Pizza in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide
A list of some of the best pies in the city, from classics to newcomers and everything in between.
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Philly has always had its act together when it comes to pizza.
We’ve got our long history of Italian immigration to thank for that. Our generations-deep bench of pizzaiolos and wood-fired, Neapolitan-style bonafides. We’ve had pizza in this city for as long as there has been pizza anywhere — Philly could always stand proudly alongside the best pizza cities in America when it came to thin crust, New York-style or authentic Italian pies.
But then, just recently, things got even better here. We went through a weird, out-of-the-blue pizza renaissance whereby our already very good pizza scene got catapulted into excellence thanks to the efforts of a few crazy-pants pizza obsessives who believed that Philadelphians would put up with just about anything — long lines, strange hours, unusual restrictions, limited menus, byzantine ordering policies — in order to get their hands on pies that weren’t just good for Philly, but some of the best in America.
Pizzeria Beddia was the most notable of these pizzerias, but it wasn’t the only one. And now that Joe Beddia’s Jedi temple of pizza has closed, those of us who’ve been spoiled by excellence are going to need somewhere new to geek out over.
Which is just why we put together this new list of where to eat pizza in Philly right now.
The Pizza in Philadelphia You Must Try First
Pizza Gutt, Callowhill
Daniel Gutter has the distinction of being one of the only other people on earth besides Joe Beddia to have cooked a Pizzeria Beddia pizza. He apprenticed there while preparing to go brick-and-mortar, and he evinces the same kind of quirky perfectionism and limited availability that made Beddia famous (and scored Gutter a Best of Philly nod). He does square, thick-crust, expensive, delicious Detroit-style pan pizza three nights a week at W/N W/N, offering a short menu available only to those who pre-register for pies via Instagram (plus a couple dozen pizzas available for walk-ins). 931 Spring Garden Street
Pizzeria Vetri, Fairmount, Rittenhouse, King of Prussia
Yeah, the rotolo will always be the star here. But it should be said that the pizzas — all of them creative, considered, grounded in Italian tradition and ingredients — are also very solid. Not the thing you want if you’re looking for some quick, in-and-out neighborhood pie that’s all grease and drippy cheese. But if you’re after a nice tuna pizza, or some prosciutto crudo pizza with buffalo mozz and parmigiana, some roasted potatoes, meatballs on the side, and a beer or a glass of wine to go with it, Pizzeria Vetri might be your jam. 1939 Callowhill Street, 1615 Chancellor Street, 640 West DeKalb Pike
Tacconelli’s, Port Richmond
You know what I said above about pizza history in Philly? Tacconelli’s has been operating for five generations — since before World War II. What started as a bread bakery working out of a single handmade brick oven became a place for tomato pie in 1946. After 70-odd years, the brick oven finally had to be rebuilt. And today, Tacconelli’s still operates as a small, busy BYOB tomato-pie supplier that’s so popular it’s suggested that you call to reserve your share of the day’s dough in advance. 2604 East Somerset Street
La Rosa Pizza, South Philly
Another place slinging square pies, La Rosa is one of those neighborhood joints that’s just perfect as-is. Simple, friendly, and operating on what is certainly not the prettiest block of Broad Street, it’s worth checking out both for the traditional thick-crust, cheese-and-pepperoni pies and the excellent pie topped with thin-sliced potato and rosemary. 2106 South Broad Street
Olce Pizza Grille, Skippack
Casual, family-friendly and as creative as they come, the menu at Olce reads like a primer on the versatility of pizza as an art form. The B.L.G. pie with bacon, leeks and gruyere is always dependable, the pistachios on the bianco elevate it beyond all the classic white pies out there and, in season, the roasted corn pizza is one of the true wonders of the Philly pizza renaissance. 3401 Skippack Pike
Crème Brûlée Bistro, Pennsport
It’s a really good neighborhood bakery and cafe, run by three brothers, that also has a really good brunch on the weekends. And beyond that, you’ll be surprised to find that this kitchen — and in particular, the baker of the three brothers, Alejandro Tapia — does some of the best pizzas in South Philly. It’s a short menu, available only after 4 p.m., and it changes all the time. But you really owe it to yourself to go check this place out. You won’t be disappointed. 1800 South 4th Street
Also known occasionally (and slightly less confusingly) as Pizza Shackamaxon, this is the joint that took over the space where Pizzeria Beddia used to live. Big shoes? Hell yes. But a couple of property developers decided to buy the space and staffed the kitchen with veteran New School pizza makers, and now they’re pumping out pies by the slice for the neighbors and keeping the spirit of pizza innovation alive in Philly. (There’s still no phone.) 115 East Girard Avenue
Osteria has had a wild run these past few years — changes in ownership, a brief renovation and re-opening — but at the moment, it’s firmly in the hands of Schulson Collective, and the menu feels…familiar. Very. Look, one of the first truly great pizzas I had when moving to Philly almost 10 years ago was at the original Osteria. And that pie is still available — the Parma, with its prosciutto, fontina, and mountain of arugula in the middle. There’s a hot coppa pie here, one with mushrooms and figs, a Lombarda with sausage, egg and cheese. But that Parma is still the champion in my book. 640 North Broad Street
Santucci’s, Multiple locations
Another square pie with a long history in and around Philly. There are people who swear by these places — run buy three different branches of the original Santucci family — scattered around the Northeast and points south (where the Original Square branch scored a Best of Philly). They’ll fight you over which one is best. But really, they’ve all got that same low-walled, Philly-not-Detroit squareness and a pillowy dough that you can’t find anywhere else.
Wm. Mulherin’s Sons, Fishtown
The Spicy Jawn has long been a favorite from this Best of Philly winner. It’s smart, thoughtful, different, delicious — everything you want from a pizza made to defy conventions in a town built on them. But I would humbly put forth both the Double Margherita (like a normal margherita, but with burrata) and the Duck & Pear (with duck sausage and sliced honey pears) as equally good, equally groundbreaking and, frankly, just plain better. Actually, forget humbly. I think you really need to go and try these pies right now. 1355 North Front Street
Lorenzo & Sons Pizza, South Street
Enormous slices, drippy and cheesy, served from the heart of South Street until 4 a.m. Lorenzo & Sons is a Philadelphia institution. It’s been serving the last-call crowds since your grandfather went drinking on South Street. And while there’s nothing fancy about it, these slices are famous for being one of the most satisfying drunk foods ever.
The Best Pizza in South Philadelphia
Rosario’s Pizzeria, Point Breeze
Rosario’s does, among other things, Mexican-style pizzas. Kinda. More accurately, Rosario’s does a kind of Philly-Italian-Mexican fusion which results in things like pizza al pastor with guajillo chile sauce or Choriqueso Pizza, with salsa, chorizo, portobello mushrooms, and a mix of mozzarella and Chihuahua cheese. It’s weird but undeniably cool, and also quite delicious. 1501 Wharton Street
Uncle Oogie’s, South Philly
Phenomenal old-Italian-grandma pies in South Philly. The “Old Italian” is the classic — square, thin-crust, garlic, basil and mozzarella, topped with sweet Italian sausage and peppers on request — but the classic sauce and cheese, the whites, and the gourmet pies are solid, too. Hell, they even do breakfast pizza if that’s your kind of thing. 36 Snyder Avenue and 2119 West Oregon Avenue
Francoluigi’s, East Passyunk
It’s your quintessential neighborhood take-out shop, and here, less is more — so don’t get too caught up in those wacky “gourmet” options. Francoluigi’s pizza is best in its simplest form: bread, sauce and cheese. 1549 South 13th Street
Nomad Pizza, Bella Vista
Nomad does fantastic Neapolitan pizzas, blistered by the heat of the wood-fired oven. Nomad Roman, its sister spot at 13th and Locust, does thin-crust, almost flatbread-style Roman pizzas topped with everything from prosciutto and arugula to shiitake mushrooms and black truffle. Both are worth your time and attention. 611 South 7th Street
Marra’s, East Passyunk
Marra’s is a full-on Italian restaurant that also happens to bang out some impressive brick-oven pizza on East Passyunk. There’s not many surprises on the menu, but the Marra family has been running this place for 90 years, and you gotta respect that when it comes to slinging pies. 1734 East Passyunk Avenue
Square Pie, Queen Village
Chef Gene Giuffi (ex of Cochon, which used to live in this space) takes a lot of pride in his long-fermented pizza dough. He takes a lot of pride in being able to bring his Brooklyn-style thick-crust pizza to Philly after missing it for years. He takes a lot of pride in being able to do this modern-style dine-in/take-out casual version of a neighborhood pizzeria, and in the artisan toppings he throws on his traditional square pies. And you can taste that pride in every Best of Philly-worthy pizza that Square Pie serves. 801 East Passyunk Avenue
Angelo’s Pizzeria, Bella Vista
Beloved (and a Best of Philly winner) in Haddonfield, Angelo’s took over the former Sarcone’s Deli space at 9th and Fitzwater early in 2019. But they brought with them their menu from the original location, and the recipe for that long-fermented, chewy, slightly sour crust that made them famous in the first place. 736 South 9th Street
Caffe Valentino, Pennsport
A two-story Italian restaurant featuring the cuisine of Puglia and, more important, a whole roster of brick oven pizzas. It’s the white pies here that are most impressive — notably the pie gorgonzola, prosciutto, arugula and figs, which are a deeply under-appreciated pizza topping. 1245 South 3rd Street
Brigantessa, East Passyunk
Super-traditional Italian pies, done as authentically as possible. Sometimes, being so true to regional styles can make you an outlier in a place where Buffalo chicken is nearly as common a pizza topping as buffalo mozzarella. 1520 East Passyunk
Slice, East Passyunk
Trenton-style pizza in Philly? Sure, why not. But really, this mini-chain with branches in Fishtown, Rittenhouse, and Washington Township is just serving a thin(ish)-crust red top. They’ve got a long menu that covers both the traditional (cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms) and the more niche varieties like truffled ribeye, barbecued chicken, Hawaiian, and, of course, Pizzazz.
The Best Pizza in Rittenhouse, Midtown Village, and Society Hill
Rione scored a Best of Philly because it’s a new-ish place doing pizza in a very classic, Roman style — square pies, tray-baked, and served al taglio (by the slice) — very well. Chef-owner Francesco Crovetti comes to Philly by way of Rome, so he knows what he’s doing, and his menu is local, seasonal, and made by hand. 102 South 21st Street
Barbuzzo, Midtown Village
You gotta be cool with being packed in pretty close to your neighbors at Barbuzzo. But it’s worth it, because the pizzas at this dependable Mediterranean restaurant from Marcie Turney and Val Safran have been drawing crowds for years. Everyone talks about the Uovo with its Brussels sprout leaves, guanciale, and truffled egg, but the Maiale — with prosciutto, pancetta, San Marzano tomato sauce and a fistful of arugula — is also a killer option. 110 South 13th Street
Zavino, Midtown Village
Every single day of the week, Zavino buzzes. And of course it does — it’s got great Neapolitan style pizza. Even ones topped with veal meatballs stuffed with ricotta. Craving a pie on the other side of the river? Hit up their University City location at 32nd and Chestnut. 112 South 13th Street
Pizzeria Stella, Headhouse
Too often overlooked in the debate over Philly’s modern pizza excellence, Stephen Starr’s entry into the pizza game remains a solid contender, offering beautiful round pies topped with ingredients like wood-roasted sausage, hot pepperoni from Abruzze, smoked mozzarella, and truffled burrata, all from a tiled, wood-burning oven in the middle of an open kitchen. 420 South 2nd Street
Alice Pizza, Center City
It’s pronounced ah-LI-che. It’s very Italian, serves pizza al taglio, and has a bar. The company has over 100 locations in Rome. And now they’ve got one in Philly. 235 South 15th Street
Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, Center City
The great innovation on display at this Center City slice shop is the notion of paying it forward — donating slices to people in need while you’re there getting some lunch for yourself. It’s a fantastic idea, and owner Mason Wartman is making the most of it. 25 South 11th Street
Metropolitan Café, Rittenhouse
Metropolitan took a different direction with their newly-revamped Rittenhouse cafe — pizzas made with local flour that’s milled and blended in-house, baked ’til blistered and crisp. Hey, they’re dough people — are we really that surprised? 264 South 19th Street
The Best Pizza in Fishtown, Kensington, and Northern Liberties
Pizza Brain, Kensington
This crew may not have begun the chef-y, artisinal, anti-traditional pizza movement in Philly, but they certainly put the most recognizable face on it. Here, every pizza has a name (the “Buffy Earnst,” the “Forbes Waggensense”) and is loaded with anything from barbecue sauce or brisket to horseradish and dates. Thing is? The pizzas from Pizza Brain can also be amazing, and the irreverent sense of humor serves them well in a crowded market. 2313 Frankford Avenue
Spuntino Wood Fired Pizzeria, Northern Liberties
Spuntino hasn’t been around long enough to really be called a classic, but it’s certainly putting out pizzas in a classic style. We’re talking red and white Neapolitan pies, done in a wood-fired brick oven, and topped with very Italian ingredients— everything from Sicilian tuna and red onion to anchovies, olives, and capers or prosciutto, arugula, and fresh buffalo mozzarella. 701 North 2nd Street
Medusa Trattoria, Fishtown
This place was a straight pizzeria before the crew from Green Eggs casme in, took it over, and turned it into the restaurant it is today. But they still do some excellent pies there — including two signature pizzas, one that’s kinda like a cheesesteak, another that’s kinda like a plate of shrimp scampi — along with salads, pastas, meatballs, and lasagna. 2327 Gaul Street
Blackbird Pizzeria, Northern Liberties
There are plenty of vegan pizzas in Philly, but not many pizzerias that serve nothing but vegan pizzas. Blackbird is the best of them, using seitan, tofu, and lots of garlic to make up for the lack of prosciutto and sausage. 614 North 2nd Street
The Best Pizza in University City and West Philly
Enjay’s Pizza, University City, at Smokey Joe’s
Okay, so this place was born of a collaboration between the guys from Pitruco (mentioned above), and the crew from the 80-year-old UCity bar, Smokey Joe’s. It’s basically a half-secret, extra, non-wheeled version of Pitruco’s best pies, plus burgers, garlic knots and some sandwiches. 210 South 40th Street
Dock Street Brewery, West Philly
Try the Flammenkuche with creme fraiche, gruyere, caramelized onion, bacon and fresh herbs. Or the Mellow Yellow that uses spicy brown mustard as a sauce. 701 South 50th Street
Clarkville, Clark Park
Nearly the perfect neighborhood restaurant, this family-friendly shop overlooking Clark Park does creative, original pizzas for those who’d never dream of serving their kids Papa John’s. Seriously, the potato pizza is awesome, the Danger Pie has some real heat, and the Honey Pie with shaved brussels sprouts. onion, bacon, cheese and sriracha-spiked honey is wildly original. 4301 Baltimore Avenue
Pitruco, mobile, mostly
It was impressive enough that the crew from Pitruco was able to make excellent wood-oven pizzas from a food truck. But now they’re also looking at settling down and getting a non-mobile location at the new Penn Food Hall.
The Best Pizza in Brewerytown and Northwest Philly
In Riva, East Falls
In Riva is a full-on Italian restaurant, serving everything from whole branzino and crab spaghetti to chicken parm, meatballs, and salumi plates. But the place also does some really nice wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas, too. Go for the goat cheese and pesto Bianco Verde if you’re looking for something different, or the four-cheese with tomato conserva if you’re feeling a bit more restrained. And if you like eating outside, they’re got a beautiful patio which, for most people, seems to be the main draw — meaning those tables go fast when the weather is nice. 4116 Ridge Avenue
Earth Bread + Brewery, Mt. Airy
Flatbreads are what they serve here. But really, what are flatbreads but long, thin-crust pizzas? These are done in a wood-fired oven, and in variations mostly recognizable as pizza. But the best ones are wilder, like the Nashville Hot Chicken topped with fried chicken, brown sugar hot sauce, fontina, pickles, and a swirl of buttermilk ranch dressing. 7136 Germantown Avenue
Pizza Dad’s, Brewerytown
If Pizza Brain began the trend in artisan anti-traditionalism, then Pizza Dad’s (a new-ish offshoot) is keeping it going with their unusual combinations, weird sense of humor, and a solid menu of excellent, Ninja Turtle-style pies to back it all up. 2843 West Girard Avenue
The Best Pizza in the Philly Suburbs
Cacia’s Bakery, Multiple Locations
Cacia’s has been a round for more than 60 years. They’re a family business with six locations (one in South Philly and several in the surrounding suburbs on both sides of the Delaware) and a dedication to serving all the varieties of pizza that make Philly tick — even the weird ones. So yeah, you can get a Pizzazz here. Or a hoagie pizza. Or a tomato pie. Or the typical red and white varieties.
Charlie’s Pizzeria, Norristown
Simple, fast and cheap, this old-school, Best of Philly counter-service pizza shop does excellent red-tops (sauce on top of the cheese) by the slice for $2. There’s a cooler full of beer behind you, a baseball game on the flour-dusted TV, and honestly — if you need more than that to be happy in this life, I can’t help you. 107 West Germantown Pike
Pica’s, Upper Darby, West Chester
This Best of Philly winner is a Delco icon, and not just because it’s a famous favorite of area native Tina Fey — they’ve been turning out killer rectangular pies and other red-gravy Italian fare for six decades. Head to Upper Darby (or, if you’re out that way, West Chester) for a taste.
This page has been updated. 2/7/19