Bread, sauce, and cheese. It's a simple base, but one that has turned normal red-rabbit-suited Noids into terrorists and caused run-of-the-mill mutant turtles to take up arms. People go crazy for pizza. That's why we've risked taking a vengeful nunchuck to the head and ranked PDX's best pies, running the gamut from cracker crusts to doughy wonders not even the most deranged Noid could avoid.
8. Sizzle Pie
What you're ordering: Two slices of whatever looks good
When you come pouring out of a bar, sometimes you don't want some fancy-pants, wood-fired, organic production. You want a big, greasy slice of heaven, and this rock-themed joint delivers the goods until 4a on the weekend. The no-nonsense offerings include the steak/bacon Heart Attack Man & the creamy, bacon-topped Good Luck in Jail… which is what the cops'll say when you start screaming about how delicious it is at 4a.
7. Lovely's Fifty Fifty
What you're ordering: The Fennel Sausage, with red chard, kale & rosemary
This quirky Mississippi pizzeria serves up chewy, slightly charred wonders topped with everything from sweet corn to Summer squash… plus normal stuff like salami and sausage. Luckily, at 12in apiece, you and a crew can crush several in a sitting. Just be sure to split the check 50/50 and save room for the joint's amazing homemade salted caramel ice cream.
6. Al Forno
Alberta Arts District
What you're ordering: The Puttanesca, with sausage, garlic, and tomatoes
This Alberta joint -- which means "baked" in Italian -- embraces the thin-crust Sicilian tradition, offering up cracker-thin perfection (though their strombolis and calzones are formidable) topped with prosciutto, mortadella, and hand-made sausage that tastes even better when you're totally al forno.
5. Baby Doll
What you're ordering: The bacon, sausage, peppers, onion & mushroom masterpiece
How New York is Baby Doll? They'll get playfully pissy with you if you if you order pineapple, then talk about how A-Rod was set up. The slices are big enough to function as a sail: perfectly foldable and like cheesy crack when topped with brisket or house sausage.
4. Oven & Shaker
What you're ordering: The Pork Belly, with tomato, red chilies & cilantro
When a Beard-nominated chef decides to up the ante on sister restaurant Nostrana's also-amazing pie, you know it's gonna be special. When you realize the barman's one of Portland's most renowned mixologists, you look for an apartment in the neighborhood so you can enjoy a roasted-pepper cocktail with everything from octopus to pork shoulder/pineapple pies -- cooked before your eyes in a wood oven -- on a daily basis.
3. Flying Pie
What you're ordering: The "Chicago-style" Pepperoni, which appears to have an full pig on it
Ok, so the "Chicago-style" pizza is about as "Chicago" as Catherine Zeta-Jones, but FP's breadstick-thick, salty/cheesy dough is a thing of magic, and, without it, the pie couldn't support the ridiculous amount of cheese and meat piled on top (you can get thinner crust, but don't). Eat it in the old-school pizzeria, or w/ a beer next door at the second-run Academy Theater. Maybe they'll be playing that delightful Chicago movie.
2. Ken's Artisan Pizza
What you're ordering: The Soppressata, with spicy basil
Ken's perfectly charred pizzas take about two minutes to cook in the ultra-hot oven, which is roughly the same amount of time you invest in your other favorite pleasure. What pops out is a thin-in-the-middle, thick-on-the-outside masterpiece topped with high-end meats like soppressata, prosciutto, and fennel sausage, all highlighted by a tangy sauce and the freshest cheese imaginable.
1. Apizza Scholls
What you're ordering: The simply named Sausage, topped with just that
Probably PDX's most popular pizza -- just look at that line! -- Apizza's got a lot of rules, including a limit on toppings and a policy that if they run out of dough, you're SOL. But really, they could tell you to do anything they wanted and you'd obey just to get your mouth around that perfectly chewy, focaccia-bouncy, thin crust, perfectly charred and topped w/ hot capicola.
1. Sizzle Pie624 East Burnside, Portland
2. Lovely's Fifty Fifty4039 N Mississippi Ave, Portland
3. Al Forno Ferruzza2738 NE Alberta , Portland
4. Baby Doll Pizza2835 SE Stark St, Portland
5. Oven and Shaker1134 NW Everette, Portland
6. Flying Pie Pizzeria7804 SE Stark St, Portland
7. Ken's Artisan Pizza304 SE 28th Ave, Portland
8. Apizza Scholls4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
Sizzle Pie slings NY famous floppy, foldable slices day and (late-)night to crowds lingering Downtown and on East Burnside while blaring punk anthems. Plus, Sizzle serves beer and cocktails. The joint is a high-ceilinged 'za emporium centered around a lit sculptural column that actually resembles pizza boxes. Plus, there’s a killer jukebox thanks to a co-owner who’s also behind the record label Relapse.
This quirky pizza spot makes beautiful, artisan pies (purslane with calabrian chilies, garlic, capers & lemon, anyone?) with organic and locally sourced ingredients.
This Alberta Arts District spot is a go-to for legit Italian dough/sauce combos -- strombolis, calzones, and, of course, tasty pizzas.
Posted-up on a stretch of Stark St that's more popular for its dive bars than quality pizza, Baby Doll Pizza still manages to turn out a sweet slice with bubbly cheese and a thin, but foldable, crust that's chewy, but not bready. It offers gluten-free and vegan options, and grandma pizza overloaded with the kind of tiny pepperoni that curls up into crispy grease-Jacuzzis when hit with heat. And it’s perfect, as are all of grandma’s recipes.
Pizza wouldn't be worth much — let alone existent — without either an oven or seasoning shakers, and we're just thankful that four-time-James-Beard-nominated chef Cathy Whim's Oven & Shaker has both. The pies pulled from her wood-fired oven at this sleek Pearl District dining room are the real deal: creative topping combinations like salumi and honey on thin-but-still-chewy dough keep tables full. Italian street foods, from fried mozzarella to arancini balls, round out the meal. Italian whites and reds are sprinkled with local vintages, but the true stars are the cocktail options like the maple syrup- and bell pepper juice-infused anise vodka sip, Pepper Smash #2. But you don't have to be the only one drinking: let it be known that there's a special option on the menu where you can "buy the kitchen a six-pack." You should do it.
PDX is home to a plethora of dine-in theaters that play old movies and dole out copious amounts of cold beer and pizza slices to movie-goers. Flying Pie, home of salty, cheesy slices loaded with an impossible amount of toppings, is old school pizza at its finest, and it tastes even better while watching second-run campy classics.
KAP in Southeast Portland serves thin-in-the-middle, thick-on-the-outside masterpieces topped with high-end meats (like soppressata, prosciutto, fennel sausage, etc.), tangy sauces, and the freshest cheeses imaginable. Ken Forkish wrote the book on pizza. (No, for real. It’s called Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza.) With locally sourced ingredients fired up in the rustic pizzeria’s centerpiece wood-powered oven, each pie packs an explosion of flavor. Whatever you order, drop an extra $2 for a pile of fresh arugula up top— the nutty, bitter, salt-sprinkled greens transport the simple pie into a complex flavor symphony.
This Hawthorne pizza shop is so focused on making you the perfect pie that if they run out of dough, they'll close early if they have to, to preserve the quality of their ingredients. Serving up quality pies rooted in Neapolitan tradition, Apizza goes heavy on the cheese, generous with the sauce, and hearty on the toppings.