8.2
CHI

Burt’s Place

Perfect For: Big Groups Casual Weeknight Dinner Classic Establishment Outdoor/Patio Situation Serious Take-Out Operation
PHOTOS: Sandy Noto

When classic spots undergo a major change, people tend to lose their sh*t. And Burt’s Place is definitely a classic spot that underwent a major change. But we’re happy to report that the new incarnation, while certainly different, hasn’t lost the quality of the original.

Here’s a little Chicago pizza history: Burt of Burt’s Place was the original owner of Pequod’s Pizza in Morton Grove, a deep dish favorite that we’ve rated very highly. He sold it in the ’80s, then opened Burt’s Place right around the corner, serving the same style of pizza he made at Pequod’s: round pies cooked in a pan, with a caramelized crust. Burt’s Place even looked just like Pequod’s - that is to say, like a cabin where a teenager might get murdered in a horror movie.

Burt’s Place quickly developed its own incredibly devoted fan base, and getting pizza there was quite a challenge. There was only one oven, and it was so popular you had to order your pizza 48 hours ahead of time.

However, Burt closed the restaurant in 2015 and passed away the following year. The current, revamped version opened in early 2017. The new owners have upgraded the kitchen, gotten rid of the 48-hour policy, and added a large patio with an outdoor bar. The updated space still has a cabin motif, but no longer feels quite so much like a serial killer’s childhood home.

Sandy Noto

The good news is that the food is largely the same. There’s still only one style of pizza here: pan-style deep dish with that perfect caramelized crust. If you’ve ever eaten burnt cheese off of anything, you know how crispy and delicious it is, and it’s what sets this style of deep dish apart. This pizza isn’t particularly saucy or cheesy, so the crust really stands out. The topping list is pretty short and standard, which works because the crust goes best with something simple like pepperoni or sausage. Some deep-fried appetizers, like jalapeño poppers and onion rings, as well as a few salads are there to round out the menu, but don’t waste your time with them. When you come here, you just want the pizza.

Even though it’s gotten a major update, Burt’s Place is still putting out amazing deep dish pizza, and the changes to the space have only improved this spot.

Food Rundown

Pepperoni Pizza

This is the best pizza here. The spicy pepperoni goes great with the sauce, which is on the sweeter side, and together they’re a perfect match for the caramelized crust.

Sausage Pizza with Mushrooms and Peppers

A perfectly acceptable choice, but just remember that the more ingredients there are, the less you taste the amazing crust.

Sandy Noto
Salad

Shame on you if you get a salad here. The salads aren’t very good. Think iceberg lettuce with pizza toppings.

Veggie Pizza

This is the closest thing to a salad you should eat while here.

Sandy Noto
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