National Pizza Day: New York/Chicago Old School Pizzerias

National Pizza Day is fast approaching and pizzerias across the country will be plenty busy. But what city has the best and best pizza style? Everybody has an opinion on where you can find the best pizza in America. Some say New York, with its thin crust is by far the best. On the other …

National Pizza Day: New York/Chicago Old School Pizzerias Read More »

Slice of thin crusted New York style pizza from one of the best pizzerias in New York

National Pizza Day is fast approaching and pizzerias across the country will be plenty busy. But what city has the best and best pizza style? Everybody has an opinion on where you can find the best pizza in America. Some say New York, with its thin crust is by far the best. On the other hand, many others say the Chicago-style deep dish pizza is superior. Whatever your choice is, most everyone loves a good slice of pizza. Here’s a look at some of the best Chicago or New York old school pizzerias for National Pizza Day! If you can’t be there, you might be able to have it shipped to you!

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Tip: Order online to avoid the wait! Pizzerias will be very busy on National Pizza Day!

Gino’s East

162 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL  60611
(312) 266-3337

When it comes to Chicago’s bests, Gino’s East is always part of the conversation. Family owned since 1966, Gino’s takes pride in its secret dough recipe. That’s to say nothing of its premium quality ingredients, including locally sourced meats. You should opt for favorites like Gino’s Supreme, Meaty Legend or Chicago Fire. You have two Chicago locations but Gino’s East has also expanded to Nashville and Los Angeles.

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Giordano's Pizzeria stuffed deep dish Chicago old school style pizza
Giordano’s Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza (credit: Wikipedia)


730 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL  60611
(312) 951-0747

You won’t have to travel far to find a Giordano’s in Chicago. That’s because there are more than 15 locations. Moreover, if you want a location in the Loop, you still have multiple choices. Featuring an old school family recipe originating over 200 years ago, Giordano’s is famous for its stuffed deep dish pizza. In fact, it’s often regarded as serving Chicago’s Best Pizza. You can make your own pizza or try old school favorites like the Chicago Classic or The Special. There are several Giordano’s pizzerias in Chicago.

Related: My Favorite Guided Tours of Chicago

Lou Malnati’s

6649 Lincoln Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL  60712
(847) 673-0800

Long established and family owned, Lou Malnati’s is another Chicago landmark business. As a matter of fact, Lou Malnatti’s history with deep dish pizza dates to the 1940s. You can visit the original location in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood. However, the South Loop location is the most centralized. On the other hand, you have nearly 60 locations in the Chicago area. You want choices? Try the buttercrusted Deep Dish Malnati, Deep Dish the Lou or Deep Dish Pepperoni.

Related: Five Women & Minority Businesses In Chicago

Pequod’s Pizza

2207 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL  60614
(773) 327-1512

Established in Morton Grove in 1970, Pequod’s is the least familiar pizzeria listed here. Nonetheless, don’t overestimate or ignore their deep dish pizza. To put it another way, Pequod’s clearly ranks among Chicago’s finest. Furthermore, Peduod’s has more options for its pan or thin crust pizzas. On National Pizza Day, try  the Chicago Lunch Special, a 7” pan pizza for just $6.95. Lastly, Peduod’s is so good, many locals say they serve the best pan pizza in Chicago.

Pizzeria Uno Chicago

29 East Ohio ST.
Chicago, IL  60611
(312) 321-1000

Although its Chicago presence has diminished over the years, Pizzeria Uno is a Chicago icon. In fact, it’s often credited as serving the very first Chicago-style deep dish pizza back in 1943. Despite its old school fame, only two locations remain in Chicago. Fortunately, both spots are within one block of each other. You’ll enjoy any selection, but consider the Chicago Classic, Numero Uno or the savory Farmer’s Market.

New York Style Thin Crust Pizza

Slice of Grimaldi's thin crust pizza
Grimaldi’s Pizza (credit: Randy Yagi)

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

One Front St.
New York, NY
(718) 858-4300

Acclaimed for its coal-fired pizza, Grimaldi’s is another landmark pizzeria you must visit. After all, it’s been named the New York’s Best Pizzeria from the likes of Zagat and the Food Network. It even earned the Five Stars Diamond Award four years running. At Grimaldi’s you’ll have several options, like the classic Margherita and Brooklyn Bridge, among others. Due to its popularity, Grimaldi’s has multiple locations across the U.S. In fact, there are four Grimaldi’s pizzerias in Las Vegas and three in Phoenix.

Joe’s Pizza

7 Carmine St.
New York, NY
(212) 366-1182

It’s often said that you haven’t tried New York pizza if you haven’t been to Joe’s. In brief, this “Greenwich Village institution” is known for serving NYC’s most authentic slice. The Greenwich pizzeria opened in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli who immigrated from Naples, Italy. Although there are five NYC locations, stop by the original location. Besides, you might even meet Joe himself, who still works there. On the other hand, the original is also one of his busiest. Among the other locations you can find Joe’s Pizza are in Times Square and near Wall Street,

John’s of Bleeker St.

278 Bleeker St.
New York, NY  10014
(212) 243-1680

Just one look at John’s storefront and you know it exemplifies old school. Look again, and you’ll notice “No Slices” to the left and “Since 1929” on the right. Moreover, you only have two pizza pie size choices and specialties aren’t cheap. Take for example the Jimmy Gambino at $33 for a large and The Fifty at $48. You’ll have to wait in line but most say it’s worth the time and money.


32 Spring St.
New York, NY  10012
(212) 941-7994

You can expect big crowds here on National Pizza Day. After all, Lombardi’s is recognized as America’s very first pizzeria. Opened in 1905, not every New Yorker will say Lombardi’s is among the city’s best. What’s more, it draws more tourists than most other places. On the other hand, its old school, coal-fired pizzas are a New York staple. Either way, do yourself a favor and order in advance. The classics are solid, like the Margherita and the Double Pepperoni.

Tip: Make sure to bring cash as credit cards are not accepted. However, this is an ATM machine onsite. The Spring Street location is one of two Lombardi’s pizzerias in New York.

Totonno’s Pizzeria

1524 Neptune Ave.
Brooklyn NY  11224
(718) 372-8606

A Coney Island landmark since 1924, Totonno’s is both old school and among NYC’s best pizzerias. To clarify, it’s been named the city’s best by the New York Times, Zagat and the James Beard Foundation. What’s more, it was once named the Best Pizza in America by the Food Network. One of the few remaining local coal-fired pizza establishments, Totonno’s specialties include the Margherita, Neapolitan and the Bianca.

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About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additional stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget and He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.