All the Tomato Pie You Should Be Eating in Philadelphia Right Now
Whether you call it gravy pie, church pie, or tomato pie, these are some of the best bakeries and pizzerias making it in and around Philly.
Philly is obsessed with pizza. We’re the kind of city where folks line up for hours in the cold to get a sought-after pie, even while we have a massive slate of excellent old-school and newcomer pizzerias to choose from. But what just might be the true Philly-style pizza isn’t really a pizza at all.
Tomato pie, our city’s cheeseless wonder, can be traced back to thick, tomato-topped dough slices made in Sicily that traveled here with waves of Italian immigrants — some of whose bakeries still stand as icons of the craft — a century ago. And although New Jersey has its own thin-crusted, cheese-on-the-bottom version, we like Philly-style tomato pie best, with lots of red gravy, thick and tender crust, and just a sprinkling of parmesan on top (served at room temperature, of course). Here are some of the best places to eat tomato pie in Philadelphia.
Corropolese, Norristown, Audubon, Limerick, Di Bruno Bros. in the Ardmore Farmers Market, and Douglassville
You’ll find boxes of this Best of Philly-winning tomato pie stacked at the bakery’s four locations around the ‘burbs northwest of Philly (and at lots of chain grocers in Delco and Montco). They offer a ton of different topping options, from white cheddar to eggplant, but it’s the plain red gravy original that’s truly iconic.
This Girard Avenue slice shop is of the few new-school pizza spots in Philly offering tomato pie — and their fat, square slices with crunchy crust and zingy tomato sauce are some of the best in the city. Don’t forget to shoot them an email two days in advance if you want to bring home a whole pie.
Circles & Squares, East Kensington
Chewy, focaccia-style, square pies are the cult favorite at Pizza Gutt’s first brick-and-mortar location. You can get the pies with several different topping combinations each night, but they pay homage to Philly’s pizza scene by offering a classic tomato pie sprinkled with just a little oregano.
Sarcone’s Bakery, Italian Market
Taste the history of Philly-style tomato pie at this century-old 9th Street institution, where each one is baked in a massive brick hearth oven till crispy on the edges and juicy in the middle.
La Rosa Pizza, South Philly
If you’re craving something cheese-less, this square pie destination on South Broad Street has you covered with their “gravy pie,” topped with nothing but their signature red sauce and a few glugs of olive oil.
Pizzeria Beddia, Fishtown
When Pizzeria Beddia expanded its operation to the full-service restaurant, they included tomato pie on their menu. For $4, you get a very fluffy, very brightly-sauced square of excellent tomato pie.
Joe Santucci’s Square Pizza Bar & Grille, Northeast Philly
Yes, everyone pledges allegiance to their favorite Santucci’s sub-chain (there are three branches of the family operating three different businesses under the name). Yes, all three of them offer tomato pie. But this one is our favorite.
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Conshohocken Bakery, Conshohocken
A Montco favorite, Conshy Bakery has been turning out classic tomato pies for 45 years — topped with gravy only, then a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of cheese and garlic powder on top.
Cacia’s Bakery, South Philly, Cherry Hill, Blackwood, Williamstown, Hammonton, Audubon (NJ)
This fourth-generation brick oven bakery (with several outposts in the Jersey ‘burbs) makes an extra-saucy version of the traditional gravy pie.
Gigi Pizza, Queen Village
Gigi is mostly known for their Neapolitan-style pizza, but they also bake off one tomato pie a day and sell it by the slice until it’s sold out.
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New York Bakery, South Philly
Grab slices of this bright-sauced tomato pie to go (New York Bakery is takeout only) at this long-running spot on 11th just north of Wolf Street.
Carlino’s Market, Ardmore
Rather than the typical smooth red sauce, Carlino’s house-made pies are topped with a chunky tomato sauce amped up with fresh basil.
Morabito Baking Company, Norristown
This long-running Italian bakery has something of a regional monopoly on supplying supermarkets with thieir signature tomato pies. If you can’t make it out to the bakery in Norristown, just grab one of their red-striped boxes at your local Acme, Giant, or ShopRite instead.
Liberty Kitchen, Fishtown
Liberty Kitchen’s tomato pie comes with the option of adding mozzarella, anchovies or pepperoni. We’re not saying you should do this, but it is an option.
Stogie Joe’s, East Passyunk
Okay, so we’re stretching the no-cheese-but-parm rule a bit with this one: Stogie Joe’s technically serves what’s known as upside-down pizza, which features cheese beneath a layer of red sauce. But since earned them a Best of Philly, we’ll allow it.
Gaeta’s Tomato Pies, Rhawnhurst
This sweet-sauced take on tomato pie is a Northeast Philly icon, though it originated at a bakery called Scalea’s in Germantown more than 75 years ago before moving east under a new name and new ownership.
Marchiano’s Bakery, Manayunk
For old school, nonna-approved tomato pie, look no further than Marchiano’s, which has been making a southern Italian recipe passed down from the owners’ grandmother since 1984.
Iannelli’s, South Philly
Though this long-running Italian bakery has incredibly irregular hours – they’re open on holidays and big game days, and basically whenever Vincent Iannelli feels like it – but when you finally make it, the brick-oven baked tomato pies are worth the rigmarole.
Tony Roni’s, Roxborough
Hit up one of the seven locations of this local pizza chain in Roxborough or on the outskirts of Philly for a crisp, thinner-crusted take on the classic tomato pie.
Francoluigi’s, East Passyunk
This classic South Philly pizzeria serves thick-crusted, Sicilian-style square pies in addition to rounds made with thin crust, and their tomato pie — dusted with cheese and seasonings plus a bit of olive oil — is one of the best.