same.
Hope we'll see you on some future visit to Chicago.  If you need any further tips, you can PM me here at Roadfood and I'll be happy to guide you through the process.  If I'm working the night you are visiting, I will even try to take extra special care of you.
P.S. Burt did indeed start and own Pequod's from 1971 to 1986.  He was also the founder and original owner of another Chicago pizza institution, Gulliver's on Howard Street.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 10:05:32
Sorry, I didn't mean to offend.  Maybe I am still on a cheese high from Pequod's and don't see how anything could top it. But I am convinced now that I must try Burt's on a future visit and that the process will be simple.
Filet Mignon
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 11:25:17
Hey Buddy, We're very likely going to be in Chicagoland the third week of September, we will DEFINITELY show up. Assuming we're there. It's 75% a certainty. Pretty much 100% guaranteed. Almost, anyhow.
Filet Mignon
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 13:42:57
I have eaten at Burt's many times.  I have always found Burt to be easy to work with on the telephone and the process flows very simply.
I liken the process to a reservation calling, you have a table at a specific time, you just add the ordering component.  As I only go to Burt's for pizza, I already know what I am ordering when I call.  It is not like a multi-page menu choices.   That would certainly be more challenging.
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 14:33:46
No offense taken.  I wrote my post after a long, back breaking night at the restaurant, so I was probably in a confrontational mood to begin with.
I'm not obsessed with all the internet and press coverage Burt has gotten in the last few years, but every month or so I do the Google search just to read the buzz, positive or negative.  Regardless of what is said, I never comment on a site where I'm not already a contributing member (here and  I recognize that not everyone will be thrilled with the way Burt runs his shop, and that's fine.  No one is forced to eat there, and believe me, Burt's business will not be hurt by the absence of the few who don't like the process.
What really bugs though is the misinformation coming from posters who try to speak with authority when they actually know nothing about how it really works (not talking about you).  People who try to piece together Burt's history, or why we do things the way we do them, and get it completely wrong.  This is what leads to folks like you having a wrong impression of the business and how we work.
All the pre-ordering and all the other "rules" are based on our unfailing desire to give great pizza and service to as many customers as possible, given the fact that the store only holds 35 people at a time and all the pizzas are hand made by a 71 year old man with a single oven.  By pre-ordering, showing up on time, coming in with the same  number of people you told us about on the phone (not more, not less), etc., we're able to maximize our service.  We're not trying to aggravate people.  Quite the opposite; we want to make the experience run smoothly and comfortably.  All the prep work allows us to put together a carefully worked out timetable that insures a happy experience.
We're very proud of the legacy we left with Pequod's.  If that's your go-to pizza place when you're in Chicago, then enjoy, no argument, no hard feelings.  If you want to experience Burt's Place, we'd love to have you.  If you need help getting through the pre-ordering process, my offer stands.  Just send me a PM and we'll get you going.
Not sure how you're defining the "third week of September" since the month starts mid-week.  Around that time I'll be at Burt's on the 15th, 17th, and the 22nd-24th.  Hope I'll see you one of those days.  My offer of pre-ordering assistance is extended to you as well.  Just send me a PM and I'll help you get started.  Although, as I hinted at upthread, if you can order a pizza over the phone from anywhere else in the country, you can do it at Burt's just as easily.
Filet Mignon
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 17:25:26
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2011/08/28 20:06:28
Bad timing: Burt is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Junior Burger
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2012/07/11 09:23:28
The best rated pizza in Chicago and in the US is Great Lake, but it is not that deep dish pizza glo.Gino's East is the best, hands down. They serve the most delicious Chicago-style deed dish pizza anywhere.
post edited by natasha90 - 2012/07/11 09:32:51
Re:Best Pizza in Chicago? 2012/07/11 09:32:05
Best thin crust.
Vito and Nick's
8433 South Pulaski Road
Open's at 11am
post edited by Birdhunter - 2012/07/11 09:36:58