The Best Chicago Pizza Tours: Deep Dish, Thin Crust, and More (2024)

Chicago is renowned for its deep dish pizza, so it makes perfect sense that visitors to the Windy City are eager to try it for themselves!

The best Chicago pizza tours take guests on tours of the city’s top deep dish establishments, giving them a chance to sample the best the city has to offer.

Deep dish, of course, is a super-thick-crust pizza that puts the cheese and toppings on the bottom and the sauce on top. It’s a unique kind of pizza that feels more like a big meal than a quick snack.

chicago pizza tours - deep dish slice

Bet you can’t eat more than two slices of deep dish!

Deep dish is synonymous with Chicago, so most Chicago pizza tours focus on deep dish pizza. But these tours take guests to thin-crust places as well, which is nice for folks who would like some variety.

I lived in Chicago for 8 years and had the opportunity to try just about every brand of deep dish, so I’m excited to share these tours with visitors to the city.

Read on to discover the best pizza tours that Chicago has to offer as of 2024!

pizza tours

The Best Chicago Pizza Tours in 2024

1 Chicago Pizza Bus Tour

Starting point: Pizano’s in downtown Chicago
Duration: 3.5 hours
Included: 4-6 slices of various pizza styles and transportation, free cancellation

While many other Chicago pizza tours are walking tours, this one provides transportation by small bus, which means you get to visit more places and see a lot more of the city!

This Chicago Pizza Bus Tour is unique because it visits a handful of different neighborhoods and stops at 6 different pizza places of all types: deep dish, thin crust, tavern-style, coal-forged, and more.

The starting point is Pizano’s downtown, located not far from Millennium Park and the famous Bean sculpture. Pizano’s offers deep dish, while Flo & Santo’s has a tavern-style thin crust.

This tour is great because is also visits Pequod’s, which may be the favorite pizza place among local Chicagoans. They’ve been in business since the ’70s, and patrons swear by the deep dish with the chewy crust.

While the specific pizzerias visited on this tour vary, there will always be at least one deep dish stop.

The tour sometimes visits one of my personal favorite pizza places in the City: Piece Pizza in Wicker Park, which serves New Haven style pizza. That’s not a common style, and it’s a nice change-up.

Another great thing about this tour: It operates year-round, unlike some of the other Chicago pizza tours, which do not run during the winter.

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Chicago Pizza Bus Tour.

2 Downtown Chicago Walking Pizza Tour

Starting point: River North, not far from Navy Pier
Duration: 3 hours
Included: 4 pizza tastings, free cancellation

As it name indicates, the Downtown Chicago Walking Pizza Tour has no bus. Instead, you stay in Downtown and the River North neighborhood the entire time. And that’s fine, because this part of Chicago has a ton of great pizza places!

This tour covers four of them in three hours. The tour meets right near the Chicago River, not far from Navy Pier and the spot where the famous Chicago River Architecture Boat Tour begins.

On this tour, you can try deep dish, as well as Neapolitan, Roman-style, and artisanal pizzas. It’s a nice variety of styles to experience.

You’ll walk about one mile total on this tour, so it’s not strenuous at all. You’ll want to walk off some of those calories anyway!

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Downtown Chicago Walking Pizza Tour.

deep dish - chicago pizza tours
Deep dish is included on all of the top Chicago pizza tours.

3 Chicago West Loop Pizza Walk

Starting point: Lou Malnati’s, West Loop
Duration: 3 hours
Included: 4 slices

The West Loop is a neighborhood just west of downtown that has exploded in popularity in recent years. They’ve got a lot of pizzerias, including Lou Malnati’s, one of Chicago’s most famous deep dish establishments.

The Chicago West Loop Pizza Walk starts at Lou’s before proceeding to pizza places that offer Roman, Neapolitan, and Sicilian styles of pizza. They’re close together, so the tour only has a half-mile of total walking.

On this tour, you’ll learn a lot about the different styles of pizzas and their history, and hear how these restaurants each make their pizza so differently.

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Chicago West Loop Pizza Walk.

4 Bucktown / Wicker Park Pizza Crawl

Starting point: My Pi in Wicker Park
Duration: 3 hours
Included: 4 slices and information about the neighborhoods

This Bucktown / Wicker Park Pizza Crawl is awesome because not only does it take you to four pizzerias in three hours, it also teaches you about the neighborhoods themselves, making stops at places like The 606 elevated rail trail.

The tour includes deep dish, as well a New York style, neo-Neapolitan, and East Coast artisan pizzas. And you’ll be walking through two of the coolest neighborhoods in Chicago.

Wicker Park is a vibrant area bustling with youthful energy. Taking this tour gives you a chance to kill two birds with one stone: experiencing deep dish pizza, and seeing one of the Windy City’s best neighborhoods!

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Bucktown / Wicker Park Pizza Crawl.

lou malnati's pizza
The BBQ chicken individual-sized deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s.

Chicago Food Tours That Include Deep Dish Pizza

This section features tours that focus more broadly on Chicago food. So you’ll be sampling deep dish pizza, but also other Chicago foods, like Italian beef sandwiches, the Chicago hot dog (don’t you dare put ketchup on it!), and more.

If eating pizza for three hours straight doesn’t sound appealing, pick one of these tours instead!

Check out our article about all of Chicago’s most iconic foods.

5 Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour

Starting point: Lou Malnati’s (day tour) or Gino’s East (evening tour) downtown
Duration: 3 hours
Included: Deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwich, Chicago hot dog, brownie, free cancellation

The Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour has been going strong for more than a decade. It hits the big three of Chicago cuisine: deep dish, Italian beef sandwich, and Chicago hot dog, along with a dessert brownie to top things off.

Part of the reason this tour is so popular is because the guides provide information about the architecture and history of the buildings in the area, and they stop at Millennium Park to see the Bean sculpture. You’re getting good food and an education!

For a basic introduction to Chicago food, this tour is about as good as it gets. You can also add some craft beer with your meals for an extra charge.

The tour runs year-round and includes 1.4 miles of walking. In the winter, the tour utilizes the underground tunnels to minimize time spent outdoors in the frigid air.

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour.

6 Chicago Bites, Bikes, and Brews Tour

Starting point: Bobby’s Bike Hike, River North
Duration: 4 hours
Included: Deep dish, Chicago hot dog, dessert, craft beer, plus bike, helmet, and water bottle, free cancellation

I love a good bike tour, how about you? It’s especially nice on a food tour since you get to pedal off those calories.

The Chicago Bites, Bikes, and Brews Tour is a long-running tour that has served thousands of guests over the years. They know what they’re doing!

Travel through neighborhoods like Gold Coast and Lincoln Park while enjoying deep dish pizza, a Chicago hot dog, craft beer, and a bakery dessert. This is the only tour on the list that includes beer in the price, so that’s a nice bonus!

At 4 hours, this tour is a little longer than the others. That’s because it includes 13 miles of biking between stops. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually not. Chicago is almost entirely flat, so it’s not a particularly strenuous ride.

Bikes, helmets, and water bottles are all included. So just wear comfortable clothes, and you’re ready to go! Chicago has a lot of bike lanes, and drivers are used to seeing bicyclists, so it’s pretty safe as well.

You’ll pass by the Lakefront Trail, Wrigley Field, and other Chicago attractions while you pedal. It’s a fantastic way to see the city!

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Chicago Bites, Bikes, and Brews Tour.

7 Chicago Walking Tasting Tour

Starting point: Gino’s East in downtown Chicago
Duration: 3 hours
Included: Four foods, including deep dish pizza and Italian beef, free cancellation

The Chicago Walking Tasting Tour will take you around the Loop, starting at Gino’s East for deep dish. Bring your appetite, because you’ll get more than enough to fill you up on this tour.

An Italian beef sandwich is also included, as well as stops for a Chicago hot dog, popcorn, a brownie, and a “secret food.”

The tour has a maximum of 12 people, so it’s a comfortable small group setting to try some of the city’s best foods.

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Chicago Walking Tasting Tour.

Chicago Deep Dish Online Cooking Tours

Did you know you can make your own deep dish pizza? It takes a little more effort than baking a regular pizza, but it’s very doable.

Imagine showing up to a party or family gathering with a homemade deep dish pizza. Your friends would be amazed!

Here’s an online cooking class that will help you make your own deep dish from the comfort of your own kitchen.

8 Deep Dish Private Online Cooking Class

Starting point: Your home kitchen
Duration: 1.5 hours
Included: Personal online instruction

The Deep Dish Private Online Cooking Class gives you 90 minutes of personal instruction via video to help you make your own deep dish pizza.

For this class, you’ll be sent a list of ingredients to purchase, along with guidance for how to make the dough. This part needs to be done in advance so it has time to rise before preparing the pizza.

It’s a one-on-one class, meaning that your instructor will be interacting with you and answering questions as you go. The class also includes directions for making a dessert with your pizza.

BOOK HERE: Click to see pricing and availability of the Deep Dish Private Online Cooking Class.

Things to Know About Chicago Pizza

Let’s answer a few common questions about Chicago pizza tours, and the city itself.

Can you visit these places on your own, without a tour?

Sure, you could. The benefit of traveling with a tour is that you get to try several places at a time, and your costs are controlled.

Most Chicago deep dish prices are very high. You can expect to pay $30-50 for a single deep dish pizza at most restaurants. And the wait is 45-60 minutes for the pizza to be baked.

Joining a tour means you won’t have to pay for a whole pizza, and you won’t have to wait, since they order in advance for you. These tours offer an opportunity to see more of the city as well.

Which pizza places do the locals in Chicago prefer?

Everyone has their favorites. The typical Chicagoan doesn’t order deep dish pizza more than once or twice a year. It’s such a filling meal that we can’t get it all the time or our arteries would never forgive us!

Giordano’s, Gino East, Lou Malnati’s, and Pequod’s are typically considered the top deep dish pizzerias in the city.

When it comes to non-deep dish, I’ve always loved Piece Pizza in Wicker Park.

What’s included on these pizza tours?

See the individual listings for exact details. Most tours include one slice at each restaurant that you visit. Drinks are not included, but you’re welcome to purchase soda or beer if you choose. Tap water should be free at each place.

What if I’m a vegetarian, vegan, or require gluten-free?

Check the individual tours to make sure they can accommodate your needs. In general, most of the Chicago pizza tours have no problem offering vegetarian pizzas, but they typically cannot do vegan or gluten-free. A few are willing to make such accommodations if you contact them in advance.

Do I need to bring anything on the tour?

Just extra cash if you plan to buy drinks or give your guide a tip. If you’re booking a walking tour, wear comfortable shoes, and be sure to check the forecast, as Chicago can get quite windy and cold at times!

What are some other recommended Chicago activities?

Make sure to get the famous Chocolate Cake Milkshake at Portillo’s restaurant. It has glorious gobs of actual cake in the milkshake!

If you’d like to try a Chicago hot dog while getting yelled at and insulted by the servers (yes, really – it’s part of their gimmick), visit Wiener’s Circle in Lincoln Park.

We have a list of Chicago’s top museums, and a collection of six Chicago tourist attractions that are worth visiting. And a photo essay with 100 pictures from Chicago.

Visit the Green Mill, the jazz club where Al Capone used to hang out. See the Garfield Conservatory for plants and trees from around the world.

Check out Chicago’s vibrant improv comedy scene. Visit the Brookfield Zoo or Lincoln Park Zoo.

If you’re looking for quirky and offbeat ideas, try the Museum of Surgical Science or the Leaning Tower of Niles.

Visiting during winter? See this list of the best winter Chicago activities. And finally, here’s a list of the best things to do in Chicago at night.

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