The Ultimate Guide to Pizza in Philly

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The Ultimate Guide to Pizza in Philly

A list of some of the best pies in the city, from classics to newcomers and everything in between.

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Pizzeria Beddia / Photograph by Jason Varney

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 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 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, Fishtown
Pizzeria Beddia began as a takeout only spot where the line regularly stretched around the block. These days, the restaurant has migrated to a larger space with tables and a wine list, and the hype has calmed way down, turning Beddia into a neighborhood spot with great drinks that just happens to also be open on Mondays. 1313 North Lee Street.

Stina Pizzeria, South Philly
Go here for the perfect Neapolitan pies with rotating toppings (spicy soppressata, short-rib bacon, eggplant-and-kale, the list goes on) with the added bonus of seasonal, Mediterranean-inspired small plates like grilled octopus, fried smelt and fattoush salad. 1705 Snyder Avenue.

SallyFitler Square 
Sally is a big win for Fitler Square: a small-plates and natural-wine spot with sourdough pizzas and weekend dinner specials that are all the rage. 2229 Spruce Street.

Pizza Jawn, Manayunk 
Pizza Jawn went from being a very popular pop-up to being a very popular brick-and-mortar in Manayunk. Their signature sesame-coated crust is actually different from a lot of what you’ll get at other pizza places in the city, and the around-the-block lines have died down, so you can actually get your hands on it. 4330 Main Street.

Pizzata PizzeriaFitler Square 
Davide Lubrano and Vinny Gallagher have worldwide pizza-cooking experience, and they’ve brought all that skill to this Fitler Square spot that has quickly become something of an obsession for pizza-loving Philadelphians (a.k.a. all Philadelphians). 240 South 22nd Street.

Down North PizzaStrawberry Mansion 
Down North has been much discussed for its mission-driven focus on employing formerly incarcerated people, but the Detroit-style pies, wings, loaded hand-cut fries and milkshakes are worth just as much discussion. 2804 West Lehigh Avenue.

Circles + SquaresKensington
Daniel Gutter started out as an apprentice to Joe Beddia at the original location of Pizzeria Beddia, then pivoted to pop-ups, and finally went brick-and-mortar in 2019. Since then, he’s expanded to two more locations (Pizza Plus, and Pizza Plus West) with slightly different menus. But the original remains the standout for its square, thick-crusted Detroit-style pan pizza. 2513 Tulip Street.

Tacconelli’s, Port Richmond
This is not a tomato pie list. (Here is that list, should you need it.) Tacconelli’s made a name for itself as a tomato pie spot all the way back in 1946, but these days, it’s just as beloved for its brick-oven pizzas. People call ahead to reserve their dough. The menu is small — just a white pie, margherita, and cheese pizza, plus classic toppings like sausage and peppers. The restaurant is BYOB. 2604 East Somerset Street.

Pizza Shackamaxon, Fishtown
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 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.

Santucci’s, multiple locations
Another square pie with a long history in and around Philly. There are people who swear by these places — run by 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 we would humbly put forth the Double Margherita (like a normal margherita, but with burrata) as equally good, equally groundbreaking and, frankly, just plain better. Actually, forget humbly. 1355 North Front Street.

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 chili 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.

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 Streets early in 2019. They brought 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. Shoutouts from national publications have made the lines longer (sometime very long), but the quality remains excellent. 736 South 9th 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 when it’s on the menu. 110 South 13th Street.

Pizza Brain, Kensington
This crew may not have begun the chef-y, artisanal, 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.

Wood Street PizzaChinatown 
Wood Street is everything a neighborhood pizza joint should be: a friendly, very delicious pizza spot with a focus on making everything from scratch. Oh, and they have cheesesteaks. 325 North 12th Street.

Pitruco, mobile and University City
It was impressive enough that the crew from Pitruco was able to make excellent wood-oven pizzas from a food truck. But now they also serve out of Franklin’s Table, Penn’s food hall in University City. 3401 Walnut Street.

Paulie Gee’s Soul City Slice ShopWashington Square West
Philly is not a big slice city when it come to pizza, but Paulie Gee’s is a New York export that we can actually get behind, mostly because they serve actually good pizza by the slice in a big space with a bar, a pool table, and TVs. It’s the Center City hangout you didn’t know you needed. 412 South 13th Street

Bar 1010, Northern Liberties
The old Spuntino space in Northern Liberties is now home to super-thin-crust pizzas baked crisp in the wood-fire oven. They also do wine, cocktails and salads, and have quickly become favorite among Philly’s pizza obsessives. 701 North 2nd Street

20th Street Pizza, Rittenhouse Square
People come to 20th Street for the first time because the naturally leavened pies are completely vegan. But they return time and time again because the pizza is crisp, the square pies are legendary, and the cashew mozzarella is good, no matter your dietary restrictions (or lack thereof). 108 South 20th 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.


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