One of the things I was most excited about trying during our trip to Chicago was a Chicago-style deep dish pizza. It’s one of the iconic foods in the city and pizza falls into its own food category for me, so Chicago pizza and I seem destined to be a perfect fit.
If you aren’t familiar with Chicago deep dish pizzas, the typical way of preparing one is to use a thick crust in a deep dish pan (obviously) and then you basically invert the toppings.
I had researched this all important pizza decision prior to our visit, but I still wasn’t 100% sure about where I should have my first authentic Chicago pizza. I’d heard great things about Giordano’s, Pizzeria Uno (the original location in Chicago), Gino’s East and many others, but Lou Malnati’s seemed to stand out above the rest.
Lou Malnati’s offers the option of ordering a smaller, personal sized pizza - something many New York pizza restaurants could learn from. I often don’t bother with pizza restaurants where I have to order an entire pie because I know I’ll only be able to eat a couple slices and don’t want to deal with carrying around the rest of it while traveling or have to spend $30 for a couple pieces of pizza. At Lou’s, I was able to order my own pizza for $9 and not worry about leftovers.
Because it seemed like one of the most authentic pies, I tried The Malnati Chicago Classic. With a menu description of “Made with Lou’s lean sausage, some extra cheese and vine-ripened tomato sauce on Buttercrust. It’s authentic Chicago!” I felt like that was exactly what I was looking for.
The sauce was also delicious. It had a spicy element to it, but the primary aspect was a deep, robust tomato - exactly what you want from a great tomato sauce.
My only problem with my Malnati Chicago Classic was the sausage. You have the option of getting the sausage crumbled (common with most sausage on pizza) or a sausage patty on the pizza. I decided to try the sausage patty, and it ended up being my only mistake with this meal. For whatever reason, the texture wasn’t nearly as good on the sausage as it typically is when you get sausage crumbled on a pizza. This was only thing that keep my pizza from being the complete package.
There’s a reason Lou Malnati’s has been successful in Chicago for the past 40 years. The sauce and crust are always the key to making any great pizza, and Lou’s has both of these covered.
The world of pizza is a vast canvas, and Lou’s has figured out how to paint quite a picture.
And in the debate of which style of pizza is the best, Chicago style might be at the top of my list.
439 N. Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654