Lou Malnati's, Chicago

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 Reviews

439 N. Wells 312.828.9800

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Lou Malnati's: Lovely Afternoon in Chicago With VT Friends

    by deecat Updated May 22, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Saturday, May 20, 2006, we had a VT Lunch in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago at the Lou Mainati"s.

    As always, our "Leader of the Pack in Chicago" (better known as Dabs--Kristi), organized the meeting so we could welcome Steve (spgood301) to Chicago from New York. The weather certainly cooperated with her plans! It was a sun-fill (70+degrees) day in our beautiful city.
    It was 100% perfect attendance plus one.

    At the get-together were:

    (spgood301)Steve, New York
    (cwhit22), Lake Villa, IL
    (MJB123), Martin, Chicago
    (DSwede), Dave, Homeless now, awaiting assignment to Spain
    Dabs, Kristi, Hammond, Indiana
    David, Kristi's husband, Hammond, Indiana
    (Shekago)Lisa, Chicago and New Mexico
    Anne, Lisa's guest from Chicago
    (Deecat), Dee, Libertyville, IL

    I noticed that there were several big groups of people in the same room, but service was good, our waiter was efficient and prompt.

    I sat between Martin and Dave, and we had several interesting conversations. Anne and Lisa sat across from Kristi and David and next to Steve, our guest of honor.

    Charles was detained (because of transportation), but I'm glad he showed up and added to the spirited conversations, especially those pertaining to foreign foods!

    Favorite Dish: We all ordered various kinds of pizza. Martin, Steve, and I all ordered Individual small deep dish pizzas with butter crust. They are perfect for one person with about four medium-sized slices per pizza. Lisa, Anne, Dave, Kristi, and David had two full-sized pizzas that were shared. The cost was reasonable with about $10.00-$11.00 per person, which included drink, tip, and tax!

    As usual, the Lou Mainati's Pizza was delicious.

    Martin and I were walking back to the Red-Line when we decided to stop for a coffee drink at the corner Starbuck's. It was such a beautiful day that we had our drinks outside, continuing conversations about travel, literature, and movies. A perfect end to a perfect day.

    Anne, Lisa, Steve, David, and Kristi Martin contemplating travel adventures Kristi, Charles, Dave,
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    by LoriPori Updated Dec 24, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After a very busy day touring Chicago, it was time to eat. We picked LOU MALNATI'S PIZZERIA famous for its "Buttercrust Pizza in the Pan". Well I must say, it was absolutely delicious. We ordered two large pepperoni pizzas for all of us - Hans and Lori, Kat and Kris, Robert, Kristi and David, who joined us for dinner.
    Also available at Lou Malnati's are soups, salads and sandwiches, Lasagna and Spaghetti.

    Lou Malnati's
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    Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Wells: Chicago Pizza: "It's All in the Water!"

    by deecat Updated Apr 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lou Malnati's Pizzeria was recently named the best pizzeria in Chicago, and that's quite an honor since Chicago Pizza is famous world wide.
    I organized a VT meeting for my dear friend Mehmet (mehbos37) from Istanbul Turkey.
    We met at Lou Malnati's, along with Dabs (Kristi), MJB123 (Martin), and Erik707 (Erik).
    Since Erik was there when I arrived, we had drinks at the bar and had a great conversation. The bar at Lou's is a fun place for conversation (and for having a great Amoretta Stone Sour).
    The place is casual, always crowded, yet they do not rush you; rather, they accomodate your every wish. As for the pizza--it's excellent, especially if you request "butter crust".
    Chicago deep dish pizza is hearty and must be eaten with a knife and fork. Malnati's deep dish "dough is patted out by hand and raised up high on the sides of a seasoned deep dish pizza pan." THE CRUST IS NOT THICK, but it is pulled high on the sides. This kind of pizza places slices of mozzarella cheese directly on the dough. Then the ingredients that you order are placed on top of the cheese. Next, the pizza is topped with a fresh tomato sauce (with whole chunks of pear and plum tomatoes) and finally topped with a light sprinkling of cheese and spices. Oh, so delicious!

    Favorite Dish: The night of our VT dinner, we also shared a large (and I mean LARGE salad) while the pizza was in the oven.
    I love the individual pizzas (four pieces) because you can order whatever you wish and do not have to worry about sharing likes/dislikes with others. My favorite is mushroom, onion, and pepperoni.

    Lou Malnati's Pizzeria is the place to go for AUTHENTIC Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, which uses the recipe that Grampa Rudy Malnati helped create in 1943. They say that the secret is their "flaky buttery crust as well as the tomato sauce." The Malnati brothers go to California and meet personally with the tomato growers to insure the quality. However, Rick Malnati swears that the true secret is in the Chicago WATER. He says, "Only Chicago's finest Lake Michigan water can produce a truly delicious Chicago style deep dish pizza crust!"

    Erik, Kristi, Mehmet, Martin at Lou Malnati's
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  • Lou Malnati: Deep Dish Italian

    by mehbos37 Written Apr 16, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had Chicago style deep dish pizza before ,but it was the first time I ate that legendary pizza at the source,Chicago..

    Favorite Dish: Dee (deecat) had organized a VT meeting at Lou Malnati's for me and Kristi (Dabs) Martin (MJB123) and Erik (Erik707) also joined this very enjoyable dinner..

    Everyone was so friendly and they had remarkable knowledge about Turkey..
    Martin surprised me most when he asked about Chatalhoyuk (The oldest city in the world of 9.000 years located inland Turkey)

    It was a night to remember..

    Lou  Malnati Pizza
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    Lou Malnati's: Fabulous Deep-Dish Chicago Pizza!

    by BeatChick Updated Jul 12, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    LOVE, love, love, LOVE Lou Malnati's! When Ian & I came into Chicago one of the first things we did was order us a deep-dish to be delivered. Mmmm, makes a great breakfast, too.

    Mr. Connolly & I ALSO had to have Lou Malnati's first thing when we entered the Windy City. And scandalously, he had me bring him one from Chicago during one of my trips and then REFUSED TO SHARE IT WITH HIS KIDS. Selfish. Scandalous!

    The first time I tried this classic deep-dish was my 40th bday where I opted for the individual deep-dish pizza with butter crust loaded with pepperoni, black olive halves, crispy green peppers, topped with large slices of ripe roma tomatoes & nicely chewy, stretchy double cheese. Paired this with iced tea with lemon (no drinking for me that night - I was exhausted) which arrived in a HUGE tumbler. Next time, I wouldn't mind trying the antipasto platter and their famous peach cobbler. However, an individual pizza and the mondo glass o' tea fills you up.

    Excellent unobtrusive service. Our server took great care of us and when I took photos she kindly helped out by cutting the pie and holding up a slice to demonstrate how deep and delicious this pizza is. See the photos; hope you agree.

    One of the best things about Lou Malnati's is that each location is near an El stop - really a wonderful marketing tool.

    Favorite Dish: Obviously the PIZZA! FABOO!! The crust, although deep dish, is thin, crispy (has to be with the butter) then loaded to the gills with toppings.

    Terry loved his double cheese when I brought it back to him so much so that it made him want to visit Chicago!

    The price for delivery to our hotel of 1 large deep dish buttercrust pizza with extra cheese, pepperoni, black olives, & green pepper was $40 including $2 delivery charge and $5 tip (hey, he was waiting downstairs for us)!

    November 2008 & September 2007

    Lou Malnati's Deep Dish - Look at that Cheese! Lincoln Park's Lou Malnati's Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza Black Olives, Green Peppers, Tomato, Pepperoni
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  • Lou Malnati's: Deep Dish Delight

    by CoAir13 Written Feb 1, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No trip to Chicago is complete without stuffing yourself with a deep dish pizza. It is a pizzeria, but doesn't look or feel like a pizzeria, if that makes sense. Comfortable restaurant feel. Clean and good service, although deep dish takes 45 minutes- an hour to bake!

    Favorite Dish: Regular deep dish filled with pepperoni and mushrooms!!!!

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    Lou Malnati's: My favorite pizzas-deep dish part I

    by Dabs Updated Nov 29, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Last visit to S. State St in November 2013, Wells Street in June 2012

    A sure way to get into an argument with a Chicagoan is to declare a pizza the "best in Chicago" so I will instead call them my favorites. Lou's usually comes up at the top of any poll of Chicago pizza joints .

    There are many different styles of pizza that you can find in Chicago, deep dish is a Chicago specialty. It's thicker than a thin crust pizza and piled high with ingredients, less heavy than Chicago's other specialty pizza, the stuffed pizza.

    Lou's has a great Chicago style deep dish pizza. Starts with a thin crust pulled up high on the sides of a deep dish pan and topped with slices of mozzarella cheese, additional ingredients are spread on top of the cheese and topped with a fresh tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese and spices. For a little bit extra, you can order their famous butter crust. If you are not lucky enough to be coming to Chicago soon, you can also order from their website for shipping in the US, several people I know have done this and they have been pleased with the shipped pizzas.

    Go on the weekend and you can expect to wait at most of the locations, you can pre order a pizza while you wait and you should be seated before the pizza is done.

    Favorite Dish: A lot of people go for the sausage, which comes in a layer but I think you can also ask for it crumbled, but I prefer their pepperoni. Give yourself plenty of time (at least 45 minutes) or order ahead. I prefer to order at least a small pizza, the individual size ones aren't nearly as good, too much dough for my tastes.

    The menu also features appetizers, salads and desserts but for me, Lou's is all about the pizza!

    Deep dish pizza Lou Malnatis on Wells Lou Malnatis on Wells Erik707, Mehbos, Deecat and mjb123-2004 meeting

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    Lou Malnati's: This is Chicago Pizza

    by riorich55 Updated Jun 11, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We celebrated a VT meeting with Jo104 here with 16 people in June, 2009. They gave us a room upstairs where we had a little more privacy and could get a little louder if we wanted. What made the evening so enjoyable, besides the pizza, was the company of the VTers and their guests. We also had a great waitperson waiting on us that evening which also adds to the enjoyment of the evening.

    There are numerous Lou Malnati's in the Chicagoland area, so even if you are not downtown you can enjoy the pizza at any of their other Chicago or surrounding suburb locations.

    They also have a good selection of beers including a great local brew from Goose Island.

    Favorite Dish: "The Lou" - this is their signature pizza with fresh cut spinach, mushroom, sliced tomatoes and 3 cheeses (mozarella, romano and cheddar). A Large will serve 3 or 4 people very easily.

    The picture is not my own, but from Lou's website. But I wanted to show this so that you know if you are from out of town and have another craving you can always have a long distance delivery (sorry Jo U.S. deliveries only)

    Jo (Jo104 from London) Enjoying Chicago Pizza
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    Lou Malnati's: VTers love their Deep Dish!

    by yooperprof Written Aug 4, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the summer of 2008, I was informed by authorities that my VT restaurant ratings for Chicago were in danger of being forfeited because - by my own admission - I had not had eaten ANY Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza at a Chicago Restaurant IN OVER TWENTY YEARS.

    Shamefaced and anxious, I was fortunately allowed to remedy my deficiency by attending a VT meeting at the legendary Lou Malnati's. It was a gathering in honor of European visitors: the famous Matcrazies from Poland and lovely Nico from Piedmont, Italy. The Chicago restaurant guru herself (Dabs) organized the meet-up, and we were joined by Balfor (Chris) from Atlanta, Tom of Madison, Kristi's husband David, and my Chicago friends (and VT hangers-on) Gerald and Janet.

    We convened at Lou Malnati's large, two-level restaurant on Wells in the River North neighborhood - there are several other locations scattered through Chicagoland. Sampling the Deep Dish pepperoni, I was pleased to find a pie with tasty, buttery crust, plenty of runny and gooey cheese, and ample pepperoni slices that were moderately sharp. Two generous slices were more than satisfying - and certainly filled my ample belly.

    Having satisfied my Chicago pizza requirement, I have been removed from VT "probationary status" and am once again a "member in good eating." [Just don't ask me about Chicago style hot dogs!]

    proof that I completed the requirement my first slice in two decades Witnesses Balfor and Matcrazy More witnesses:   Tom of Madison and Nico Lou's is lovely
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    Lou Malnati's: Pizza like it should taste

    by keida84 Written Jan 18, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A little hole in the wall, call and pre-order as the pizzas take a while to cook, then you are seated in a non-descript room with bench seating and tables while your nose is assailed by the most delectable smells to ever emerge from a pizza parlour. Finally the waitress brings the pie and you get your first look at the "famous" pizza. Dig in and eat hearty. You will want to bring the pizza back home in your suitcase.

    They have a frozen section in the restaurant for take home pizza which you bake off in your own oven. That is great if you live in Chicago and can come by and pick one up. If you are a true deep dish lover or a "convert" like me, well then you know how hard it is to find great deep dish in Southern California or anywhere else outside of Chicago. No worries Lou Malnati's will ship their freshly made, flash frozen pizza to your door. It is easy with the miracle of dry ice and the UPS man was quiet envious when he saw the box. Lou's shipping price is built into the price of the pizza and it is quite reasonable too. Each pie is 9 inches and generously serves 2 maybe 3 people. They have monthly specials like their heart shaped pizza for Valentine's day. Frozen pizzas do not have a "long freezer life" so store them only a month or less in the freezer.

    Favorite Dish: Deep dish pizza hands down is my favorite dish at Lou's. This was pizza the way pizza should taste. Now many may disagree with me but for this pizza lover Lou Malnati's reigns supreme. I like the sauce because it has crushed tomatoes in it, with just the right blend of herbs and spices that give it a bit of a kick. A generous helping of cheese and olive oil make for a delectable pizza. Add your favorite toppings and dig in. The pizza does not reheat well so try not to leave any leftover.

    Check out the website you won't be disappointed. http://www.loumalnatis.com

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    Lou Malnati's: Gino's Ain't the only game in town

    by John195123 Written Jan 21, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lou Malnati's ranks right up there with Gino's East. There are many other pizza joints that will go unnamed here, but the two main places in my mind are the two about which I write. Locals might understandably disagree, but I haven't the experience to say otherwise at this point.

    Regardless, Lou makes a good pie.

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    8515 Redtail Drive
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    Mount Prospect
    Carry Out & Delivery Only
    Elmhurst (Route 83) & Camp McDonald roads
    1504 North Elmhurst Road
    Mount Prospect, IL 60056
    Phone: 847.590.1900
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    Carry Out & Delivery Only
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    287 North Northwest Highway
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    Phone: 847.963.0800
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    Schaumburg - West
    Carry Out & Delivery Only
    357 South Barrington Road
    Schaumburg, IL 60193
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    958 W. Wrightwood
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    Phone: 773.832.4030
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    Chicago - River North
    Full Service Restaurant and Bar
    439 North Wells Street
    Chicago, IL 60610
    Phone: 312.828.9800
    Fax: 312.828.0746

    Chicago - South Loop
    Full Service Restaurant and Bar
    805 S. State Street
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Phone: 312-786-1000
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    Carry Out & Delivery Only
    369 West Army Trail Road
    Bloomingdale, IL 60108
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    Fax: 630.582.9787

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    Carry Out & Delivery Only
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    Carry Out & Delivery Only
    (at Route 59)
    2879 West 95th Street
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    Phone: 630.904.4222
    Fax: 630.904.8281

    Western Springs
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    Garden Market Plaza
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    Phone: 708.246.3400
    Fax: 708.246.2545

    Favorite Dish: Here's their menu:

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    Lou Malnati's: Illuminati - No IL LOU MALNATI

    by edss Written Jun 29, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When my friends told me they were taking me to this restaurant I kept thinking they were saying Illuminati's. It really is Il Lou Milnati's. Well it was some of the best pizza I have had to date. They had a great pizza crust, delicious sauce, and great tasting toppings. Pizza is made fresh so order quickly and get drinks and converse with friends. It is worth the 30-45 minute wait.

    Favorite Dish: Chicago Deep Dish

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    Lou Malnati's: Casual Italian

    by HotRodEtte Updated Jul 9, 2006

    Lou Malnati's is a nice casual Italian restaurant with great food for all. A nice indoor restaurant also boasts a small patio outside to watch the traffic and the people stroll by on Wells St. downtown.

    Favorite Dish: I suggest coming before the starvation sets too deeply in, as if you were to order the famous Chicago style deep dish pizza, you will wait 30-40 minutes for your food. The pizza was to die for, but you will also find Italian fare such as lasagna and spaghetti on the menu as well, to name a few.
    Antipasto salad is good here too, and you get a great portion size--a medium size bowl is perfect for 3-4 people.

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  • Lou Malnati's: Pizza Goes Deep

    by aycha Updated Sep 3, 2007

    chicago's known for its pizza, though i don't quite know why. their deep dish pizza-on-steroids just seems inherently wrong to someone like me who's been raised on pliant new york crusts.

    chicago style pizza is more of comfort food...falling somewhere right in between country mashed potatoes and tuna casserole.

    Favorite Dish: The Lou - Generous toppings with an even more generous crust.

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  • Lou Malnati's: Lou Malnati's

    by grkboiler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Lou Malnati's is one of the best original Chicago deep dish pizza places you can eat at. It is a favorite among out-of-towners and locals alike. The first Lou's opened in the suburbs in 1971, and the River North location opened in 1986. There are currently over 20 locations around Chicagoland. And if you can't visit Chicago in person, you can have one delivered to your doorstep anywhere in the US! Just check the website!

    Expect a wait (especially on weekends) of a minimum half hour on weekends (the longest I have been told is 2 hours). Its a pizza place, so dress however you feel.

    Hours are:
    Mon - Thurs 11am - 11pm
    Friday & Saturday 11am - midnight
    Sunday Noon - 10pm

    Local delivery is also available.

    Favorite Dish: Obviously the deep dish pizza! They also have decent soups.

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