Beto’s Pizza Review – Cold Toppings on a Pizza in Beechview

Posted By Jeremy in Eat & Drink


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For most native Pittsburgher's, you say the name Beto's and a wide range of emotions come up. This local Pittsburgh pizza joint is considered by many to be an institution, on par with the likes of Primanti Brothers. And just like Primanti Brothers, this pizza shop has its own way of doing things which, thankfully, does not include putting french fries on top of their pies.

At Beto's the toppings are served cold, ensuring that this will be the most unusual pizza you'll ever try.

Over the decades the community has divided into a “love-it, hate-it” mentality, and for a pizza as unusual as this there is really no middle ground to stand on. After much prodding from the “love-it” half of our readers, we made a visit to try the pizza for ourselves.

Explaining What Beto's Pizza Is

Pizza at Beto's

Before we give our opinion of Beto's Pizza, which I am sure is going to infuriate half of our audience no matter what we say, we have to summarize what the pizza is like for those who have never heard of it before.

As stated above, Beto's serves their toppings cold (other than meats such as sausage which do require cooking). This means their preparation technique is different from most.

Beto's serves their pizza by the “cut,” which is an approximately 4″ square piece of pizza that comes out of a massive 28 square “tray.”  The base dough and sauce gets cooked in an oven, and each serving is prepared individually as you order.

This makes ordering a bit tricky as the pricing is by the cut (which includes copious amounts of cold cheese), plus extra for each ingredient added. So on one hand your order will be quite lengthy, but on the other you get the benefit of being able to try a lot of combinations in one shot as well.

Considering a cut plus three toppings runs about $3, it is also a fairly incredible deal no matter how you look at it as two slices will leave most stuffed beyond belief.

Is Beto's Delicious? When We're in the Mood

Angie trying out Beto's Pizza

Overall, we have to admit that we fall into the rare group of people who are middle-of-the-road in our opinion of Beto's.

We are firmly in the camp of cold toppings on a pizza is weird.

The best way to describe it is like if you had a piece of pizza that didn't get reheated all the way in the microwave. The bread and sauce are warm, and the toppings are not, and makes for a rather unusual dynamic between the two.

But instead of having cold vegetables that were previously cooked, most of the vegetable toppings here are served raw- even the onions. The crust and sauce was plenty hot, but everything else was not- except for a limited amount of cheese that melts as the pizza sits.

As I actually quite enjoy my reheated pizza like this, it did bring back some good memories even if they are for unusual reasons.

But how does it taste?

Beto's Pizza in Beechview

The sauce on Beto's pizza is among the better sauces you'll find in pizzerias as it contains chunky tomatoes and had a slightly sweet taste to it, which we fully appreciate. The crust also resembles more of what I'd expect on a deep dish than most traditional pizzas in the city which is a welcomed change of pace.  

I am sure this one is needed not only from a taste standpoint, but also to hold up to the stack of toppings which the restaurant is famous for.

My main sticking point on Beto's is not that the pizza is bad- far from it. It is just that I'm not sure I'll ever have a craving for cold toppings on a pizza.

I adore the copious amounts of cheese, but at the same time this one is a place that I have to be in a certain mood to seek out.  

Considering that this restaurant is so evenly divided between the two extreme viewpoints, I'll err on the side of caution and call this one a positive.

Should you go out and try Beto's Pizza? Absolutely.

Just know going in that this one isn't for everyone and you may fall into the half of the population that doesn't like it. If you're more than okay with that possibility, it is a worthy option if you're in the mood try out a new pizza joint that is vastly different from the rest.

Beto's Pizza is located at 1473 Banksville Road in Beechview.

For more pizza in Pittsburgh, check out Fiori's, Slice Island Pizza, Caliente Pizza, Ephesus Pizza, Doughboy's, Joe & Pie, or Slice on Broadway!

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12 Comments

  1. Did you know that you could order the pizza baked? You’d probably love it baked.

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    • I appreciate your opinion and you are right either you love it or hate it. I grew up on it and love it. the best way to eat it is in takeout form. if you let the heat from the pizza heat the toppings while still in the box it tastes awesome that way. The cheese melts just a little bit more. not that eating it in the restraunt is bad and I enjoy the cold cheese. I pick off and eat the cold cheese first. .There are other great items there. . Their Hoagies are the best in the city. especially their cappicola. I think its the cheese (that is cooked) but it’s delicious. Now I’m hungry and I know where I’m going for lunch

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      • Thanks for the comment- we are looking forward to returning to try again with the cheese baked to see how different it is. Will also have to pick up a hoagie too!

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        • No just get extra cheese. Nothing else on it. Don’t get it baked. The best hoagies are up the road in Dormont at campites

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        • I went yesterday for pizza. I love it. I also got a whole italian hoagie cold and all the toppings on the side and brought it home to make for dinner. Yummy!

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    • Dont forget about fioris pizza its just as good

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    • I went into Beto’s a virgin not knowing what I was in store for. I ordered my 4 pieces and was stunned by the $16 price tag. Upon sitting down I looked around the room and was bewildered trying to figure out what everyone else had on their pizza, as it looked like people had unsauced spaghetti noodles on top of their pizza. I asked my buddy and when he laughed and told me that was the cheese and how they prepared their pizza, I made a mad dash for the pizza like someone reaching for the buzzer on Ninja Warrior. In the 30 steps or so it took to reach the counter, I must of said every prayer in the Catholic litany five times, hoping I wasn’t too late to have my pizza cooked. When I talked to the nice young lady at the counter to cook my toppings, the reaction on her face was on par with me asking to put her only child in a shipping container with a pack of ravenous hyenas. She obliged after some reluctance and I must admit after the initial shock I liked the pizza. A little too much cheese for me, about 5xs the normal amount from other joints, but all in all I give it 4.37 out of 5 stars.

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  2. When I take people there I tell them to only get extra cheese. You would of loved it then. No other toppings needed

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    • Extra cheese???
      Are you in the cheese lobby? They would have to have a triple bypass before walking out the door if they were fortunate enough to not go into cardiac arrest.

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  3. Had it for the first time in 20 years, as I live in NJ now. Mamma mia….EXACTLY as I remembered! Wish I had a bigger belly, I could only eat 1 1/2 pieces. Yes! take out makes the cold cheese a little melty and so perfect. The smell! DIVINE. Everything about this pizza is delicious. Can’t wait to go back.

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  4. Love, love, love it!! So unique! ,and the CHEESE!! Delish!!!

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  5. Friday & Saturday nights in high school (Dormont High) after football game and dances. 1960 to 1963 and since. 15 cents a piece and 2 pieces for a quarter, extra cheese no charge. Take out only and located in little building next to the car wash. Sat in the car and ate the pizza. Still go there.

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