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Curious City Presents

Get A Piece Of This:
9 Chicago Pizza Mysteries Solved

If you think Chicago’s pizza culture is all about “deep dish,” then you’re pretty lost in the sauce. The city is home to a complex and quirky pizza scene that has fueled dozens of questions over the years from crusty Curious Citizens. Those queries have ranged from the saucy and half-baked to the downright cheesy. But here we’ve rolled out some of the best along with hot, crisp answers delivered in short order.

Click a piece to get your answer.

I am from the East Coast. Why is Chicago thin crust pizza cut in squares?

Why do a number of liquor stores on the Northwest Side (Mayfair, Jeff Park, etc.) also have adjoining diners and/or pizza joints?

Why do Chicago thin crust pizzas put the pepperoni under the cheese instead of on top of it ?

Why does the Kinzie underpass near the Merchandise Mart always smell like pizza in the mornings?

What kind of pizza do Chicagoans REALLY prefer? Deep dish or thin crust cut in squares? Which has more annual sales?

How did deep dish pizza become a thing?

Why do Chicago pizza places (particularly on the South Side) opt for bags rather than boxes?

Growing up, every pizza you ordered came with an RC Cola. My question is, why?

What is the history of the Pizza Puff?

More about our questioners:

Lou Dicerbo is a financial markets attorney living in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. As a former New Yorker, he prefers pies from Coalfire, Piece, Serio, Bebu, and other purveyors of East Coast-ish pizza.

Susan Clark is a native Chicagoan. Nonprofit manager by day, her loves include her son, photography, kayaking, travel, and artichoke hearts atop pizza.

Eric Holeman is a transportation planner who moved to Chicago from the West Coast. He generally prefers thin crust pizza with sausage or pepperoni.

Samantha Abernethy is a freelance writer who loves loud music and Italian movies. She prefers mushrooms on her gluten-free pizzas.

Jenn Adams is a teacher whose favorite pizza is thin crust with cheese from Palermo’s of 63rd.

Andrea Ficarelli lives in Lombard and works in consulting. Her favorite slice is pan pizza with broccoli.

Daniel Hogan is a Chicago bodyguard who is most passionate about a simple (yet beautiful) tavern-style cheese pizza. But he also appreciates a sausage and green pepper from Pequod's when he feels like not doing anything for the next 12 hours.

Rami Faraj is a teacher whose favorite pizza is stuffed, spicy gyros pizza from Italian Express on Devon.

Shelley Krepich is a freelance copywriter, and her favorite pizza is a thin-and-chewy crust pepperoni, although there's a special place in her heart for the Pizza Puff.