We heard you, loud and clear.
And we love it.
The passion that Pittsburghers share for their favorite pizza joint is insane. Now, we think that we had a pretty good list (writer Madeline Quigley knows her stuff, and she plans each of her Pittsburgh food road trips – like ice cream, doughnuts and pasta – based on a number of factors, including route, taste, price points, etc.), but we heard from so many of you about some of the places that didn’t make it onto the list that we had to put out another edition.
Pittsburgh pizza fans, consider this your redemption.
We took all of your suggestions (and a few new ones of our own) and put together another Pittsburgh Pizza Road Trip. Take one, or take the other – or pick and choose your favorite spots to create your own South Hills-to-Squirrel Hill pizza trip. Or, better yet, make it your mission to try every single spot on both lists. Because if we learned anything in the last week, it’s that Pittsburghers can never get enough pizza.
So here it is, the Ultimate Pittsburgh Pizza Road Trip Part 2: The Fans Strike Back Edition. It’s 27.1 miles of absolute pizza-loving fun. (In order of road trip ease, not order of quality, importance or rank).
Stop 1: Il Pizzaiolo
Start your road trip in Mt. Lebanon (team South Hills all the way!) with a stop at Il Pizzaiolo, known for their seriously good wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s Neapolitan pizza dough comes from a 300-year-old recipe made with flour, water, Sicilian sea salt, and yeast that is fermented for long periods, making a chewy, delicious dough that has picture-perfect, slightly-burnt blisters, and their toppings, from fresh Fior di Latte to sweet fennel sausage make a good pie even better.
Il Pizzaiolo (703 Washington Road)
Stop 2: Slice on Broadway
With four locations around Pittsburgh (including one in PNC Park), Slice on Broadway has become something of an institution in the city. And the pizza place will have even more fans once their Food Paradise episode airs later this year. The restaurant’s original Beechview location is a great stop on your pizza road trip, with pies and slices of build-your-own pizzas available, along with an expansive menu of their own creations, like the Slaughterhouse Five (house red sauce, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, capicola and proscuitto), the Athena (a white pizza with fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, and crumbled Feta cheese), and the Fancy Pants (basil pesto sauce, prosciutto, baby spinach, roasted red peppers and ricotta).
Slice on Broadway (2128 Broadway Avenue)
Stop 3: Fiori’s Pizzaria
Whoaaaaa, did we hear about your love for Fiori’s Pizza. You guys adore this place – and it’s no wonder why. Fiori’s has been around for more than 30 years, offering huge, hand-tossed pies with a distinctly chewy crust. The family-owned business is a neighborhood staple, and offers toppings from standard options like pepperoni and pepper rings to gourmet meatballs, steak and hot sausage links. Pro tip: While you’re there, make sure to order their wings, which are in a class all by themselves.
Fiori’s Pizzaria (103 Capital Avenue)
Stop 4: Doughboy’s Pizza
We’re heading to McKees Rocks for the fourth stop on our pizza road trip, at Doughboy’s Pizza. The shop has been around for almost 14 years, serving extra-large pies to the hungry masses. With homemade dough and sauce that’s made daily, Doughboy’s pies come with all the classic toppings – mushrooms, pepperoni, anchovies and pineapple, just to name a few. They’re also known for their classic Sicilian pies, that are prepared overnight to let the dough fully rise. And if you’re extra-hungry? Order their Big Hungry pie, a full 20-incher that can satisfy almost any-sized group.
Doughboy’s Pizza (508 Island Avenue, McKees Rocks)
Stop 5: Threadbare Cider & Mead
The perfect mid road-trip break, Threadbare Cider House is killing the pizza game in their own unique way. Using dough made from fermented yeast that’s been discarded during their cider-making process, Threadbare’s pies are thin-crusted and crispy, with toppings that change all the time. A few of their recent pies include Roasted Apple with capicollo, mozzarella, red onion and rosemary, and Muffaletta, with olive relish, mozzarella, Swiss, mortadella and parsley. They also always have a killer brunch pie during their weekend brunch service. And don’t forget to grab a glass or two of their homemade cider while you’re there!
Threadbare Cider & Mead (1291 Spring Garden Avenue)
Stop 6: Bella Notte
Is there any place that feels more distinctly Pittsburgh than the Strip District? We don’t think so. Bella Notte holds court in one of Pittsburgh’s most famous neighborhoods, serving slices and pies of their piping hot pizza to hungry crowds every day. Stop in to try a build-your-own pizza or calzone, or order one of their specialty pies, like their popular Italian Pizza, a white pie topped with salami, capicola, mortadella, pepperoni and Balsamic dressing. Another bonus? They have 44 drafts on tap, too.
Bella Notte (1914 Penn Avenue)
Stop 7: Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room
Located in the heart of the Cultural District, Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room is a wildly popular spot for downtown diners. Their dough, which is made from scratch, then hand-tossed and baked in a wood-fired oven, is what makes these pies so special. We’re partial to their signature Margherita, a classic take with fresh tomato sauce and house-made mozzarella, but their Black & Gold pie, made with crispy slices of Yukon Gold potatoes, red onion, roasted garlic sauce, Pecorino-Romano cheese and cracked black pepper, is a must-try, too.
Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room (139 7th Street)
Stop 8: Mineo’s Pizza House
Mineo’s. Mineo’s. MINEO’S. We’ve gotten so many emails, comments, Tweets, and Facebook messages about Mineo’s that we can’t count them all. If there’s one thing that we know for sure in this crazy, non-nonsensical world that we’re living in right now, it’s that Pittsburghers LOVE Mineo’s. The Squirrel Hill institution has been around since 1958, serving traditional hand-tossed and Scilian pies that have hoards of fans, thanks in part because these beauties are huge, and loaded with toppings, from handfuls of cheese to piles of pepperoni and sausage. Mineo’s has a distinct layout, with three separate storefronts: One for take-out orders, one for dessert pick-up (like their awesome homemade cannoli), and one full-service restaurant. If you want the true Mineo’s experience, order the John’s Special, with pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers and sausage, a pie that’s been on the menu since the pizzeria first opened 60 years ago.
Mineo’s Pizza House (2128 Murray Avenue #1)
Stop 9: Aiello’s Pizza
Located just down the block from Mineo’s Pizza House (and yes, there’s a story there), Aiello’s Pizza has been in Squirrel Hill since 1978. Locals love Aiello’s for their thick-and-chewy crusts, which are hand-tossed right in front of you. The pies and slices are served piping hot, and fans swear by their slightly-sweet red sauce. One thing to remember: Aiello’s is cash-only.
Aiello’s Pizza (2112 Murray Avenue #1)
So. Did we forget your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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