It was just two and a half years ago that we did our massive roundup of all the best (and worst) pies in the Philadelphia area. But since then, Philly has experienced something of a pizza boom, with amazing joints opening all over the city. Here are the best of the newcomers shaping our scene today.
Joe Beddia is like some kind of pizza savant, bringing amazing pies to the neighborhood every single night. But it’s what he doesn’t do that really sets this place apart: no huge menu of options (three pies, no more), no slices (whole pies only), a one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to those whole pies (16-inch only, enough to serve two comfortably), and strict hours (Wednesday to Saturday, five hours a night). Despite all this, the people still line up, because Beddia’s pizzas are worth the trouble and amazing just the way they are.
Bufad // Poplar
The perfect night out in the neighborhood? A growler from Prohibition Taproom right down the block (and owned by the same team), walked up to Bufad and plunked down alongside a plate of scamorza and an idealized margherita pizza with fresh mozzarella and torn basil leaves.
Nomad Pizza // Bella Vista
Nomad started life in Philly as a pizza truck, roaming the streets from its home base in New Jersey. A brick-and-mortar location soon followed (there are now two, with Nomad Roman in Midtown Village), and ever since, this city’s pizza-philes have had a dependable place to score excellent Roman and Neapolitan pizzas without having to chase a truck all over town.
Pizzeria Vetri // Fairmount
Yes, everyone raves about the rotolo being served here (think a savory version of a cinnamon roll, stuffed with mortadella and ricotta and topped with pesto), but the pizzas are worth the trip, too. Go with the prosciutto-topped crudo or the killer quattro formaggi, and a bottled Brooklyn cocktail (a manhattan variant with Bulleit rye and Luxardo maraschino). Oh, and you may as well order the rotolo, too, because you’re going to regret it if you don’t.
Pizza Brain // Fishtown
Beneath all the hype and weirdness lies one of Philly’s great pizza joints. The only trouble? You have to get past all the weirdness and hype and actually go there to find out whether you prefer the Forbes Waggensense or the Queenie Delouche.
Pitruco Pizza // Mobile
Pizza from a food truck sounded like an absolutely ridiculous idea the first time we heard it, too. But then we tried it and were immediately won over by the short menu of authentic wood-oven pies from this Neapolitan pizzeria on wheels.
More pizza [Philadelphia Magazine]
First appeared in the April, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.