The Best Pizza In Philadelphia
photo credit: Emily Schindler
Philadelphia has grown into a true pizza town. Not only did the city popularize tomato pie, but you'll see lines on the sidewalk for the latest Neapolitan or Detroit-style options. And even though new spots seem to pop up every few months, the classic establishments have staying power. Whether you’re looking for a quick slice after a dentist appointment near Rittenhouse Square or a centerpiece for your game-day spread, these are the 13 best pizza spots in Philly.
Pizza Jawn in Manayunk serves incredible round, Grandma, or Detroit-style pizzas for pick-up and delivery only. Each one has a perfect black ring of char marks that line the crust, giving the chomping experience a bubbly, blistery finish. Any way you dress your pie up (they have 38 topping options) will be good enough to brave heavy I-76 traffic and strap a seatbelt over the box of dough and cheese like it’s the most cherished thing in your car. (Including yourself.) If you really have to choose just one pie, go for the square-shaped Grandma with a sesame seed bottom and golden edges.
If we played a word association game and someone said “Philly pizza,” Angelo’s would be one of the first places to pop in our heads. The cash-only South Philly spot makes thick, square pies that smother layers of cheese beneath tomato sauce. But our favorite pizza here is the simplest: the margherita with sweet sauce and smooth, creamy fior di latte.
Down North Pizza makes the best Detroit-style pizza in Philly. The crust somehow stays light and cushiony, despite working as a crispy base that's firm enough to hold the chunks of beef sausage, pepperoni, and the many other toppings that come on their 12 specialty pizzas. One of our favorites at this takeout-only spot, which names their pizzas after Philly rappers’ songs, is the simultaneously tangy and sweet Flip Side with sprinkles of beef bacon, caramelized pineapples, and jalapeños over a layer of thick melted mozzarella.
Unlike a lot of the places on this guide, you go to Pizzeria Beddia to sit down, drink good wine, eat some salad, and go bonkers over thin-crusted pies that bend and crisp when you pick them up. The space itself looks like a sleek and industrial garage, with a smiling cloud lamp hanging over their u-shaped bar. Get the No. 2, which is topped with calabrian cream, mozzarella, and Old Gold gouda. It sort of tastes like a gooey mac and cheese on top of expertly baked dough.
This slice shop on Girard makes super crispy pies with leopard-like char marks—don't call them burned, it's just part of the thin-crusted-but-not-exactly-New-York style. They only have four options: plain, pepperoni, tomato, and a rotating weekly special. And you'll have to walk right up to their window to order any of them (though you can call if you a whole tomato pie or email if you're getting at least four pies). Despite how huge these slices are, they hold their weight in toppings—meaning your pepperoni cups won’t lose all of their perfect little grease pools as soon as you pick up a slice.
Sally in Fitler Square makes sourdough pies with dough so flavorful—fermented and sweet tasting—that you could treat the crusts like regular old bread. The menu rotates pretty often, but you'll usually see at least two red and white options. Come here to spend a night drinking natural wine, watching someone flip dough in the corner, and eat under a pink-bulbed chandelier.
At the original Tacconelli’s in Port Richmond, it's better to reserve your dough ahead of time so they know exactly how much pizza to make for your group. If that seems ridiculous, then you’ve never had a slice of pizza here. If there’s an equation that determines the perfect ratio of cheese to sauce on a pizza, Tacconelli’s has it stashed away on a piece of paper in a vault somewhere. The crust is crispy and super thin, so don't add more than two toppings to your pizza unless you want half of them to end up on the plate. But you really want a plain pie here, anyway—each slice folds in half like it has a perforated edge right down the middle.
Part neighborhood slice shop and part bar where you can play Duck Hunt on an old tube TV, Paulie Gee’s has the classic pizza hangout thing down to a science. All the slices at this NYC-based spot are good, but it’s their Freddy Prinze that sets them apart from other pizza places in town. The square, upside-down Sicilian pie comes loaded with sweet tomato sauce, mozzarella, pecorino romano, and a sesame seed bottom that ensures each bite has just the right amount of char and nuttiness. Bring a group of friends to the Center City shop to shoot a round of pool, look at some vinyl records, and split a square pizza in the vintage orange booths.
Head to Pizzata Pizzeria in Fitler Square for a classic, New York-style round pies or slices. No matter if you go with a red or white pizza, they’ll all be naturally leavened and then sprinkled with parmesan, basil, and a smooth drizzle of olive oil. The crust has balloon-like pockets of air, but it still has a deep crunch that sounds like a mini earthquake in your mouth. When the weather is nice, they usually put a couple of tables on their sidewalk. But this is really more of a takeout operation. And a great one at that.
Circles + Squares started as a one-man operation in the back of a coffee shop, which made it nearly impossible to get one of their square-shaped, pan pizzas. Now, it’s located in a small corner shop in Olde Richmond. There's a chance you'll still see the “out of stock” alert when trying to preorder online. Keep trying. The crispy-edged, fluffy square pan pizzas are always worth a hassle. We typically go for the plain with just cheese and tomato sauce, which complements the charred crusts coated in even more crispy cheese. If it's super hot outside or you can't imagine taking down a thick slab of dough and dairy, the round pies are also great.
Unsurprisingly, Marc Vetri and his squad make great pizza. Partly because the crispy-bottomed, bubbly crusted pies spend a few (hot) minutes in a fancy brick oven from Italy. But also because they're expertly made. In addition to the margherita pizza and some really light meatballs, try the Ode To Sweet Onion Crepe, a decadent combination of roasted sweet onion, white truffle, and parmesan. (It’s an homage to the most beloved dish at Vetri Cucina.) The downside of Salvy? You're eating in the forgotten basement of the Comcast Technology Center, linoleum floors and all. And you'll never forget that fact, no matter how good the pizza and meatballs may be.
Pizza Brain tops their enormous, thin-crust pies with things like honey goat cheese, South Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, and rainbow chard, and then gives them names like Henrietta Blanch and Wendy Wedgeworth. It works. We usually go for the Buffy Ernest, an oniony white pie similar to your standard buffalo chicken pizza.
If you're sick of these precious pizzas with their beet slaws and chipotle glazes, you'll feel right at home at this Germantown Ave. spot that's been open since 1974. The slices are as large as a dinner plate, with crusts that are light and chewy but still crunch like a hard-shell taco when you bite down. Expect a subtle slick of olive oil, like the layer of sunblock you put on at the beach, and a sweet rim of red sauce clutching the crust.