I've decided that I've got to live with the fact that pizza is not an ontological category. It can be adapted to different cultures, can have different ingredients, styles and forms and still be fundamentally pizza (I will still never eat a Hawaiian pizza, though). Chicago has a pizza tradition that I guess is a old and storied as New York's and I live here, so I've got to get used to it. I've also decided that I've had the best pizza in Chicago(land), even though I haven't eaten everywhere.
The gold standard for pizza in my mind is either Gino's in Rockville Centre or Vincent's in Lynbrook, but that may just be for nostaglia reasons. Regardless of the effects of the glow of memory, I often grave the 16in flopply gooey goodness of a good New York pizza. This craving can not be cured by Giordano's, Home Run Inn, Bacci's, Gino's East, Edwardo's, Aurelios, Rosati's, Pizzza Capri or other pizza joints here in Chi-city and the 'burbs. And while my favorite pizza in Chicago(land) is not a thin crust masterpiece like Vincent cooks up, its darn good. It's similar to Edwardo's in that it's not the giant tilt your jaw open pie of Giordano's, but not the square cut thin crust of Aurelio's or Home Run Inn. Luisa's on 139 and Cicero (yes Mike Doyle that's actually in Chicagoland) in Crestwood.
The crust: fantastic: crunchy, buttery, like a good pan pizza from Pizza Hut, only 50 time tastier and more consistent
The sauce: deliciously different: sort of sweet, but not cloying (Yes, my food reviewing skills could use some work).
The cheese: it's pizza cheese, come on, you know it's good.
It's a trek to Luisa's from Woodlawn, and so we don't go that often. Our car happened to be getting fixed at the wonderful J & J Auto Rebuilders on 137th in Crestwood (I hope you never need for their services, but if you do, they are incredible kind and excellent at their jobs). Two blocks away: Luisa's, were a grouchy old Italian lady (Luisa) will move you along with your take out order if you're watching the TV too long. We've done takeout, eaten at the place (great and attentive wait staff: although they do cocktail glasses for their sodas, not a fan), and generally love it.
The best pizza in Chicago(land). Luisa's. Here's metromix's and roadfood.com's take on it.