ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - One of the great things about the Tampa Bay Area is our mixing of cultures. Pick any city in the country and you can likely find a native living right here. Often times they bring that city’s food with them.
That’s exactly what happened with Paul’s Chicago Pizza, and though FOX 13’s Chip Brewster is a Chicagoland native himself, it was FOX 13 viewer and proud Chicago southsider Jon Bay who brought Chip and his Bay Area Best segment to this pizza spot.
“I lived up in Clearwater and they have a Paul’s Pizza in Clearwater and I [thought], ‘Chicago pizza? I gotta check it out.’ Once I tasted it, I knew that was it. It’s not floppy like New York-style pizza,” Jon offered. “It’s just like back home.”
The feel of the restaurant is also very Chicago-esque with photos, memorabilia, and a soundtrack consisting mostly of blues. As for the Chi-town menu, they offer stuffed pizza, Italian beef, hot dogs, and a Chicago-style thin crust – Jon’s favorite.
“The first question people are going to be asking is ‘Why is that a thin crust? I thought Chicago only was deep dish?’” Chip said.
“Chicago’s got great thin crust,” Jon insisted. “Deep dish, they have a lot of deep dish up there but my favorite is the thin crust.”
And his favorite won’t let you down. The pie comes out with a perfectly crisp crust, lightly browned cheese, quality toppings, tasty sauce, and the perfect ratio of ingredients.
Should you be searching for a thicker piece, the stuffed pizza might be more up your alley.
“For those unfamiliar with the process, a stuffed or deep-dish pizza, they’re very similar in nature. It’s really just how they’re assembled, a giant thick piece that you have to eat with a fork and knife. This is not one that you just pick up and go for,” Chip explained as the cheese stretched about two feet into the air.
Want to check out Paul’s for yourself? They’ve got two locations to choose from:
1500 N McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL 33759
Mon-Sat 11a-10p, Sun 12p-9p
11002 4th St N
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Tue-Sat 11a-10p, Sun 12p-8p
Curious what other spots have made the Bay Area Best list? Find all of them below, or click here for a map.