"Power is pizza and pizza is knowledge": The best pizza in Philadelphia
I'm from an area in South Jersey that could accurately be nicknamed "little South Philly." I can close my eyes, throw a rock and hit at least three pizza shops and Italian restaurants at all times. It's a beautiful thing. But what I'm saying is I know good pizza. The minute I leave Philly, New Jersey or New York City, I stop ordering pizza because honestly, they just don't know what they're doing. I ordered a pizza in Iceland once, and it was one of the saddest experiences of my culinary life.
I have put a lot of time, effort and heart into exploring the Philadelphia pizza scene. Though I prefer what I call "pizza parlor pizza" (crispy crust, plenty of grease and cheese and most commonly found on boardwalks and in pizza shops in strip malls), I'm open to trying new styles. Below are my favorite pizza haunts, but I'm always open to suggestions. "More pizza in 2018" is basically my only realistic resolution.
115 E Girard Ave
Pizzeria Beddia is kind of a big deal. When Bon Appetite calls you the best pizza in America, you're doing something right. And honestly, they're killing it. The pizza is perfect: the sauce to cheese ratio, the crispness of the crust, the perfect amount of oil on top. Joe Beddia has put an incredible amount of thought into his pizza, and it shows. That being said, getting a pie is something of a production. You can only order in person, you have to pay in cash, they only make a limited number of pizzas a night and a line forms well before the shop officially opens. It's a process, and you need to prepare. Worth it? Absolutely.
Four Sons Pizzeria
2500 Frankford Ave
I like fancy pizzas as much as the next girl, but at the end of the day all I really want to come home to is a good, old-fashioned pizza parlor pizza. It's cheap, it's cheesy, the crust is nice and crisp, it's just greasy enough to know you're eating a good slice of pizza: I think it's my favorite pie in Philadelphia.
Wm. Mulherin's Sons
1355 N Front St
That being said, sometimes I do want to treat myself to a fancy pie. When I first went to Mulherin's, I refused to get the pizza, reasoning that I was going to treat myself to a fancy dinner and "fancy' shouldn't mean pizza. I was a fool. Their Speck & Egg pizza (caramelized onions, speck, potato, fontina and a runny egg on top) is mind-blowing and one of the more creative pizzas I've ever eaten.
Dock Street Brewery
701 S 50th St
Pizza and beer is a beautiful and pure combination, and we are lucky that Dock Street decided to bless us with both. Besides brewing some kick-ass beer, Dock Street also makes one of my favorite funky pizzas: the Mellow Yellow, with brown mustard, crème fraiche, portobello, white mushroom, mozzarella and gruyere. Mustard on pizza is something everyone needs to embrace.
Big Ass Slices
218 Market St
I won't lie to you, I've never eaten here sober, so take this with a grain of salt. But when it's two in the morning and you've been out drinking in Old City all night, there is nothing better than a slice from Big Ass Slices. And when I say a slice, I mean two to three slices, because let's be serious, you need to soak up all that alcohol. I always go for buffalo chicken, because that's drunk Shaun's pizza of choice.
2313 Frankford Ave
A pizza parlor attached to an ice cream shop is basically heaven on earth (it shares a space with Little Babies). Whether you want a slice, a standard pie (the Jane) or something a little more creative (I like the Lucy Waggle, a white pie with pine nuts, fresh thyme, date, prosciutto and arugula), Pizza Brain makes everyone happy. Plus, they have a pizza museum, which is awesome.
Lorenzo and Son's
305 South St
You've heard of Lorenzo and Son's. They're the base for the infamous Philly taco, after all. But gimmicks aside, these gigantic slices are actually a really solid pizza option. They're good, old-fashioned pizza parlor slices, only about three times the size of the average piece of pizza. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with eating basically half a pie in one slice.
102 S 21st St
My love for pizza parlor pizza knows no bounds, as you can probably tell. But occasionally I give other types a try. Rione makes Roman-style pizza, which means the crust is thinner and airier and served in rectangular slices. My personal favorite is the carbonara slice, though they seem to rotate their toppings pretty often. Which gives you even more excuses to go back and try new slices. (And make sure to grab an arancini if they have them.)
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