[Updated August 2016 with additional reporting by Zachary Laks]
Chicago is a pizza lover’s dream. Although the deep dish may be the most renowned pie in these parts, there are plenty of fantastic places to go for your traditional, flatter pizza. Take a look at our list of four spots beloved by locals and try not to get hungry:
This specialist in thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza uses a clean-burning coal oven that's cranked up to 800 degrees. Coalfire pies take only about two minutes to bake, and the result is light, tasty, and easy to devour in seconds. If you’re a purist, go for the margherita, but meat lovers will drool over the possibility of a bite of either the sausage (with crumbles of Italian fennel sausage) or ‘nduja (with Calabrian salami) varieties.
Transport yourself magically to the Puglia region of Italy at Macello’s, which serves Pugliese-style thin crust pizzas straight from a wood-burning oven. Thinner than Neapolitan pizzas, these feature a crispy, golden-brown crust. Try the pizza Macello with burrata, Cerignola olive, and Barese sausage.
Vito & Nick's is the rare joint that survives with its cash-only restriction and no delivery -- but with thin crust pizza this good, there's no need to change a thing. Serving delectable pies in South Side since 1932, this mainstay distinguishes itself from the rest by using cheese from the nearby Mancuso Cheese Company and fennel in the sausage. Yum!
Having studied under the guidance of master pizza chefs in Naples, Nick Nitti arrived certified by the esteemed American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) in Chicago on a mission. Nitti brought his authentic product stateside via his beloved Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana on North Harlem. With business booming, the pizzeria added a second location in 2016 in the West Loop on Randolph Street. At this VPN-certified pizzeria, expect high-quality, fresh ingredients on classic pies offered in a range of red and white sauces. For one of the more unique pizzas, opt for the Mais featuring wood-fired corn on the cob with prosciutto.