UPDATE, April 26, 2018: You had lots of opinions about this list – so check out our Ultimate Pittsburgh Pizza Road Trip Part 2: The Fans Strike Back!
ORIGINAL: We’re back with another installment in our Ultimate Pittsburgh Road Trip series!
Today we’re headed out on a pizza road trip… but this time it’s serious business. So serious, in fact, that we’ve called in a local expert for advice. To help us select the spots, Pittburgher Dan Tallarico of the blog Pizza Walk With Me has shared a few of his favorite local spots.
They say any pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard enough, so good luck! Please tag all of your pizza pictures with #goodfoodpgh and @goodfoodpgh.
What type of road trip would you like to see next? Leave it in the comments below!
Stop 1: Beto’s Pizza and Restaurant
Cold toppings on top of a cooked pizza? It may sound wacky, but at Beto’s it’s a tradition that Pittsburghers flock to. For over 60 years, Betos has served their pizza with a unique twist – all toppings (including cheese) are added to the pizza still cold from the refrigerator (after the pie has cooked). Beto’s must be doing something right, as it’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot in the parking lot at lunch time. Everyone must try Beto’s funky pizza at least once, and at $1.60 a slice, you might just find yourself coming back for more!
Beto’s Pizza and Restaurant (1473 Banksville Rd)
Stop 2: Iron Born Pizza
Ever since Iron Born opened in the Smallman Galley in 2017, Pittsburghers have not been shy about their love of Detroit Style Pizza. The restaurant became a fast-favorite in the city with everyone raving about Iron Born’s “White Pie,” as well as their “Brunch Pie” which features potatoes and eggs. The Smallman Galley gets very hectic on the weekends, so it’s best to visit Iron Born during the the week to ensure nothing on the menu has sold out. Once you’ve had a bite of this pizza, you’ll be back within a few weeks to try more – don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Iron Born Pizza (54 21st St)
Stop 3: Fazio’s Pizza
Google says that Fazio’s is an “unpretentious shop for pizzas, hoagies, wings, calzones,” but Dan says that Fazio’s does “The best NJ / NYC style pizza in the city!” In his review of Fazios on his blog, Dan explains that owner John Fazio spent his childhood summers in New Jersey, where he worked at a family member’s pizzeria. He has brought this knowledge of New Jersey pizza back to Pittsburgh, and we’re all grateful. While any pizza is sure to satisfy, try their white pizza with creamy ricotta and diced tomatoes.
Fazio’s Pizza (4028 Penn Ave)
Stop 4: Driftwood Oven
What started as a mobile pizza operation, serving pies at different breweries and popups, has evolved into one of Pittsburgh’s favorite pizza shops. After nearly three years of spinning pizzas across the city, Driftwood Oven officially opened their first brick-and-mortar location in Lawrenceville. Driftwood is known for their naturally leavened, wood-fired pizzas. Customer favorites include the “Archer” with spicy Italian sausage, and the “Major Tom” with ricotta and Morita chili oil. With more room at their new restaurant, the Driftwood team has expanded into the world of sandwiches (on homemade bread) and singular slices. Be sure to show up hungry as there is plenty to check out.
Driftwood Oven (3615 Butler St)
Stop 5: Spak Brothers
If you’re craving a hearty, no-frills slice of pizza, look no further than Spak Brothers on Penn Avenue in Garfield. This funky pizza joint is known for their decadent hoagies, as well as their specialty pies, which are loaded up with tons of toppings. Spak Brothers is a great choice for vegans, as the restaurant has vegan “cheese” and seitan for the pizzas and hoagies. Spak Brothers is open late on weekends, and is the perfect spot to grab a slice after a night of bar crawling on Penn Ave.
Spak Brothers (5107 Penn Ave)
Stop 6: Dinette
Dinette opened nearly 10 years ago in East Liberty, but their pizza has withstood the test of time and remains some of the best in the city. Dinette’s pizzas are paper-thin and topped with fresh, artisanal ingredients. From the appetizer section, be sure to start your meal with their perfectly-seared shishito peppers. For pizza, it’s hard to choose just one pie, but our favorite pizza is the “Berkshire Prosciutto.” We may, or may not, order a second one to-go so at the end of the meal so we can eat it cold for breakfast the next day. (It’s just that good!)
Dinette (5996 Centre Ave)
Stop 7: Pizza Taglio
Just across the street from Dinette is Pizza Taglio, which features Roman-style pizzas. At this BYOB joint, pizzas are cooked inside of the restaurant’s woodfired oven. On a hot day Taglio’s pies can reach optimal crispiness in mere seconds. Our favorites pizzas include the Greenpointer pizza with spicy Calabrese sopressata and Mike’s Hot Honey, as well as the Pig-Face with guanciale and pecorino. Pro tip: get one pizza at Dinette, and then head over to Pizza Taglio for a second pie. These restaurants are close in distance, but miles apart in style and flavor.
Pizza Taglio (126 S Highland Ave)
Stop 8: Ephesus Pizza
Sometimes you’re less interested in the pizza, and more concerned with the toppings. In those situations, check the menu for Ephesus Pizza, which has three locations in the city. This restaurant specializes in Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. Be sure to start with some of their authentic Mediterranean appetizers. In terms of pizza, the restaurant offers many varieties of Turkish pide, all of which are delicious. Our favorite is the classic Lahmajun with ground meat.
Ephesus (multiple locations)
Stop 9: Sir Pizza
Dan also recommends Sir Pizza in the North Hills, saying “They do a really crispy pizza with square slices.” Well, that sounds pretty good to us! This regional chain has a few locations in Pittsburgh, including Ross, Cranberry, and Franklin. These pies are known for their crustless pizza, meaning the toppings and sauce cover the entire pie. See the photo above to fully understand these tasty pizzas.
Sir Pizza (multiple locations)
Have we convinced you? Are you heading out on the Pittsburgh pizza road trip? Please tag all of your photos with #goodfoodpgh and @goodfoodpgh!
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