There are few things that Chicagoans feel more passionately about than pizza. Most have strong opinions about whether thin crust or deep-dish takes the crown, which ingredients are essential, and who makes the best pie in town.
And in Chicago, there are as many destinations for pizza as there are individual preferences. Each of the city's seventy-seven neighborhoods is home to numerous go-to spots, featuring many styles and specialties. With so many pizzerias, it would seem impossible to determine the best of the best.
Enter renowned Chicago-based food journalist Steve Dolinsky! In Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago Is America's Greatest Pizza Town, Dolinsky embarks on a pizza quest, methodically testing more than a hundred different pizzas in Chicagoland. Zestfully written and thoroughly researched, Pizza City, USA is a hunger–inducing testament to Dolinsky's passion for great, unpretentious food.
This user-friendly guide is smartly organized by location, and by the varieties served by the city's proud pizzaioli–including thin, artisan, Neapolitan, deep-dish and pan, stuffed, Sicilian, Roman, and Detroit-style, as well as by-the-slice. Pizza City also includes Dolinsky's "Top 5 Pizzas" in several categories, a glossary of Chicago pizza terms, and maps and photos to steer devoted foodies and newcomers alike.
About the Author
is a Chicago-based food reporter. He appears regularly on Chicago's WLS-TV as "the Hungry Hound" and is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's daily program The World
. He is also a regular feature writer for the Chicago Tribune
and Canada's Globe and Mail
, has won thirteen James Beard Awards, and cohosts The Feed Podcast with celebrity chef Rick Bayless.
GRANT ACHATZ is one of the best-known chefs in the world. He has been named Best Chef in the United States by the James Beard Foundation, honored by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and has lectured on gastronomy and design at conferences and universities around the world. His three–Michelin star restaurant, Alinea, has been named the Best Restaurant in the World by Elite Traveler magazine.
“There is no more mouthwatering, more well researched, more authoritative book on pizza than Steve Dolinsky’s Pizza City, USA. Even if you want to pick a fight with him, you have to admit one thing: his methodology and arguments are rock-solid. The guy knows pizza like no one else and is damn convincing as he takes you on his exploration of a hundred plus pizzerias, ultimately crowning Chicago our nation’s Pizza City. It’s a book I keep by my back door, easy to grab when I’m headed out for a good dinner.” —Rick Bayless
"Chicago pizza is always a popular topic, but no one has ever done a deep dive like this into it. From old school to modern pies, Dolinsky defines the many forms Chicago pizza takes today—and eats his way through the city to establish a pizza pantheon for our time." —Michael Gebert, editor of Fooditor
"Pizza City, USA delves deep into the pizza culture celebrating one of the most flavorful and popular styles in the world, Chicago. I don't know of another book that has rated neighborhood pizzerias and restaurants on this level." —Tony Gemignani, 12-Time World Pizza Champion and author of The Pizza Bible
"Exhaustively researched and refreshingly candid and honest, this book is the most compelling argument for why Chicago's pizza scene is the best in the nation. Dolinsky's passion is palpable, his research intensive, and his appetite seemingly endless. Don't read on an empty stomach." —Matt Kirouac, author of Unique Eats and Eateries of Chicago
"Finally! Someone has stood up to say what we dedicated pizzologists have known all along—Chicago is more than just deep-dish, dammit! Intrepid food-hound Dolinsky is just the guy to take up the mantle of spreading the word about this town's pizza diversity." —Chris LaMorte, food and travel writer and founder of Urbandaddy.com
"Pizza City, USA gives you the full Monty of delicious Windy City pizza diversity. Deep-dish is just the tip of the Willis Tower." —Chris Bianco, chef and owner, Pizzeria Bianco, Bar Bianco, Pane Bianco, Tratto and author of Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like
"One of the nice things about being a food person in Chicago is that Steve Dolinsky does the legwork for us, in this case, diligently hitting bars, restaurants, and slice joints in every corner of the city and suburbs to find the best crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings. I was compelled to go out for pizza twice while reading this book, and will continue to use it as my guide for finding the best 'cheese lava' in Chicago." —Chandra Ram, editor of Plate magazine and co-author of Korean BBQ
"I wish I could eat this book. Pizza City USA provides irrefutable evidence of why Steve is one of the best in the business. Honest and not afraid to question conventional wisdom, Dolinsky provides unmatched expertise topped with a layer of detail that lets the reader almost feel the sauce and cheese oozing from every page. If you thought you knew everything about Chicago pizza, think again. Caution: may cause pizza craving." —Jay Gentile, freelance food & drink/travel writer for Thrillist and the Chicago Tribune
"As a born and bred New Yorker, I've immediately dismissed arguments that don't leave my hometown on top for 'the best pizza, anywhere.' But Steve Dolinsky is on to something with Pizza City, USA a lively gallimaufry of Chicagoland’s finest pies. His definitive recommendations provide enough fodder to end one of the greatest food arguments in history, and start new ones all at the same time! Filled with reliable and insanely useful food writing, Pizza City, USA also exposes the mythology behind the deep dish casseroles—strongly identified with his hometown—that pretend to be pizza. This passionately reasoned treatise left me drooling, and planning my next trip to Chicago." —Andrew Zimmern, Host, “Bizarre Foods” on Travel Channel
"Steve Dolinsky digs into the Chicago pizza scene with the rigor of a scientist and the insatiable appetite of a true obsessive." —Julia Kramer, deputy editor, Bon Appétit
“I tremendously admire Steve Dolinsky’s relentless pursuit of truth in food, even if it’s something as humble as pepperoni.” —Alan Richman, former Food Critic, GQ, 15-time James Beard Award-winner