An import from Italy, pizza is one of the most American indulgences, and one of the most satisfying too, whether as a slice on the go or as a whole pie shared among friends with a pitcher of beer. There are so many different styles and toppings options that you can enjoy pizza practically every day and not get bored. To the most ardent pizza lover, it’s as essential as sunshine, so we’ve shined some light on a few of our favorites. Take a look at our roundup of the best pizza in America and see if there’s one that suits your taste.
Though you won’t find many seats to enjoy it onsite, this tiny, newish eatery in Tremont is perfect for grabbing a pie on the run. Everything they sell is scratch-made, from the pizza dough to the hand sliced pepperoni. High end specialty pizzas bring exciting flavor combinations like banana peppers and ground pork, rosemary chicken and feta, and Spanish chorizo and goat cheese. Vegetarians are more than covered with roasted eggplant, mixed mushroom and even spanikopita. Regulars swear by the fine selection of hot and cold sandwiches on pillowy soft bread baked fresh daily. Hand rolled gnocchi is another favorite that travels well.
For deep dish pizza aficionados, this western ‘burbs pride and joy is hands-down the best option in greater Cleveland. Not only do their signature pies accommodate more fillings, but the crisp, buttery, slightly sweet, breadcrumb-coated crusts are so captivating that they’re an end unto themselves. The tomato sauce adds more sweetness as a foil for meaty toppings like sausage, meatball, bacon, ham, pepperoni even all-beef pepperoni. You could start the meal off with appetizers like Italian breaded ravioli or Bosco cheese filled breadsticks, but that’s a sucker’s play; save room and devour as many deep dish slices as your appetite and dignity permit.
Let’s get one thing settled right away: it’s not a pizza joint, so don’t look for red checkered tablecloths here. But this handsome Italian gastropub in Ohio City slings some of Cleveland’s finest pizzas, along with an eclectic selection of adult beverages with which to wash them down. Like the rest of the menu, the pies focus on regional and sustainable ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors. Look for irregular shapes, rustic presentations and imaginative toppings like house-made pancetta, local eggs, jalapeño basil chicken sausage, olive tapenade and sliced potatoes. Unlike most gastropubs, bar Centro is more wine focused, but sister bar Bier Markt has you covered with tap selections from a beer geek’s dreams. If promptness isn’t your strong suit, fear not: Bar Cento’s kitchen doesn’t close until 2:00 AM.
Going strong since 1956, this old school University Heights pizza joint specializes in pies with thick, crunchy crusts with delicious black char from the oven. Thick discs of pepperoni imported from Italy crisp up in the oven while drawing in its flavor. Large meatballs simmered in tomato sauce are another crowd-pleaser, enjoyed by their lonesome or as a pasta dinner. This eatery is popular with college students for its affordability, but it doesn’t take credit cards, so bring cash – but don’t worry, you won’t need much get full.
This hipster-filled dive bar in Tremont has the added luxury of old school pies from the similarly named but unaffiliated takeout joint next door. These are pizzas with the expected toppings and zero pretension; it’s the kind of greasy, no-frills fare that revitalizes – and deliciously so – after a night of imbibing. With as many interesting microbrews as they have, imbibing here is a near guarantee. What’s less guaranteed is the wait time, whether for slices or whole pies, so lead the passer by ordering yours well ahead of when you think you need it. If hunger becomes unbearable, the free popcorn will sustain you until arrival.
Jay Jerrier’s groundbreaking Deep Ellum pizza joint (with several satellites) sets the benchmark for the Neapolitan style exemplified by thin crusts with edges so blistery they look like leopard spots. That’s the magic of the ceramic oven and its 900 degrees of wood-fired heat that cook the pies so quickly, they emerge with an ethereal quality and a mere kiss of smoke in the flavor profile. Local sausage and hot soppressata make their way into several of the pizzas, but the more popular Delia has a topping with a cult following: bacon marmalade. Although pizza is the #1 reason to come – and probably #2 and #3 as well – the house-made burrata and meatballs are nearly as legendary.
For many of us, the quintessential pizza is New York style exemplified by plate dwarfing slices; those who agree will also agree that one of its best practitioners is this Oak Cliff restaurant. Here, the pies stretch 20 inches across with an addictive tomato-oregano tandem under the shreds of mozzarella. Optional pepperoni discs are similarly gargantuan. Slices will run you $3, topped with a daily selection; crustier Sicilian square slices are also available. Regulars are obsessed with the zucchini fries whose light, crunchy batter, faint dusting of Parmesan and house-made jalapeño ranch uplift the vegetable while still allowing you to say you’re eating healthy.
“The thinnest pizza in the country” can be had at this pizzeria just a few blocks from the American Airlines Center. The ideal snack after a game or concert is made from family recipes dating back several generations to Italy’s third pizzeria ever. For even more authenticity, the mozzarella is made in-house and the tomatoes are shipped in from Italy. Choose from Neapolitan (round and thin) and Roman (oval and super-thin) to experience both Southern and Northern Italian styles, then choose from custom and preconfigured toppings. Locals favor The Dream, a signature pie that adds gorgonzola, chicken, pancetta (Italian bacon) and jalapeño. Classic hot sandwiches like meatball and chicken parm get an upgrade with crackly homemade bread.
If this name sounds familiar, it’s because this West Village pizzeria is an outpost of the legendary Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn NY. Sure, it’s a chain, but who are we to argue with the coal-fired brick oven methodology that’s won more awards than any pizzeria in the country? It imparts an unmistakable flavor while ensuring the sweet spot that simultaneously achieves both crispy and droopy. Fold it over and feel like a real New Yorker, even in Dallas. For a change of pace, try a white or pesto pie; calzones cooked in the same oven use the same dough too.
This transplant from San Antonio makes authentic Neapolitan pizzas in an oven imported from Italy. Just as at its more southern sibling, the burrata bar is just as much of a draw; the fresh, buttery Italian cheese is offered with fillings ranging from mushroom cream to mascarpone to prosciutto. Pork Love is their signature pie that artfully weaves pancetta, soppressata, prosciutto and a house-made sausage of pork butt, back fat and pancetta. All pies are cooked quickly at 800 degrees, giving them flavorful blackened areas while keeping the dough light and airy – just like in Italy.
The copper covered pizza oven grabs your attention at this Bella Vista restaurant serving blistery pies that’ll make you think you’re in Italy. The digs are small, but it’s a big step up from its past incarnation as a food truck that had to be endured in the elements – think of the communal seating as a way to trade slices and make new friends. The crusts are thin in the center and more substantial around the perimeter; terrific toppings like lean organic pepperoni and spicy soppressata balanced with sweet honey appear simple on paper but scream with flavor. The signature pie is the Truffle Pecorino with fresh buffalo mozzarella, shiitake mushrooms and truffle oil, with the whole egg yolk broken and spread by your server tableside, and with great ceremony. Nomad is a place that does everything right, from first rate service to locally grown produce to unforgettable pizzas to Sunday night movies to complimentary chocolate served with the check.
This restored firehouse in Cedar Park best known for tank-fresh craft brews, 6-glass beer flights and tantalizing fry selections (try the leek) also commands respect as one of the Philadelphia’s finest pizzamakers. The gorgeous Flammenkuche features crème fraiche, caramelized onion, apple-wood smoked bacon, gruyere and fresh herbs. Forget about pronouncing it; just point and eat. Char grilled sausage, prosciutto, marinated barbecue chicken and an intoxicating savory/sweet fig jam make their way onto other selections. Vegetarians are hardly left out; a whopping ten pies are meat free. Headed for dinner on Saturday? Arrive mid-afternoon for a tour, where $4 gets you all the deets, a pint glass, a sticker and a built-in excuse to dig into the suds and slices even earlier.
It’s easy (and forgivable) to get distracted by the baubles that are the charcuterie, snacks and pastas at this polarizing Mediterranean restaurant in Center City, but the pizzas are things of beauty. Try the asparagus with farm egg or the mushroom with charred leeks to learn that you don’t need meat to have a luxuriantly rich pie. That’s not to say that meat doesn’t dazzle in combinations like prosciutto-pears-walnuts and coppa-pancetta-soppressata; on the right night, they’re life changing. The permutations are constantly changing, so if you see something that intrigues you, pull the trigger to avoid a lifetime of regret. The space exudes a modern-rustic vibe with reclaimed wood, brick and metal everywhere you look; it’s tight in spots but comfortable throughout.
This family-run South Philadelphia institution has been a pizza destination as far back as 1910, when Terry and Mirna Iannelli began selling “tomato pie, ” a cheese-free pizza with sweet, thick tomato sauce on a square Sicilian style crust. Since then, the bakery offerings have expanded, but those Sicilian slices are still highly sought – especially the treasured corner pieces that bring more of that crunchy crust. The whole pies are so large, they span two takeout boxes. Other toppings options include broccoli rabe, fresh spinach and jumbo lump crab meat. Iannelli’s more recently introduced thin crust pizzas that are nearly as popular.
Pizza and gelato under one roof? Yes, please. It’s one-stop shopping at this Old City gelateria that added a 23,000-lb pizza oven in 2014. The Neapolitan style pies exhibit all the right characteristics: airy, fluffy crusts with the tell-tale blisters from the wood-fired oven cranked up to 900 degrees. Toppings like prosciutto de Parma, smoked mozzarella, guanciale and Sicilian capers breathe life into these pies that’s evident on first bite. Oh, and about that one-stop shopping: it also includes Italian craft beers, wines and cocktails. And lest we forget, the smooth, creamy gelati that built the place are reason enough all on their own to pay a visit.
This miniscule eatery in a North Park shopping center was way ahead of the blistery Neopolitan pizza curve, and even with a bevy of more polished competitors, it manages to deal some of the best pies in the city. We like that every pizza on the menu looks a little bit different from the rest (several skip the tomato or cheese). We like that all of the dough is made and hand stretched in house. We even like that the brick-domed pizza oven, built in Naples, is tucked into a back corner and not used as a desperate cry for attention, the way many of the new breed do. The pizzas are delicious enough to earn sufficient attention on their own. High octane toppings like sheep’s milk cheese, fennel sausage, goat peppers and soppressata are applied with generosity and gusto.
We love places where pizza isn’t the number one priority, but is great anyway; this bar in Normal Heights is an example as superb as its pies. The skateboard-themed pub stocks a deep lineup of craft beers on tap and in bottles, with the usual suspects as well as some obscure out-of-towners. Belgian frites with three aioli sauces for dipping make a great complement if you’re not hungry enough to tackle a whole pie. If you do, consider tackling the spicy salami pie with hot oil on the side for dipping; it’s a heat-filled challenge guaranteed to quicken the beer consumption. As with all of the pies, the crust is thin and the edges are spotted from high temperatures and fast cooking.
The only thing we want to know is, does Diane Keaton get a free slice? Crunchy, square crust pies cut like brownies are the namesake offering here, and superbly done. With ten years of pizza training in the Bronx, the NYC transplant owner also makes a respectable thin crust pie that emulates the more famous New York style. Both are very much worth ordering, but for a first take go with the Almost Lasagna, a Sicilian style with layers of firm crust, tender crumbled meatballs and creamy ricotta. Sunday through Tuesday specials make it very easy to pair slices with a glass of draft beer.
In Little Italy, this next-door spin-off of Bencotto Italian Kitchen is doing for pizza what its older sibling did for pasta: turning it into an artform. Monello (“naughty little boy”) takes pride in its Italian flour and four day process for house-made dough yielding the city’s most intensely flavorful crust in a light and crispy package. Toppings are mostly simple, confined to just a few ingredients, but they’re of the highest quality – one of the hallmarks of Italian cooking. We’re partial to the prosciutto with balsamic figs and raspa dura cheese that’s an upgrade over Parmesan. Pizza is also included on a four-course prix fixe menu that gets homemade pastas into the act. The room is smart, stylish and spread out.
With extensive outdoor seating, an upbeat vibe, irreverent bathroom art and enthusiastic servers, this Italian eatery in South Park is just plain fun. The pizzas are no slouch, with three dozen pie options highlighting premium cured meats, unusual cheeses and some twists like fried pizza crusts. The star of the restaurant is Sofia, the oven hand built of clay from Italy’s Sorrento region; temperatures reach 1000 degrees to yield the perfect crust, even if you don’t opt for the fried selections. We recommend trying one pie of each crust style, but don’t let the pizza excellence distract you from Buona Forchetta’s world class pastas that are especially on their game in the nightly specials.
This pizza mini chain with a half dozen Michigan locations executes a Chicago deep dish style but with a detour through Kansas. That’s where the founders perfected a pizza crust using premium wheat and no chemicals to whiten it; the naturally light dough rises triumphantly in golden brown hues with matching delicious flavor. It’s a sound housing for the tangy, herb-studded tomato sauce and premium fillings like shrimp and crabmeat in addition to the more expected sausage, pepperoni and bacon. The fantastic dough also flavors thin crust pies, calzones and stromboli. For a different kind of dough that’s just as irresistible, try the deep dish chocolate chip cookies.
Dave Mancini’s funky counter service pizzeria with mannequins and dramatic wall art rocks some dramatic and artful round pies as well. The house-made dough is supplemented with market-fresh produce and locally sourced meats like Porktown sausage, City Wings’ smoked turkey and prosciutto. There’s even smoked prosciutto on the Affumicata (“smoky”) that pairs it with smoked Gouda, roasted garlic and ricotta. Supino offers a nice balance of red and white pies, and there’s no need to commit to a whole one when slices are available in cheese, pepperoni and a rotating daily special.
This real deal original that spawned a slew of suburban outposts is the birthplace of Detroit style deep dish pizza, and it’s worth putting up with a lack of creature comforts – and perceived lack of safety – to enjoy it. Okay, so maybe the neighborhood isn’t as sketchy as it looks; just forget that and revel in the old time atmosphere inside this relic whose thick crusted pies have been wowing the locals since 1946. Start with the Sicilian pepperoni, whose discs are buried under layers of velvety Wisconsin cheese and sweet tomato sauce to prevent charring. If you’re a stickler for exposed pepperoni, go for the Detroiter, which puts it right on top. The beer selection is as humble as the environs, but just like the pizza, it hits the spot without breaking the bank.
This Indian-Italian mash-up in Hamtramck presents some outrageously creative and tongue-numbing pies. Eat as adventurously as the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmerman by ordering the Dry Fish pizza he tried. Its aroma will hit your nostrils long before the pie hits the table, but that’s not necessarily a good thing: it reeks of dried shrimp, garlic and spicy fish paste sauce. The mix gets crunchy during cooking, and that’s part of the appeal, along with some intense heat from ghost chile peppers. Those peppers are also deployed in the spicier Ghost Pizza with chicken and red onions; it comes with a warning to “eat at your own risk.” Grab plenty of napkins, because you’ll need some extra to wipe your forehead when the inevitable spice-induced sweat storm ensues.
This Greektown legend has a lived-in look with brick walls, high ceilings and ancient wood trim everywhere; it’s the kind of relaxing atmosphere that goes well with some square deep dish slices and an ice cold beer. Strategically located TVs have you covered for the game, and if the game goes six overtimes, you’re covered for that too: the joint is open until 2:00 AM on weeknights and 4:00 AM on weekends. Even though the rest of the menu is Greek, Niki’s doesn’t have a Greek style pizza per se, but you can get into the mood of the neighborhood with the Feta pizza that adds crumbles of the tangy cheese. Its brightness made it a favorite of Alan Richman, who named it – along with Buddy’s – to his 2009 GQ list of the best pizzas in the country.
Probably the most famous pizzeria in the country due to its nationwide expansion, Pizzeria Uno is still one of the leading practitioners of Chicago deep dish pizza. The crunchy, buttery crust houses a magical combination of sausage and pepperoni in the Numero Uno pie that’s become a house favorite from coast to coast. At this original location and one other, the pizzas are made from the original recipes (not so elsewhere), so expect a higher level of quality, along with bragging rights.
One of Albany Park’s up and coming pizza joints is a new project by the owners of Manzo’s, a local favorite for more than two decades. Not content with the more typical Chicago deep dish pies, Tano’s takes it to the next level – literally - with stuffed pizzas that pack custom fillings and sweet tomato nectar under another layer of crust on top. The standard deep dish version is also on offer, as are thin crust pies. Daily specials make the ordering easier, and if you’re into sandwiches, try the “beef flight” that serves three miniature versions of their most popular beef sandwiches, along with drippings for dipping.
Another recent upstart in Rosco Village has quickly garnered attention for its superb deep dish pies that easily rank with the big boys. The glistening, just-greasy-enough crusts rise sky high to hold in all the goodness from a sweet tomato sauce nestled with Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, prosciutto and Italian beef – and that’s just what’s in The Stockyard! Get subsets of these components in the other deep dish offerings, or confidently go vegetarian with a satisfying Deep Dish Spinach made from grandma’s family recipe. Cracker-thin conventional pizzas use the same high quality sauce and toppings. There’s no bar, but a BYOB option and a convenient, well- stocked liquor store across the street bring beer and pizza together with minimal effort.
The oldest family-run pizzeria in Chicago opened its first store in 1971; whether or not the family pioneered Chicago deep dish pizza, they’ve been a Windy City favorite for it ever since. All of the pies are made from scratch using carefully selected ingredients and finely honed recipes – especially for the signature flaky crust that’s become synonymous with a Malnati’s pie. It might also have something to do with the Michigan water that some say is as critical for pizza as Brooklyn’s is for bagels. Long-lasting relationships are important to Malnati’s; they’ve struck with the same cheese supplier for over 40 years, and one out of every six servers has been with the company for ten years or more. That kind of commitment – along with an excellent product – translates into longstanding relationships with a very loyal customer base.
While deep dish pizza is all about the crust, this Lakeview pizza legend puts as much effort into the luxuriant waves of brilliant red tomato sauce with personality in spades. And more buried mozzarella than your wife or doctor should know about. It makes for a hearty bite regardless of the other toppings, but we like the Art’s Meaty Delight with sausage, bacon, ground beef, pepperoni and sliced beef. The same toppings combinations can be had as pan, stuffed or thin crust versions. Even more accessible is the option of grabbing just a slice or two; it makes The Art of Pizza just as much about the art of the deal.
This humble pizzeria off International Drive is known for its easy access from Universal and its gigantic American style pies. For quick snackage, try the pepperoni or spinach rolls made with pizza dough and served with zesty marinara for dipping. Or if your lover allows, hot garlic butter. Extra large 16-inch pies get divvied into twelve slices for easy eating and easier sharing; make it an Xtreme Pepperoni to get meat in every bite. Are you up for a challenge? Grab a buddy and order the 28-inch pie with one topping. If you finish it in an hour, it’s free! Pizza Xtreme is more geared to pizza on the go, but a few well placed TVs make it comfortable for an extended visit.
Yes, it’s a chain. But you know what? Sometimes moms headed back from Universal and Disney World have screaming kids in tow and can’t spare a minute checking the cell phone for more culinary sophistication. But even if you can, you can do a lot worse than Anthony’s, who sets the bar in pizzas that have a little more crispness and a little more flavor from that oven. Also getting a flavor boost is the popular wings appetizer that’s different from what you’re used to, but legitimately delicious. Instead of the usual deep fry, the wings get roasted in the oven and topped with the best part of all: tender slivers of onions that truly soak up the oven’s magic, transferring it to every bite of the chicken.
Popular with University of Central Florida students, this East Orlando restaurant supplies two things the university bookstore can’t: beer and pizza. The mostly-Florida tap list runs a dozen deep, with an occasional Belgian or German offering to keep you on your toes. Humongous whole pies in 20- and 30-inch diameters are great for a gang, but slices and slice “deals” make the ordering as easy as a varsity lineman’s midterm. Customization is a no-brainer, even with the slices; all of the usual toppings are available, plus tempeh for the vegetarian set. Think you’ve got big balls? Practice your skill between beers and slices at the only bocce court in an Orlando restaurant. Don’t worry, they’ll let you toss and sip at the same time if you like.
This South Orange pizzeria isn’t t a chain and proudly states so on its website, but you can probably tell just by taking a bite out of one of Brick & Fire’s pies. All are made with dough hand rolled each day with Orlando Brewing’s Organic Red Ale; it gives the crust a unique flavor that’ll have you coming back again and again. As long as you’re getting some in the crust anyway, why not pair the pie with one of six available Orlando Brewing beers? Among the two dozen imaginative pizza varieties, we’re enthralled with the Angry Shrimp Pizza: garlic olive oil, jack cheese, Sriracha sautéed shrimp, sliced tomatoes, bacon, scallions and cilantro. Now that’s what we call flavor that hits you from every direction. For even more flavor, check out the eight different wings styles sold for 99 cents apiece, with a 50 cent deal on Wednesdays. Mixing and matching never came so easy and cheap.
Hidden in the back of a shopping complex, this Colonialtown Center pizza shop with Brooklyn roots is slinging authentic New York style pies. The owners ran a successful pizzeria for two decades in Brooklyn before relocating to Florida. The pizza crust is thin, slightly crunchy and still bendable for that classic New York fold-over technique. Red and white pies are offered, as well as Sicilian style and stuffed varieties. Addictive garlic knots are great for the ride home, but don’t try to keep it a secret, because – trust us – you can’t. There’s not much to the atmosphere here, but you’re not going for the atmosphere; you’re going for fantastic pizza. And possibly calzone and stromboli after you become a regular.
In the Historic MIMO district, this throwback pizzeria will remind you of the Rat Pack era, even if you’re too young to know who the Rat Pack are. Andiamo specifically aims to recapture the traditional Italian joints of the Northeastern US, and does so quite well with the pizzas. The dough is made fresh daily; the toppings are brought in fresh and prepared onsite. That’s why the most popular pie is the New York that flaunts minimalism with nothing more than tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and basil; unlike at the chains, you’ll taste every ingredient and dream about your next experience. A well curated beer list balances domestic beers from around the country with imports from Italy and the rest of Western Europe.
If the sign out front doesn’t clue you in, take a gander at the pizza oven that looks like the love child of an igloo and a disco ball; it’s the secret behind the most authentic Neapolitan pies in Miami. But the owners love simplicity and tradition, so the ingredients are as important as the equipment. That means importing some from Italy, sourcing others from local farms and making fresh mozzarella daily in-house. Red and white pies both have the tell-tale airy crust with black leopard spots from high heat and fast cooking. The toppings bring exciting components like broccoli rabe, a four cheese cream, speck, smoked cheeses, pancetta cream, black truffles and white truffle oil. Pizzas usually don’t lead to heavy desserts, but an exception worth making is the Nutella calzone, served warm so the filling melts into the dough. Trust us, you’ll finish it.
Chef Klime Kovaceski‘s recent addition to the Lummus Park area reacquaints Miami with what the Herald called “charmingly misshapen, thin-crust pizzas” during his days at Trio on the Bay. the pizza-focused menu at his own place offers thirteen different preconfigured pies as well as a build-your-own option in three different sizes. Toppings such as grilled octopus, figs, pancetta and pesto-artichoke keep things interesting; they’re placed generously enough that you might need a knife and fork. The stylish room is a mix of old and new, with intentionally mismatched chairs, old furniture, wine racks, an open kitchen and enough TVs to sneak a peek if there’s a game on. As for the pizzas, it’s definitely game on here.
We’re not sure which is hotter: the Little River restaurant scene or the trend toward authentic Neapolitan pizzas. You’ll find both here, where the feathery light crusts get hit with the requisite leopard spots from the wood-fired oven, followed by San Marzano tomatoes. Uber-Italian toppings like anchovies, capers, sausage, prosciutto, salami and pepperoncino oil make appearances on pies spanning twenty different varieties. If you’ve ever wondered why the upscale restaurants offer tasting menus but pizza restaurants don’t, you can stop right now, because Ironside’s “Giro” pizza tour ($20 per person) is a tasting of pizzas personally selected by the pizzaiola, with the simple Margherita leading the parade. The pies are reasonably priced already, but a friendly BYOB policy with no corkage fee brings even more value. Whether seated indoors by the oven or outside on the private patio under palm trees, you’ll have a relaxing evening and some of the best Neapolitan pizza to be had in all of Miami.
Had a piece lately? That’s what the menu asks at this North Miami joint that slings traditional New York style pizza in three sizes, gargantuan crusty Sicilian pies, and affordable slices of both styles. They generally take an add-whatever-toppings-you-like approach, but a few specialty pizzas offer predictable but well executed takes on the meat lover’s pizza, the vegetarian and a three-cheese sauceless pie. The Steve’s Special hits you with pepperoni, sausage, meatball, green pepper, onion, mushroom and anchovies on request. These are augmented with the typical subs, hoagies and spaghetti dinners familiar to anyone who’s ever been in an old time pizza shop.
Check into Chef Todd Winer’s stylish Fort Point pizzeria on a busy weekday lunch hour and you’ll see two distinct operations. Take a right and it’s a relaxing restaurant where tourists, dropouts, day traders and retirees lounge in leather banquettes while sipping beers and savoring whole Neapolitan pies resting on tomato cans. Take a left and it’s a bustling takeout operation where office workers grab a couple of square Sicilian slices and maybe a salad from the cafeteria style showcase. Either way you go, there’s value, along with some deliciously authentic pizza. On the round pies, the dough is lightly bready, with liberally applied cheese adding some compensatory heft. For a change of pace, consider the lemon and jalapeño option that’s even lighter.
A pizza landmark since 1903, this East Boston eatery on the way to the airport is a must-visit, even if just for the gritty appeal. But they also happen to have some of the city’s best old school pies, made unique by the cornmeal crumbs under the crust. The sweet, slightly tangy tomato and the confluence of creamy mozzarella and saltier parmesan bring joy to every bite. If there’s a shortcoming, it’s that the toppings aren’t applied with the utmost generosity, but they’re of high quality, without resorting to the tired local-organic schtick. Grilled lamb, sausage and steak tips, served with hot peppers and Italian bread, are highly recommended options to start the meal, but our effusive praise for Santarpio’s begins and ends with the pizzas.
In Boston’s North End, the lines are justly long and must be endured for the affordable Sicilian slices served out of pans. The crust is thick, crunchy and surprisingly light compared to the visual. The tomato sauce is vibrant, tart and seasoned like they mean it; the cheese is bubbly, slightly browned and as heavy as it gets without taking over the slice. You don’t want to wait in line for naught, even if yours is the only car that’s not double parked. So arrive early or run the risk that they’ll sell out of pizza, a daily occurrence that usually happens before 2:00 PM. A respectable alternate is the arancini (fried risotto balls, also Sicilian) stuffed with peas, beef, cheese and that same sauce, but it’s really the slices you should be after.
This South End restaurant is named after its two main offerings: pizza and ice cream (it’s a contraction for Pizza and Ice Cream Company), and contrary to the notion that you can only succeed at one thing, they do both quite well. The thick-but-light, slightly charred dough draws in the aromas and flavors of the wood oven. The sweet, chunky tomato sauce is just as thick, making Picco a good choice for someone whose favorite member of the crust-tomato-cheese triumvirate is the oft-neglected tomato. We’re in that camp, but love the tomato-less Alsatian with sautéed onions, shallots, garlic, crème fraîche, bacon and gruyere. Remember that it’s the trendy South End, so the price tags can get steep – especially when a large pie here is the size of someone else’s small – but the overall quality cannot be denied. Be sure to save some room for ice cream; if you’ve already had a few beers, try the Adult Ice Cream Soda that pours a Belgian beer over premium vanilla ice cream.
Popular with Boston College students past and present, this Cleveland Circle institution has been serving up their polarizing pies since 1962, with many of the same faces behind the counter for years. Above the mid-sized crust, it’s the profusely applied cheese that trumps the tomato on this one. A small assortment of specialty pizzas assembles preconfigured toppings, like the Meat Lover’s with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon and meatballs. Custom permutations available via the build-it-yourself option with half-topping increments (yes, you can get two and a half toppings). In addition to their traditional American take on Neapolitan pizza, Pino’s offers crusty Sicilian pan pies that their faithful argue are the best in Boston. More importantly, Pino’s is open until 1:00 AM with delivery service until 12:45, keeping the all-nighters sufficiently fueled.
Just about the quintessential example of neighborhood pizza-and-a-pitcher joint, a typical Blue Moon location has a nice patio which will get completely filled every Friday night, drink specials, and a large crowd. The owners, Mandy and Kevin Slater, opened their small chain of four Atlanta-area stores with the slogan "Life should be less ordinary," and that definitely applies to their menu. Plenty of places will let you order different ingredients for each half of a pizza, but Blue Moon is the first place we've ever seen to let you even split a personal pie down the middle, so for one price you can sample two of their awesome "half moons." Their neatest trick, however, may be perfecting "Take-n-Bake" pies for pickup. Customers order them ahead of time, and collect them ready-made with their wonderful premium ingredients to bake in their oven at home, a fabulous way to feed party guests!
If you're looking for a totally far out pizza experience, check out these freaky moonbats and their four stores in Cobb and Cherokee Counties . They teamed up with a design company in Woodstock GA to give each of their stores its own unique, weird, mindblowing vibe and decor. One of their restaurants celebrates Yellow Submarine, and another is a tribute to the amazing Easy Rider, with motorcycles on the walls and lobby cards at the tables. There's enough here to knock your senses for enough of a spin that your mind has been turned off and is floating downstream even before your personal-sized pizzas arrive. With several vegetarian and vegan options and a variety of different sauces, this is definitely a place to visit with a gang of groovy, like-minded hepcats ready to sample a deep menu of far-out awesomeness.
Shorty's is where you go for the most fun-loving pizza combinations around town, each of them named for a famous musician. The late-but-immortal David Bowie, for instance, inspired the Thin White Duke here, a white pie with sausage, roasted tomatoes and onions, and cilantro. A vegan pie with curry oil, mint chutney, and roasted vegetables is named for Ravi Shankar. No matter what musician you love the most, you'll find a great pie on the menu here, but definitely leave room for a huge chocolate chip cookie for dessert.
There are quite a few very good Neapolitan or Neapolitan-styled pies inside Atlanta's perimeter, but Chef Michael Bologna's seven year-old restaurant, Vingenzo's, which is thirty miles north of down town in Woodstock, is the equal of or superior to every one of them. The pies here are enhanced by some amazing vegetables and house-made mozzarella cheese. This isn't a place for a simple or quick meal; service can be a little slow and deliberate because this is a restaurant to relax and enjoy at great length, with friends, family, and wine.
This modern, high-ceilinged eatery in the Greenway Plaza district is having its say on the beer and pizza bromance by getting wine in on the act. The well chosen selection of reds and whites – pizzas as well as wines – is breathtakingly deep, especially affordable on Mondays, and affordably diverse with wine flights. Sorry, no pizza flights just yet. Neapolitan style pizzas emerge from the oven with attractively irregular shapes, thin centers and puffy, charred perimeters. The crust has just enough heft to support arrangements so dense in toppings (hello, prosciutto, roasted pineapple and jalapeños) that you can barely see through to the cheese. The flavor combinations bust out of the normal routine with exciting components like crushed fennel, smoked chile oil and black truffle puree. As cosmopolitan as the inside is, the smarter move on low humidity days is the outdoor patio, where plants and flowers are as soothing as the wine.
You can’t ask for a more upbeat environment for slice scarfing than at this pizzeria in an Upper Kirby strip mall. Brightly colored seats, pillows on the benches, snowflake-shaped lights, a stuffed bat on the wall and free video games for the kids are your backdrop for personal size pies, selected from a half dozen options or topped with a la carte ingredients. Luna Pizzeria’s claim to fame is a puffy, chewy sourdough crust that exemplifies San Francisco pizzas; the flavor stands up to bold toppings like spicy Andouille sausage, capicola and pepperoncini. The personal pizzas are small but easily upgraded to a larger size. You could opt for a second pizza, but with an arugula and fennel salad is as delicious as it is healthy, it’s easy to be good.
So many restaurants talk the farm-to-table talk, but Coltivare walks the walk with a vegetable and herb garden that doubles as a beer garden with cozy wooden benches to enjoy a drink, and you can even pet the hipsters. This Heights neighborhood eatery by chefs from Revival Market is so much more than a pizzeria, but their wood- burning oven produces pies of some acclaim. Revival pepperoni brings brings its tangy-spicy kick to a namesake pizza softened by two kinds of cheese. We like some of the more obscure combinations, like Brussels sprouts and pancetta, lemon and chevre, and fennel-sausage-anchovy. The menu changes often, if not daily, so it’s best to arrive without a preset game plan; be like the chefs and let what’s in season dictate your choice. Chances are, much of it will come from that garden.
The “True 2 Tradition” slogan speaks the truth on the mural outside this Fourth Ward pizzeria. Every Neapolitan style pizza pumped out of their twin ovens imported from Italy is made the old fashioned way, using scratch made dough from flour also shipped straight from Italy. The San Marzano tomatoes for the sauces prepared daily? Italy. The olive oil? You get the picture. The mozzarella isn’t from Italy but is scratch-made daily using 100% whole milk. The assembled product cooks in 90 seconds inside a 900-degree wood-burning oven, resulting in an almost delicate crust with just a little chew and some leopard spots from the heat. Some creative specialty pizzas include sweet pea and caramelized onions, arugula with speck, and smoked prosciutto with smoked mozzarella and olive oil. The ultra casual eatery is counter service only, with a challenge finding a table at peak hours. Pizaro’s doesn’t serve alcohol, but a BYOB policy with modest corkage fee allows you to pair your pie with whatever adult beverage you like.
Ahead of the authentic Neopolitan pizza curve, this enoteca in Montrose not only premiered the now-ubiquitous black spotted pie locally, but still executes some of the city’s best – in the most intimate setting possible for pizza lovers. Forget counters and lines; here, it’s full table service in rooms with regal wood paneling and candles on the tables. Wine service is exemplary. But those pies! You really can’t go wrong with any of the selections, but the Taleggio (taleggio cheese, arugula, pears, truffle oil) and the Robiola (robiola cheese, leeks, pancetta) are both hard to beat. If you prefer your cured meats outside the pie context, go vegetarian on the pizza and start with charcuterie selections that include prosciutto, mortadella, soppressata, speck, porchetta and culatello. The same can be done with high-grade cheeses served with honey. But don’t pass up some of the “verdure” selections; our favorite is the garlicky fennel bagna cauda that showcases just how decadent vegetables can be when placed in the right hands. While it’s easy to get caught up in the fantastic pizzas, the entire menu demands a look.
Just about the quintessential example of neighborhood pizza-and-a-pitcher joint, a typical Blue Moon location has a nice patio which will get completely filled every Friday night, drink specials, and a large crowd. The owners, Mandy and Kevin Slater, opened their small chain of four Atlanta-area stores with the slogan "Life should be less ordinary," and that definitely applies to their menu. Plenty of places will let you order different ingredients for each half of a pizza, but Blue Moon is the first place we've ever seen to let you even split a personal pie down the middle, so for one price you can sample two of their awesome "half moons." Their neatest trick, however, may be perfecting "Take-n-Bake" pies for pickup.
Customers order them ahead of time, and collect them ready-made with their wonderful premium ingredients to bake in their oven at home, a fabulous way to feed party guests!
Okay, so technically O4W is hardly underrated, but it's very new and is probably not very well-known outside of town. It opened in the summer of 2015, and within six months, four of the writers surveyed for Eater Atlanta's year-end list of Top Restaurant Standbys of 2015 named it. That's a pretty incredible rate of return for something so new! The downside is that parking at the Irwin Street Market, which is home to O4W - it stands for Old Fourth Ward - and a couple of other restaurants is really tricky, so come early with two or three friends to share the Grandma's Pie, a square, thin-crusted treat with oozing homemade Marinara sauce.
You'll see why this won so many plaudits so very quickly.
Her opinion didn't quite become law of the land, but upon sampling Ribalta's awesome Neapolitan-styled pie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Alexa Lampasona stated "For reals- best #pizza
in #Atlanta." Pretty high praise indeed, but Chef Pasquale Cozzolino, who uses an eighty year-old yeast starter rather than beginning completely fresh daily, believes in keeping it simple and the result is indeed one of the best pizza crusts you've ever had.
Just that starter-enhanced yeast, flour, water, and salt. Nothing else is necessary for this terrific pie.
Among some fans, Westside, a humble pizza-and-a-pitcher joint, isn't underrated at all. Three years ago, Andrew Connell and John Hayes gave this place a lot of buzz after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote up a really fun story. The friends had eaten at 99 pizza places in the Atlanta area - we wonder what the number is now? - and named Westside as their favorite in the city, which certainly surprised all the people who had never heard of the place, which was pretty much everybody outside the neighborhood. Sadly, the story didn't lead to a real explosion of interest among bloggers and "online influencers," because those who did venture over to see what Connell and Hayes had found all left very pleased. It's a simple and low-key place, but the terrific crust and sauce make this a standout. Leaving Westside means leaving with your expectations of bar pizza raised.
Pizzeria Bianco brings the best of three worlds when it comes to delicious cuisine. Want a wide variety of pizza? They have it, Want a world of sandwiches that you never knew existed before today? You got it. Just want some classic amazing Italian food, they have it too! Their margherita pizza is some of the most famous pizza in Phoenix, with its wild mix of herbs and spices and vegetables, who knew that eating healthy pizza could taste so good! Lets not forget the savory cheese that just melts in your mouth with each and every bite you take. Even if you aren't feeling the pizza, the atmosphere will make you want to try one of their sandwiches. The BLT sandwich they offer here is the awesome combo of crispy delicious bacon, crispy romaine lettuce, and only the freshest tomatoes sent daily to their restaurant for you to enjoy!
The atmosphere at Spinato's Pizzeria will make you feel right home, but not exactly at home. It will be your new home away from home! They offer some of the most classic combinations of handmade artisan pizzas that are considered some of the most authentic and best in the entire metro phoenix area. Each pizza is hand made, with the dough kneaded to give it a perfect complexion, and each pizza is made in a wood fired grill to give it that authentic Italian taste. They offer a meat lovers pizza that is a combination of three different meats that will make you indulge in all five of your senses from start to finish! So come see what a little slice of heaven is like int he form of a pizzeria, because this is a place where you're treated like family right from the start, because you are family!
Federal Pizza has an atmosphere that is one of a kind. Their unique chic interior will make you feel like you've walked into a 1920's prohibition bar with its old school classic feeling, and even if you aren't feeling that you can sit outdoor in the spacious outdoor seating and enjoy all the weather that sunny Phoenix has to offer. Lets not forget about their beverages. What other pizzeria do you know in the area that not only offers soft drinks, but adults beverages such as beer and wine coolers? But lets not get ahead of ourselves, you came here for the pizza, and you will find one of the most unique pizza combinations in the Phoenix areas, that includes the Brussel Sprouts pizza. pizza made of Brussels sprouts and dough, it will taste as delicious as it sounds, especially since its topped with mozzarella and marinara sauce to give you a kick in your taste buds.
La Grande Orange Pizzeria is open seven days a week and with good reason, they offer a wide variety of pizzas that are sure to get your stomach growling for more! The mushroom party pizza is a classic here, and many customers enjoy ordering it. The soft, chewy, sourdough that is used for dough as pizza wins over peoples hearts and minds as soon as they take a bite. Lets not forget about the three different mushrooms that they used on this pizza to give it that "party" taste that it gets its name from, add that to the mozzarella cheese that just melts oft the pizza and you truly have yourself a party in your taste buds! They also have something for cheese lovers, a pizza with cheese, extra cheese and then a fried egg on top! Getting your morning kick of breakfast and your lunch in all at the same time.
The best thing about Grimaldi's Pizzeria is the location. Its centrally located so after you grab a bite of pizza you can head to a nearby bar to give some adult beverages for you and your friends! The outside patio sits in the middle of a beautifully lit courtyard as well so you can enjoy the Phoenix sun, if that's what you like. Come for the location but stay for the exotic pizza. Grimaldi's Pizzeria offers a unique meatball and ricotta pizza that is exactly as it sounds. It is cooked thin crust and made extra crispy, with an amazing of delicious meatballs and ricotta that only adds tot he cheese and marinara sauce they use. One bite into a slice of this meatball and ricotta pizza and you will be floating on cloud nine. But don't float too long because you're going to want to keep coming back to try all their unique combinations of pizza!