Chicago Deep Dish Is Yelp's Top Pizza Of 2024

Pequod's Pizza in Chicago snagged the number-one spot among Yelp Elite rankings.

If there's anything people love arguing about online, it's pizza. Expect more barbs to fly on the internet any minute now, because Yelp has released its top 100 pizzerias in the U.S., as determined by Yelp Elites (the site's exclusive team of super-users). The very top pizza joint on the list features a style near and dear to Chicago's heart, but it's one that the rest of the country loves arguing over endlessly. Yup, it's deep dish.

The rankings comprise the all-time list of the Top Pizza Spots in the US according to Yelp Elites. Yelp compiled the list by taking every certifiable pizza joint with a passing health score that's currently open, then weighing the total volume of reviews and the number of 5-star reviews from Elites. By all metrics, Pequod's Pizza in Chicago sits at the very top of the list.

Yelp’s favorite pizzeria was featured on The Bear

Pequod's Pizza is a Chicago institution opened in 1970 by pizza maker Burt Katz. It features a type of deep dish baked in a pan, but what's particularly unique about is its crust: As it bakes, cheese caramelizes around its edges, lending it a dark color and caramelized flavor (not unlike a Detroit-style pizza).

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Detractors might say that the cheese looks burnt, but Yelp users (along with myself) wholeheartedly reject that notion. Baking cheese to that color gets it extra crisp and deeply savory, both of which are great elements to bring to a pizza.

If you want to see how the pizza is made at Pequod's, Bon Appétit posted a video of the process on YouTube last year, which outlines the labor involved in its assembly. The video also offers a good glimpse of that coveted cheese ring along the outer edge of the pie (skip to 15:35 for a nice shot of it).

Pequod's is beloved by Chicagoans and tourists alike. Thanks in part to its old-school Chicago feel, it's gotten big mentions on TV, most recently in Hulu's hit show The Bear, whose third season airs this June. As for its first-place ranking on Yelp's pizza list, Yelp Elite users agree that it's worth the 45-minute wait after you order one, and one of the most popular orders is a sausage pan pizza.

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Most Chicagoans favor a different style of pizza

One thing I'll tell the uninitiated is that deep dish pizza is as hearty as you'd imagine. I usually tap out after two slices of Pequod's, but that's part of its appeal—this massive pizza inspires cartoonish joy. If you ask any Chicagoan what their preferred style of Chicago-style pizza is, however, they'll most likely tell you it's our thin crust, aka the kind that's cut into squares.

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We know there are plenty of deep dish haters out there, but that's fine; it just means there's more deep dish for us, and maybe a shorter wait at Pequod's. It's flavorful, greasy, and a pure exercise in indulgence, but we're Midwestern eaters and don't flinch at a challenge. Say whatever you want, but whatever you do, just don't call it a casserole.

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