Iron Born Pizza
Food & Drink

The Best Pizza Places in Pittsburgh

Updated On 10/13/2017 at 05:00PM EST
P izza might not be the first thing you think of when you’re contemplating the finest food Pittsburgh's got to offer, but overlooking it would be a major mistake. From hometown hole-in-the-walls to fancier Neapolitan eateries, you've got plenty of options for remarkable pizza experiences here are spots that are making the greatest pizzas in Pittsburgh.
Merritt Lee Photography

Pizza Taglio

East Liberty

BYOB shop with Roman-inspired pies
Pizza Taglio’s Greenpointer brings the heat, topped with mozzarella, spicy Calabrese sopressata, and a hot honey that’s been infused with chilies, so if you’re looking for something with a kick, you’ve found your perfect pizza match. Pizza Taglio’s artisan pies are Roman-inspired, with a light, impossibly airy crust, and each one is big enough to share... if you’re willing to share, that is.

Piccolo Forno

Lawrenceville

Charming BYOB emphasizing seasonal ingredients
Pistachio pesto, Romano cheese, mortadella, burrata, and fresh basil all come together in a really good way on Piccolo Forno’s mortadella e pistachio pizza, which has just a hint of sweetness. It’s just one of the more than a dozen wood-fired pizzas on the menu at this cozy, super popular Lawrenceville BYOB. Whatever you end up ordering, save room for dessert -- specifically, the Pittsburgh-famous tiramisu.

Fiori's Pizzaria

Brookline

Casual, old-school pizza shop
Fiori’s motto is "we fix you up," which is appropriate since pizza can fix almost any bad situation. The floury dough is tossed by hand -- a feat you can admire for yourself through the large window near the door -- and there are a whole host of meaty toppings including capicola, Virginia ham, bacon, meatballs, steak, and hot-sausage links. Of course, Fiori’s pizza is just as delicious plain thanks to its sweet sauce, thick cheese, and puffy crust. For eat-in dining, order at the counter and wait for a seat to open up; it'll be bustling around dinnertime.

Iron Born Pizza

Iron Born Pizza

Strip District

Detroit-style deep-dish pies in a restaurant incubator
Pittsburgh’s newest pizza place also happens to be one of its best. Iron Born Pizza is part of the second class of restaurants in the Strip District restaurant incubator Smallman Galley, and it's definitely earned its spot. Chef Pete Tolman’s Detroit-style pizza is cooked in a personal-sized cast iron pan, giving the focaccia-like base a crisp crust and light, chewy interior. The specials menu changes frequently, but the red pie (with brick cheese, pepperoni, 24-month Parmigiana, and red sauce) and the white pie (garlic cream, caramelized onions, marinated cherry tomatoes, arugula, and ricotta) are always available, and always worth ordering.

Adam Milliron

Driftwood Oven

Various locations

Mobile pizza oven serving naturally leavened pies
Driftwood Oven has been rolling around Pittsburgh since 2015, serving up fresh, wood-fired pies topped with ingredients that are sourced from local farms and change with the season. All the pizza from Driftwood starts the same way: with, well, a starter. The bread and pizza doughs produced from Neil Blazin and Justin Vetter’s mobile pizza unit are all hand-mixed with organic flours and a sourdough culture, which makes the dough rich and flavorful. Check out the website to stay up-to-date on where this movable feast will be.

Mineo's Pizza House

Squirrel Hill

Family-owned joint with classic pies
Mineo’s Pizza House has been a Pittsburgh classic since John Mineo opened his original Squirrel Hill shop way back in 1958. Though the business has grown over the years (there’s also a Mount Lebanon location), the family recipe that was used on the very first day of business is still what’s being used today. Go for John’s Special: Named for the man who started it all, the pie's loaded with pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and sausage.

Courtesy of Duane Rieder/Il Pizzaiolo

Il Pizzaiolo

Mount Lebanon

Cozy suburban pizzeria using imported Italian ingredients
Ray Molinaro opened Il Pizzaiolo's flagship location in Mount Lebanon back in 1996, putting emphasis on sourcing the best ingredients possible. Fresh Buffalo mozzarella's imported from Italy for the restaurant’s classic Neapolitan pizzas, which are fired in a 1,000-degree oven; for our money, you can’t go wrong with the classic Margherita DOC, topped with fresh basil, San Marzano tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Dinette

East Liberty

Wine bar known for thin-crust pizzas
At Dinette, crispy, wafer-thin dough is the foundation for light sauce and fresh toppings, some of which are actually grown on the restaurant’s rooftop. Dinette’s version of a “plain” pizza is essentially a margherita, but with spoonfuls of fresh, creamy ricotta; don't sleep on the savory prosciutto pizza either, with arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, and tomato. The restaurant is airy and open-concept, with bright white walls, big windows, and an unobstructed view of the kitchen and its chefs at work.

La Tavola Italiana

Mount Washington

Old-school Italian BYOB with Sicilian-style pies
This place is literally over the river and through the woods from Downtown, but it’s worth the drive for Nonna Pina’s Pizza, the “grandmother’s specialty:” a thick, square-cut pizza with Romano cheese and a chunky tomato-onion sauce. La Tavola has been serving up slices for 50 years, so the locals know how to find the practically secret take-out entrance -- for the uninitiated, it’s the unmarked door on the side of the building. Look for the wooden staircase.

Slice on Broadway - Carnegie

Slice on Broadway

Beechview

Made-to-order pizza shop with an extensive menu
At Slice on Broadway, the cooks own up to having an abnormal obsession with pizza, and happily accept their label as perfectionists. Buy by the slice or by the pie (small, large, or "ginormous" with 16 cuts). There are 20 specialty pizzas, such as the Slaughterhouse Five, with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, capicola, and prosciutto, along with the dish’s motto: "Vegetarians need not apply."

Beto's Pizza

Beechview

Pittsburgh-famous spot serving "raw" pizza
If you haven’t already heard of Beto’s Pizza (and, since it's been in business for more than 60 years, it’s hard to imagine that’s the case), this may blow your mind a little bit. The restaurant serves classic pies, with pizza dough topped with sauce pulled hot and fresh from the oven... then covered in cold shredded cheese and assorted toppings. These "raw" pies are a local favorite, and slices start at just $1.60, with toppings for an additional 50 cents. Order at the counter and take it to-go, or commandeer a booth in the dining room.

Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room

Downtown

Brick-oven pizza in a casual, comfortable setting
Proper has brick-oven pizzas down to a science. The thin dough begins with an organic yeast starter, which rests for three days, before it’s fired in a wood-burning oven transforming it into a crisp, smoky crust. With fresh basil and house-made mozzarella, the margherita is a great choice. For more adventurous palates, try the Ocean (sautéed fresh clams and shrimp, roasted garlic spread, Italian parsley, Fontina, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and lemon) or the Pittsburgh-themed Black & Gold (crispy Yukon Gold potato, black pepper, red onion, roasted garlic spread, extra-virgin olive oil, and grated pecorino Romano).

Aimee DiAndrea

DiAnoia's Eatery

Strip District

All-day Italian place serving deli counter pizza
This hybrid café/deli/restaurant offers so many fantastic options -- from homemade pastas to fresh-baked pastries -- that ordering a slice might be the last thing on your mind. But, with its thin center and bountiful, chewy crust (and generously seasoned, slightly sweet sauce), the pizza here absolutely shouldn’t be missed; for $50, you'll also get a bottle of sparkling red wine to go with your pie.

Spak Brothers

Garfield

Funky shop with legitimately great vegan pizza
Spak Brothers is a crowd-pleaser with vegan options, plus plenty of choices for carnivores. Slices -- bubbly and big enough to fold -- are served on pieces of wax paper. On most nights, a line snakes through the shop, and punk or metal music blasts through the speakers. Bring along some coins to play the restaurant’s vintage pinball machines while you wait for slice after addictive slice.

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Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurants of 2017

Published On 11/13/2017
P
ittsburgh takes its culinary clues from no one. The chefs and restaurateurs leading this city have their own, hard-won sense of what will work in this town, and the best new restaurants to open this year -- from a seafood and chop house to a French brasserie -- have forged their own path to offer something unique to Pittsburgh’s hungry masses.
With dozens of new restaurants opening each year in the city, it can be hard to make a lasting impression. As Pittsburgh gets more national attention, and more chefs are finding financial means to open their own brick-and-mortars, diners have more choices than ever on where to spend their dollars. These five new establishments have each had a big impact on Pittsburgh’s culinary landscape in the short time that they’ve been open, and are our picks for the best new restaurants of the year.
Ki Ramen PGH

Ki Ramen

Lawrenceville

Bustling ramen restaurant known for from-scratch noodles
Chef Roger Li has been busy. Last year, he opened Umami, a Japanese-style gastropub (and one of our best new restaurants of 2016), and this year, he (along with fellow Lawrenceville restaurateur Domenic Branduzzi) debuted two new concepts: Ki Pollo, the just-opened fast-casual restaurant offering Korean-style fried chicken and empanadas, and Ki Ramen, a from-scratch ramen restaurant, which has quickly become a go-to for those of us who lamented the lack of quality ramen in the city. At Ki Ramen, Branduzzi is charged with preparing the noodles that are cut daily using a Japanese-made noodle machine, adding weight and substance to Li’s delicate, delicious broths. The menu has evolved over time, and includes a vegetarian curry ramen and shoyu ramen, served with soy-braised chicken and an onsen (sous vide) egg. The restaurant has also recently added house-made bao to the menu, with fillings (miso eggplant and roast duck are two recent favorites) that change daily.

Union Standard

Downtown

Buzzy downtown spot offering a modern take on Northeast American cuisine
Since opening earlier this year, Derek Stevens’ Union Standard has given Downtown a sorely needed after-work option, elegant enough to take out-of-town clients yet casual enough for happy hour drinks with friends. The beautifully designed restaurant was part of a $100 million renovation to the historic Union Trust Building, and offers a lively, modern bar area downstairs, and a cozy, intimate upstairs dining room. The menu merges Northeastern American coastal cuisine with heartier dishes made on the wood-fired rotisserie and grill, and Stevens also offers an incredible raw bar, serving shellfish and seafood from all the usual Northeast spots -- Massachusetts, Chesapeake and Maine are typically represented. Although the menu changes frequently, it tends to lean toward traditional steak-and-seafood house fare, including a flawlessly-prepared rib-eye and a salmon dish that’s brightened with dill gnocchetti and hazelnut brown butter. You’ll also find one of the best bar snack menus in the city here, with elevated takes on classic offerings including duck fat popcorn (made with Anson Mills heirloom flint corn) and smelts (fried and served crispy with a smoked pepper remoulade).

Dustin Wickett

Bar Frenchman

East Liberty

Upscale French brasserie serving classic European dishes  
The Twisted Frenchman has been a top-ranked restaurant in Pittsburgh since opening in 2015, so when chef/owner Andrew Garbarino announced earlier this year that he was introducing a new upscale French bistro concept, we were stoked. Bar Frenchman has since lived up to the high standards set by the Twisted Frenchman, serving perfectly-executed French classics like escargot with mushroom ragout, ratatouille, mussels & frites, and the best foie gras to be found in the city. The elegant bar also serves a killer cocktail, with a menu that features twists on classics (the Boukman daiquiri with white rum, cognac, lime and cinnamon is a favorite), along with an extended list of Champagne cocktails.

Superior Motors

Braddock

Community-driven, hyper-local restaurant in Braddock with a focus on seasonality  
It’s impossible to over-emphasize how highly anticipated Kevin Sousa’s Superior Motors was for the Pittsburgh dining community. Not only was it one of the highest-grossing restaurant Kickstarter campaigns ever, but Sousa (who dazzled diners at Salt of the Earth and Union Pig & Chicken) has a well-earned reputation as one of the city’s leading culinary forces, and while the wait was long -- more than three years between the initial Kickstarter campaign and opening night -- it was worth it. The community-focused restaurant in Braddock is now open seven days a week, serving a seasonal, locally sourced menu, with produce primarily coming from nearby Braddock Farms. The dessert menu is a particular standout, with complex pairings (chocolate matcha cake with mushroom, sourdough pound cake with fresh corn cream) ending each meal on a decidedly sweet note.

or, The Whale

Downtown

An elegant seafood and chop house known for customer attention  
Downtown’s new Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh is now home to or, The Whale, an ambitious restaurant led by chef Dennis Marron, who’s pulling double duty on the restaurant-opening front as his Merchant Oyster Company also recently opened in Lawrenceville. Housed in what used to be the gym and track area of the historic Salvation Army building, or, The Whale is a beautifully designed gem, with an upstairs bar and lounge, and an impressive dining room that features a butcher room, a private wine cellar, and an open kitchen, featuring a wood-burning hearth and a pastry room (all the better for pastry chef Jessica Lewis to make her delightful desserts). The menu offers an eclectic take on seafood and chophouse standards, with dry-aged steaks sharing space with linguine and cockles (served in a lightly seasoned garlic herb sauce), and a ground duck burger topped with seared foie gras. A separate bar, called Evangeline, adds to the experience, serving coffee during the day, and cocktails and raw bar offerings at night.

Courtesy of Charleston Stage
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