Definition: Our neighbors to the North created this signature style all the way back in the ‘40s. Coming in a few distinct variations, the main key is that the pie is cooked in a deep dish. Some may do it with the ingredients on the inside (stuffed); others keep the ingredients on top for all the world to “ooh” and “aah” at. Naysayers will claim you can’t get a good Chicago-style pizza outside of the Windy City, but here we have empirical evidence that this claim is false.
The Ale’s claim to fame is their wings — and for good reason. They’re freaking phenomenal. But, if you don’t get one of their deep dish pizzas at least every third time you’re there you’re doing yourself an injustice. As with all deep dish pizzas, don’t be in any hurry, it’s going to take a while to get it baked to perfection. Don’t mind the long wait time, it’s worth it in the end. Plus, the longer it takes to come out means the more time you get to order from Ale Emporium’s impressive list of beers.
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New Bethel Ordinary
So, this isn’t your typical Chicago-style fare. In fact, I’ve never seen another pizza like it. But, it’s definitely deep dish and stuffed, and at the end of the day, it’s one of the best pizzas you’ll ever have. The Ordinary is out in Wanamaker, so kind of off the beaten path, but if you’re ever in the mood for truly original pizza that is anything but ordinary, this joint is well worth the trip. The fact that it’s one of the few places to get a pig’s brain sandwich and Rocky Mountain oysters — bull or sheep testicles, for those of you who aren’t addicted to Chopped — is just an added bonus for any adventurous eaters out there.
South of Chicago
If you’re looking for the most traditional Chicago-style pizza in Indy, you’ve come to the right place. This Fletcher Place hang is owned by some Chicago transplants and they do everything as close as it gets to Chi-town as possible. Deep dish? Check. Tons of mozzarella? Check. Sauce on top? Check. Beer? You guessed, it. This is the real deal and a good place to catch Da Bears and chat about Dit-ka and dat time ya went to da cross town classic and da Cubs lost.
Fletcher Place, Greenwood, Fishers, Noblesville
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this place, but if you have, it was most likely regarding the deep dish pizza. Tucked away in a small strip mall not too far from the Fashion Mall, Stout House looks exactly like a place where you would find the best pizza in Chicago. It’s unassuming, with a few pool tables and mostly regulars at the bar drinking domestics. It’s what we like to call a hidden gem ... but with pizza this good, it won’t stay hidden forever.
It’s an English-style pub and soccer bar on the Broad Ripple strip. While many English pubs are known for their fish and chips and bangers and mash — that’s a lot of ‘ands’ — Union Jack has perfected their deep dish pizza. They also offer New York style pizza, but while the hell would you go for that when their deep dish is award-winning. Get the “meat head” and prepare yourself for a meat- and cheese-filled meal for the ages. Oh, and wash it down with a local pint or two. They always have plenty on tap.
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Definition: It’s a style that you rarely see in restaurants and are more likely to come across when your friend invites you over for grilling out. Grilled pizza has a distinctive flavor, similar to wood-fired, but with crispier, thinner crust.
Byrne’s Grilled Pizza
Our only grilled pizza spot was a food truck for a long time, but recently it got its brick and mortar space. It is quickly making a name for itself with those who lean toward a thin-crust pizza (a rarity in this neck of the woods). The slices are crispy and the toppings a-plenty. And an added bonus: it’s inexpensive.
Definition: If you’re from here, this is most likely the style you grew up eating — as if the name didn’t make that obvious. There’s a good chance that you will recognize all the names of the toppings; the crust isn’t really thick, nor is it super thin. It may be a little greasy (but don’t dab it off with a napkin, that just ain’t right), the cheese will be stringy and the best part is it tastes damn good, especially when watching ‘80s and ‘90s films.
If you’re anything like me, the cups in your dorm room or college apartment consisted entirely of HotBox’s plastic cups from all of the times you’ve ordered pizza and a Coke to save you when you’re too blitzed to drive and suffering from the drunchies. What you may not realize is that HotBox is a local chain and they don’t try to do anything but make good, easy pizza. The best way to get some HotBox is with The Deal, a large one-topping pizza, breadsticks and two sodas for $16.99. That ladies and gents, is a deal. P.S.; if you haven’t had their Dragon’s Breath, the official pizza for Gen Con this year, well, then you need to call and order some right now. It’s not on the menu, but hopefully they’ll still make it.
WB makes a mighty fine pie for eaters of all culinary persuasions. They offer options for those of us that love meat, like the Grant Park or The All Meat (it’s literally all the meat), but they have the awesome addition of many vegetarian and even vegan offerings with plenty of fresh, veg-friendly toppings. While this is all about pizza, and they do pizza well, I, much like Ben Wyatt, would suggest getting a calzone and coating it in their vegan garlic butter.