Here is my case for naming Bella Bacino’s as the best deep-dish pizza in Chicago:
I will say in advance that I love when someone can take a classic dish and change it a little, elevating the dish while still staying true to its roots. It’s the reason I was so attracted to The Meatyballs Mobile early last year. When I first moved to Chicago, I was hot on the trail of the best deep dish in Chicago, and after the worst experience at Gino’s East, Bella Bacino’s of Lincoln Park stepped in. Claiming to have Chicago’s only “heart-healthy” pizza, they use a normal flour crust and cheese made with skim milk, then stuff the whole thing with tons of spinach and top it off with the best pizza sauce I’ve ever had.
Lots of people will say that Lou Malnati’s is the best, but I disagree for the same reason most agree: the excessively buttery crust. Lou Malnati’s is undeniably good and classic Chicago, but it’s just way too many creamy flavors at once. My ideal dishes are ones where each ingredient has its chance to shine before combining to become a tastier bite. The added texture of all that gooey cheese, firm crust, sweet spinach, and zesty sauce happening individually — then all at once makes this my favorite local chain to get a pie. Not to mention it’s generally easy to get a seat there instead of waiting forever. If you happen to visit the original Bella Bacino’s location off Wabash (75 E. Wacker Drive), make sure you order one of their Bloody Marys. Trust me.