Pizza lovers far and wide will be making the most of National Deep Dish Pizza Day. This is just the holiday for those admirers of a thick, tasty crust filled with delicious toppings and baked to perfection!
History of National Deep Dish Pizza Day
It might be a good idea to start talking about deep dish pizza by taking some time to acknowledge Pizzeria Uno’s founder, Ike Sewell, without whom this day wouldn’t exist. In fact, without him, the deep dish pizza wouldn’t exist–and that would be a very sad world.
Sewell is credited with creating the spectacular deep dish pizza in 1943 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. This wonderfully tasty pizza, also known as Chicago-style pizza, is characterised by a superb buttery crust that can be as high as 3 inches tall along the edges, combined with generous amounts of flavoursome sauce, delectable toppings and cheese.
Once the idea for deep dish pizza caught on in Chicago, it was only a short time before it became a trademark of the city–and in doing so it became the exact opposite of its rival pie: thin crust pizza from New York.
How to Celebrate National Deep Dish Pizza Day
It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get most people excited about celebrating National Deep Dish Pizza Day! Consider these creative ideas for enjoying the day with family, friends and coworkers:
Grab a Deep Dish Pizza
On this day, get together with friends or family to visit your favourite pizza restaurant and enjoy a wonderful slice (or more) of cheesy goodness. But remember, unlike grabbing a slice of thin, New York pizza that takes about 10 minutes to bake, deep dish pizza is an exercise in patience. It might even be a good idea to order ahead because these pizzas are so thick that they can take up to an hour to bake in the oven!
But don’t worry–most restaurants are happy to provide appetizers such as breadsticks, buffalo wings or garlic bread to keep hungry patrons happy, as well as soft drinks or beer. Just make sure not to get too filled up before the pizza comes.
Find Restaurants Offering Deep Discounts on Pizza
Many pizzerias will be in a festive mood for this enjoyable day! And that means they may be offering coupons or discounts to their customers.
For instance, these famous restaurants serve authentic deep dish pizza and may offer a deal for the day, whether ordering in or online:
- Pizzeria Uno. The restaurant that started it all is located in Chicago as well as Colorado, New York, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Florida, Pennsylvania and so many more states. Plus, Saudia Arabia and India! The chain has been known in the past to offer discounts all month long so it’s worth checking out.
- Giordano’s. Started in 1974, this chain boasts more than 60 restaurants, mostly in Illinois but also in Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, and even Nevada. This chain has been known to give a $5 off discount in the past.
- Lou Malnati’s American Restaurant. Serving Chicago deep dish pizza since 1971, this restaurant offers 57 locations all throughout the mid-western US (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin) as well as Arizona.
- Gino’s East. Starting in Chicago, Gino’s East has been growing since its 1966 inception and now has spots in California, Texas, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Michigan.
Try Making Deep Dish Pizza at Home
Don’t fret if you can’t get the exact deep dish pizza – a pan style pizza, thick crusted pizza or pretty much any delicious pizza will do. Better yet, use this day to finally create that perfect pizza you’ve always dreamed of making, and invite others over to share it with!
How to Make Deep Dish Pizza
Baked in an oiled, round, metal pan (i.e. deep dish) the wheat-based dough is placed not only on the bottom of the pan but also pressed up the sides. The pie is then filled with cheese (that’s right, it goes first!), meat and vegetables next (such as pepperoni, sausage, peppers, spinach, etc.), and then a thick layer of chunky, uncooked tomato sauce goes on top.
The order of the fillings is important because it keeps the cheese from burning since the cooking time is so long–probably around 45 minutes! But being patient is certainly worth it in the end.
Plan a Trip to Chicago (including Pizza, of course!)
In order to fully experience everything that National Deep Dish Pizza Day has to offer, a trip to Chicago is probably the best course of action. Chicago is filled with culture and fun activities for just about anyone to enjoy along with their deep dish pizza.
- The Art Institute of Chicago. Ranking as the second largest art museum in the US, it boasts a collection of more than ¼ million works of art. (For lunch, Giordano’s is just a 10 minute walk away–but don’t forget to order ahead.)
- The Chicago Theatre. Catch a play or comedy act here in this landmark Baroque theater built in 1921. (Then grab a pizza at Lou Malnati’s, only a 15 minute walk past the Merchandise Mart.)
- The Bean (Cloud Gate). An art installation in Millenium Park along the lakefront of Chicago, its surface is shiny and reflective, creating a magical effect as it bounces light from and onto the world around it. (Giordano’s is basically just across the street from the park–only a five minute walk.)
- Grant Park. Grab a free summer concert or simply enjoy a walk along Lake Michigan. (A different Lou Malnati’s location is just about a ten minute walk from here.)
Fun Facts about Pizza
20% of Americans believe that pizza should be eaten with the hands and not with a fork. (Although, with deep dish pizza, this is likely to end up with more than the average mess!)
Only 2% of Americans say they have gotten into heated debates over which is better: New York Style (thin crust) or Chicago Style (deep dish). And at least 16% of Americans say that they don’t have a preference either way–they just love pizza any way they can get it.