Food & Drink

The Best Pizza Joints in Cleveland Right Now

Published On 10/14/2015 Published On 10/14/2015
Crust/HUE Creative

Cleveland’s never-ending winter is FINALLY behind us, and it’s time to start shedding that extra winter padding in preparation for long days spent sunbathing on Lake Erie’s (not so) exotic beaches. Unfortunately, this roundup won’t help you prepare for a beach bod. But it will help you plan one excellent summer, centered on hitting up every must-try pizza joint in town. Here are 12 of the best to get to immediately.

Humble/Anisa Rrapaj

Humble Wine Bar

Three words: get the Lardo. OK, yes, we are suggesting you order a pizza topped with cured fat. But TRUST us: it is a can’t-miss, especially when paired with roasted garlic, fontina, Taleggio, and rosemary. Wash your pie down with a quality selection of (as the restaurant's name would suggest) reasonably priced wine, craft cocktails, or beer, in a casually romantic setting.

MAROTTA'S

Marotta's

Cleveland Heights

With a dimly lit, European bistro-like atmosphere, Marotta's is the kind of neighborhood spot you wouldn’t mind settling into night after night for a good glass of wine and a generous serving of quality Italian comfort food. Although it’s hard to pass over the tempting array of homemade pastas and entrees, pizza aficionados are wise to head straight for the pies. Ample (but not-too-thick) crust serves as the perfect vehicle for transporting a bevy of delicious toppings, such as fresh mozzarella, salty prosciutto, and roasted garlic, straight into your mouth.

Citizen Pie

Waterloo

At recently opened Citizen Pie, a small cafe equipped with a giant Neapolitan pizza oven, there is no mistaking what you're in for when walking through the doors. Ultra high-quality ingredients grace the top of doughy, charred crust, resulting in one of the best Neapolitan-style pizzas you can find anywhere in town. Don’t miss the Mushroom pizza, topped with mozzarella, brie, porcini duxelles, bacon, red onion, and truffle oil.

Crust/HUE Creative

Crust

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This Tremont spot is turning out some legitimately inventive pies, giving umami-minded diners a host of off-the-wall pizza options to sink their teeth into. Try the mixed mushroom, topped with goat cheese, fresh thyme, garlic, caramelized onion, balsamic reduction, Pecorino Romano, mozzarella, and, oh yes, an indulgent drizzle of intoxicating white truffle oil.

CHA Spirits & Pizza Kitchen

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With exposed brick walls, warm lighting, and friendly service, CHA's inviting space makes for a casual neighborhood pizza spot. The kitchen's twist on pies -- chewy, panko-bottomed crusts -- pairs deliciously with its long list of craft beer, cocktails, or wine served in cups, just as they do in Italy (or so we’re told).

Edison’s/Hartshorn Studios

Save Venue With No Dish

Venue Name

Edison's Pizza Kitchen

Venue Node ID

4117001

Neighborhood/Location

Tremont

Description

Edison’s gooey, thick pies are just what the doctor ordered after an indulgent night of drinking. Generous slices are available for those in a hurry, though Edison’s specialty pies are definitely worth the wait (and it's open late). Try the BBQ chicken with homemade sauce, onions, a blend of cheeses, and a side of honey for some oh-so-necessary dipping.

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Edison's Pizza Kitchen

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Edison’s gooey, thick pies are just what the doctor ordered after an indulgent night of drinking. Generous slices are available for those in a hurry, though Edison’s specialty pies are definitely worth the wait (and it's open late). Try the BBQ chicken with homemade sauce, onions, a blend of cheeses, and a side of honey for some oh-so-necessary dipping.

A Slice Above

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A no-frills takeout shop situated smack in the middle of the suburbs, A Slice Above can be easy to drive right past, but it sure is a shame if you do. This long-standing shop cranks out piping hot pies that range from ultra-traditional to ultra-decadent, all on puffy crusts. Don’t miss the Veggie Patch, a combination of mushrooms, onions, green peppers, broccoli, sliced tomato, and black olives, all buried under a heap of mozzarella and provolone. Almost healthy, but not.

Bar Centro

Bar Cento

There’s nothing quite like the classic pizza & beer combo, which makes Bar Cento a particularly welcome addition to Cleveland’s unofficial brewery district. Go for the Sunnyside, topped with provolone, house-made pancetta, and an egg with a unctuous yellow center that, as you pull the slices apart, oozes across the top of the pie.

Vincenza's Pizza & Pasta

Of course New Yorkers know their stuff when it comes to great pizza, and Vincenza’s is about as close as you can get to a classic NY slice here in Cleveland. Lunchtime is prime time at this joint, which is only open during the week, and closes at 6:30pm. So get in line, and don’t mind the wait -- we promise you’ll be deliciously rewarded for your patience.

Vero Pizza Napoletana

Vero’s owner does not mess around -- this dedicated fella makes each batch of dough, each pizza, every day. These seriously Neapolitan pies are made from simple ingredients, hand-rolled, and cooked in a wood-fired oven for just 90 seconds. The result is crispy on the outside, chewy and soft inside, meant to be eaten straight out of the oven, and left uncut. Mangia!

Angelo’s Pizza

Angelo's Pizza

Light-as-air thin-crust pies certainly have their place in our pizza-loving hearts. But when you’re in the mood for something more substantial, Angelo’s has you covered. Thick, saucy crusts are generously topped with plenty of cheese and a generous shower of toppings. Sometimes we like our pizza abundant, and Angelo’s does it right.

Tomori's Pizza & Subs

Since opening earlier this year, Tomori’s has been gaining a loyal following for its tasty thin-crust pizzas that can’t quite be classified in one specific genre. Try the Tomori’s Favorite, topped with prosciutto, homemade sausage, tomato, Kalamata olives, extra Parmesan, provolone, and mozzarella cheese. Clearly this guy knows his pizza, so we’ll take what he’s having.

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Beth Phillips is a Cleveland-area writer who will totally eat all the mushrooms you pick off your pizza (the horror). You can follow her on Twitter: @CraveableCLE.

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1. Humble Wine Bar 15400 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 (Lakewood)

There is nothing better than enjoying fine wines and Neapolitan-style pizzas, and this Lakewood spot has both. Humble Wine Bar is known for their delicious pies, more specifically the Lardo, which is topped with roasted garlic, fontina, tallegio, and rosemary. Wash your pie down with a quality selection of (as the restaurant's name would suggest) reasonably priced wine, craft cocktails, or beer, in a casually romantic setting.

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2. Marotta's 2289 Lee Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 (Cleveland Heights)

With a dimly lit, European bistro-like atmosphere, Marotta's in Cleveland Heights is the kind of neighborhood spot you wouldn’t mind settling into night after night for a good glass of wine and a generous serving of quality Italian comfort food. Although it’s hard to pass over the tempting array of homemade pastas and entrees, pizza aficionados are wise to head straight for the pies. Plus, the extensive all-Italian wine list features vintages such as the 1997 Brunello di Montalcino. When the weather is warm, its patio and terrace—complete with a beautiful natural brick wall—is where you want to be dining.

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3. Citizen Pie 15710 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110 (Cleveland Heights)

Citizen Pie in Waterloo is a small cafe serving cheesy, meaty pizzas and calzones from a gigantic wood oven. Ultra high-quality ingredients grace the top of doughy, charred crust, creating some of the best Neapolitan-style pizzas you can find anywhere in town. Taking root in the Waterloo Arts District directly across from the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, Citizen is the perfect joint to grab a slice after a concert or shuffling from gallery to gallery in Collinwood’s buzzing art scene.

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4. Crust 1020 Kenilworth Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113 (Tremont)

This Tremont spot is turning out some legitimately inventive pies, giving umami-minded diners a host of off-the-wall pizza options to sink their teeth into. Try the mixed mushroom, topped with goat cheese, fresh thyme, garlic, caramelized onion, balsamic reduction, Pecorino Romano, mozzarella, and, oh yes, an indulgent drizzle of intoxicating white truffle oil.

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5. CHA Spirits & Pizza Kitchen 7524 Father Frascati Drive, Cleveland, OH (Battery Park)

With exposed brick walls, warm lighting, and friendly service, CHA's inviting space makes for a casual neighborhood pizza spot in Battery Park. The kitchen's twist on pies -- chewy, panko crusts -- pairs deliciously with its long list of craft beer, cocktails, or wine. What elevates this cozy, brick-walled pizza kitchen to the next level is its non-pizza menu, like excellent pastas, salads, and sandwiches that rival the pies.

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6. Edison's Pizza Kitchen 2365 Professor Avenue, Cleveland , OH 44113

Edison’s in Tremont is a snug, utilitarian stop for specialty pizzas, subs, and classic sides like wings and garlic bread. Carry out or eat in at the pub— generous slices are available for those in a hurry, though Edison’s specialty pies are definitely worth the wait (and it's open late on Fridays and Saturdays). The fan favorite here is the BBQ chicken with homemade sauce, onions, a blend of cheeses, and a side of honey for some oh-so-necessary dipping.

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7. A Slice Above 8788 Pearl Rd, Strongsville, OH 44136 (Strongsville)

A no-frills takeout shop situated smack in the middle of the suburbs, A Slice Above can be easy to drive right past, but it sure is a shame if you do. This long-standing shop cranks out piping hot pies that range from ultra-traditional to ultra-decadent, all on puffy crusts. Don’t miss the Veggie Patch, a combination of mushrooms, onions, green peppers, broccoli, sliced tomato, and black olives, all buried under a heap of mozzarella and provolone. Almost healthy, but not.

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8. Bar Cento 1948 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113 (Ohio City)

There’s nothing quite like the classic pizza & beer combo, which makes Bar Cento shine in Ohio City, Cleveland’s unofficial brewery district. Its open kitchen turns out delicious house-made charcuterie and upscale Italian fare, including specialty pizzas. But BC is more than a restaurant, serving as an entryway into the rowdy Bier Markt and its endless taps and a hidden speakeasy shelling out craft cocktails.

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9. Vincenza's Pizza & Pasta 603 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115 (Downtown)

As Italian immigrants the Vincenza family opened shop in Brooklyn in the 50s, and since then has brought the famous NY-style pizza to Cleveland. Owned and operated by the family, Vincenza’s is about as close as you can get to a classic NY slice here in C-town. Located downtown in the Colonial Marketplace, lunchtime is prime time at this joint (which is only open during the week and closes at 6:30pm), so get in line and don’t mind the wait—you’ll be deliciously rewarded for your patience. In addition to pies, this joint has all the classic pasta, salad and subs options.

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10. Vero Pizza Napoletana 12421 Cedar Road, Cleveland, OH 44106 (Cleveland Heights)

Vero’s in Cleveland Heights is a dine-in, first-come-first-serve pizzeria with a small counter and few tables in a long and narrow gallery space. It’s shoehorned in the retail strip at the intersection of Cedar and Fairmount, but this charming spot turns out authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas. The thin, delicately crusted beauties start with the best ingredients, most locally sourced, and then are baked in a 900 degree wood-burning oven that flash-bakes a pie in 90 seconds. Plus, downstairs serves over two dozen flavors from Gelato Star in Old Brooklyn—Vero runs the gamut from classic Italian (silky hazelnut gianduja) to all-American (fruity vanilla strawberry).

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11. Angelo's Pizza 13715 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107 (Lakewood)

Angelo’s Pizza in Lakewood is an award-winning Italian eatery serving pizza, pasta, wings and sandwich staples alongside beer and wine. Its famous thick, saucy pies are generously topped with mounds of cheese and a shower of toppings. Dough and sauce are made in-house and fresh provolone is shredded daily for these gourmet pies. On warmer nights, snag a table on the front patio.

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12. Tomori's Pizza & Subs 15621 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 (Lakewood)

Tomori’s in Lakewood has a loyal following for its tasty thin-crust pizzas. These Neapolitan pies are made from simple ingredients, hand-rolled, and cooked in a wood-fired. The result is crispy on the outside, chewy and soft inside meant to be eaten straight out of the oven.

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