25 Superb Pittsburgh Pizzas
We scoured the metro area to find 25 of the best pies.
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Photos by Heather Mull, Rob Larson, Laura Petrilla and Duane Rieder
Fact: Pittsburghers love pizza. And if you ask anyone to name their favorite local spot, you’re bound to get a passionate, lengthy response. So in order to choose 25 pizza spots worth mentioning, our restaurant critic, Valentina, traveled far and wide, eating innumerable piping-hot slices on-site. The findings? Categories like American, gourmet and authentic Italian no longer apply, since most places offer gourmet toppings, and authenticity is usually based on a specific time and region in Italy.
However, we discovered that there is a significant difference between pizzas cooked in regular and wood-fired ovens. (Some joints heat gas or electric ovens to 450-500 degrees and bake pies for up to 15 minutes, while others cook 'em for five minutes or less in 900-degree wood-fired ovens.) Our list includes a mix of tried-and-true fan favorites (such as Mineo’s, Aiello’s and Pasquarelli’s), and newcomers (like Spak Bros., Slice on Broadway and Cucina Bella), all worthy of recognition. Enjoy!
Slice on Broadway
Slice on Broadway's reputation brings people from all around. The shop’s slogan — “In perpetual pursuit of pizza perfection” — is backed by a commitment to making everything from scratch. Select your own toppings or choose one of 15 specialty pizzas, such as the “Green Monster” with pesto, spinach, artichoke hearts, goat cheese and roasted red peppers.
2128 Broadway Ave., Beechview
Providing a traditional American-style pizza, Napoli goes light on the tomato sauce, and has a slightly salty cheese and dough. This shop truly adds to the Murray Avenue pizza scene.
2006 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill
Using grandma’s crust recipe, chef Sam Badolato’s pizzas stay close to Italy with options ranging from the Bianco to the interesting mushroom truffle flatbread. Receiving many accolades for its wood-fired fare (including one of our 2011 Best Restaurants awards), Bado’s Cucina is a prime spot for pizza buffs to dine with their uninitiated comrades.
3825 Washington Road, McMurray
A relative newcomer, Cucina Bella is a pretty little place with a checkerboard floor and pizza at center stage (along with antipasto, salads, paninis and calzones). The pizza crust is crisp at the edges, and the toppings are classics, like Mozzarella, ricotta, sausage, Parmigiano Reggiano and extra-virgin olive oil.
Best-seller: Pizza Anna
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., Bridgeville
The Enrico Biscotti Cafe
It makes sense that, as an Italian bakery, Enrico Biscotti Café would care about its dough. Pie varieties range from the simple pepperoni to the white pizza with cranberries and blue cheese; some pizzas even feature ingredients from Enrico’s rooftop garden. For a balanced meal, consider grabbing a big salad or some beans and greens, too.
Note: This spot is only open for lunch Monday through Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.).
2022 Penn Ave., Strip District