Megan McNear

Megan McNear is the AAPS senior public outreach specialist and a Chicago native.

Immediately after last year’s annual meeting in Washington D.C., planning began for the 2012 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition in Chicago. Because of my vocal nature regarding the love of my hometown, most of my colleagues knew I was from Chicago and the requests for best local pizza joints started streaming in. Some colleagues wanted to host their departmental dinners, some wanted to bring meeting attendees, and others just wanted to experience Chicago-style pizza for themselves.Chicago-style pizza

For those of you who are not familiar with the nuances of Chicago pizza, I am happy to explain. Chicago-style pizza was invented in 1943 at Pizzeria Uno, but some assert that the recipe itself actually came from Chef Rudy Malnati. “Chicago-style” pizza or pie usually refers to a deep-dish pizza. Generally it has a thick crust, a large portion of cheese mounted on top of the crust, and it’s topped off by a chunky tomato sauce. This is not a meal for a light eater. You should definitely go with an empty stomach and be ready to eat!

So here are my recommendations on the best pizza in the city. (Disclaimer: Although I grew up in the Chicago-land area and love my city, my taste buds prefer thin crust, so I have provided both, in no particular order.)

Deep Dish

Lou Malnati’s (Trivia: Yes, the names are from the same family line. Rudy Malnati’s son opened this restaurant, which is now a chain ran by his grandsons)

Giordano’s (Trivia: Despite its name, Giordano’s was owned by Rudy Malnati, Jr.)

Gino East

Thin Crust

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

Rosati’s Pizza


Pizzeria Uno



Despite everyone’s busy schedules, I hope you have the chance to visit and experience a Chicago-style pie. If you see me at the meeting, I would love to hear what you think and where you went!