I have lived in Minneapolis for 11 years now and even though Chicago is only about 400 miles away, somehow I had never made it there until last weekend!  My husband has always said how much he thinks I would love Chicago since New York is my favorite city and he says Chicago is basically a midwestern New York.  Since we both had a few days off, we decided to make a road trip of it and took off last Saturday for a few days of exploring a new city.

My husband knows me well and I completely fell in love with this city.  The people were so friendly, the city so buzzing and beautiful, the shopping was colorful and exciting and the food was some of the best I have ever had.

Did I mention that the food was exquisite?  I feel like we really hit the city hard and settled some debates in our minds:  best pizza, best cupcakes, a true love for mussels.  Each time I would tell my husband that we had to go get a cupcake from Magnolia, Sprinkles or Crumbs for research and because I had a duty to fulfill.  Thanks for being my excuse sweet teeth!  I did want to experience all that the city had to offer so that I could come home and share my food explorations with you!

Let’s start with pizza.  Obviously Chicago is known for deep-dish pies oozing with sauce and cheese.  If you ask most Chicago natives, they will tell you about a rivalry between two pizza joints:  Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s.  My husband and I felt that if we tried one, we had to be fair and try the other one to compare. We agreed to order the same simple pepperoni pizza at both locations for a fair comparison.

First up was Lou Malnati’s.  Lou’s is known for their thick, chunky tomato sauce and “World Famous Buttercrust”.

I knew we were in for a treat as soon as this pizza landed on our table.

The sauce on this pizza had big chunks of tomatoes and was a perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.  The cheese was abundant, but not overwhelming.  And the real magic in this slice was the crust.  I almost want to describe it like a cookie.  It was crispy on the outside, but perfectly chewy and not soggy on the inside.  The thickness of the deep dish was ideal as it was just enough of that perfect crust without drying out the entire pizza.  We were pretty sure that it couldn’t get much better than this.

On our last day, we made it a point to eat lunch at Giordano’s before we left town.  Giordano’s is know for it’s stuffed deep-dish pizzas.  Yes, that’s right, a bottom crust topped with cheese and any other toppings then topped with another crust that is then smothered with sauce.

As you might be able to appreciate from the photos, this pizza was basically cheese and crust with a side of sauce.  I like my pizza saucy, so this didn’t do it for me nearly as much as it’s rival.  The cheese was also a bit chewier and reminded me more of a mozzarella cheese stick than perfect ooey gooey pizza cheese.

I thought I would love the crust on top of more crust, but this crust just wasn’t that buttery goodness we had come to expect from deep dish.  It was more dry and we found ourselves wanting extra sauce to dunk the crust in.  So, if you still need me to spell it out for you, our opinion on this Chitown rivalry is that hands down, Lou Malnati’s has the BEST Chicago deep-dish pizza!

Stay tuned for my new ultimate favorite cupcake bakery!

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10 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Cassie
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    You guys are adorable, smart move to start with the pizza. I loved following your trip on Instagram!


    • Mercedes
      Mar 15, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

      Thanks Cassie! It was a fun trip!


  2. Anna @ hiddenponies
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    What a fun trip! Your pictures of the city are stunning, and that first pizza picture almost made me pick up the phone and order in – wow.


    • Mercedes
      Mar 15, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

      Thanks Anna! I know, I will be craving that pizza for months to come!


  3. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 2:00 am

    Jason and I are actually planning a Chicago trip for this summer and we’re going for one sole reason: deep dish pizza. And your deep dish pizza post is just making me super antsy about our trip! I don’t know if I can wait a couple more months!


    • Mercedes
      Mar 16, 2012 @ 11:56 am

      Chicago is such a fun city! You will have to let me know what you think! The deep dish is definitely worth many samples!


  4. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    Such a cute picture of you two!
    Now I’m craving deep dish pizza and cupcakes. 🙂
    (Cupcakes are much easier to come by in LA than deep dish pizza)!


  5. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    #1. Lou Malnati’s? YES. #2. You and your guy are so cute! 🙂


    • Mercedes
      Mar 26, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

      I am glad that we have the popular opinion about who win’s the award for best deep dish. Thanks Lindsay!


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