In the Fun Diego Family, pizza taxonomy, Chicago deep dish falls into the thick crust category. This also includes Sicilian style and Detroit pizza, but many consider Chicago deep dish an entirely separate entity. To many New Yorkers, deep dish is an abomination to the name pizza. On our end, we love all styles of pizza and often get a craving for Chicago deep dish. When that craving hits, Chicago Bros Pizzeria in Mission Valley is one of our favorite places. In our search for San Diego’s best pizza, I present our Chicago Bros Pizzeria review.
There are actually two styles of deep dish, regular and stuffed. With stuffed pizza, the toppings and cheese are placed inside the crust and then topped with a second crust, pizza sauce, and in some cases more toppings. This is a much thicker style of pizza than even a regular deep dish. This is the style Chicago Bros Pizzeria serves.
Chicago Bros Pizzeria is located in a small strip mall right by the stadium where once upon a time the NFL Chargers and MLB Padres used to play (SDCCU Stadium as of this writing). It is also right by California’s first mission (hence the name Mission Valley). This is a fairly central, but off-beat location in what is known as the Grantville neighborhood. Chicago Bros Pizzeria has the feel of a friendly family joint and you will often see the husband and wife team at work. It is extremely kid-friendly and they offer many board games to keep the little ones entertained. For adults, there is a large selection of craft beer on draft and several TVs showing sports.
Chicago Bros Pizzeria has both thin crust pizza and Chicago deep dish. The thin crust is said to be good, but I go for the deep dish, which I consider one of the best I have ever had. They also serve calzones, spaghetti, salads and a wide range of subs/sandwiches. They even have a Philly cheesesteak on the menu. However, this Philly boy has learned never order a Philly Cheesesteak from a Chicago restaurant (a Chicago Italian Beef is a different story).
I have personally only tried the deep dish, but the rest of Fun Diego Family has explored the pasta and salads. They both get raves and a plate of spaghetti with garlic beard is only $7 ($2 more for meatballs). One of the first things you will notice about Chicago Bros Pizzeria is how reasonable the prices are.
A stuffed deep-dish pizza is $16 for a 10 inch or $21 for a 14 inch. Extra toppings are $1.50 for the small and $2 for the 14-inch, which can easily serve 4 people, often with leftovers. Specialty pizzas are available from $25 to $29. For thin crust pizzas, a 16-inch cheese is $14 with specialty pies going from $17 to $19. You can often find coupons on the Chicago Bros Pizzeria website. In addition, they offer regular daily specials. This place is a great value considering the quality of the food!
To me, Chicago Bros Pizzeria is all about the stuffed deep dish. One problem with a deep dish is it takes at least 40 minutes to cook and that usually means you need to plan ahead. In recent years, Chicago Bros Pizzeria has started offering deep-dish slices and that has become my new go-to. Two deep dish slices and soda go for $9. I can only eat one slice and so often I will split this special with my son. He gets the soda and I order one of their draft beers. Two slices of thin crust and soda are available for $6.50, lower than the standard $7+ most slice places charge.
When you order a deep dish slice, they add the toppings and heat it up. Deep dish holds up very well as leftovers, so slices do well reheated. Also when you order a whole pie you can enjoy the extras the next day.
As mentioned, Chicago Bros Pizzeria deep dish stuffed pizza is one of the best I have ever had. My favorite topping is their large meatball slices, but they have an extremely large topping list. In addition to standard toppings, they offer more off-beat items like corn, eggplant, sun-dried tomato, and salami.
Like Bronx Pizza does for New York style pizza in San Diego, Chicago Bros Pizzeria does for Chicago deep dish. In terms of price, ambiance and, most importantly, quality, Chicago Bros Pizzeria is currently on top in this category. Fun Diego Family is on a quest to find San Diego’s best pizza in four different categories. Right now Chicago Bros Pizzeria is the one to beat in the thick crust/deep dish category.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2019
Chicago Bros was number one Chicago stuffed crust on our Best San Diego Thick Crust Pizza list