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Where to Find the Best Pizza in Philadelphia

Explore the city’s fantastic pizza by the slice or by the pie

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Pizzeria Vetri Photo courtesy Pizzeria Vetri
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Philadelphia has earned some serious pizza cred in recent years.

Not only is this city home to a combo pizza museum and restaurant (Pizza Brain), an artisan pizza truck (Pitruco) and, according to Bon Appétit’s 2015 “Ultimate Pizza Guide,” America’s very best pizza (Pizzeria Beddia), but it’s also a proving ground for the idea that this traditional food can be reinvented in infinite ways.

Whether it’s a straightforward but studious Neapolitan round, a floppy tri-corner slice with cheese to spare or a newfangled pie laden with carefully sourced ingredients, there is a pizza for every pie lover’s predilection.

Here’s a sampling of the region’s cheesiest, crispiest riches.

Note: The list below is NOT in a ranked order.

01

Wm. Mulherin's Sons

Wood-fired pizzas, pastas and so much more

Wood-fired pizza from Wm. Mulherin's Sons Wood-fired pizza from Wm. Mulherin's Sons
— Photo courtesy Wm. Mulherin's Sons

Fishtown’s Wm. Mulherin’s Sons throws down the pizza gauntlet with gorgeously charred pies. Pitruco-trained chefs whip up a double Margherita with Burrata and bufala mozzarella, plus goodies like the Philly-centric “Spicy Jawn,” with pepperoni, sharp provolone, long hots and coppa.

Where: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons, 1355 N. Front Street

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02

Pizzeria Vetri Callowhill and Rittenhouse

Wood-fired pizza from famed Philly chef

Diners inside Pizzeria Vetri Diners inside Pizzeria Vetri
— Photo courtesy Pizzeria Vetri

With two Philly locations and one more in the King of Prussia Mall, Pizzeria Vetri — all with wood-fired Renato ovens — goes all out. The Neapolitan crust requires a three-day rise. Side dish standouts include mortadella- and ricotta-stuffed, pistachio-sauced “rotolo,” which looks like a savory cinnamon bun and eats like heaven.

Where: Pizzeria Vetri, Various locations including 1939 Callowhill Street

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03

Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar

Pizza pie from Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar Pizza pie from Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar
— Photo courtesy Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar

With venues in Midtown Village and University City, Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar builds on a Neapolitan crust and oven foundation with Kennett Square mushrooms, Berkshire pork sausage and ricotta-stuffed veal meatballs.

Where: Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar, Various locations including 112 S. 13th Street

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04

Barbuzzo

Crowd-pleasing pizzas and Mediterranean dishes on 13th Street

Pizza may not be the sole focus at Barbuzzo, but there’s no denying the lure of Chef Marcie Turney’s famed asparago pie, with secret white sauce, fior di latte, locally cured guanciale and truffled farm egg. Seasonal options such as the Fico (figs, gorgonzola, arugula, prosciutto and walnuts) showcase her mastery of ingredients.

Where: Barbuzzo, 110 S. 13th Street

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05

Brigantessa

Certified Neapolitan pizza in South Philadelphia

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Neapolitan pizza is more than a hobby in Italy — it’s the law. Chef Joe Cicala of Le Virtù earned the right to make authentic pies by winning a coveted Napoli Pizzaiolo Verace certification. His South Philly forneria Brigantessa makes irrefutable classics like Margherita and marinara, alongside some seasonally changing pies and off-menu delights.

Where: Brigantessa, 1520 E. Passyunk Avenue

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06

Santucci’s Pizza

Pizza, squared

There are no wedge-shaped slices at Santucci’s — just pillowy squares with sauce over cheese, cooked in special pans that grant the dough a one-of-a-kind consistency. Santucci’s original locations populate Northeast Philadelphia; the family more recently brought their addictive pies to Bella Vista and North Broad Street.

Where: Santucci's Pizza, Various locations including 901 S. 10th Street

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07

Tacconelli’s

So good you have to reserve your dough in advance

Diners can order pizza and only pizza at the iconic Port Richmond BYOB Tacconelli’s, where there’s a (strongly) suggested three-topping limit for the crunchy, thin-crust pies. It’s also advised that prospective patrons call the lauded pizzeria in advance to reserve their dough since it’s made in finite quantities daily.

Where: Tacconelli's, 2604 E. Somerset Street

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08

Pizza Brain

The world’s first pizza museum

Diners eacting pizza at Pizza Brain Diners eacting pizza at Pizza Brain
— Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Pizza Brain, the world’s first pizza museum and shop, showcases hundreds of pop culture pizza artifacts in rotation at its funky Fishtown headquarters. The pies feature sustainably sourced toppings framed with zany names such as the “Bob Shieldsmoose,” which brings together brisket, Maytag blue cheese and horseradish.

Where: Pizza Brain, 2313 Frankford Avenue

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09

Nomad and Nomad Roman

Pizza pie at Nomad Pizza Pizza pie at Nomad Pizza
— Photo courtesy Nomad Pizza

Bella Vista’s two-story Nomad cuts top-notch pies at the table to prevent them from getting soggy. A second location in Midtown Village serves Roman-style pizza with toppings like ’nduja sausage and Castelvetrano olives.

Where: Nomad, Various locations including 1305 Locust Street

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10

Pizzeria Stella

Stephen Starr’s Headhouse Square restaurant focuses on gourmet pies

Pepperoni pizza pie from Pizzeria Stella Pepperoni pizza pie from Pizzeria Stella
— Photo courtesy Pizzeria Stella

While the menu of pies at restaurateur Stephen Starr’s family-friendly Pizzeria Stella is firmly rooted in an authentic flavor palate, a few surprises sneak in: Think garlic crema, long hot pepper pesto and aged provolone.

Where: Pizzeria Stella, 420 S. 2nd Street

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11

Clarkville

West Philly's newest pizza haven

Cheese pizza pie at Clarkville Cheese pizza pie at Clarkville
— Photo courtesy Clarkville

Clarkville is a neighborhood bar with intriguing pizza (sour cream and potato with scallion pesto) and shareable plates (warm cauliflower salad, ricotta-stuffed peppadews).

Where: Clarkville, 4301 Baltimore Avenue

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12

Birra

Part gastopub, part pizzeria, all scrumptious

Pizza pie at Birra Pizza pie at Birra
— Photo courtesy Birra

Somewhere between a gastropub and pizza parlor is Birra, serving an assortment of thin-crust pizza (including indulgent mac-and-cheese pizza), panini (try the grilled cheese) and antipasti, as well as an impressive list of craft beers.

Where: Birra, 1700 E. Passyunk Avenue

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13

Earth Bread + Brewery

Local ingredients and housemade everything

Pizza and beer at Earth Bread and Brewery Pizza and beer at Earth Bread and Brewery
— Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

At Earth Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy, the mozzarella is made daily in house and the oven is hand-built. Diners wash down their Nashville Hot Chicken or Vietnam Veggie flatbreads with made-on-premises beer.

Where: Earth Bread + Brewery, 7136 Germantown Avenue

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14

Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant

Exterior of Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant Exterior of Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Founded in 1985, the award-winning Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant serves gourmet wood-fired pizzas, char-grilled sandwiches, salads and a half-dozen unfiltered draft selections, brewed just steps from the bar in a classic German copper brewhouse.

Where: Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant, 701 S. 50th Street

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15

24

Wood-fired pizza and more from Chef Jose Garces

— Photo by M. Buday

Chef Jose Garces has thrown his hat into the Philly pizza ring with 24, situated between Rittenhouse Square and University City. Signature wood-fired styles include a fresh-shucked clam pie with kale, garlic, the special Italian cheese Scamorza and parmesan cream.

Where: 24, 2401 Walnut Street

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16

Lorenzo and Son's Pizza

Slices as big as your head on South Street

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Lorenzo and Son’s Pizza has been a South Street institution for more than 45 years. The line extends out the door many nights as people spill out of nearby bars and music venues looking for a giant slice. A slice from Lorenzo’s also makes up one half of the “Philly Taco” – a gastronomic feat of strength not for the faint of heart.

Where: Lorenzo and Sons Pizza, Various locations including 305 South Street

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17

Bufad Pizza

Pizza that will light up your tastebuds

Exterior of Bufad Exterior of Bufad
— Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

The rotating Roman slice specials from the wood-fired oven of Bufad Pizza feature options like an all-tomato Rossa or a killer Amatriciana with pancetta and pecorino. The regular menu specializes in Neapolitan pies.

Where: Bufad Pizza, 1240 Spring Garden Street

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18

Osteria

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Chef Marc Vetri’s first pizza-centric establishment Osteria sets a new standard for local pizzaioli. This elegant eatery serves up wood-fired tradizionali pies topped with interesting flavor combinations, like octopus and smoked mozzarella or mortadella with Sicilian pistachio pesto.

Where: Osteria, 640 N. Broad Street

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19

Blackbird

All-vegan, all-delicious

As Philadelphia’s only full-on vegan pizzeria, Blackbird Pizzeria uses ingredients such as seitan sausage, Daiya non-dairy cheese and house-smoked tofu to cover its chewy crusts and sate non-meat-eating appetites.

Where: Blackbird Pizzeria, Various locations including 507 S. 6th Street

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20

Pitruco

Mobile, wood-fired pizza

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This little red truck is an extra-hot commodity. The mobile pizza oven Pitruco vends all over Philly and produces wonderful 11-inch personal pies made with a characteristic Neopolitan crust.

Where: Pitruco, Various locations including 22nd and Brown streets

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21

In Riva

Wood-fired pizza on the waterfront

Outdoor seating at In Riva Outdoor seating at In Riva
— Photo courtesy In Riva

East Falls’ In Riva pays homage to pizza’s beginnings with its wood-fired oven. Between a mean Margherita and creative spins such as the mushroom and zucchini pie with truffles and fontina, diners have some tough choices to make.

Where: In Riva, 4116 Ridge Avenue

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22

Capofitto

Handmade pizzas from famed gelato makers

What requires 10 days, three craftsmen from Naples, 23,000 pounds of handmade bricks from Santa Maria, a “baking floor” from Sorrento and volcanic sand from Vesuvius? The glorious handmade oven at Capofitto, brought to Old City by the owners of legendary gelateria Capogiro, that’s what.

Where: Capofitto, 233 Chestnut Street

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23

SliCE

Fresh, traditional pizza with a spin

Pizza pie from Slice Pizza pie from Slice
— Photo courtesy SliCE

Trenton-style pizza (i.e., thin-crust, with mozzarella beneath the sauce and toppings) lives on at the multi-location, wackily capitalized SliCE. Three thriving Philly locations suggest that this New Jersey variant has more than a few fans in Philly.

Where: SliCE, Various locations including 1740 Sansom Street

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24

Rione

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Italian-owned Center City newcomer Rione specializes in pizza al taglio, the light and crispy square slice style native to Rome. Styles rotate daily, running the gamut from staunchly traditional (the classic Margherita with nothing but red sauce, mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil) to the unexpected (a thinly sliced white potato pie with rosemary and sausage).

Where: Rione, 102 S. 21st Street

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25

Enjay's Pizza

University City's best kept pizza secret

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From the minds that created the beloved Pitruco pizza truck comes Enjay’s Pizza, a small pizza joint located within the beloved college bar Smokey Joe’s Tavern. Open for dinner only (lunch on Friday), Enjay’s serves up incredible pies along with a selection of burgers, hoagies and more.

Where: Enjay's Pizza, 210 S. 40th Street

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26

Marra's Cucina Italiana

Open 90 years, the East Passyunk landmark Marra’s exudes charm and authenticity. The thin-crust pizza, built on the same recipe the owner’s grandparents used, showcases the best of Italian-American traditions with Philly flair.

Where: Marra's Cucina Italiana, 1734 E. Passyunk Avenue

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27

Square Pie

Sicilian slices topped with the works

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Square Pie, a homey Bella Vista spot, invites patrons to chow down on hefty, Brooklyn-style Sicilian crusts amped up with cured pork belly, roasted potatoes and leeks, or roasted eggplant, capers and ricotta. The highlights may be its take on what many locals believe to be Philly’s true iconic sandwich: roast pork with spinach and provolone.

Where: Square Pie, 801 E. Passyunk Avenue

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28

Cacia's Bakery

For more than 50 years, Cacia’s Bakery in South Philly has been satisfying generations of customers with their high-quality pizza, breads and more. The tomato pie is a local favorite along with a wide selection of strombolis and hoagies served on housemade rolls.

Where: Cacia's Bakery, 1526 W. Ritner Street

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29

Pizza Dads

Men making and serving pizza at Pizza Dads Men making and serving pizza at Pizza Dads
— Photo courtesy Pizza Dads

A new Brewerytown-based offshoot of Pizza Brain, Pizza Dads also possesses the quirky sense of humor of its older sibling, with the serious pies to back it up. One standout is the Alana, a red sauce-and-mozzarella pie layered with prosciutto cotto, sliced pineapple and Grana Padano cheese.

Where: Pizza Dads, 2843 W. Girard Avenue

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30

La Rosa Pizzeria

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La Rosa Pizzeria has been making its square, deep-dish, huge pies for more than 30 years in South Philly. Insider’s tip: Don’t miss the potato pizza.

Where: La Rosa Pizzeria, 2106 S. Broad Street

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31

The Couch Tomato Cafe

— Photo courtesy The Couch Tomato Cafe

The Couch Tomato Cafe serves up tasty pies along with sandwiches, soups, desserts and more. Try an artisan pizza made with organic house-made dough and fresh roasted tomatoes, or go for a specialty pie like the “short rib”, featuring bacon, short rib, grana padano, horseradish sauce and arugula.

Where: The Couch Tomato Cafe, Various locations including 102 Rector Street

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32

Stogie Joe's

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A casual Italian-American bar menu (mussels and linguine, square pizza) defines Stogie Joe’s. The garage door-enclosed dining area offers open-air seating in the warmer months and a fireplace when the weather gets cool.

Where: Stogie Joe's, 1801 E. Passyunk Avenue

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33

Rosa's Fresh Pizza

Pepperoni pizza pie from Rosa's Fresh Pizza Pepperoni pizza pie from Rosa's Fresh Pizza
— Photo courtesy Rosa's Fresh Pizza

The quintessential grab-and-go city pizza shop, Rosa’s does a brisk business. The pie is more than solid, but here’s what truly separates them from your average slice-and-a-soda pit stop: Owner Mason Wartman’s unique pay-it-forward system, which encourages patrons to purchase future slices that customers in need can capitalize on anytime they’re hungry.

Where: Rosa's Fresh Pizza, 25 S. 11th Street

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34

Pizzeria Beddia

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The strict rules at Joe Beddia’s Pizzeria Beddia — no slices, no phone, cash only, two pies per party, 40-pie output per day — didn’t stop Bon Appétit from declaring he makes the country’s very best pizza. Each masterful 16-incher is topped with Jersey tomatoes, sea salt, two kinds of mozzarella, Gouda-like Old Gold and a sprinkling of oregano. (Fancier additions of arugula, house-made pork sausage, cremini, collards and pickled chiles delight, too.) Note: Pizzeria Beddia has closed at this location. Owner Joe Beddia plans to regroup and open a larger pizzeria in Fishtown in late 2018.

Where: Pizzeria Beddia, 115 E. Girard Avenue

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Wm. Mulherin's Sons
Pizzeria Vetri Callowhill and Rittenhouse
Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar
Barbuzzo
Brigantessa
Santucci’s Pizza
Tacconelli’s
Pizza Brain
Nomad and Nomad Roman
Pizzeria Stella
Clarkville
Birra
Earth Bread + Brewery
Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant
24
Lorenzo and Son's Pizza
Bufad Pizza
Osteria
Blackbird
Pitruco
In Riva
Capofitto
SliCE
Rione
Enjay's Pizza
Marra's Cucina Italiana
Square Pie
Cacia's Bakery
Pizza Dads
La Rosa Pizzeria
The Couch Tomato Cafe
Stogie Joe's
Rosa's Fresh Pizza
Pizzeria Beddia
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