In a city where your gym routine is infinitely more important than your career, one might wonder why every week and a half you hear about some AMAZING new restaurant that serves... pizza. And while that contradiction makes even less sense than the Hialeah traffic grid, it also means a slew of exceptional new 'za spots have opened since the last time we ranked Miami's best pizza. And these are the 17 best:
Perhaps if this place in an old tire shop were there before Super Bowl XXXIII, Eugene Robinson wouldn't have found himself in so much trouble. Of course, Midtown is a very different place now, and one of the spots that made it that way is Andiamo. Here you can get inventive, affordable brick-oven pizzas like the pollo -- chicken, roasted garlic, roasted peppers, tomato sauce, and mozzarella -- and enjoy it outside on a pleasantly hooker-free Biscayne Blvd.
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 couple of 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, that pie costs a little more than one might expect, but for a restaurant meal in Miami, it's still a helluva deal.
Though it'll be another few weeks before you can take an Uber here, it's worth the wait. This new Italian spot on Las Olas immediately took the title of best pizza in Broward, baking Neapolitan-style pies with crisp, puffy crusts served hot out of its wood-burning oven. Its signature Margherita D.O.P 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 w/smoked buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, pancetta, and fried rosemary.
Though it would be hard to convince anyone in South Beach that bigger isn't always better, look no further than the corner of 5th and Washington for proof. A major, big-time Italian restaurant moved in across the street and lasted six months, but this tiny hole in the wall run by people so Italian you won't be able to talk to them in English OR Spanish, is still serving the most authentic pies in the city, and does it with no publicity, a very small space, and a limited menu.
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 be enjoying all its hot crusted, gooey-mozzarella deliciousness before that dude with the stop sign gets out of the way.
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 are not only making homemade Italian-style pies, like the above-seen with sirloin tips, mushrooms and caramelized onions, they're doing it for actually-reasonable prices, AND delivering to Downtown and Brickell, where these kind of pies would normally cost 30% more.
Never heard of it? That's a 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.
Calling yourself the "master of pizza" sets the bar a little high, but unlike a lot of bragging that goes on in South Beach, this place can actually back it up. The straight-from-Italy proprietors are indeed masters, cranking out the most authentic pizzas you'll find on the west side of South Beach, and making it a delivery favorite for the hard-working service industry folks who populate the high-rises along West Ave.
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 they 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 Ironside complex is perhaps the greatest zero-sum retail development in the city: you can spend an hour taking the most hardcore boxing classes in the city at Mickey Demos Boxing, then walk next door to this spot and completely negate it with hand-tossed, wood-oven pies from the chefs who started Toscana Divino. The best way to do it: the Diavola -- tomato, fresh mozzarella, and spicy salami.
The absolute last thing Miami needed was any more reality stars. Of course, if any of the Kardashians or anyone from Bad Girls Club, also fed you brick oven pizzas like the Primo Amore -- topped with burrata, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and Parm -- this former star of Bravo's Best New Restaurant wouldn't be the only one we hope never leaves town.
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 curst and fresh ingredients, plus reliable, friendly service for decades. Steve's is such a Miami institution that is is THE spot Dade lifers talk about when the subject of best pizza comes up. That, and eating challenges.
That great 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 finally landed near UM earlier this year, bringing with it crazy, stoner-inspired pies, whole wheat crust, and actually edible gluten-free pizza.
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 LESS 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 inventively topped. Case in point: the namesake Joey pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, portobello mushrooms, shallots, and oregano.
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.
Things always taste a little better when you have to work for them. Such is the thought behind this South Beach newcomer, hidden down a few mysterious hallways, past the lobby restrooms in a nondescript office building. Once inside you'll find about six tables and a friendly staff straight from Italy, making up pizzas worthy of its name: a visa for those who "demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim." The extra-thin-crust pies are topped with farm-fresh ingredients, making this spot as close to eating on an Italian hillside as you can get in an American city with no hills.
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 good for lunch on a Monday as it does for a 5am dinner on a Saturday.
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Matt Meltzer is a Thrillist editor, who lives in MIami, and has eaten at every single slice spot in South Beach. In one day.
1. Andiamo! Brick Oven Pizza5600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
2. Lucali1930 Bay Rd, Miami Beach
3. Louie Bossi's Ristorante1032 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
4. La Locanda413 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
5. Stanzione 8787 SW 8th St, Miami
6. Crust668 NW 5th St., Miami
7. Blocks Pizza Deli1447 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
8. Giotto Maestro Della Pizza959 West Ave, Miami Beach
9. Apizza Brooklyn Resto + Vino9515 S Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest
10. Ironside Pizza7580 NE 4th Ct, Miami
11. Dolce Italian1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
12. Steve's Pizza12101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
13. Mellow Mushroom5775 Sunset Dr, South Miami
14. Joey's Italian Cafe2506 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
15. Primo Pizza100 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
16. Visa O11680 Michigan Ave, Miami Beach
17. Pizza Bar1627 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
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.
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.
Unique Italian recipies are the backbone of this restaurant, with dishes like the pasta mafaldine: the yummy burnt ends of the lasagna tossed with a beef and pork ragu. Chef Louie Bossi has worked his way up the restaurant chain from dishwasher, to grill cook, and now chef. They also have a full bar and Neapolitan style pizzas like the Funghi Misti, with wild mushrooms, smoked buffalo mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, and truffle oil.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 casual pizza joint graces the “should we really be parking here” hipster ‘hood west of MiMo. They're dishing out wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, like the Diavola, with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and spicy salami.
Dolce Italian is an authentic and affordable Italian restaurant that situates its guests amongst marble communal tables, leather lounges, and a mozzarella bar centerpiece.
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 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 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 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.
Self-described as "that famous hidden pizza place," this Italian family owned and operated restaurant is the closest thing to authentic in Miami. Visa O1 uses farm-fresh ingredients to create ultra-thin slices of heaven.
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.