Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
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.
And if you’re looking for classic deep dish, Lou Malnati’s is the move. And if you want Lou Mal’s straight from the pan (you do) go to the restaurant in River North. Keep in mind that when the Wells St. location opened in 1986 River North was a neighborhood full of adult video stores, not bottle service. The point is, Lou Mal’s on Wells is from a different era, and looks like it. And we apppreciate the old school feel of a cozy bar and dining room with sports jerseys hanging on the walls.
As far as the pizza goes, Lou’s is classic Chicago-style pizza. Meaning the sauce is on top with the cheese and toppings underneath. The crust is buttery and flaky, there’s a ton of cheese, and the whole thing is pretty much a gooey and delicious mess. In other words, after a trip here you might want to make sure your schedule is light the rest of the day.
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.
It’s deep. It’s filling. It’s delicious. Go with whatever toppings you like, but we generally like to get sausage or pepperoni.
Thin Crust Pizza
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.
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.