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Mar 22, 2012 06:23 PM

Lou Malnati's: what kind of place?

Hi Chicago CHers,

Pardon the dense nature of my question, but--should I/ can I call ahead for Friday-night seating at the Lou Malnati's near the Hyatt Regency on East Wacker? We're only in town for two nights and will be driving and tired on the first night, so I would like a laid-back dinner.

I assume it's a pretty big place... any guidance would be helpful. Also would love some recommendations for places for breakfast or lunch on Sunday.



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  1. Definitely it will be a laid back dinner - it terms of calling ahead it will depend - I just went to Lou's in evanston and they had a party of 40 there that made us wait 45 minutes for a party of 7 -

    If your party is small say 5 or less even at their busiest I would say a 30 minute wait -

    16 Replies
    1. re: weinstein5

      it will just be two of us--sounds perfect!

      1. re: weinstein5

        Do they have wine there? (Important detail, LOL!)

        1. re: IndyGirl

          They do have a bar. You might also consider Pizano's, also fairly close by and remarkably similar (the two chains are owned by different Malnatis but the pizza is the same).

          1. re: ferret

            Both pizzas are excellent but they are different and taste differently IMO - to me it seems like Lou's uses more butter thank Pizaonos

            1. re: ferret

              Do I need reservations at pizano's? Thanks!!

              1. re: IndyGirl

                depends on what time you are coming in at. Prime time eating hours, I would. Also, you can order your pizza ahead of time and not have the 40 min wait if you are hungry

                1. re: lbs

                  Ok, thanks! Which pizanos is close to the Hyatt regency on east Wacker? I would look but have limited abilities on my phone- i see there's more than one.

                  1. re: IndyGirl

                    I think the location on Madison will be closest -

                    There is also one on State Street that is a bit further north

                    1. re: weinstein5

                      And am I remembering rightly that the State st. location is smaller than the Madison spot?

                      1. re: weinstein5

                        We are there now!! Great recommendation! Thanks!

                        1. re: IndyGirl

                          LOL! Talk about on the scene reporting! Enjoy!

                          1. re: IndyGirl

                            LOL! Hope you did not get wet! Walk off the pizza on the 7th floor of Macy's, not your average food court.Some heavy hitters (Bayless, Takashi, Samuelsson).

                            1. re: delk

                              Better than that, head over to Block 37 (across State Street from Macy's) they have outlets for Andy's Frozen Custard, Beard Papa (Japanese cream puffs filled to order with cream or custard) and Magnolia cupcake Bakery (skip the cupcakes and go for banana pudding).

                              1. re: delk

                                Thanks! We will look for Macy's! I would not dare to post an official review of Chicago piZza as a Michigander, but it was perfect--- thanks again for the recommendation!

                                1. re: weinstein5

                                  You guys are the best ! We did go to macs but I was so full I just got a ginger juice at the food court on the third level. Tomorrow may present opportunities for the other things you all so graciously mentioned!!

                2. I'm a former Michigander and don't worry you can opine on the pies here--I admit it, once in a while i take a spin to my nearest (miles away) Little Ceasers.

                  IMO, I would choose Lou's and make a reservation/call ahead. No need to order in advance. Make sure to get the butter crust--so good.

                  I would also suggest that there's a newer Lou Malnati's in the Gold Coast on N State St that also then puts you in the middle of some fun nightlife and great people watching. About a 10-15 minute cab ride from Hyatt.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jbontario

                    Thank you for this- perhaps soon I will type up a more detailed report but I am no expert on Chicago pizza, so I don't want to seem presumptuous!