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Esquire Names Lou Malnati's The Most Life-Changing Pizza

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 20, 2012 3:00PM

Photo credit: Carlton Holls, Jr.

Families in Chicago have spilled blood over what is the best pizza in town and we still get the stinkeye from relatives when we say deep dish pizza is great ... if you like a casserole in a bread bowl.

The editors over at Esquire's "Eat Like a Man" blog conducted their own poll of what they call the most life-changing pizzas in America and Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza topped the poll by the slightest of margins—Lou's won the poll by 0.6 percent, which could be the distance between the top of their crust line and the cheese in their pizza.

Esquire's editors weren't content to let Lou Malnati's have their win and felt the need to add a New York-style backhanded compliment to their copy.

Only two New York-based pizzerias made the top ten, most likely proving that New Yorkers feel they have too many life-changing pizzas to choose from.

Or more likely proving that New York pizza sucks, given the plethora of Original Ray's, New Original Ray's, Old School Ray's, and "Hey, Jerk! I was Ray before Original Ray's" that dot Manhattan like old roach skins. (It does bear mentioning that Gino's East also made the top ten.)

It's another point of pride Malnati's can hang on the walls of its restaurants across the Chicago area, and the poll had some on the Chicagoist staff asking, "Malnati's? really?" For many out-of-town pundits, Malnati's and Gino's East are the gold standard in Chicago-style deep dish. We would argue, successfully, that Burt's and Pequod's are better examples of the deep dish style. But Lou Malnati's has its merits.