Tour a big city one pizza at a time! Chicago deep-dish style pizza (AP photo / Thinkstock)
Tour a big city one pizza at a time!

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Although Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizza, tourists wouldn't know that the locals more often eat a thinner-crust, tavern-style pie topped with homemade Italian sausage and cut into squares, not slices unless they went on a pizza tour.

Chicago is one of a handful of cities, like Boston, Milwaukee and New York, with companies that offer tours of the pizza scene. Chicago Pizza Tours owner Jonathan Porter takes his customers on a bus ride that includes four stops over 3 1/2 hours to sample deep-dish, the tavern-style popular in Chicago neighborhoods and other eclectic pizza variations.

"It's just a different way to see the city," Porter said. "Eat your way through the city. It was always designed to get people off the beaten path."

Bonnie Burchett, 64, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was on a recent visit with her husband when they took the pizza tour.

"I like that sausage," she said after taking a bite at Pizano's, a downtown Chicago pizzeria with a buttery crusted deep-dish pizza and tavern-style that was the first stop on the tour.

Elizabeth Goodwin, 33, of Columbus, Ohio, was with her husband too. They were able to try Pizano's, thin crust at Coalfire west of downtown, tavern-style with sauerkraut at Flo and Santos on the city's South Side, and Pequod's deep-dish on the North Side.

"I've always wanted to try Chicago deep-dish pizza, it's famous," Goodwin said. The couple took the tour, she said, because "otherwise we wouldn't know where to go."

The tour guide offers fun statistics as the bus travels from pizzeria to pizzeria. There are 2,200 pizza restaurants in Chicago. Thin crust outsells deep-dish in Chicago even though deep-dish was invented in Chicago in the 1940s.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is the tour conducted on a bus?

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Assigned 25 times

  • ShaniaWentz-Ste
    9/19/2014 - 07:53 a.m.

    I really like this idea. It not only provides a tour of the city, but it also provides one of America's favorite foods: pizza. probably lots of tourists will take part in this tour. It sounds really fun.

  • SaraiR-Ver
    9/19/2014 - 10:14 a.m.

    I'm very surprised that the dip dishes pizza is out shined by the thin crust pizza. Because if you ask someone about what they should try in Chicago they say try the dip dish pizza. It makes me wondering why is thin crust so popular and it beats the dip dish pizza. I mean you would expect the dip dish pizza to out shine the thin crust or any pizza in that matter because it was a Chicago original. I learned a new fact today and now when I go back to Chicago I will try the thin crust.

  • colleenl-Ste
    9/19/2014 - 11:33 a.m.

    I would go on a tour throughout Chicago just to visit many pizzerias. I mean, I probably would never want to eat pizza again after eating it for a whole day straight, but it's one of those things where you feel like you have to do it once in your life.

  • Arigirl16
    9/19/2014 - 12:41 p.m.

    That looks yummy.A deep dish was invented in the 1980's that is crazy! I wish I was in chicago.That is alot of reasturants 2,200 wow.see ya mama mia!

  • aydelotteg7
    9/19/2014 - 03:50 p.m.

    There are many places in Chicago. Most people can't walk all over Chicago for pizza. There are many different types of pizza in Chicago. I would like to try lots of pizza from Chicago.

  • NickB-2
    9/20/2014 - 12:45 p.m.

    This story is about the pizza industry in Chicago, Illinois. Since Chicago pizzas are so popular, there are many tours of Chicago just focusing on the pizza. These so-called "pizza-tours" travel to several stops where the most famous/popular pizza places are. I think this sounds really fun. If i ever go to Chicago, I will remember to go on one of these delicious tours.

  • MikaylaStazewski-Ste
    9/22/2014 - 12:27 p.m.

    The article got me hooked at "-one pizza at a time". Even though I just ate lunch a little bit ago, pizza sounds delicious as ever at this very moment. I could down a whole pie.

    9/22/2014 - 12:59 p.m.

    It' s on a tour bus because it makes it relaxing and it lets people have a fun time while they are eating. It' also "Another way to view the city".

  • ws2001wrex
    9/22/2014 - 01:00 p.m.

    The tour is conducted on a bus because, it makes it easier to have an large group of people travel in one vehicle. Also, the pizzeria can be very far from each other which can make people unhappy and have to walk everywhere. Plus, the tour has to be easy to fit it in people schedule so they can do this and experience the wonders on Chicago aka Chi-Town

  • IM2000food
    9/22/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    the tour is conducted on a bus because Chicago has 2,200 pizza restaurants and they not close from each other so they use a bus. another reason is because there's history with the places so they only go to the first pizzeria or so.

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