Food & Drink

The Best Pizza Places in Pittsburgh

Published On 04/28/2015 Published On 04/28/2015

In Pittsburgh, yinzers defend staunch pizza allegiances to the death (are you Team Mineo’s Pizza House or Team Aiello’s Pizza?). But in the end, there are plenty of superb slices within our city limits. From the fancier Neapolitan pies, to the grab-and-go slices, here are PGH's greatest pizzas. 

(We wish Rick Easton of the now-closed Bread & Salt the best in NYC.)

Piccolo Forno

Lawrenceville

Piccolo Forno’s Capricciosa is a classic Italian-style pizza combining crushed tomato, fresh mozzarella, mushroom, artichoke, olive, prosciutto cotto, and egg. Piccolo Forno’s intimate, BYOB venue on Lawrenceville’s popular Butler Street is classic Italian, too, evoking the style of Italian cafes. More than a dozen wood-fired pizzas are on the menu. Make room for dessert: the tiramisu is unrivaled.

Merritt Lee Photography

Pizza Taglio

East Liberty

Spicy enough to leave your lips tingling, the Pino pie combines mozzarella, hot sausage, roasted red peppers, and spicy chili oil. The spice is balanced with a sweet red sauce and a cracker-thin crispy dough. Pizza Taglio’s artisan pies are Roman-inspired, and each one is big enough to share... if you’re willing to share, that is.

Courtesy of Duane Rieder/Il Pizzaiolo

Il Pizzaiolo

Downtown

It’s probably a lot of work and expense for Il Pizzaiolo to import fresh ingredients from Italy regularly, but it's worth it to genuinely represent Neapolitan pizza. Order the classic Margherita DOC, which is fired in a 1,000-degree oven and topped with fresh basil and creamy mozzarella. The Market Square location is in the heart of the city and offers a more elegant, sit-down dinner with a long wine list (Chianti pairs well with the DOC).

Rossilynne Culgan/Thrillist

Bella Notte

Strip District

Bella Notte’s breezy outdoor patio is prime-summertime real estate along busy Penn Ave. Ranch addicts, order the 16in buffalo specialty pizza: ranch sauce, chicken, buffalo sauce, and cheddar cheese. Pizzas are also sold by the slice with more than a dozen topping options to DIY. 

Fiori's Pizzaria

Brookline

Fiori’s motto is, "we fix you up," which is appropriate because pizza could fix almost any bad situation. (Even a broken heart? Possibly.) The floury dough is tossed by hand, a feat you can admire firsthand in front of a large window near the door. Meat lovers rejoice: toppings include sausage, capicola, Virginia ham, bacon, meatballs, steak, and hot-sausage links. Fiori’s pizza is just as delicious plain with 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.

Slice on Broadway - Carnegie

Slice on Broadway

Beechview

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."

Dinette

East Liberty

At Dinette, crispy, wafer-thin dough is the foundation for light sauce and fresh ingredients, some of which are grown on the restaurant’s rooftop. Dinette’s version of a “plain” pizza is essentially a margherita, but with spoonfuls of fresh, creamy ricotta. The prosciutto pizza is savory 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.

Courtesy of The Church Brew Works

The Church Brew Works

Lawrenceville

At its heart, The Church Brew Works is a brewery and bar, but it also happens to make pierogi pizza that makes Pittsburghers' hearts swoon. Instead of sauce, there's mashed garlic potatoes with sautéed onions. Instead of mozzarella cheese, there's cheddar. It’s a delicious twist on the traditional Polish favorite.

La Tavola Italiana Restaurant

La Tavola Italiana

Mount Washington

La Tavola Italiana is literally over the river and through the woods from Downtown. But it’s worth the drive for Josephine’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.)

Rossilynne Culgan/Thrillist

Beto's Pizza

Beechview

Don’t be alarmed -- the cheese isn’t supposed to be melted. Beto’s cooks the pizza dough and sauce, then drops toppings and cold shredded cheese (lots of it) on top for a unique hot-cold dish. Slices start at just $1.30 with toppings for an additional 50 cents. Order at the counter and take it to-go, or commandeer a booth in the dining room.

Flickr/Janey

Spak Brothers

Garfield

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.

Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room

Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room

Downtown

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).

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Rossilynne S. Culgan is a Pittsburgh native, but she’d rather be in Italy eating pizza. In researching this story, she ate seven slices of pizza in 24 hours, and it was like a slice of heaven.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Piccolo Forno 3801 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Lower Lawrenceville)

Piccolo Forno is all about old-school-Italian fare. Its Capricciosa is a classic Italian-style pizza combining crushed tomato, fresh mozzarella, mushroom, artichoke, olive, prosciutto cotto, and egg. Piccolo Forno’s intimate, BYOB venue on Lawrenceville’s popular Butler St is classic Italian, too, evoking the style of Italian cafes. More than a dozen wood-fired pizzas are on the menu. Make room for dessert, the tiramisu is unrivaled.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Pizza Taglio 126 S Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (East Liberty)

Located in East Liberty, this pizzeria slings Roman-inspired, artisan pies that are big enough to share (if you're willing, of course). One of the more popular orders is the Pino pie, which combines mozzarella, hot sausage, roasted red peppers, and spicy chili oil. Other creations include the "Pig-Face" (guanciale, red onions, chili flakes, and pecorino) and the balsamic-drizzled "Speckmato."

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Il Pizzaiolo 8 Market Sq, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

It’s probably a lot of work and expense for Il Pizzaiolo to import fresh ingredients from Italy regularly, but it's worth it to genuinely represent Neapolitan pizza. Order the classic Margherita DOC, which is fired in a 1,000-degree oven and topped with fresh basil and creamy mozzarella. The Market Square location is in the heart of the city and offers a more elegant, sit-down dinner with a long wine list (Chianti pairs well with the DOC).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Bella Notte 1914 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

Bella Notte’s breezy outdoor patio is prime-summertime real estate along busy Penn Ave. Ranch addicts, order the 16-inch buffalo specialty pizza: ranch sauce, chicken, buffalo sauce, and cheddar cheese. Pizzas are also sold by the slice with more than a dozen topping options for DIY connoisseurs.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Fiori's Pizzaria 103 Capital Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15226 (Brookline)

Fiori’s motto is, “we fix you up,” which is appropriate because pizza could fix almost any bad situation (Even a broken heart? Possibly). The floury dough is tossed by hand, a feat you can admire firsthand in front of a large window near the door. Meat lovers rejoice: toppings include sausage, capicola, Virginia ham, bacon, meatballs, steak, and hot-sausage links. Fiori’s pizza is just as delicious plain with 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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Slice on Broadway 2128 Broadway Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15216 (Beechview)

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, from The Athena with spinach, tomatoes, and feta, to The Fancy Pants with basil pesto sauce, prosciutto, spinach, tomatoes, and goat cheese. You can also take a DIY approach and choose your own sauce (red, white, or green), veggies (more than a dozen options), meats (a dozen options, including bacon), and cheese (mozzarella-provolone mix, fresh mozzarella, feta, Gorgonzola, goat cheese).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Dinette 5996 Centre Ave D202, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (East Liberty)

At Dinette, crispy, wafer-thin dough is the foundation for light sauce and fresh ingredients, some of which are grown on the restaurant’s rooftop. Dinette’s version of a “plain” pizza is essentially a Margherita, but with spoonfuls of fresh, creamy ricotta. The prosciutto pizza is savory 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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. The Church Brew Works 3525 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Lower Lawrenceville)

The Church Brew Works is a brewpub set in a restored church built in 1902. The sanctuary serves as a beer hall, with glorious brewing equipment situated at the head of the room, where the altar once stood. Light shines through stained glass windows, setting a heavenly scene for you to indulge in lunch, dinner, and pub fare, like soups, salads, appetizers, like oven-roasted buffalo cauliflower with crumbled bleu cheese and the crowd-favorite pierogies, with sautéed onions, melted butter, and sour cream. Beers on tap are the Celestial Gold, Pipe Organ Pale, Pious Monk Dunkel, and the ThunderHop IPA.

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9. La Tavola Italiana Restaurant & Pizzaria 1 Boggs Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15211 (Mount Washington)

Although La Tavola Italiana is (literally) over the river and through the woods from Downtown, it’s worth the drive for Josephine’s Pizza. This “grandmother’s specialty” is 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.)

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Beto's Pizza & Restaurant 1473 Banksville Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15216 (Beechview)

Don’t be alarmed -- the cheese is supposed to not be melted at this Beechview pizzeria. In Beto’s own unique style, toppings and cold shredded cheese (lots of it) are dropped on top of already-cooked pizza dough and sauce for a unique (and inexpensive) hot-cold dish. Order at the counter and take it to go or to commandeer a booth in the dining room.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Spak Brothers Pizza and More 5107 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Garfield)

This Garfield pizza joint is a crowd-pleaser with its many vegan options -- plus plenty of choices for carnivores. Slices are bubbly and big enough to fold, andare 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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room 139 7th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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 (sauteed 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).

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