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All About the Square-Cut

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As a lifetime Chicagoan with as much love for this city, as disdain, it's become difficult to differentiate between old and new Chicago. Jon Stewart's far from laconic rant about "Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza" inspired some questions.

Did our cities global recognition and marketing tactics of the '80s and '90s overshadow what Chicago has manifested into? We're still commonly perceived as "The Blues Brothers," "Super Fans," Blues aficionado's, Capone disciples, hot dog snobs, or Deep-Dish addicts of the midwest; but the truth is that we've out grown most of those stereotypes. Perhaps these changes were a result of Blues Brother 2000 being released, or Eric Clapton's rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago" being played at most of our city events. At any rate, for better or for worse, we've evolved into a new city and Chicago-Style Deep-Dish just hasn't kept up with our changes.

Deep-Dish pizza is a tourists long-awaited first bite, a city transplants new love, yet consistently a Chicagoans last option. Although just as delicious, many Deep-Dish experiences result in a post Deep-Dish coma. This type of coma requires an after dining recovery period, similar to digesting too much lasagna. In truth, this post meal recovery is no longer conducive to big city-living.

Chicago has been a neighborhood based thin-crust-square-cut-pizza city since I can remember. Deep-Dish is just a tourist trap that Stewart happened to fall victim to. Unlike many cities, Chicago has a vast array of pizza options but the secret lies within our neighborhoods and getting as far away from the downtown area as possible. With the help of many Chicagoans, we've compiled our favorite thin-crust pizza options for Jon Stewart to try on his next visit.

La Villa
Listed by many of the Chicagoans as their favorite thin-crust pizza - La Villa stands alone as one of the best thin-crust pizza options in the city.

Beggars
Roscoe Village resident Melissa Lopez claimed, "Beggars is the best of both worlds. It's the illusion of the thin-crust but the heavy-handed cheese, sauce, and toppings make it fork and knife worthy."

Pete's Pizza
Jeremy Leven the head-chef of Tuesday Night Dinner stated, "Pete's, Giordano's, and Piece in that order. Square pieces all the way! F#&% Jon Stewart!"

Marie's Pizzeria
"My favorite thin crust joint is on Chicago's north side, Marie's Pizza. It's thin as a cracker, with a snap. Marie's is also a tap room, which means it's a liquor store attached, along with a great retro bar with red vinyl booths that create an awesome atmosphere." - Miss Alex White of White Mystery

Bricks
This deceptively gourmet brick oven thin-crust pizza can't be replicated.

Salerno's
"No deep dish, just pan and thin crust. I am addicted and it has been the cause of my weight gain for the last 3 years...or marriage and fatherhood. Not sure about that." - Donnie Biggins of Harmonica Dunn

Vito and Nick's
Michael O'Connell, a life-long South Sider claimed, "Vito and Nick's is the best thin crust in Chicago. PERIOD."

Other great thin-crust options...
Dante's
Art of Pizza
Pat's
D'Agostino's
Rocco Ranalli's