Delicious! Celebrate Deep Dish Pizza Day #AtoZChallenge

ChicagoAs in years past, this month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. 2016 marks my fifth anniversary, so to celebrate, I’m hosting Friday Blog-Ins here in San Diego; you can find out more info about where we’re meeting each week on my A to Z Challenge page.

My monthly theme is Chicago From A to Z, so stay tuned from Monday to Saturday for new posts on the Windy City. Or sign up for my mailing list (delivered weekly, on Fridays) so you don’t miss a thing!

Guess what? Today’s post is perfectly timed, because April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day!

Deep dish pizza is considered a Chicago original. It’s so strongly identified with the city that most people simply refer to the high-rise pie as “Chicago style pizza.”

There is some dispute over the origins of the deep dish pizza, but it’s generally agreed* that Pizzeria Uno invented it, at some point, and that many others have perfected it throughout the years.

Love it or hate it, this peculiar pizza has come to represent the city. The Chicago Tribune has described the specialty as “pizza thick as a sewer lid and almost as heavy.” Anthony Bourdain has dismissed it as “an abomination,” and Jon Stewart famously ranted about the pizza, referring to it as “an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats.”

* Note that I say “generally agreed,” because there is pretty much no agreement between Chicagoans when it comes to a topic as serious as their pizza. If you don’t believe me, go check out Noon & Wilder’s post about what happens when you ask three Chicago peeps to tell you which deep dish pizza is the city’s best!

New Yorkers despise deep dish

We might be able to chalk those last two comments up to New York’s pizza envy.

But then again, there is something to be said for a nice, cheap slice. After all, you can step into any NYC pizzeria and get a freshly made thin crust slice to go in a matter of minutes, while deep dish pizza involves planning ahead and a minimum of an hour’s wait before you can enjoy your pie.

Another drawback: deep dish requires utensils. This is definitely a sit-down pizza. Take it to go at your peril.

The joys of deep dish

That being said, I have received deep dish pizzas as Christmas presents from my Chicago aunt and uncle for the past two years, and I’ve really enjoyed literally getting a slice of the city delivered straight to my kitchen. There’s something nostalgic and comforting about firing up the oven on a cold California night, popping in a deep-dish pizza, salivating for an hour over the smell of it baking, and finally bringing the resulting pizza to your mouth for a bite of home. Yum!

"Deep dish pizza so gooood." image via Flickr user Dennis M
“Deep dish pizza so gooood.” image via Flickr user Dennis M

Try a deep dish!

If you love pizza, you have to try deep dish at least once in your life. Here are some Chicago originals that deliver throughout the U.S. (apologies to my international readers, but these pizzas are heavy and require dry ice for shipment, which are the most likely reasons why you can’t get one delivered to your door):

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And here’s a list of San Diego resources, for locals looking to give a fresh (not frozen & shipped from Chicago) deep dish pizza a whirl:

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Additional Resources

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Giveaway: San Diego from A to Z

Want to read the book I wrote last April, based on my A to Z posts about San Diego? I’m giving away two paperback copies of San Diego From A to Z over at Goodreads, so click here and enter to win! AND I’m giving away one free ebook copy every day until the end of April to a random commenter here on the blog. Leave a comment every day for another chance to win!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

San Diego from A to Z by Laura Roberts

San Diego from A to Z

by Laura Roberts

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


  • JazzFeathers

    I ate the Chicago Style Pizza when I visited Boston. And I liked it… but I have to tell you, no Italian would consider that a pizza. We would call it ‘pie’ ;-)

  • Molly

    I lived in NYC when the first Pizzeria Uno opened there in the early 80s, and I fell in love at first bite.

    I am passionate about pizza, but I don’t consider myself a pizza snob. I eat thin crust, thick crust, pan or flatbread :)

    • Laura Roberts

      My general preference is actually for thin crust, but it’s kinda like that old saying: there’s no such thing as bad pizza. (Although yeah, sometimes there really is…)

    • Laura Roberts

      If you’re ever in Chicago, I would recommend it! Chicago is also well known for its Polish foods, though, so I’d be curious about your take on those. I’m planning a Polish influenced post coming up, so you can tell me whether they’re authentic or not. :D

  • A. Catherine Noon

    Thank you for the shout-out, Laura!

    Wow, an above-ground swimming pool for rats? Vivid imagery, but yuck! :) And a sewer lid? These people have no understanding of the gustatory pleasures associated with a truly fine sausage deep dish pizza. What does Jon Stewart know? Isn’t he from New York? Where they fold their pizza like a bill and shove it in their mouths? ~grin~

    See? Pizza wars. It’s the new black.

    I didn’t realize Uno’s invented the style. That’s cool to know! I hate to admit this out in front of the clouds and everybody, but I’ve never actually gotten down to Uno’s. (The original one; I avoid the chain mall versions like the plague.) The parking down there is abominable. But I need to do it one of these days and set the debate to rest: Malnati’s or Uno’s? :)

    Happy blogging! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow! Wish I was in SD for the blog-in; I hope you have a ton of fun!

    • Laura Roberts

      I know! And anyway, whose city is known for Pizza Rat? Not Chicago, that’s for sure. ;D

      The blog-in should be much more fun this week, when we meet at a place that actually has wifi!

    • Laura Roberts

      Definitely a disaster! Have you ever tried Sicilian-style pizza? As far as I understand it, this one never has cheese on it, just a (square) crust, sauce, and perhaps the occasional dot of pesto. Wikipedia suggests otherwise, but I suspect it depends on the pizzeria in question; I have definitely had some in NYC that had no cheese, and the crust is more like a thick piece of focaccia bread. Yum!