Next stop was Lou Malnati’s! This was located on a busy street with lots of cute restaurants, shops, and tons of people walking around. This is towards the end of the Magnificent Mile past the John Hancock Tower. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel.
Atmosphere: Upon walking in, I noticed that there is a lot of seating outside on their patio as well inside. I wouldn’t peg it as a pizza place at all. It looks a little fancier than your average pizza parlor.They even have some couches by the entrance they use for seating! They also have a bar in the middle of their restaurant and beyond that there is more seating in the back, some seating in a large room, and a couple of private rooms for events.
Pricing: Pretty comparable to Giordano’s. Our small that we ordered was $14 (we finished that between two people.. for three you’d for sure have to order a medium and possibly have leftovers). Personal pizza is ~$7-9, small ~$11-5, medium ~15-20, large 20+.
Service: Our server was very attentive, friendly, and helped us choose our delicious pizza.
We of course had to have a salad to balance our meal. This was the Malnati salad and it was EXCELLENT. It was probably one of the best salads I’ve had and beats Gio’s by far! Romaine lettuce, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, salami, gorgonzola cheese, and their sweet vinaigrette dressing (which made the salad so good). $9 for this size and there is also a family size for $13.
A slice of heaven. We ended up getting the Malnati Chicago Classic, which had a layer of their lean sausage, extra cheese, and vine ripened tomato sauce on their special buttercrust. My oh my. This crust was much tastier their Gio’s! It was flaky, easy to eat, and crisp to perfection. Their pizza was quite simple with just sauce, cheese, and sausage, but still very satisfying and tasty.
Overall: I think this is a great alternative to Giordano’s. It’s different even though they’re both deep dish pizza. If you want a little more complex pizza with toppings I’d go with Gio’s. Lou’s only features a few deep dish pizza’s on their menu like cheese, sausage, pepperoni, the Chicago Classic, the Lou, and crustless (but really.. who wants to get that!?). Not many choices, but they’re quality is what makes it so good.
It’s a tough decision over which deep dish I liked better.. they both have their pros and cons. Gio’s has better selection and more toppings, but the crust at Lou’s is flaky, crispy, and buttery. I would have to say I liked Lou’s a little more due to the crust (I also like sausage, too). If you’re ever in Chicago, I’d say try both and give it a go! Let me know which you liked better