The Truth About Uno Pizzeria & Grill

Uno Pizzeria & Grill made its foray into pizza lovers' hearts back in 1943, when Ike Sewell, former college football player and liquor salesman, opened the doors of the very first Pizzeria Uno. According to the Chicago Tribune, Sewell and his partner Ric Riccardo launched the now famous pizza joint after failing to pull together a tasty menu for a Mexican restaurant like they originally hoped.

Even though their taco venture was a colossal failure (as a matter of fact, it ended in food poisoning, says the Chicago Tribune), the two partners turned to something easy, timeless, and affordable: pizza. Instead of sticking with the popular Neapolitan-style pizza of the time, Riccardo and Sewell collaborated to chef up the hearty deep-dish pizza we all know and love today.

Despite the fact that Uno Pizzeria is ranked as just about average on our list, there's no denying that the pizza joint has made waves in the culinary world.

Yes, Uno Pizzeria is the birthplace of Chicago-style deep dish pizza

Uno Pizzeria & Grill is, of course, known for its pizza, but what makes it so special? The answer lies in the toppings, which are actually laid in the pan in a very different order than you might be used to. The Culture Trip explains that in order to prevent the cheese from burning, the sauce actually goes on last. And all of the sausage, pepperoni, and melty cheesy goodness? That goes underneath, giving the deep-dish its household "pie" name.

All of the layers in Uno's pizzas certainly makes for a heavy dinner, but the restaurant rarely holds back, even in its grilled entrees. At one point, the chain even offered the Whole Hog Burger, which clocked in at a ridiculous 2,850 calories. While that burger has since been removed from the menu, most of what you can order at Uno Pizzeria is still a hearty meal, whether it's a pie or not.

Pizzeria Uno has a Pizzeria Due, plus many more locations

Pizzeria Uno, the original location, was first introduced to the Windy City under a simpler name: The Pizzeria. With the restaurant's success, Sewell and Riccardo expanded and opened up a Pizzeria Due just a block away. The business move ultimately coined the OG deep-dish spot Pizzeria Uno (via Serious Eats). The outlet reports that while both spots are still operating and hugely popular, most locals avoid dining in unless they're with a tourist willing to brave the inevitable pizza-hungry crowd.

You may have better luck at one of Uno's franchise locations, and trust us, there's no shortage of them. According to The Culture Trip, the iconic pizzeria now operates over 200 locations in the U.S. and internationally. Whether you're a pineapple-on-pizza person or you just want a classic Chicago pie, the menu has something for just about everyone. You can even opt for a thin crust (though we're not sure why you would).

Better yet, the brand seems to be pivoting to cater to more on-the-go style orders. In 2011, the chain announced the opening of a series of franchise locations called Uno Due Go, which is a fast-casual spin-off option for diners (via PRNewswire). If you're not near one of those locations but you still want to give in to your pizza cravings, you can even ship a frozen pie directly to your home. If you ask us, that sounds like the perfect solution to weeknight meal-planning stress!