There were two big reasons why I wanted to visit Chicago on my recent trip to North America:
Chicago Pizza Tours were exactly what I was looking for and they had excellent reviews. It was a match made in heaven.
Original Chicago Pizza Tour
I chose their original pizza tour (they also do one paired with cocktails) which is a daytime bus guided tour around to some of the most significant pizzerias in Chicago.
There were five different styles of pizza to try in four neighbourhoods; naturally, I didn’t have breakfast.
Our meeting point and first tasting of the day was downtown at Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta. It is claimed to be the best pizza in Chicago and even the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton say it’s their favourite.
The thin crusts were one mushroom, one pepperoni and they were both outstanding and full of flavour.
The deep-dish was sausage and the toppings and mozzarella cheese were absolutely delicious, but I definitely preferred the thin crusts. I’m not a crust fan personally, and I found the deep-dish to be a bit too thick and crunchy.
Great start to the tour though and we went back upstairs where outside our own personal minibus and driver Jonathan was waiting.
We all fitted comfortably onboard and were off to our next destination.
We drove south to Flo & Santos, a Polish-Italian restaurant, pub and pizzeria. As we found out, Chicago is the biggest Polish-speaking city in the world outside of Warsaw.
There was a really cool casual and industrial style setting inside and we sat at long tables. With some great local beers on tap, we had the option of ordering a beverage if we pleased. (Every stop also always came with plenty of water).
While our pizzas were being prepared we learned the history of how pizza came to be so popular in the United States (they eat 60% of the world’s pizza!).
Here we got to try three types of thin crust. The first was Polish sausage which was my favourite, it was so tasty!
The second one was Italian beef, which was also very good. The flavours of both were incredible and (spoiler alert) they ended up being my top picks of the day.
Third, we were very spoiled and got to try their special dessert Smores pizza. It was very indulgent and nice to mix things up and have something sweet.
Next up we had a 25-minute drive north to Lincoln Park which was perfect to digest a little.
We drove by the scenic Lake Michigan and Danny pointed out some popular spots and destinations to visit along the way.
We arrived at Pequod’s Pizza, a very popular joint that was full of people. Luckily we always had a reserved table for us!
Here we were trying the biggest slice of the day and one that they are famous for – their deep-dish sausage and pepperoni. They were even named 2018’s Best deep dish pizza in Chicago.
We were told the crust handle looks burnt but it’s not, and it’s the best part of the pizza – so we had to try it! The slice was absolutely enormous.
Their interior was trendy and modern, with an open kitchen to view into.
We had a choice of choosing either their White or Lasagna pizza, I chose the latter. I still photographed both as boy, they were beautiful.
I particularly liked how thin the crust was – it was so nice and light. The topping flavours combined on the Lasagna pizza was perfection and I loved the creamy whipped ricotta on top.
I was officially full to the brim with pizza after that one! After a quick drive back we were dropped off downtown where our first stop was.
Everyone was very happy and satisfied after an excellent afternoon of eating some of the very best pizza Chicago has to offer.
The tour: Original Chicago Pizza Tour
Time: Starts at 11 am and goes for 3.5 hours
Price: $60 USD for an adult, $36 for a child
Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 285 reviews on Trip Advisor
If you are a pizza fan then this tour is unmissable. It was a truly fantastic way to discover the best pizza spots in town.
What separates Chicago Pizza Tours from the rest is that they don’t just stay downtown – we got to explore the best from different unique neighbourhoods all over the city.
I loved the variety of places we went to at authentic local businesses with stark differences between each pizza styles.
What made the tour all the more special was our wonderful guide Danny, he was such a fantastic and friendly guide and I learnt so much from him that day.
He is a local Chicagoan and has a wealth of knowledge to share. He has been doing this tour for five years and is very passionate about his pizza!
He also gave us plenty of recommendations for other great pizza joints and popular Chicagoan food to try and top things to do.
This tour is perfect for all types of travellers, whether with family, friends or solo (like me) or it would even be a great way for locals to show off their city’s best pizza to visitors.
They can cater for allergies and vegetarians, you just have to let them know in advance.
It’s excellent value for money; with very generous servings of delicious pizza – you don’t even need to eat anything else that day (and I recommend wearing your stretchy pants!).
As a first time visitor to the city I really appreciated getting out from the centre and seeing more of Chicago.
It was a very enjoyable experience and I couldn’t recommend this tour enough to all the great pizza lovers of the world out there – it will blow your mind!
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