Lou Malnati (Chicago)

Location: Chicago, USA
Address: 439 N Wells Street
Website: http://www.loumalnatis.com/
Type of Meal: Lunch



I vowed to not leave Chicago until I tried deep dish pizza. It’s strange, because the thought of the sheer amount of toppings didn’t appeal to me – at heart I’m a thin crust, adequately topped Neapolitan pizza type of girl. But, to not try something so iconic would be a shame.

Having been recommended Lou Malnati as an option from Chicago Food Scene, my husband and I happened to walk by it while exploring Old Town. So, we decided to stop for brunch, thinking this heavy dish would be more than enough for two meals.

Since the pizzas are prepared fresh, it takes about half an hour to make; so, we started off with a Caesar salad ($5.25). Oddly, their menu only offers the salad with grilled chicken, but we asked for the meat to be removed. It was a decent Caesar dressing that wasn’t too thick but still garlicky enough for my liking. I also enjoyed the diced tomatoes that were added to it.


My husband and I shared the small Malnati Chicago classic ($14.25) made with sausage, tons of stringy cheese and large pieces of vine-ripened tomatoes. It was much better than I expected. Of course, there was tons of toppings, but the sausage was lean and not too salty and the cheese was fresh and not oily. Personally, I preferred the toasted crust on the side so broke pieces of it off and put toppings on that; the bottom crust was a tad soft for my taste. Deep dish pizza to me is like eating quiche but with a harder crust and different filling.


The menu noted the small size feeds two individuals and we each ended up getting two large slices. I actually would have just preferred one slice as it's so rich and filling. My recommendation is ordering one size smaller than the menu suggests and sharing a salad & appetizer to make it a more well-rounded meal.


Overall, I’m glad I had a chance to try deep dish and was pleasantly surprised with the experience. Despite not thinking I’d enjoy it, the deep dish at Lou Malnati’s was delicious.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon