Deep Dish Pizza: Chicago vs. Tampa

Is Tampa Deep Pizza as good as the real pies you find in Chicago? I was finally able to find out. The heated debate over whether deep-dish pizza is really pizza is biased. If you’re from New York, you’re probably calling the deep-flat style a cheat. I like both. Shoot me. Even many pizza lovers in Chicago aren’t fans of the deep-dish style. They’ll tell you that thin crispy cracker crust is the most legitimate take on pizza in Chicago. Bullshit. This flavorless apologetic thin crust makes it look more like an appetizer than a pizza.

When I want a traditional pizza, you can’t beat Cristino’s Charcoal Oven Pizza on Fort Harrison in Clearwater. But for the deep dish experience, although many rave about Paul’s Chicago Pizza, I say you can’t do better than Cappy’s. I had both. I like both. But Cappy’s has better flavor and texture. There are a handful of Cappy locations in Tampa Bay. I’ve only been to the ones in St. Pete and Riverview, but they also have 3 locations in Tampa.

Recently I finally got to do a taste test on my first visit to Chicago. I’ve had connecting flights through Chicago airports a dozen times, but until now I’ve never had a chance to stop and explore the city. The first thing I did upon landing was head straight for a by Lou Malnati restaurant. Widely considered the real deal, I couldn’t wait to dive into my first real Chicago deep-dish pizza.

So how does Tampa’s version of Chicago’s deep dish measure up to the real thing? I think Cappy’s Pizzeria’s deep dish goes hand in hand with Lou Malnati’s. While I’d give Lou a slight edge, the difference isn’t remarkable. Lou’s signature pie has sausage, so maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges here. Normally, when I order a deep dish pizza from Cappy, I don’t clutter it with toppings. Maybe next time I order from Cappy I’ll add the sausage. That said, Lou Malnati is probably the best deep dish I’ve had, but the margin between Cappy and Lou is super super small. In fact, once I’m done typing this article, I think I’m heading to St. Pete to pick one up. I live on the north side of Pinellas so this will probably JUST be ready by the time I get there since they take so long to make. Here are the rest of my photos from the visit to Chi-town. It will certainly not be the last.

Geno’s first visit to Chicago

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