Chicago Dining: Lou Malnati’s

(NEW: 6/3 View The Flash Video of Lou Malnati’s, Superdawg and U Lucky Dog)

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
6649 N Lincoln Ave, Lincolnwood, IL
(847) 673-0800

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.

7 Responses to Chicago Dining: Lou Malnati’s

  1. TongoRad says:

    I’ve gotten their frozen pies before and if they are any indication of what a true Chicago pizza is like then I think we had it pretty good on Long Island back when My Pi (later Gourmet Pizza and Things) was around. Not much difference as far as I can tell. It’s an interesting diversion every now and then for sure. I didn’t think the spinach pie did too well with the freezing and reheating, sorta dry, but the more plain one (sausage) was much better.

  2. I went to one of their outlets last summer. It was ok, but nothing all that special. Perhaps I should have sought out the original.

  3. The original is where it’s at.

  4. […] it is also home to two very important contributions to Superbowl cuisine, the Chicago Dog and the Chicago Style Pizza. And there is also that whole element of Chicago Polish immigrants and their food, and of course, […]

  5. joe says:

    Many years ago I worked for gourmet pizza and things in huntington. I’m trying to find the recipe for the dough. Any chance you can help me out with this? I’ve been trying to explain to my kids hao great the crust is, and every recipe I try dosent come close… Any help would be great…


  6. Ron says:

    As a regular customer from their inception, I can tell you Cheese and / or Cheese and Sausage are the best choices when ordering at the restaurant. Also request buttercrust for a tastier crust.

    Additional ingrediants will fulctuate the cooking. The quality of those pizza are still very good, but not always consistant.

    You can buy frozen pizzas to take home from the restaurant.

    You can also order the frozen pizzas online and they will send them ANYWHERE. I send Pizzas from Chicago to California annual for christmas and delivery has usually been on time and the the quality of the pizzas (cheese) has always been excellent.

    Note : once again I state Cheese Pizza as Cheese is the only way to go when ordering the frozen Pizza.

    Frozen Sausage or Pepperoni Pizza is available for purchase also, but the frozen meat seems to fluctuate in taste as texture, while the Frozen Cheese pizzas have always been Consistant.

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