There used to be this place on US-1 in the Gables called “Miami’s Best Pizza,” which made the eternal question of who, in fact, had Miami’s best pizza incredibly simple to answer (if you didn’t want to think that hard about it). But since it became Spring Chicken, the throne has been vacated, and Miamians far and wide now are in a heated debate of who’s got the best pies in South Florida. Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of them, and the ones featured below are genuinely the best.
The guys behind Himmarshee Public House and ROK:BRGR’s foray into the world of gourmet pizzas has single-handedly transformed the pie culture in Broward. This small shop on the western part of Himmarshee makes their dough in house and creates inventive stuff like the fennel sausage pie: spicy sausage with caramelized onions, Calabrian chilies, and basil. And if you push a little too hard on the back wall covered in cheese logos, you’ll find yourself in a hidden speakeasy with pineapple-infused Cutty Sark.
Wood-burning pizza ovens are great. Brick-oven pizza? Fantastic. But you need exactly none of that to still be named the best pizzeria in Florida. What you do need, however, is a classic New York-style crust and fresh ingredients, plus reliable, friendly service for decades. Steve's is such a Miami institution that it is THE spot Dade lifers talk about when the subject of best pizza comes up. That, and eating challenges.
If you want to open an Italian restaurant and be trendy/cool, open it in Miami. If you want to open it and make money, open it on Las Olas. No further proof is needed than the perpetual crowds that jam Louie Bossi’s, where they’re baking Neapolitan-style pies with crisp, puffy crusts served hot out of a wood-burning oven. The signature Margherita DOP comes with buffalo mozzarella and sea salt on San Marzano sauce. But it's also got a whole menu of white sauce pizzas, highlighted by the San Gennaro with smoked buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, pancetta, and fried rosemary.
Like a cocaine smuggler's boat in the the 1980s, the wave of development is slowly making its way down the Miami River, and the folks behind Crust are in way ahead of it. The husband and wife team who opened one of Miami’s best new restaurants of 2015 are not only making homemade Italian-style pies, like ones with sirloin tips, mushrooms, and caramelized onions... but they're doing it for actually-reasonable prices, AND delivering to Downtown and Brickell, where these kind of pies would normally cost 30% more.
There might be no "I" in team, but there are two in "Miami," which sums up the denizens of our city pretty damn well. And the guys behind Apizza get it. Not only do they serve up crispy pizzas out of wood burning ovens, they do them all in individual sizes. Which means no sharing, no compromising, and no having to consider anybody else, ever. If that doesn't scream Miami, nothing does.
The great Northeastern cartoon philosopher Peter Griffin once said "America is great. 'Cept for the South." So we can only guess he's never been to a Mellow Mushroom, perhaps the greatest contribution the American South has given us since the chicken biscuit. This Southern college town pizzeria put its first Dade County venture at Sunset Place near UM, bringing with it crazy, stoner-inspired pies, whole wheat crust, and actually edible gluten-free pizza
Even though it's got a monopoly on the SoFi slice market -- and could probably have lines out the door by cooking up a bunch of Totino's -- the crew behind this staple takes pride in their product, and serves not only the best slice south of Fifth, but quite possibly the best slice in the city. And while its Midtown outpost didn't fare nearly as well, it wasn't because the pizza was lacking.
Though you might only have gone stumbling by this place in an Art Walk-induced haze, you need to stop in sometime after a few drinks and crush a couple of the pizzas. While the fresh-made pasta here stands up to any in the city, the real stars of the show are the pies, made with homemade, crispy crust and all inventively topped. Case in point: the namesake Joey pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, portobello mushrooms, shallots, and oregano.
Never heard of it? That's a damn shame, and that also means you didn't read our groundbreaking ranking of all 16 slice spots in South Beach. Block's was rated No. 1, mostly because they use all-organic ingredients atop fresh-made whole wheat sourdough crust, with a rich marinara, fresh basil, and grated mozzarella, and leave it unbaked until you order, which means it's the rare SoBe slice that hasn't been sitting out since lunch... and actually tastes like fresh pizza.
In the "pizza slice the size of your head" wars, Miami's battle has long been won by Casola's. And while it's definitely a place to put on your Miami food bucket list, the best mega-slice in the city is actually at Pizza Bar, where the greasy, gooey, garlicky goodness of this giant slice tastes just as delicious for lunch on a Monday as it does for a very late 5am dinner on a Saturday.
Unlike every guy you see at the front of a club line, Lucali actually IS a big deal in New York, and Miamians actually care. Mark Iacono's Brooklyn pizza palace landed in Sunset Harbour a few years ago and has topped many a local's best pizza lists, with its massive 22in pies, fresh-made mozzarella, and an entire basil plant on every pie. Yeah, the pizza costs a little more than one might expect, but for a restaurant meal in Miami, it's still one hell of a deal.
Here's a fun way to deal with Brickell traffic: when your car is inexplicably stopped so Brickell City Centre can lift up an outhouse, get out of your car and run into this place, order an all-imported Neapolitan pie, watch it get cooked in 57 seconds, and the enjoy all its hot crusted, gooey-mozzarella incredibleness before that dude with the stop sign gets out of the way.
Though often hidden in the shadows of its better-known next-door neighbor Fratelli La Bufala, La Locanda is baking up the same brand of thin-crust, straight-from-Italy pies but with stuff you haven’t seen on pizza anywhere else, like hot dogs and sunny-side-up eggs.
If your Italian’s a little rusty, this place's name means “Master of the Pizza.” Ask any Italian, and he’ll tell you this guy’s the real deal. In addition to specialty Neapolitan pies, he's serving up this star-shaped pie with triangular pockets of ricotta, mozz, pepperoni & tomato sauce.
This Biscayne corridor pioneer has a huge range of specialty combos, from pesto chicken to Tuscan tuna, to the seven-veggie Ratatouille. Plus, you can sit outside and see where Eugene Robinson got arrested right before Super Bowl XXXVIII!
1. Pizza Craft Artisan Pizzeria330 Himmarshee St Ste 101, Fort Lauderdale
2. Steve's Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
3. Louie Bossi's1032 East Las Olas Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale
4. Crust668 NW 5th St., Miami
5. Apizza Brooklyn Resto + Vino9515 S Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest
6. Mellow Mushroom5775 Sunset Dr, South Miami
7. Primo Pizza100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
8. Joey's Italian Cafe2506 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
9. Blocks Pizza Deli1447 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
10. Pizza Bar1627 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
11. Lucali1930 Bay Rd, Miami Beach
12. Stanzione 8787 SW 8th St, Miami
13. La Locanda413 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
14. Giotto Maestro Della Pizza959 West Ave, Miami Beach
15. Andiamo! Brick Oven Pizza5600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
The ROK:BRGR and Himmarshee Public House guys are behind this Fort Lauderdale pizzeria that's doing great things for local pie culture. The small shop makes its dough in-house and creates some pretty inventive topping combos. The menu includes both red and white pies and also features a few pasta dishes, which can be ordered in appetizer or entree sizes. Pizza Craft's Sunday brunch is also a hit because aside from hangover-curing egg sandwiches, there's breakfast pizza.
Steve's has been slinging arguably some of the best New York-style pizza in the 305 since the '70s. The no-frills North Miami parlor has a crazy long menu of pizza (available by the slice or by the pie) and casual Italian basics like hot and cold subs, pasta dinners, and wing appetizers. The best thing about the pizza, aside from its thin crust, fresh ingredients, and perfect amount of cheese, is that it's cheap and served on paper plates, just like in the Big Apple.
This large indoor-outdoor Italian in Fort Lauderdale is perpetually jammed with crowds waiting their turn to taste the hot and crispy Neapolitan-style pies. Chef Louie Bossi grew up in an Italian household in New York and got his pizza-making certification (yes, it exists and it's legit) from The Scuola Italiana Pizzaoili in San Francisco, so he knows a thing or two about making the perfect pie. His signature margherita is perfectly simple with buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, and sea salt, but the menu has a whole selection of pies, both red and white, worth exploring. The restaurant also serves pasta and meat dishes plus daily specials.
The husband and wife duo behind this casual Italian restaurant are doling out house-made pastas, fresh pizzas, and an impressive wine selection at very reasonable prices. The Spanish-roofed spot right by the 7th Ave Bridge is almost made for big group meals and family dinners, but Crust also delivers to downtown Miami and Brickell. The pizzas are pretty outstanding, especially when topped with sirloin tips, mushrooms, and caramelized onions.
This Pinecrest pizza-centric Italian offers the best of both worlds, by which we mean it serves both Neapolitan and New York style pies. Apizza's owner was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and he's doing a damn good job of bringing that homestyle New York Italian vibe to Miami. The menu is filled with comforting dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, carbonara, and baked ziti, plus entrees like chicken parm. You probably won't be able to decide between pizza and pasta, so you might as well get both.
This Atlanta-based sit-down pizza chain opened its first shop in the 70s to give the people what they wanted: stoner-inspired pies. The truly quirky chain serves big, doughy speciality pies with names like Kosmic Karma and Magical Mystery Tour, but you can build your own from the extensive list of toppings. The menu also has a special Munchies section featuring cheesy and greasy snacks like muffuletta cheese bread and meatballs. Cooler than your average pizza franchise, Mellow Mushroom serves craft beers from local breweries. The South Miami outpost is conveniently located near the University of Miami at The Shops at Sunset Place.
This South Beach pizza spot serve New York-style pizza in a no-frills, utilitarian space. Pizza is served the fast-food way -- you choose your slice, wait for it to be heated up, then eat it off a paper plate that's flimsier than the pizza itself. Although pizza is Primo's speciality, it also serves basic but satisfying Italian sandwiches and pasta.
This Wynwood restaurant is the perfect place to stop for sustenance during an art-fueled day in the neighborhood. The Italian food is really good, like chef-from-Italy good, so prepare to be wowed by large portions of house-made pasta, brick-oven pizza, and grilled meats. The ingredients are simple and the price is right.
This South Beach pizza shop tops all of its pies, which are square-shaped and sliced into blocks, with organic ingredients. The pies are left unbaked until you order, which means you'll never eat a pizza at 5pm that's been sitting out since lunch. The time it takes to cook the pizza is probably less than how long it takes for other shops to heat up a slice, so it's safe to say that Blocks is the best option for a grab-and-go slice.
This pie joint on Collins Ave serves the self-proclaimed biggest slices in South Beach. Don't think that quality is sacrificed for quantity -- the colossal pies are perfectly cheesy, garlicky, and just the right amount of greasy. The casual counter-order spot is open until 5am Thursday-Saturday, so it answers all your late-night pizza prayers. If the giant slices aren't enough for you, order garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, and maybe an Italian sub to top it off.
Coming to South Beach straight from Brooklyn, Lucali is a local hotspot for those craving brick-oven pizza and calzones. Mark Iacono's pizza palace makes massive 22in pies with fresh-made mozzarella and an entire basil plant on every pizza. It can cost a little more than one might expect, but for a restaurant meal in Miami, it's still one hell of a deal.
Brickell's Stanzione 87 serves up authentic Neapolitan pies that take less than a minute to cook in the wood-burning oven. The mozzarella is made in-house and the rest of the essential ingredients are imported from Italy, so the pizza is as close to source as you can get in Miami. The space is pretty small -- with only about 40 or so seats at small marble tables -- but a glass-walled open kitchen offers quite the pizza-making entertainment. It's a pretty solid take-out option, too.
Every city has a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant run by actual Italians that serves amazing food at half the price and twice the flavor than its competitors. In South Beach, that restaurant is La Locanda. Not only does the extensive menu make you feel like you're in Italy, but the thin-crust pizzas are beyond comapre. They're topped with ingredients you never knew tasted so good on pizza, like hot dogs and fried eggs.
For authentic, just-like-Italy pizza, head to this spot in Miami Beach, where the Neapolitan-style pies are made with ingredients imported straight from the boot. The restaurant's signature is a star-shaped pie with triangular pockets of ricotta, mozzarella, pepperoni & tomato sauce. The counter-serve space is casual and airy, and there are tables both inside and out. As for drinks, Giotto only sells beer, but you can bring your own wine.
This Biscayne corridor pioneer has a huge range of award-winning specialty pizza combos in the New York style. The dough is baked fresh every day then finished with quality toppings, served in a sleek, family-friendly pizzeria in an art deco former tire shop. Hand-picked wine and beer lists pair well with the pies, and patio dining is very popular on warm days.