NOTE: As you can see in the comments below, the sauce at Giordano’s is apparently not gluten-free. I would call ahead and double check if you are celiac/super sensitive (if they think gluten-free crust is worth having, hopefully they’ll provide a gluten-free sauce alternative ASAP). I do not remember having a reaction luckily. Not sure what they put in their sauce to make it not gluten-free. I also asked specifically about gluten-free toppings and this didn’t come up…
Partially through my own doing and partially for other reasons my first four nights in Chicago I had Italian (if you include pizza) every night for dinner (Agio, Homeslice, Maggiano’s, Italian Village). So of course Monday night I needed to
try something new have Italian again! It was our first night with my team all together for our trip to Chicago and someone had made reservations at Giordano’s Famous Pizza down the street from our hotel. I always get a bit nervous that I’ll be forgotten (or that my celiac will be), but luckily they had gluten-free pizza. Also luckily there are worse foods to have five nights in a row (and the pizza vs. pasta adds a little variety within Italian).
We ordered ahead because the deep dish pizza takes awhile to cook. Despite that it still was quite a wait. We ended up waiting about the time they estimated to make the deep dish pizzas, but it might have been a busy night. I was pretty ravenous so luckily I had ordered a large caprese salad to share with my part of the table when we sat down.
For the main meal I went with the Meat & More Meat (pepperoni, salami, sausage, and bacon) gluten-free pizza. Giordano’s doesn’t do gluten-free deep dish (that would be awesome if they did!), but does a gluten-free version of their thin crust pizza. The crust ranks above average for gluten-free crusts since it didn’t crumble/fall apart and wasn’t too dry. Overall I was happy with the pizza because it was hearty and the crust could hold all the toppings well. Usually I find that the meat-meat-meat pizzas with a lot of toppings fall apart easily or are messy. This was heavy of pretty good quality toppings (including the cheese) and lighter on the sauce/mess and I was a big fan of that. The light sauce is kind of surprising since the deep dish pizzas are famous for all their sauce, but like I mentioned this was a gluten-free version of their thin crust. I would say 50/50 on whether it’s a gluten-free crust made in house or a pre-made one with just their toppings added (and I forgot to ask). Despite the probability that it was the latter it overall was a decent gluten-free pizza for the reasons listed above. Unfortunately it didn’t make the best leftovers, because I love leftover pizza, but overall I was happy with it.
The deep dish pizzas came out not surprisingly very stuffed. Several people commented on how filling even just one piece was. My friend thought the deep dish pizza was pretty good, but wished it had more flavor. She thought more meat and cheese in the deep dish would have made it better and more flavorful. Despite the restaurant being pretty packed it worked really well as a place for a large group to eat.
As I mentioned in an earlier post a lot of the restaurants in our part of the Loop (the business district closer to the river) seemed to close down earlier after workers went home so I would recommend Giordano’s for being a nice and convenient gluten-free option in the Loop. They also have gluten-free pasta that you can substitute into a limited number of their pasta dishes. Their deep dishes are also pretty famous so you should be able to convince gluten-eaters to make a visit. They actually also have locations across Chicagoland and also around the Orlando area (I’d consider a visit when I’m in Orlando depending on proximity.)
Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza- 223 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL (many locations across Chicagoland and 3 in Orlando-area)