Chicago Pizza in Florida

The history of Chicago pizza is an intriguing tale that starts in the early 20th century and has since become an iconic and beloved style of pizza worldwide. Here's a timeline of the key events in the history of Chicago pizza:

Early Italian-American Influence: In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a wave of Italian immigrants settled in Chicago, bringing with them their culinary traditions, including pizza. These early pizzas were similar to the ones found in Naples, Italy, featuring a thin crust and minimal toppings.

The Birth of Deep-Dish Pizza: The deep-dish pizza, as it is known today, is believed to have originated in the early 1940s. Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, the founders of Pizzeria Uno, are credited with creating this unique style. They wanted to craft a pizza that would stand out from the traditional thin-crust New York-style pizzas. They created a pizza with a high, thick crust, loaded with cheese, tomatoes, and other ingredients placed in reverse order (topping-first).

Pizzeria Uno's Success: When Pizzeria Uno introduced deep-dish pizza, it quickly gained popularity among locals and visitors alike. The rich and hearty nature of the pizza appealed to many, and soon, other pizzerias in Chicago began to adopt and offer their variations of the deep-dish style.

Expansion of Deep-Dish Pizzerias: As the popularity of deep-dish pizza grew, several other pizzerias opened in Chicago, each with its own twist on the original recipe. Some notable establishments, like Lou Malnati's and Giordano's, have become synonymous with Chicago-style pizza.

Pan Pizza vs. Stuffed Pizza: Over the years, the deep-dish style has evolved into two main variants: pan pizza and stuffed pizza. Pan pizza is slightly shallower, with the ingredients placed in the traditional order (crust first). Stuffed pizza features two layers of crust, with the toppings sandwiched in between, creating a deep and hearty pizza experience.

Global Recognition: Chicago-style pizza has gained recognition and popularity beyond the city of Chicago. Today, you can find restaurants across the United States and in various countries offering their take on deep-dish and stuffed pizza.

Culinary Icon: Chicago-style pizza has become a culinary icon, and visitors to the city often make it a priority to try this distinctive dish. It remains a source of pride for Chicagoans and is celebrated as one of the city's signature dishes.

Lou Malnati's: Lou Malnati's Pizzeria was founded by Rudy Malnati Sr. in 1971. However, the Malnati family has a long history in the Chicago pizza scene. Rudy Malnati Sr.'s father, Adolpho "Rudy" Malnati Sr., was a partner in the original Pizzeria Uno alongside Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo when they created the deep-dish pizza style.  They remain a family-owned and operated business, with multiple generations of the Malnati family involved in its operation. This dedication to their family's pizza heritage has helped maintain the quality and authenticity of their pizza over the years.

While the history of Chicago pizza is often associated with deep-dish and stuffed styles, it's important to recognize that the city also offers other fantastic pizza varieties, including thin-crust, tavern-style, and Neapolitan, reflecting the diverse pizza landscape that exists in the Windy City.

Chicago Pizza Restaurants in Florida Sorted by City Population
Deep Dish and Tavern Pizza in Jacksonville, FL
  • Rosati's - both deep dish and tavern style.  
  • Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom - specializing in meat lovers pizza.
  • Carmine's Pie House - offering both NY style and Chicago Stuffed Pizza.
  • Ale Pie House - 15 Varieties of Chicago Style Pie
  • Mama's Pizza
  • Moon Dog Pie House - Chicago deep, beer n wine till 9:30 on weekends.
Chicago Bar Pie and Stuffed Pizza in Miami, FL
  • Manhattan Chicago Pizza - some of the thickest Windy City style pizzas in the country as well as some of the thinnest NY cheese pizza around.  The locals love it!
  • Capone's Flicker Light Cafe in Hollywood, FL - Legendary local bar!
  • Square Pie City - promoted as Detroit Style Pizza but some claim it as Chi-Town Pie!
Tampa Florida Chicago Pizza Joints
  • Cappy's Pizzeria
  • Due Amici
  • Grimaldi's
  • Tampa Pizza Company
  • Chicago Paulie's - Alternative Mention! Dogs and Chicago Beef (NOT PIZZA)
Big Shoulders Pie in Orlando, FL
  • Giordano's
  • Pizzeria UNO
  • Brad's Underground
Chicago and Deep Dish Style Pizza Locations in Cape Coral
  • Chicago Pizza - yes thats the name!
  • East of Chicago Pizza
  • Stevie Tomato's Sport's Page
Second City Pizza Ristoranti in Fort Lauderdale
  • Chicago Stuffed Pizza Company
  • Sarpinos
  • Jets Pizza - Detroit and Chicago style football / tavern pizza
Chicago Pizza in Southwest Florida
  • Chicago Pizza Outfit - Cape Coral
  • Rosati's Naples
  • The Crust Pizza - Naples
  • Capone's Coal Fired - Fort Myers
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