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Eating deep dish pizza at Lou Malnatis pizza chain in Chicago food hub

Navigating Chicago’s Food Scene

36 HOURS IN CHICAGO= 36 HOURS TO EAT

I have been wanting to check out Chicago for a while now so when my cast mate Alex Clarke from Coupled asked me to go to the Beyonce concert I thought it was the perfect excuse for a trip!

Chicago is a great hub of culture and food, and famous for its deep dish pizza. Naturally as a pizza lover, I couldn’t resist  but to have pizza 4 times in the 36 hours I was there… and had time to squeeze in brunch and dinner at RPM. Below are a list of places I would recommend if you get the chance to get to Chicago!

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1. Lou Malnati’s, 1120 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60610

Lou Malnatis’ is arguably the most famous pizza place in Chicago. There are four different locations and all tend to have very long wait times. I went to the N State Street location as my first stop in Chicago. The atmosphere was fun but I wasn’t blow away by the pizza. Comparing it to Uno Pizzeria’s pizza I felt like the butter crust was too bland and didn’t have a lot of flavor to offer. I ordered a large pizza, half cheese and half Chicago classic, and ended up only being able to eat 1.5 slices. My friend and I ended up finishing the meal with a deep dish cookie pizza with a scoop of ice cream on top which was AMAZING. Overall I am glad I went to check out Lou Malnati’s but I am not sure if I would go back.

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2. Giordano’s Pizzeria, 130 E Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601

I was recommended to try Giordano’s by my Lyft driver when I told him that Lou Malnati’s didn’t fully exceed my expectations. This of course is another chain pizzeria but as a tourist I would suggest trying it out! Note: a deep dish pizza takes about 45 minutes to cook in the oven! With this said, a tip I received was to call ahead to Giordano’s at this location, go visit The Bean for some pictures and then by that time your pizza will be done and ready to go. I called Giordano’s in my Lyft, went to the Bean with Alex and my cousin and by the time we were done it was ready to be picked up! I liked Giordano’s crust better than Lou Malnati’s and overall preferred it.

** I did end up going back to Lou Malnati’s for dessert and am OBSESSED with their deep dish cookie pizza. This is a scoop of heaven in your mouth. Cookie pizza with ice cream and whipped cream on top. No complaints about this at all.

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3. Pequod’s Pizza, 2207 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

On my way back to the Chicago Public Hotel where we were staying, I asked my newest Lyft driver about his favorite pizza spots. It seems like all I did was talk about pizza when I was there… He ended up being a chef in Chicago and highly recommended Pequod’s Pizza. I chose my girl Bey over trying this spot out but if you are there I’ve only heard great reviews about it! Please let me know how you like it if you go as well 🙂

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4. The Publican, 837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

I was strongly advised to visit The Publican when I went to Chicago and I am so happy that I did. This place is known for it’s fine pork and oysters so don’t expect your typical brunch options. Their Mushroom toast with a side of Burton’s Maple Syrup-Braised Publican Bacon. Oh and the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake. The coffee cake is non-negotiable, you must get it. The mushroom toast offered a nice balance of flavor between the sautéed mushrooms with the ricotta cheese and eggs. And the bacon was to die for. Their brunch is definitely on the heavier side so arrive hungry and ready to eat! Another fun part about The Publican is that they offer beer backs with their cocktails. Who wouldn’t want a shot of beer with their bloody mary?

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5. RPM Italian, 52 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654

With Terrence J being Coupled’s beloved host, it only made sense to visit his former co-host Giuliana Ranic’s restaurant RPM Italian.  This restaurant is partly owned by Bill and Giuliana Ranic, both of whom I am obsessed with. Aside from that, the food here is very good as well. The menu is divided into three sections: appetizers, home-made pastas, and entrees. They are known for their in-house made pastas, and their Italian classics that offer a slight twist. Alex and I ended up having the Fritto Misto appetizer, the Painted Hills Bone-In Ribeye and the shredded brussel sprouts salad. I wish I could have tried the pasta or their eggplant parmesan but I just couldn’t stomach anymore carbs or tomato sauce. The service and ambience was lively and the food was delicious. I am looking forward to trying out RPM Steak during my next visit!

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Other restaurant recommendations include: Avec, Trenchermen, Yusho, Salero, Au Chevel for it’s infamous burger, and Cindy’s Rooftop for brunch. Bon Appetit!

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Xo B.Lo

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