It's nice to see recommendations that stretch the mind a bit, other than the same three places that pop up in response to the "what's a good restaurant...good pizza place." I like to learn something from this board and it's getting more difficult. The Bacino's and Ricobene's recommendations are great recommendations. Connie's is not downtown, but their pan pizza is very solid and can be ordered into the Fairmont. Agree with abf's characterization of the downtown pizza joints though they all have accomplished much and can be enjoyed in other locations. We do eat Malnati's from time to time, but no sausage so haven't experienced your disappointment.
Bill Daley in the Trib did a nice piece on pizza in this week's (Wed.) food section. Suggest that some of the regular posters here read it and expand their horizon's.
Pizano's on Madison at Wabash is a reasonable stroll from the Fairmont, especially if you cut through the Aon Center to the Prudential building (I work there - you can get to the Fairmont from Pru without going outside, see - there's a pedway down there). Really good pizza, and very cozy, as well. Good service and pasta specials, too.
Pizano's = Lou Malnati's'
Its are the EXACT same pizza!!! Both owners are descended from Rudy Malnati Sr who is attributed with helping Ike Sewell open the original Uno's.
One son, Lou, went on to open Lou Malnati's in Lincolnwood and then left the biz to his son Marc when he passed, the other grandson Rudy Malnati Jr opened Pizano's.
If you don't believe me, read their respective web sites, its the same family. So don't waste your time going to both they are identical, believe me, I've tried them both and if there's difference it is indiscernible.
No arguments here! Just two sugestion's:
Bacino's Pizzeria on 75 E. Wacker Drive (312) 263-0070; is simply the best Pizza downtown.
A close second is Ricobene's on Lake & Wells.
I do like Giordano's as well, but for the best stuffed deep dish pizza Bacino's really is superior.
On Lou Malnati's; Sorry but I cant support any recommendation to this place with a clear conscience, but there are millions of satisfied customers and there are many Chowhound supporters of it so I'm obviously a minority here. Truth is, I hold no love for this place, and since I like my pizza's with a good quality sausage on them, Lou's just doesn't cut it. In fact, their sausage is simply awful, its a greasy pale grey, flavorless manhole cover that cant be escaped if ordered on your pizza. The crust is good, but not great but only if you take the .75 upgrade to a butter-crust, which is well worth it since the regular original crumbly crust is much like a bad pastry pie crust.
I'm sad to say, but both Uno's & Gino's East just aren't what they used to be, they are now just tourist stops; kind of like going out to Des Plaines to see what the very first McDonald's (store #1 museum) looked like in its heyday and nothing more.
The biggest chains for great Chicago-style pizza are Giordano's, which has a double-crust "stuffed" pizza, and Lou Malnati's and Gino's East, which have a single-crust "pan" pizza. All of these are absolutely delicious, IMHO, although many people argue endlessly over which is the best of these. (My personal favorite is Giordano's, because I love their crust along the edge the best, but I like all of them.)
The closest location to the Fairmont is Giordano's in Prudential Plaza, only a short block from the Fairmont:
135 E. Lake St.
The closest locations of Lou Malnati's and Gino's East are about a mile from the Fairmont:
439 North Wells Street
162 E. Superior St
Phone: 312-266 DEEP (3337)