When most people think of “Chicago” and “Pizza,” they probably think of deep-dish pizza – hearty and filling, with a flaky buttery crust. However, there is Chicago thin-crust pizza. Visitors and tourists may not be familiar with this style of pizza, but the locals crave it. So what is Chicago-style pizza? What makes it different from other thick or thin pizzas? And why is Rosati’s Downtown or The Loop the best place to grab a bite?  Let’s dive into Chicago thin-crust pizza and where the best thin-crust pizza in Chicago can be found. Your mouth might be watering by the time you finish the article. 

chicago thin crust pizza

A Brief History of Chicago Pizza 

Pizza made its way to the United States by the turn of the twentieth century and it became a national phenomenon. The first pizza chains included Pizza Hut (1958) and Domino’s (1960). Pizza has a rich history across America, but cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, with their Italian-American communities, were early adopters of one of America’s most popular foods. 

Modern pizza is reputed to have started in Naples in 1889 when Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita.” Immigrants arriving in the United States brought their traditional pizza recipes with them, eventually evolving into thick and thin pizza styles, including the traditional New York Slice and the Chicago Thin Crust. Lombardi’s in NYC opened in 1905 and is generally considered the first pizzeria in the United States. What is Chicago-style pizza? It’s usually thought to be deep-dish. Throughout the early twentieth century, pizza continued to evolve and when the first Pizzeria Uno opened in 1943, it started offering a new style of pizza that became known as deep-dish – often affiliated with Chicago. 

thick and thin pizza

Thin Crust Pizza in Chicago 

What is Chicago-style pizza? While deep-dish pizza is usually associated with Chicago, there are thick and thin pizza styles in Chicago. Chicago thin-crust pizza has a different history than deep dish. When prohibition ended in 1933, taverns once again became a (legal) social gathering place, especially among the working class in cities like Chicago. Enticing patrons to stick around longer and spend more money, taverns began selling pizza as a snack. Tavern owners were not bakers by trade and did not have the obligation or the desire to continue traditions of tossing dough. They opted to roll the dough, objectively making the process quicker and easier and resulting in a thinner and crispier crust. 

Similar to the popular deep-dish Chicago-style pizza, the best thin-crust pizzas in Chicago place toppings underneath the cheese. While pizza toppings can take up an entire menu page, tavern-style pizza tends to keep it simple. Chicago thin-crust pizza is often cut into small, bite-sized squares, sometimes referred to as “party cut,” designed for sharing in a social setting.

Rosati’s Chicago Thin Crust Pizza

Chicago thin-crust pizza is an iconic part of Chicago cuisine, and Rosati’s Pizza is a Chicago institution. If you’re craving thick and thin pizza, a classic deep dish, or something else on the menu, Rosati’s is the place to go. Create your own classic tavern-style pizza with your favorite toppings, or choose one of our specialty pizzas. 

  • The Fabulous Four includes gourmet Italian sausage, mushroom, onion and green pepper.
  • Our classic White Pizza is made with olive oil, fresh garlic and sauteed spinach with tomato on top.
  • The Windy City is a Rosati’s special topped with gourmet Italian sausage, fresh garlic, onion and Rosati’s hot giardiniera.
  • Since pineapple can belong on pizza, we have The Hawaiian, with a blend of Rosati’s pizza and BBQ  sauces, topped with Canadian bacon and pineapple.
  • For our vegetarian friends, there is The Veggie, topped with mushroom, onion, and green pepper with tomatoes on top.
  • For meat lovers, we offer the Meat Mania: gourmet Italian sausage, meatballs, and pepperoni with bacon on top.
  • The Classic Combo is a classic for a reason: gourmet Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, green pepper, and black olives. 
  • Finally, one of the top pizzas in Chicago, the Rosati’s Monster: gourmet Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, green pepper, Canadian bacon, meatball, black and green olives, with tomato and bacon on top. 
best thin crust pizza chicago

Rosati’s Downtown, The Best Thin Crust

Rosatis blends quality ingredients, customer service, family tradition, and convenience to bring you the best thin-crust pizza in Chicago and the best pizza experience. Our Downtown location is open earlier in the day and until the wee hours of the morning, ready to provide a mid-morning or a late-night snack. 

Rosati’s Pizza of Chicago is a name associated with quality food, quality service, fair prices, and plenty of options. We choose quality ingredients: dough made from a unique blend of flour harvested from high-protein wheat grown exclusively in the Midwest; Chicago-style signature sauce made from a recipe dating back generations; cheese, tomatoes, vegetables, and toppings all grown and harvested with care and delivered fresh daily.  When you want to eat like a local and enjoy Chicago thin-crust pizza, Rosati’s is the best option. 

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