De La Nonna
You’ll get the sense that anything is possible at De La Nonna as soon as you walk through the front gate. The string-lit patio is full of big groups, laughter, clinking glasses, and the smell of crispy pepperoni cups. A DJ spins house tracks in the corner, and buttery, brown-edged Sicilian-style pizzas are the centerpiece of every table. No matter how many people you’re with (or how many will stroll in late) the friendly staff will find a spot for your party. They take reservations, but you don’t really need one.
De La Nonna is a welcome reminder that good, sit-down restaurants don’t have to be hard to get into. Without fail, this pie spot in the Arts District brings fun and ease back to pizza parties.
On weekends, the dining room transforms into a dance floor where people actually dance between rounds of pizza. Live DJs spin the sort of bass-heavy tracks you’d expect to hear at a beach party in Baja. There’s no cover charge, you can stick around all night, and you’ll definitely bump elbows with people who make pastel-colored boiler suits look cool.
The subtle party atmosphere is fun, but you’re really here to eat. With light, crackly crust, a meal at De La Nonna will leave you full of fresh-from-the-farmers-market pizza toppings. The thick, rectangular slices toe the line between focaccia and pizza, but each pie is light enough that you can eat a whole one by yourself. Soft-centered and crispy along the edges, our go-to white option comes overflowing with roasted fennel, mozzarella, and pesto dollops. If you’re open to a chef’s choice topping situation, their market pie is also a good bet. It usually involves spicy cream sauce topped with a rotating list of things like charred kale, pancetta, and broccolini.
More than just an alternative to hard-to-get-into pizza places like Bestia, Felix, or Jon & Vinny’s, De La Nonna is also pretty affordable. This counter-service party place has a $75 “Nonna Pack” special that runs Tuesday through Thursday, and comes with two 12-inch pizzas, a caesar salad, and a bottle of wine. A few rounds of that deal can easily fuel a big group, and you won’t have to overthink or overorder. De La Nonna is as flexible as your friends are flaky. No matter when you drop in, or if the person you’re meeting arrives 20 minutes late without telling you that she’s bringing someone she met at a bar on the way, a night here will still feel like a substantial event. It’s so easy, you’ll actually enjoy going out to eat with friends again.
Not a must-order, but it’s a solid choice if you’re looking to order something green for the table. Do what you need to do.
Thinly sliced Japanese sweet potato, fennel, pools of pesto, and mozzarella—this is our go-to order and it should be yours too. This lineup of fresh ingredients gives you a mix of soft and creamy textures that pair perfectly with the crispy dough around the pie's buttery edges.
This is a whatever's-in-the-fridge situation that we can get behind. It's a chef's choice situation that's usually covered in a garlicky white sauce and topped with things like braised kale, red onions, and pancetta. Order at least one of these for the table.
Sausage & Peppers Pie
De La Nonna's sausage pie shatters the whole "less is more" concept. The juicy peppers add a hint of sweetness while crumbled sausage bring a kick of spice. You'll also get a bunch of tomato, oregano, and fennel pollen in every bite.
If you dream about pepperoni cups, this is the pie for you. Each slice has a light layer of melted mozzerella and thin layer of tomato sauce so that the crispy cups can really shine. There's also a river of hot honey drizzled on top for a punch of sweetness.