Consider this the shortest deep-dish pizza manifesto you’ve ever read.
There are a few important things to remember when discussing deep-dish pizza, no matter where your allegiance lies. First, deep-dish is not for everyone. Second, deep-dish shouldn’t be compared to thin crust, particularly New York style slices - it’s a unique fork and knife experience. Third, make sure your schedule is light the rest of the day.
As pizza eating professionals, the entire Infatuation Chicago team is in agreement that Lou Malnati’s is the spot when we crave deep-dish from one of the larger chain operations. TripAdvisor might tell you otherwise, and that Instagram shot of Giordano’s stuffed pizza looks ridiculous, but as locals and regulars, Lou Malnati’s is the move.
If you want Lou Mal’s straight from the pan, go to the restaurant in River North. Keep in mind that the Wells St. location opened in 1986 when River North was a very different place. It was a neighborhood full of adult video stores, not bottle service. And we’ll take adult video stores over bottle service any day of the week, especially when it comes to the way that translates to ambience at a pizza place. The point is, Lou Mal’s on Wells is from a grungier time, and we prefer the old school feel of a cozy bar and dining room with classic sports jerseys hanging on the walls than a shiny new space.
We also prefer Lou Mal’s pizza over its biggest competitors. Pizza manifesto complete.
Throwing a party? Get some chicken wings involved. It’s more so a buffer to keep you from eating entirely too much pizza. Choice of “BuffaLou” or “Bar-B-Lou” are both good.
Salad always pairs well with pizza, and the Malnati salad is the way to go. Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, salami, gorgonzola, romano cheese, and a sweet vinaigrette dressing. The dressing is rather sweet.
The thin crust here is actually great, and if you’re not feeling the deep dish but want pizza, then by all means get involved. If you’re ordering a few pizzas for a group of people, it’s always a good idea to get a mix of both thin crust and deep-dish.
It’s deep. It’s filling. It’s delicious. Go with whatever toppings you like, but we generally like to get sausage or pepperoni.
A Lou Mal’s favorite with spinach, mushrooms, and sliced roma tomatoes covered in mozzarella, romano, and cheddar cheese. No substitutions allowed with this one, so you either want it as is or you don’t.
Chocolate chip cookie baked in a deep-dish pizza pan with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. Ya, it’s good.