Giordano’s VS Lou Malnati’s: The Battle For Chicago’s Best Pizza Rages On

Giordano’s VS Lou Malnati’s: The Battle For Chicago’s Best Pizza Rages On

Before our trip to Chicago, we did a little research to figure out what things we wanted to do and what places we wanted to see. We were only going to be there for the weekend so we wanted to make sure we had somewhat of a plan so that we maximized our time. At the top of the list? Eating deep dish pizza!


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Now, we’re going to make this very clear: WE LOVE PIZZA! It’s a, if we could only eat one thing for the rest of our lives it would be pizza, kind of love. So where we were going to get “Chicago’s best pizza” is what we ended up researching the most. We asked people that had lived in and visited Chicago. We Googled it. We read other blogs. And the two places that kept coming up? Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s.


We tried the Magnificent Mile location of Giordano’s first and we immediately liked the vibe of the restaurant. It’s hard not to like it when there are phrases like “THOU SHALL EAT PIZZA – 11th COMMANDMENT” painted on the wall.


the Magnificent Mile location of Giordano’s

Inside the Magnificent Mile location of Giordano’s


We had to wait about 40 minutes from the time we sat down, but that’s customary when you’re ordering this kind of pizza. It’s even recommended that before you sit down at your table, you pre-order your pizza at the register next to the check in area. We think the pizza was definitely worth the wait.


We ordered a cheese pizza. We’re what we like to call “Pizza Purists” when it comes to pizza. Usually no other toppings, except the occasional pepperoni.


When it arrived at our table and our server put the first slice on a plate, the first thing we noticed was all the cheese (our favorite part). It was frickin’ loaded with cheese! It did that whole stretchy thing that we love so much. The sauce was really good too. It was sweet, but not too sweet. We will say that we felt that the crust was a little lacking because it tasted pretty plain. However, there wasn’t too much crust anyways and the amount of cheese totally made up for it.


Cheese pizza at the Magnificent Mile location of Giordano’s

Slice of cheese pizza at the Magnificent Mile location of Giordano’s

cheese pizza at the Magnificent Mile location of Giordano’s



The next day we tried the Gold Coast location of Lou Malnati’s. Again we pre-ordered and waited a bit before our cheese pizza arrived. This pizza was heavenly as well. Although there wasn’t as much cheese, the crust was definitely better. It was thicker and had more of a buttery taste. And the sauce? Two thumbs up.


the Gold Coast location of Lou Malnati’s

Cheese pizza at the Gold Coast location of Lou Malnati’s

slice of cheese pizza at the Gold Coast location of Lou Malnati’s


So if we had to pick a winner? It’s tough. But we would tip the scale slightly towards Giordano’s. My friend, probably towards Lou’s.


So you see, this is a battle that will probably go on forever. The only way to truly determine who has the best pizza in Chicago, is to keep going back and eating at both.  😉


Ready to book a hotel and start eating your way through Chicago? Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.


Who do you think has the best pizza in Chicago? Let us know in the comments below! 🙂


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These two iconic restaurants are known for having Chicago's best deep dish pizza. Which one is your favorite?


  • Alicia says:

    I haven’t been able to do the taste test yet, I hope to someday. If I had to base it off your post, I’d pick Lou’s because that buttery crust is my favorite thing about Chicago style pizza! 7 am and now I’m hungry for pizza… sigh.

  • Lesley says:

    Good God! Now I am starving!

  • Wow that is a lot of cheese! I’ve not tried this thick bread pizza style – I guess I’m old fashioned and used to my pizzas more traditional. Is this style common across the US?

    • Buddy says:

      It’s not as common as NY style pizza, which is thin. And it’s hard to find an authentic Chicago-style pizza outside of Chicago.

  • noel says:

    Those look really yummy, i’ll take either but probably just one piece, it looks really filling!

  • Jennifer says:

    Both pizzas looked REALLY good. I’d love to try them both.

  • Will says:

    Amazing! Went to Chicago last year & was amazed by the deep dish pizzas! A heart attack waiting to happen but so yummy!

  • Aileen says:

    Whoa…. that’s a LOT of cheese! Haven’t really tried a legit Chicago’s pizza, but I’ll take your word for it! Aaaah, now I feel so hungry :O

  • Dana says:

    I’ll have to try both restaurants next time we get to Chicago and weight in.

  • If you love pizza, I hope you have visited Naples in Italy! I normally cannot stand pizza but since I have never encountered bad food in Napoli, I obviously had to try it there – it is the birth place of pizza, after all. Man, the authentic Neapolitan one is so ridiculously good that it is probably my favourite dish to eat in Naples! (After big, fat chunks of Buffalo Mozzarella, that is). 🙂

  • Ralph says:

    Both of these pizzas are paleo, right?

  • A 40 minute wait for pizza? Not sure I could cope with that! 😀

  • paulina says:

    I’m going to Chicago for the first time with my boyfriend, we’re seriously discussing about if we should go to giordanos or lou malantis first. It’s like the most important part of the trip haha

    • Buddy says:

      Hi Paulina! I hope you and your boyfriend have a great time. Whichever one you choose to go to first, you can’t go wrong. I’d love to hear what you think about them once you get back! 🙂

  • Just got back from Chicago a few weeks ago and I have to say I liked Giordano’s better, but they were both amazing. Another place we really liked was a little hole in the wall pizza place on State street called Ino’s Pizzeria. But you can’t go wrong with pizza anywhere in the city (as long as you stay away from chains). Thanks for your post and for making me want pizza again, lol.

    • Buddy says:

      Hi Samantha! Thanks so much for letting us know what you thought. Like you said, you can’t go wrong with pizza there. And thanks for the new suggestion too, we’ll be sure to check it out next time we’re in Chicago! 😀

  • Mmmm, I’ll be back in Chicago in the spring…think I’ll need to check these two places out!

  • Tami says:

    The best pizza I ever ate was in New Jersey. Just a roadside place near the site where George Washington crossed the Delaware river. And it was a specialty pizza flavor — not just cheese. I figure if I’m going to take in the calories of a pizza, there’d better be something unique and amazing about it! But it sure looks like you had fun doing your own pizza taste test!

  • If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would definitely be pizza, too. But, probably not deep-dish. I’m a big lover of the thinner Neapolitan style. Yet I feel like I should try both of these spots when I go to Chicago next just to say I’ve done them and do the contrast and comparison. If you go back to Chicago and want to try another deep-dish spot, I really like Pequod’s in Lincoln Park. I had to wait a long time to get a table and then wait longer for our pizza, but there’s a great little bar down the street where you can hang out until your table is ready.

  • Cool post idea. I am not a big fan of pizza at all but that first place, with the slice dripping and oozing with cheese inside, looks amazing! Yum. Fun research. 😉

  • Lara Dunning says:

    I grew up in the burbs of Chicago and I never feel in love with Chicago pizza. I’m glad you got to try it and by two different locations. I always base how good a pizza is based on the texture of the crust, the flavor of the tomato sauce, and the evenness of the condiments. I grew up with homemade pizza with homemade dough so I tend like that better. But, I have had some great pizza at pizza places.

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Hi! I'm Vicky, a South Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with my stuffed monkey Buddy. Tired of the 9-5, we recently sold all of our stuff and started traveling full time. Click on the photo to learn more!

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