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Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
6649 N Lincoln Ave, Lincolnwood, IL
I knew that one of the things I needed to accomplish this week was to eat real Chicago pizza. Not just any old Chicago pizza, but to completely have the true “experience” in a classic setting and to eat a prime example. There are many opinions about which Chicago-style pizzeria is best, but in my estimation, Lou Malnati’s is tops. Like Gino’s East and Uno, Malnati’s is a chain, now with 24 stores in the Chicago metro area, but they are all family owned and their quality has not suffered. The original location in Lincolnwood which opened during the early 1970’s is at the same time a shrine to Chicago pies, done the old fashioned way, and a mecca for worshiping the relics of local sports heroes.
I drove in during the evening from the Western suburbs, in two hours of traffic, in order to meet Ronnie in Lincolnwood. Chicago is a megalopolis — unlike many other cities where you see the reverse type of traffic patterns, many people live within the city limits and commute to the ‘burbs where all the office parks are. No amount of traffic will deter me from eating the best pizza in the city.
Location #1, on Lincoln Road in Lincolnwood, IL.
Lou’s also makes serious old-school Italian ices.
These are frozen pizzas that are made in the exact same way as the fresh pies, and I can attest to their goodness, having had them shipped to New Jersey.
The bar gets some serious action and is a great place to watch a game.
The original Lou’s location is practically a sports memorabilia museum.
Jumbo sized drink tumblers, as they should be. Note Refrigerator Perry’s jersey in the background.
The “Lou”, a vegetarian combination. Chicago pies have a very distinctive crust, much more like pastry crust, with a lot of olive oil and a somewhat sourdough taste profile.
A slice of Pepperoni/Sausage. For the most part, Chicago pizza has to be eaten with a fork and knife.