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Epic Pies

From deep dish to thin crust, it’s no secret that we Chicagoans love our pizza. And with October being National Pizza Month, we can’t think of a better time to visit one of our city’s many restaurants serving up pies featuring ingredients ranging from the traditional to the inventive. Here are some of our recommendations for where to get an authentic slice of Chicago.

Giordano's

1. Giordano's
This Chicago institution, opened by two brothers on the city’s South Side in 1974, now boasts 13 locations in the city and a 200-year-old family recipe. Our favorite? The Chicago Classic ($21 and up), a mouthwatering medley of pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions served on a buttery crust. Consider us stuffed! giordanos.com

2. Coalfire
This West Loop hot spot puts an American spin on traditional Neapolitan pizza—think a super-thin, lightly charred crust—courtesy of a coal-fired oven that reaches 800 degrees. Ingredients echo Coalfire’s Italian roots and are prepared fresh every day. We’re still dreaming of the Fiorentino ($16.50), a satisfying mix of fresh mozzarella, soppressata salami and red peppers. 1321 W. Grand Ave., 312.226.2626, coalfirechicago.com

3. Lou Malnati’s
Another Chicago classic, Lou Malnati’s has grown into a pizza empire with more than 30 locations. And while there’s thin crust on the menu, we’ll be having The Lou, a hearty pie filled with spinach, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes and three types of cheeses. Eating gluten free? There’s also a “crustless” pizza with a sausage base and your choice of toppings. loumalnatis.com

4. Pizano’s
Pizano’s has been Chicago’s go-to for thin crust pizza since 1991, winning numerous accolades and even praise from Oprah herself. Toppings may skew toward the traditional, but every pie comes with the crispy edges that deliver the satisfying crunch thin crust devotees crave. And speaking of cravings: Many Pizano’s locations are open until 2AM or later, much to the relief of hungry night owls. pizanoschicago.com

5. Union Pizzeria
Looking for a pizza spot without the tourists? Head north to Evanston and snag a table at Union, where the pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven and the menu includes many unique pies, such as the duck salami (topped with béchamel sauce, peach agrodolce, mozzarella and scallions, $16) and the puttanesca (served with anchovies, caramelized onion, capers and Gaeta olives, $13). A perfect union, indeed! 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847.475.2400, unionevanston.com

Honorable Mention: Santullo’s Eatery
It’s the eternal pizza debate: deep dish vs. New York style. And while we love our Chicago deep dish, we know good pizza when we taste it. Santullo’s serves both classic favorites and a rotating list of daily specialties, all available by the slice ($4) or as a 20-inch pie ($19.50-$28). You’ll spot us there on Sundays, enjoying a slice (or two) of the Double Wide, an unbeatable combination of horseradish and red sauces topped with roast beef, Italian sausage, caramelized onions and green peppers. 1943 W. North Ave., 773.227.7960, santullos.com