Last Updated on January 22, 2021 by Jeremy
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In our endless quest to experience all Pittsburgh has to offer, we are on the look out for the region's best meals.
One food we absolutely love is pizza, and Pittsburgh has no shortage of restaurants offering up these delicious creations. But as with everything not all pizza shops are created equal, and our quest to find the best pizza in Pittsburgh was born!
What We Look For as the Best Pizza in Pittsburgh
Pizza is one of those food items you could ask any person on the street and they would have a different opinion on what “good” means.
To some it is the sauce, to others it is how hot it is when it arrives, the quality of ingredients, the type of crust and how it is cooked, and on and on and on.
This makes taking in recommendations somewhat tricky as even the worst neighborhood pizza joint could have a decent following and give it glowing reviews. But if you don't know what the person looks for in a pizza, you may not understand what the big deal is about when you try it for yourself.
So when it comes to us reviewing pizza, we wanted to set out a fairly straight forward set of criteria that we look for in a good pizza- one that can be applied to all of our reviews.
Our global criteria is to answer the eternal question: “what makes this pizza stand out from a neighborhood pizza joint?” We'd like to think you know the type when we say “neighborhood pizza joint”- they're the corner shops that all seem to use the same low-quality ingredients, are dripping with grease, and have relatively bland flavor.
As pizza lovers we can eat this all day without thinking twice, but it isn't to say we enjoy it much beyond the convenience aspect of it being literally just across the street.
For our reviews, we wanted to find the shops that stand out as being better- be it for their crust, toppings, sauce, sides, or any number of combinations. These are the kind of things we want to find on our quest for the best pizza in Pittsburgh.
A Few Notes: This guide is only to be taken as a list of places we've been to and reviewed on our site so far. It is not comprehensive. If you would like to make a recommendation, please comment below or contact us!
We are also not accounting for sides or other menu items in our rankings here- only the pizzas themselves.
Finally, many restaurants in Pittsburgh serve pizza; however, we are keeping this post to be either traditional pizza shops or restaurants with a disproportionately high number of pizzas on the menu (Italian restaurants with pizza menus would qualify). Restaurants with one or two pizzas on the menu are not included unless they are absolutely spectacular.
Neighborhood Pizza Joints
For better or worse, some of the pizza shops we try come across simply are average. In many cases this is not to say that they are bad, but just that they do not stand out in the sea of corner pizza shops and the common Pittsburgh pizza style at large.
They may have one pie that is truly amazing, or even have a great side (in fact, most of the ones we've visited we've enjoyed the sides better than the pizzas!), but beyond those are simply not that memorable. They can still satisfy a craving if you want something quick and nearby, although we would not go out of our way for them.
The pizza joints we've reviewed so far that far into this category include the following:
As we don't have much to say about average neighborhood pizza joints (check out the reviews for some highlights), we will reserve the more detailed dialogue for the rest.
Decent Pizza in Pittsburgh
For a pizza to be called decent, it has to be just a cut above the rest. These pizza places do enough to distinguish themselves from the neighborhood joints, but may only have one or two hooks that get you to warrant a visit over a neighborhood shop unless you are truly in the mood for something specific.
La Tavola is one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the city, but did you know that this Mount Washington staple has a pizza shop tucked away in the back corner?
The pizza at La Tavola comes in traditional rounds as well as square cut Sicilians. We found the rounds to be somewhat disappointing as while the toppings were delicious there was a lack of focus on making a good crust and sauce altogether.
The square cut Sicilians are a marked improvement with a thicker crust that has a nice solid bite to it (and is crisp to the point of being crumbly, even), which is why we're giving this one a boost into the decent category.
We opted for the Nona Pina's Sicilian, their grandmother's specialty, which was only an onion based tomato sauce topped with basil, Romano cheese, and other spices- full of flavor and definitely worth adding on to any order!
La Tavola is located at 1 Boggs Avenue on Mount Washington.
Aiello's Pizza is a popular shop in Squirrel Hill that has a die-hard following behind it. This one serves up large pies whole or by the cut, and offers a surprisingly thin crust that gets fairly crispy as well. Those who go by the slice will enjoy this added pop beyond a conventional slice, as well as great prices for pepperoni or margherita cuts as well. Going beyond this, however, the sauce is somewhat conventional and fairly sweet, but really good for a quick cut all the same.
Aiello's Pizza is located at 2112 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill.
You may know Beto's as the place that puts a mound of cold toppings (including cheese) on their slices. This pizza is a bit of a novelty in the region and, while it has its place, is still a bit odd. We'll go here when we have a craving, but we have to be honest in saying that the craving doesn't come all that often.
Beto's is located at 1473 Banksville Road in Beechview.
Fiori's receives a lot of local attention for their pies, and has an almost cult like following behind it. We get it, its decent pizza, but at the end of the day the quality of ingredients and flavors are only just a little better from the rest.
If that is enough to get you to drive across town for a pizza, we won't judge, but I'm not sure it is enough for us other than the slight quality bump. For that, we'll give it a decent rating.
Fiori's is located at 103 Capital Avenue in Brookline.
Joe & Pie
Joe & Pie is located in the cultural district and kicks their pizza up with a delicious crust that is almost cracker like in the middle (read: thin and crispy).
This is balanced with sufficiently puffy edges and unusual topping combinations. We sampled the Joe & Pie special which features white sauce, gyro meat, two kinds of cheeses, spinach, and tomatoes. A hearty and flavorful pizza that does not hold back.
Joe & Pie is located at 955 Liberty Avenue in the Cultural District.
DeMore's Pizzeria has won many local awards for their pizzas due to their unusual topping combinations (such as the amazing Eggplant Parm or a BBQ brisket creation that is as much a monster sandwich as it is pizza).
The pizza itself beyond the toppings is a solid, but does little to stand out on its own- meaning that DeMore's best offerings are the specialty creations.
DeMore's Pizzeria is located at 1256 Evergreen Road in Millvale.
D&G Pizza in Beaver Falls serves up the local favorite Ohio Valley style pizza- namely square cuts with cold toppings (albeit with a small amount of cheese baked on-top). Much like others of this style, we call this one decent simply because we have not found one that has overwhelmingly impressed us one way or another.
The flavors are good, the style is better than neighborhood joints by far, but beyond that they don't stand out that much.
That being said the crust on this one is crisp, but not too crisp, and the toppings are not mounded up so high that you can't taste anything else. They're still cold, but you get a better balance of the warm crust due to the proportions which we can certainly appreciate.
If you order this one to go, Beaver Brewing Company next door offers a perfect compliment in the form of delicious beer that would allow this one to rank just a wee bit higher if we considered outside factors beyond the pizza shop's control.
D&G Pizza is located at 1818 7th Avenue in Beaver Falls, PA. Check out Buttermilk Falls just north of town before stopping for a slice here!
Bubba's in Greensburg has one of the more unusual pizzas to make this guide, and we're torn on whether or not to call it pizza at all (they do, so we're going with it).
This one is a thicker, focaccia-like dough (read: soft crust) with inverted toppings that is reminiscent of some of the Detroit style pizzas we'll feature later on.
It isn't the kind of pie you'd drive all the way over to Greensburg for, but if you are nearby and want to try something different with some really good flavors you'll certainly get that here. While there be sure to try their delicious Polish food that they are known for- yes they do both!
Bubba's is located at 14 N Westmoreland Avenue in Greensburg.
Frank's Pizza and Chicken
Depending on your order, Frank's Pizza and Chicken may be similar to most other neighborhood pizza joints as the crust and flavor profile of the sauce and cheese are, admittedly, rather conventional.
But the real gem here, and why this one has such a die-hard following, is for their buffalo chicken pizzas. This one is topped with generously cut pieces of chicken breast that are tossed in buffalo sauce that is incredibly well balanced in flavor and not too spicy. This flavor combination strikes a balance with the mozzarella and provolone blend of cheese as well as their housemade ranch on the side (which is perhaps even more popular than the chicken!).
As such, when you order from this one, you really know which pie you have to get.
Franks Pizza and Chicken has several locations north of the city including in Troy Hill and Millvale. We visited the Troy Hill location at 1442 Lowrie Street for this feature.
Above Average Pizza in Pittsburgh
For a pizza to be above average, we start to look at the increase in quality of the pizza as well as more than just a few key things that make it stand out.
These small details may be no different than a decent pizza above depending on how you review pizzas, but the final product comes out to with a taste that we prefer just a little bit more.
Colangelo's is a popular cafe and bakery tucked away just off of Penn Avenue in the Strip District. While this one is known for a number of delicious products, it is quite popular for their pizza! Pizzas here are available either as full pies or by the cut (pre-baked and reheated), and during our recent visit we opted for the latter with one traditional and one Sicilian.
While the toppings here were on the more conventional side, what we really love about Colangelo's is their crust. Both the traditional and Sicilian cuts had a wonderful flavor that you just don't get on most pizzas. In fact, all of the breads available at Colangelo's (both in pizza and sandwich form) are among our favorites we've had in the city- meaning that whatever you order will be delicious as the bread is truly the star!
Colangelo's is located at 207 21st Street in the Strip District.
Aviva Brick Oven
Aviva Brick Oven is a popular wood-fired pizza shop located in Warrendale that also has a mobile oven that visits local breweries and events. We were fortunate enough to check this one out at 1700 Penn Avenue in the Strip District and opted to sample their namesake Aviva pie with hot Italian sausage and banana peppers.
The first thing we noticed about this one is that its size is a generous portion and was large enough to fee the two of us comfortably. Secondly, it didn't take long after biting into the first slice that we realized their namesake packs some serious heat (something we can get behind). While we do wish that this one was kept in the oven just a few moments longer to crisp up the crust a bit more, we have to admit this is a lovely wood-fired pie all the same.
We look forward to checking out their restaurant for more options someday soon!
Aviva Brick Oven has a permanent location at 16099 Perry Highway in Warrendale as well as a mobile oven. We sampled this one from the latter.
Piazza Talarico is a cozy neighborhood Italian restaurant that features what we would call grandma's recipes. Think simple dishes full of great flavors at attractive prices. Add on the house-made Italian wines and you have really won us over.
The restaurant has a decent pizza menu with about six classics like margherita, four cheese, and soppressata to name a few. The pies are personal size (10″) and made with a crispy, thin crunch that we can always appreciate. Our only minor knock on this pizza was that the dough seemed to be a bit plain in terms of flavor, and could do with some extra seasoning.
But, apart from that, it is hard to say no to pizzas and house wines here!
Piazza Talarico is located at 3832 Penn Avenue near Arsenal Cider House in Lawrenceville.
V3 Pizza is an interesting spot that focuses on flatbread style pies in a build-your-own setup (much like Subway or Chipotle) with primarily local ingredients. This restaurant offers an impressive number of crusts, sauces, cheeses, and toppings making it all but impossible to try all the combinations.
While this one focuses on pumping out pies in a hurry, we have to say that this one is a great option for its size (enough food for two meals unless you're starving) and price (all pizzas are under $10!). Just keep in mind that the flatbread style of the crust in this one has a slightly different texture than you would expect from thin crust pizza.
But all things being equal, there really is not anything wrong with a cheap, fast pizza in the city.
V3 Pizza has two locations- one at 11 Fifth Avenue downtown and one at 4500 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Wood Stoked Oven
Wood Stoked Oven is a mobile wood-fired pizza oven that is making the rounds at area farmer's markets and breweries. We first spotted this one at Allegheny City Brewing in the North Side and paired an order of their margherita and bee sting (featuring pepperoni, hot honey, and jalapeno).
There are several things to love about these pizzas. They're a solid size (roughly 12″ and six slices), turn out fast, and are quite reasonably priced for what you get. Then there is the flavor with a nice charred crust and, in the case of the bee sting, a fairly solid punch of heat from the hot honey and jalapeno combo- two things we absolutely love in our pizzas.
We will note that since this one is mobile, their offerings are a bit minimal- roughly five or six pizza styles at any given time. But when wood-fired pizza comes to you, well, we'll never say no.
Wood Stoked Oven posts their locations on their Facebook page.
The shop offers pizza by the slice at a walk-up window as well as options for 12″ small and 20″ extra large pies in various styles of Old World (provolone), Marinara (no cheese), and Margarita (fresh mozzarella)- plus various specials based on different base pies.
The pizza here itself is quite tasty and focuses on simple, high-quality ingredients that really shine through in flavorful bites. On my first visit, I opted for a soppressata and mushroom Old World Style special and unknowingly ended up with a monstrous 20″ pie with some rather thin crust that, by the time it was delivered at least, was unfortunately not super crisp (although the flavor more than made up for it thanks to the high-quality soppressata that was mounded on).
Pizzeria Davide is knocked into a lower category here for one reason, and that is value. The pizzas only run in two sizes (small and extra large), and special pies (essentially discounted topping combos) are only available for the 20″ pies. From a value aspect, we'll go with the 20″ pies with slices as big as our heads, but at the same time our pizza order alone ran $25 before delivery and tip which is a bit excessive for any pie- quality or not.
If a mid-range pie ever comes out in both size and price, we will definitely consider boosting this ranking.
Pizzeria Davide is located at 2551 Penn Avenue in the Strip District as well as 1124 Park Manor Blvd in Robinson Township.
Romulus Pizza at The Pennsylvania Market
Romulus Pizza is a Roman style pizza shop that sells slices by the cut at The Pennsylvania Market in the Strip District. The square cut slices come in a number of styles both unique and traditional, and offer a fairly nice flavor profile on top of the crisp crust.
Our only drawbacks here are that some of the toppings are a bit conventional despite being in a higher-end market, and the price point is rather high for the size of the size you get.
Romulus Pizza is located inside The Pennsylvania Market at 108 19th Street in the Strip District
The only thing holding back from rating this one much higher is that their price ($20 including tip) is a bit steep for their size.
Dinette is located at 5996 Centre Avenue in East Liberty.
Caliente Pizza and Draft House
The folks at Caliente Pizza and Draft House have been making names for themselves in the pizza scene, winning international competitions for their pan pizza.
So it should be no surprise that this one is ranked highly because of their crust (although the fresh toppings don't hurt it).
When comparing the two, we definitely enjoyed the crust of the pan as a superior product over the standard pizzas (which may be more in our below average category), but we have to admit that the edges are almost too puffy and take a fair bit of surface area away from the delicious toppings. Still, a solid pizza all the same.
Caliente Pizza and Draft House has several locations in the region. Our review is based off of the location at 4624 Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield.
Shelly Pie is one of those places with a die-hard following that we were recommended to try again and again. During our first visit, we opted for an order of one traditional pie and one Sicilian to try a bit of each.
On the traditional front, we went for a white pizza with tomato and spinach and really enjoyed the herb-forward sauce as well as the rather hefty amount of cheese on top. This paired well with the crust which had quite the good flavor as well. The Sicilian style pizza here was a bit of a let-down if only because the crust itself was quite doughy to the point that it took away from the toppings ever-so-slightly.
Couple the above with the fact that even the smallest orders at Shelly Pie are quite large and we can see why they're popular all the same!
Shelly Pie is located at 912 Penn Avenue in Turtle Creek, PA.
Spirit and Slice Island Pizza
This one is Sicilian style and square cut, but they put an emphasis on unusual toppings like sausage and corn or pea shoots, jalapenos, and strawberries.
Weird? Definitely. Takes a bit to get used to? For sure. We started out not liking this one very much but by the time we finished our tray we were craving more. We rank this one above average because of that with the caveat that we know not everyone will have the same opinion.
Spirit is located at 242 51st Street in Lawrenceville.
Proper Brick Oven
Proper Brick Oven in downtown Pittsburgh focuses on brick oven pizzas (naturally) and other Italian inspired mains. During our visit we sampled a pie with prosciutto, figs, and goat cheese that was topped with fig-infused balsamic vinegar.
Between these wonderful toppings and a nice, charred crust we have to say that the pizza came together as one of the better ones we've had in downtown Pittsburgh. Just ignore the low quality of this photo and try it!
Proper Brick Oven is located at 139 7th Street in downtown Pittsburgh. They also have a food truck.
Ephesus Pizza is a bit of an odd one as it is as much of a Turkish restaurant as it is pizzeria!
Yes, it is an odd combination but the folks at this spot make a solid pie and top it with some more unusual options like lamb or chicken kebabs (with one full kebab per slice) or Turkish pepperoni (soujouck) to name a few.
Would this one fall in a lower category without the Turkish toppings? For sure. While the base pizza here is decent, the toppings are what really knock it out of the park and has us going back again and again. So when ordering from this spot be sure to go for the Turkish inspired creations- you can't go wrong!
Ephesus Pizza has several locations around the city. We often order from the downtown location at 219 4th Avenue near Market Square.
Amazing Pizza in Pittsburgh
For a pizza to be called amazing, it has to pretty much have everything we look for in a pizza. Namely good crust, fresh toppings, cooked to perfection, and overall be the kind of pie we would love to be able to make at home. If a pizza joint falls into this category it is the kind of place we have on our list to return to time and time again (and in the case of a few of them, we have)!
There is nothing better than a good pizza made in a woodfired oven, and at Enrico's Cafe you'll get just that. Confused why a biscotti store serves pizza? You should be.
This hidden gem of a cafe is located behind the biscotti store of the same name and serves up house pizza, pasta, and sandwiches during lunch (typically Thursday to Saturday) plus breadmaking classes, housemade wines, and more. The pizza is cooked in just a couple of minutes and is everything we love about this style of pizza- namely simple, quality ingredients cooked to perfection.
Even better? A personal size pizza here runs just about $12, making it a stellar deal for a quality pie. Truly one of the best pizzas in Pittsburgh in one of the most unassuming places.
Enrico's Cafe is located at 2022 Penn Avenue in the Strip District.
When good woodfired pizzas are available, it is really hard to say no. Much like Enrico's Cafe above, the mobile oven from Alberta's Pizza comes in on our favorite list for all of the same reasons. Delicious, personal-sized pies, coming in at great prices (often about $12-$15 depending on the pie).
While these are just a bit more expensive on average than Enrico's, they often come with slightly more premium toppings. The Calabrese Kid is one of our favorites, and is a margherita pizza topped with soppressata, honey, and hot chili oil. Or, if you want to go all out, The Genny has hand stretched mozzarella, grana padano, genoa salami, and arugula, and is one of their most robust pies!
Alberta's Pizza can be found at different breweries and events in the city. Check out their website for future locations.
The folks at Driftwood Oven were one of the first in the city to take a woodfired oven mobile to local breweries and events. Their pizzas were stellar, but the owners wanted more and opened a brick and mortar location in Lawrenceville in 2018.
The permanent location offers up solid iterations of the Driftwood Pies we know and love- namely a perfect crust and locally sourced ingredients for the toppings. The pies are high quality and quite delicious but come in at $19-$26 per pie which puts them on the more expensive end on the list.
Be sure to try their Omi's Slices- Sicilian cuts that showcase just how good the team is at making bread here, and is perhaps the best Sicilian we've had in Pittsburgh to date.
Driftwood Oven is located at 3615 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
Slice on Broadway
One of the biggest complaints we hear about Pittsburgh pizza is that there are no New York style pizza options in the city. While our options are quite limited for this, we have to admit that Slice on Broadway does a fantastic iteration of massive, thin pizza slices that should make any New York pizza lover proud.
If you're truly hungry go for the ginormous (pictured) as it is large enough to feed a small army, or simply grab a slice or two at their PNC Park location during a Pirates game!
Slice on Broadway has several locations in the city. Our review is based off of the location at 2128 Broadway Avenue in Beechview.
Badamo's Pizza is one of those spots that is right on the line between above average and amazing for us, and we give them high marks for a simple reason- both their traditional and Sicilian style pizzas are solid (a rare feat for establishments that offer both).
In both cases the pizzas are relatively light on the cheese and sauce (with the Sicilian being a bit heavier on the latter), and the flavors of the toppings and crust are allowed to come through nicely. The crust could stand to be a bit crispier and the toppings are a bit sparse at times, especially on the whole, traditional pies (by-the-slice gets a second bake which does wonders!).
But whether you want an entire pizza or a slice on the fly you'll do right by visiting this one. Although if it were up to us, we'd recommend the by-the-slice option every time!
Badamo's Pizza has two locations- one at 656 Washington Rd. in Mt Lebanon and one at 1106 Federal Street in the North Side. We visited the North Side location for our review.
We generally do not like to compare one shop to another on this site, but we have to admit that when we first had Pizza Lupo it reminded us of Badamo's (above) in many respects. The pies are huge, have exceptionally thin-crust, and feature a hearty distribution of toppings with flavors that meld really well together.
If you like pizzas with as thin a crust as possible, the pies here are going to be up your alley. Just be prepared for a lot of leftovers as their smalls are as big as other places large (at least at the time we went- 14″ pies are huge!). We can't wait to return to this one to check out their Grandma pies next.
Pizza Lupo is located at 5123 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
If you've ever traveled around Italy, you probably know the traditional Italian style pizza all too well. A bit larger than a personal size, a nice char from a hot oven, and incredibly thin crust that barely holds up to the toppings, thus encouraging you to eat each slice as fast as you possibly can.
If you're looking for this style pizza in Pittsburgh, look no further than Piccolo Forno– home to what we think is some of the most authentic Italian pizza there is.
Piccolo Forno is located at 3801 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
If our review for Piccolo Forno and other spots above isn't an indication, we love it when a traditional wood fired Italian pizza is done well. At Mercurio's, this is exactly what you're going to get with a menu that is reasonably priced (most pies run $10-$15- on the cheaper end compared to others in the city) and with fairly conventional flavor combinations. It is just (mostly) simple toppings, on top of a beautifully charred crust, and served within minutes of ordering- just as any good Italian pie should be.
Finish it off with a scoop of Italian gelato and you have the makings of a perfect meal!
Mercurio's has two locations- one in Shadyside at 5523 Walnut Street and one in Fox Chapel at 1335 Freeport Road. I visited the Shadyside location for this review.
Threadbare Cider House
Threadbare is a cider house located in the North Side that uses locally sourced ingredients to make their tasty concoctions.
In addition to their beverage menu, Threadbare focuses on making artisan personal pizzas with seasonal ingredients (one such pizza from opening weekend included charred fennel, peach, preserved lemon, black pepper, mozzarella, and brie which was an astounding combination of flavors).
The reason we rank this pizza amongst the very best is not the toppings, even though they were quite good, but rather the crust as it was cooked perfectly and nearly all pieces we tried had a nice crunch the whole way through. It is the kind of crust we wish most other pizza places had, and for that reason we can't stop talking about it.
Threadbare Cider House is located at 1291 Spring Garden Avenue in the North Side.
Iron Born is a pizza shop in Pittsburgh that focuses on Detroit style pizza. The style offers thick crust, inverted toppings, and flavors that we somehow never knew we were missing. The crust is the highlight here as it is quite thick, doughy, and offers a solid bite in every piece (and is why we give it our top category in this one).
But it is also worth noting that this one is on the more expensive side of the spectrum as far as pizzas are concerned. Call us addicted all the same!
Iron Born is located at 413 Grant Avenue in Millvale and 1806 Smallman Street in the Strip District.
Pizzaiolo Primo in Market Square focuses on authentic Neapolitan style pizzas that are cooked in a hot brick oven and topped with fresh ingredients (some of which include mozzarella rush imported from Italy!).
These pies come at a fair premium over their counterparts from other shops. But if you are looking for something that would compete with some of the very best in Italy, we have to give credit where credit is due.
Pizzaiolo Primo is located at 8 Market Square.
We know we have a long way to go until we've tried all the pizzas Pittsburgh has to offer. We try to get a few pizzas every month and will update this guide with each new pizza joint we try! If you have a recommendation we should try sooner rather than later please comment below or contact us!