Philadelphia is having a pizza moment. Excellent pizza spots are popping up all over Philadelphia and its far flung neighborhoods. World TravelingMom Sarah Ricks tells you where to find the best pizza in Philadelphia. Philly welcomed waves of Italian immigrants in the 1900’s, so this city has deep pizza roots. Pizzerias today still offer classics like pepperoni and sausage. But today you can top your pizza with fig, caramelized onion, goat cheese, arugula – and more.
I love classic Neapolitan thin crust pizza. And Philly’s got it, in neighborhoods all over the city. Here are some places for the best pizza in Philadelphia.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – Northern Liberties
We go to Bufad (12th Street & Spring Garden) for Neapolitan wood-fired thin crust pizza with crispy burnt blisters. Unlike super cheesy American pizza, these thin crust rounds are light on toppings. For example, classic Pizza Margarita has a few crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Or we get a white pizza – no tomato sauce, just mozzarella cheese and toppings like spicy sausage, spinach, or ricotta. While I love the classics, I also love newer combos like white mushroom pizza with asparagus and the earthy flavor of truffle oil.
Bufad serves pies straight from the wood-fired oven we see from the tiny dining room. Bufad serves up individual 12 inch whole pies. While one pie is about $16, it is plenty for 2 adults. But a hungry teen might need her own. And for non-pizza lovers, more than just pizza is on the menu.
TravelingMom bonus: We usually find street parking on Spring Garden or a side street. It’s helpful that the restaurant takes reservations, which we’ve needed for weekend dinners. Plus, it is BYO so we can save money by bringing our own wine.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – Roxborough
Don’t be fooled by its strip mall location – this is the real deal. PD Pizza, also called Pizzeria DiMeo, serves authentic Neapolitan pizza, along with pasta, salads, and other entrees. These delicious round pies are wood fired up in a 900 degree oven. Toppings include barbecue chicken, broccoli rabe, and spicy meats. But my favorite is fig, mozzarella, arugula, and prosciutto. In addition, I ask for my pizza “well done.” That way, the thin crust isn’t overwhelmed by toppings and gets toasty.
TravelingMom tip: Since PD Pizza is located in the Andorra Shopping Mall, there is plenty of free parking. Plus, it is BYO – so we can enjoy wine without restaurant prices.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – Society Hill
Pizzeria Stella (2d and Lombard) is the project of Philadelphia restaurant entrepreneur Stephen Starr. While he owns many upscale restaurants, this is a casual, family-friendly place. And his months of researching pizza meccas in the U.S. paid off. Pizza toppings here range from the unusual – pistachio and lemon ricotta – to favorites like sausage and pepperoni. Pizzeria Stella also offers pasta and salads.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – Art Museum neighborhood
At Pizzeria Vetri, we get a skinny rectangle of thin crust pizza. It’s served piping hot on a wooden board, straight from the wood fired oven. It is easily enough for two. This gourmet pizza shop was founded by Philadelphia Chef Marc Vetri, known for his high end restaurants. These delicious pizzas are not cheap, at $16 – $20. My favorite is the fennel sausage, roasted fennel, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. And of course classic Margherita.
TravelingMom tip: The 19th & Callowhill location is close to the Barnes Art Museum, a must-see stop in Philly. For other great things to do in Philadelphia, check out local favorites.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – Port Richmond
Don’t expect elegance at Tacconelli’s (2604 E Somerset St). Its formica tables look and feel like a high school cafeteria. But Tacconelli’s is serious about pizza, the only item on the menu. And this is some of the best thin crust pizza outside of Italy. My favorite is classic Margherita.
TravelingMom tip: Eating here takes planning. But it’s worth it. Since Tacconelli’s is a small shop, with just one brick oven, they recommend calling a day in advance to reserve the dough. Plus, bring your own beer and wine.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – East Falls
In Riva (4116 Ridge Avenue) is a full service Italian restaurant and bar that serves great thin crust pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. Toppings for its whole pies include roast pork and spinach, goat cheese and garlic almonds, and roasted onion and smoked bacon. In Riva is in the Philadelphia neighborhood where Princess Grace Kelly grew up. While its small parking lot fills up fast, parking in a public lot is only a block away.
TravelingMom tip: In Riva is across from the Schuylkill River. Its outdoor terrace has a great view of the river. Plus, we sometimes work off lunch or dinner with a stroll along the river’s bike path. While we haven’t tried biking there yet, we’ve seen bikers arrive at In Riva from Center City, about 6 miles away. The restaurant is bike-friendly.
Best Pizza in Philadelphia – Italian Market
The Italian Market location of SliCE (1180 South 10th Street) has thin crispy crust pizza with toppings like Portobello mushroom and artichokes, ribeye and carmelized onion, veggie, and pancetta and brussel sprouts. It also offers salads, strombolis, and calzones. SliCE has grown to three other locations in Philly.
Seasonal TravelingMom tips: If you’re headed to Philadelphia in fall, here’s where to find fall foliage. And if you’re in Philadelphia in spring, here’s where to see cherry blossoms.
Where is your favorite place to eat pizza? Tell us about it in the comments.