Local favorite serving Neapolitan-style pies
This neighborhood favorite with a snug outpost in South Park and a huge new location in Liberty Station offers three dozen different pies ready to crush your carb and cheese cravings (all of which can be made gluten-free). You really can’t make a bad call, whether you go for something simple like the margherita or try something more unusual, like the Agenese, which is loaded with porcini mushrooms, shrimp, scallop, ricotta, and mozzarella. Pro tip: Hold onto the olive oil and balsamic from bread service, as you’ll want a puddle of it to drag your crusts through.
Well-rounded Italian spot using specialty pizza dough
The pizza makers at this hopping Italian restaurant owned by the same team behind Bencotto invested some serious dedication into crafting the perfect pizza dough. Made with yeast and flour imported from Italy, it slowly ferments for four days before it’s stretched, topped, and baked in a brick-lined gas oven. The Bencotto pizza -- with ricotta, mozzarella, and the same pink pancetta sauce that tops noodles next door -- deserves a spot on your must-eat list.
Classic & reliable NY-style slices
This beloved slice shop is known for classic, NY-style pies that clobber your hunger with the strength of a heavyweight. The Whitestone (a white pie with mozzarella, garlic, and dollops of creamy herbed ricotta cheese) is a must, but so are the calzones and house specialties like the triple-threat Porko (pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs), so it’ll probably take a few visits to find your favorite. The no-frills seating area is fine for a quick bite, but if you want a full pie, it’s better to call ahead for a fresh one to-go. There’s no delivery, and the parking situation is a permanent pain in the butt, but pies this good are worth the trouble.
Go-to for deep dish (or NY-style)
Regents deserves props for doing many things very well. There’s an excellent draft list, along with worthy appetizers like scorching hot wings and a bacon plate, plus all manner of salads and sandwiches... but the pizza is where it really shines, of course. You can get a whole pie if you’re willing to wait, or head directly to the slice case for instant gratification. There are many different varieties of NY-style and Chicago deep-dish pies here (a rarity!), so the only responsible thing is to get one of each.
Bankers Hill and Del Mar
Elegant sister restaurants with elevated pizza and robust wine lists
When you want a nice night out but aren’t prepared to ignore your pizza craving, this duo of restaurants is the perfect compromise. The thin-crust pies baked in a 600-degree oven tend to lean slightly cheffy, but familiar flavors ensure they’re never too precious. The pancetta and Brussels sprouts (a béchamel sauce pie with fontina, red onion, roasted garlic, and chili) is an excellent choice. Want something more traditional? The spicy coppa (a red sauce pie with spicy salami, house-made mozzarella, pepperoncini, Calabrian chili, and basil) is like a grown-up pepperoni pizza.
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