Newsflash: The best pizza place is not always the closest pizza place. Unless of course you live by the best pizza place, and you'll totally know if you do or do not thanks to our power ranking of the top eight purveyors of sauced slices in the Twin Cities.
8. Di Noko's
What you're ordering:12in Chicago-Style Deep Dish, uncut, topped with sausage
South Mpls's Di Noko's is the strongest #8 of all time, as the only knock against it is that it's only takeout and delivery. But once you taste its deep-dish-done-right (that molten cheese! That thick crust!), you wouldn't care if Di Noko's made you eat in an alley.
7. Fat Lorenzo's
What you're ordering: The New Haven
Fat Lorenzo's Nokomis locale could probably make the top eight on ambiance alone with its wacky indoor/outdoor murals of cherubs and tomatoes, but it takes number seven because of hearty pies ranging from simple meatiness to the rare-in-this-berg New Haven pie topped with baby clams in an herb sauce and Asiago.
6. Pizzeria Lola
What you're ordering: The Forager
Say what you will about Southwest's instant legend Pizzeria Lola, but if you say their wood-fired pizza's not worth every bit of the number six slot, then we are done being friends! The My Sha-Roni! with mozz, natural-casing pepperoni & house-made fennel sausage is pretty killer, but the melt-in-your mouth Forager (three kinds of mushrooms, plus Taleggio, Fontina, and truffle oil) is a must.
5. Red's Savoy Pizza
What you're ordering: The Hammer (Italian sausage, banana peppers, sauerkraut)
Many and varied are the everyman's pizza joints in this town, but none manage to blend the simplicity of a greasy, foldable slice and classic ingredients with real flavor and texture better than the square-cut perfection at Red's. They've got locations all over town now, but the one where everything's gonna be just right is at the original: 421 7th St E in St. Paul.
What you're ordering: The Bufalina
It might be a chain now, but Punch changed the Twin Cities pizza landscape when it brought Neapolitan pies to town, and it's still slinging mean ones. Their margherita's perfectly restrained and balanced, but it's the more creative ish like The Bufalina with mozzarella di bufala, arugula, and prosciutto that drive the flavor-train home.
3. Burch Pizza Bar
What you're ordering: The Polpo
How many other pizza places in town are run by a James Beard Award-winning chef? We'll save you the time of counting: the answer is ZERO. There's also a killer ambiance from the cellar-turned-wood-fired-oven pizza place, and an arsenal of 'za that ranges from a crispy margherita to insanity like the braised octopus/Fresno peppers/avocado pie called The Polpo.
2. Black Sheep Pizza
North Loop, Downtown St. Paul
What you're ordering: The #8
The coal-fired insanity that is Black Sheep Pizza (w/ North Loop and DT St. Paul locales) has a strangle-hold on second position because of the flavor profiles of everything from the meaty #5 (fennel sausage, hot salami, green olives) to the melt-in-your-mouth #8 that's packing chicken and pickled peppers.
1. Pig Ate My Pizza
What you're ordering: The Piggy Pizza
When a rag-tag group of cheffing savants famous for mind-bending grub put their insanely popular original concept on hiatus in order to reconfigure it into a pizzeria, only glorious things can happen. And they do. Whether you opt for the standard pepperoni, bacon, prosciutto Piggy Pizza or something more askew, like the Parm foam-topped cracker & cheese pizza on literal cracker crust, you can't go wrong.
1. Di Noko's Pizza420 South 4th St, Minneapolis
2. Fat Lorenzo's5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
3. Pizzeria Lola5557 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis
4. Red's Savoy Pizza421 7th St E, Saint Paul
5. Punch Neapolitan Pizza210 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
6. Black Sheep Pizza600 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis
7. Burch1933 Colfax Ave S, Minneapolis
8. Pig Ate My Pizza4154 W Broadway Ave, Robbinsdale
Di Noko's serves delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizzas with a build-your-own menu that's available for takeout, delivery, and dining in. The pizzas come with a buttery crust that is first layered with cheese, then with any topping of your choosing. It’s finally doused in fresh tomato sauce, giving it that real deep-dish appeal. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, this favorite also offers thin or hand-tossed crusts.
Fat Lorenzo's is an absolutely classic South Minneapolis pizza joint in all regards: heavy on toppings, and heavy on cheese. It’s a perfect little family-style pizzeria that offers a number of combination pies in 10, 14, 16, and 18in form, as well as pizza by the slice. If you manage to have some room afterward, order up a scoop or two of gelato (which is almost as good as the pizza).
Offering wood-fired pizza from a Korean immigrant trying to emulate her mother's home cooking, Lola's has delicious pies with a twist. Popular orders include "The Lady ZaZa" (red sauce, homemade kimchi, Korean sausage, peppers, scallions, sesame, and soy chili glaze) and "The Xerxes" (sautéed spinach, sheep’s milk feta, mozzarella, kalamata olives & almonds). Be sure to cleanse your palate with some of the house-made soft-serve ice cream.
Red's has been around for four decades and still uses the same secret-recipe sauce and house-made sausage that it started out with, all going to make this some of the best thin-crust pizza anywhere.
Serving authentic Neapolitan 'za (including the San Marzano tomato sauce), Punch is one of the best pizzerias in the Twin Cities.
The first coal-burning restaurant in Minneapolis (!), Black Sheep cranks out delicious pizzas using a method that is practically emission-free. Slight more important, the crusts are given a great smoky flavor along with a slight char. There are over 10 specialty pies to choose from, topped with anything from Persian beef to oyster mushroom. But of course, standard toppings are also available (and recommended).
James Beard-nominated chef Isaac Becker is behind this steakhouse-slash-pizzeria in Minneapolis. On the first floor, Burch Steakhouse serves an eclectic menu filled with raw bar options, prime beef and domestic Wagyu, and a variety of European-style dumplings. In the basement, the Pizza Bar bangs out Neapolitan-style pies from a white oak-fueled pizza oven. Every pizza comes with an exciting combination of toppings -- hey, there aren't many places you can get pizza topped with a lobster claw.
This pizzeria started by the gang at molecular gastronomy hotspot Travail is known for its gourmet, porchetta filled pies. The namesake Piggy Pie is a must-try for local foodies: the gloriously doughy pizza contains an incredible amount of pork on a thick, buttery brioche crust. It’s as delicious as it sounds. Run, don't walk to this one.