The Best Pizza Places In Philadelphia guide image

PHLGuide

The Best Pizza Places In Philadelphia

The top 18 pizza spots in Philly, according to us.

Philadelphia is a pizza town. Not only did the city popularize tomato pie, but you can always find lines down the street for the latest Neapolitan or Detroit-style pie that rival the Apple Store on a launch day. And yet, even though new spots seem to pop up every few months like a slate of primetime shows on ABC, there are still some classic pizza establishments where you can get a casual plain slice with a stream of perfect orange oil dripping off the side.

Whether you’re looking for an after-hours snack on South Street, want a quick lunch, or need a centerpiece for your game-day spread, there are plenty of places to choose from. So, we put together a list of the best pizza 18 spots in Philly to help you navigate the growing and near-endless strands of melted cheese and charred crispy edges taking over the city.

THE SPOTS

Pizza Jawn imageoverride image
9.0

Pizza Jawn

$$$$

4330 Main St, Philadelphia
Earn 3X Points

Pizza Jawn in Manayunk isn't your typical neighborhood slice shop. First of all, it's our pick for the best pizza you can find in the city—with perfect black rings of char marks that line the crust and give the whole thing some crispy bubbles and toasty blisters. Because of this, you can't just walk in or call here on a casual Tuesday and grab a pie. Like that one cousin who doesn’t like surprise visits, they need to know you're coming—which in this context means you have to order your round, grandma, or Detroit-style pizza online ahead of time. But the mini hassle is worth it because once you pick it up and try a slice, one bite will confirm that you'd go through an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course just to get the next one. Any way you dress your pie up (they have 38 topping options), it 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 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 has a few loaded pizzas like their Upside Down option–a thick and square pie that smothers a layer of cheese beneath tomato sauce. But the best pizza here is the simple and classic margherita. In each bite, you can taste a sweet tomato red sauce and the smooth fior di latte that’s the creamiest mozzarella we’ve ever tried. 


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Down North Pizza is a casual neighborhood spot in Strawberry Mansion, and it’s the first place we think of when we want a cushiony Detroit-style pizza. Even though the crust has a light and doughy bite, the crispy edges are 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 a few Philly rappers’ songs, is the Flip Side. It sprinkles beef bacon, caramelized pineapples, and jalapeños over a layer of thick melted mozzarella cheese, making it a mouthful that’s both sugary and tangy.


Eeva is a relaxed pizza spot to sip on some natural wines while biting into an airy and chewy crust topped with things like mushrooms, stracciatella, dill, lemon, and garlic. When you stop by for a date night or a solo meal, you can watch the fire roar in their wood-burning oven while you wait for a sausage pizza. This specific pie has a sauce that’s slightly sweet, and the blend of mozzarella, peppery sausage, and shallots gets balanced out by the honey drizzle. 


Kensington’s Hook & Master appreciates our need for a pizza that’s oozing with strands of ropy cheese. Here they have Chicago-style pies with a deep bed of spongy dough that can handle the sauce, along with New York-style options that have a crunchier crust and toppings like Spanish chorizo and shrimp. With about as many toppings (28) as there are buttons in the elevator of a skyscraper, they use ingredients that you probably won't find on other pizzas on this list—like chargrilled octopus, clams, boquerones, and prawns. Try bringing some friends here on days when you want something better than a quick few slices from your neighborhood spot, or if you want to take advantage of their $5 late-night slice special.


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 pan pizzas. Now, it’s located in a small corner shop in Olde Richmond with a counter and a few barstools. You’re still likely to see the “out of stock” alert when trying to preorder one online, so it’s not always easy to get one of their perfect, crispy-edged, fluffy square pan pizzas. But if you can conquer the wait, the move here is to get a pie with just cheese and tomato sauce—it’s the perfect complement to the charred crusts coated in even more crispy cheese. In addition to the signature square pies, they also do thin-crust circle pizzas that are a great option on hot days when a thicker pan pizza just seems too heavy to tackle.


From the outside, Fishtown’s Pizzeria Beddia looks like an old garage. Inside, however, you'll find a sleek pizza spot serving crispy thin-crust pies with high ceilings, a smiling cloud lamp hanging over their u-shaped bar, and glowing blue stars (that are way better than the sticker ones from our childhood bedroom) all over the dining room walls. It’s a pizza place like no other in the city, and our favorite pie (the 2) is unlike any other pizza on this list. It’s topped with Calabrian cream, mozzarella, and old gold which creates something that resembles a gooey mac and cheese on top of dough. Plus, like every pizza here, the crust is thin and the right balance of bendy and crispy.


20th Street Pizza is the best plant-based pizza spot in the city. This casual slice shop tops their pies with ingredients like purple cauliflower, lemon zest, romesco, and thick-cut potato slices. The Center City spot mostly does takeout, and you can choose from circle or round options–like a tomato pie and grandma option that's lighter than most versions you can find in Philly. Our favorite here is the Haymaker, which blends vegan sausage and a garlicky and sweet tomato sauce on a bed of creamy cashew mozzarella. The crust has a satisfying crackle, and we constantly dream about adding the nutty, silky, and dairy-free cheese to anything we eat.

With Beddia, Hook & Master, and Pizza Shackamaxon all within a few blocks from each other, this lineup of spots sort of feels like the pizza equivalent of the Heat’s championship big three. Shackamaxon shows it belongs on this superteam with a crust covered in crispy leopard-like charcoal rings that has people lining up on Girard Ave. like it's an Eagles jersey giveaway. They only have four pizzas here: plain, pepperoni, tomato, and a rotating weekly special which can include options covered in burrata, honey, and basil. You can’t preorder a pie, as you have to do it on the day of and in person. But if you want to order four or more pizzas for when you and your friends decide to watch all of the Star Wars movies from the beginning, just email them. Despite how huge these slices are, they hold their weight in toppings—meaning your pepperoni pizza won’t lose all of its perfect little grease pools as soon as you pick up a slice between lightsaber battle scenes.


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, but super thin, so you shouldn’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 anyways—each slice folds in half like it has a perforated edge right down the middle.


You can get a decent slice of plain cheese pizza pretty much anywhere in Philly, but only Pizza Brain tops their pies with things like honey goat cheese, South Carolina mustard bbq sauce, and rainbow chard, and then gives them ridiculous names like Henrietta Blanch and Wendy Wedgeworth. This slice shop makes enormous thin-crust pies with bizarre combinations that somehow work well together and some classic ones–like the Buffy Ernest that’s an oniony white pie similar to your standard buffalo chicken pizza. All we know is that this pizza makes us incredibly happy and you’ll probably only need one pie to fill you up. So, you can stare at all the weird pizza paraphernalia hanging on the walls until you're full and ready to head out.


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 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 here to shoot a round of pool, look at some vinyl records from the 1970s, and split a square pizza in the vintage orange booths.


The dough on a slice from Rione is so airy and soft that it looks like someone blew bubbles in it when you hold it sideways. Thanks to their chewy crusts and slices like their carbonara that gets both the creamy cheesiness and subtle egginess right, the Center City spot is one of those pizza places that you’ll start making plans to revisit as soon as you walk out the door. And since you can order these Roman-style pies by the slice, you can try lots of different topping combinations without having to get a bunch of full pies to try them all at once.


If you come to Germantown Ave.’s King of Pizza a few times, you’ll probably keep it in your rotation for a quick $3 slice. While we love some of the newer spots in the city (and on this list) that top their pizza with things like chipotle glaze or beet slaw, this spot (open since 1974) is where we go for classic plain and pepperoni with slices as big as a dinner plate. The crust is light and chewy on the ends but can crunch like a hard-shell taco when you bite into it. The slices get coated in a subtle slick of olive oil, like the layer of sunblock you put on at the beach, and the pizza here always has a sweet rim of red sauce clutching the crust.


Despite its name, Queen Village’s Square Pie has pizzas that are both rectangular and round. No matter what your personal shape preference is, you’ll still get a pizza with a savory and sweet sauce with crispy edges around the rim. Some choices we always go with are the pancetta option that has cured pork belly or the spinach pie that’s topped with polka dots of Calabro ricotta. If you go with spinach, you’ll get a slice that’s equal parts fluffy mounds of cheese and wilted leafy greens, and is flavorful enough that you won’t even need to reach for the red pepper flakes and grated parmesan.


The crust at Sally is made from sourdough, and it’s so delicious they could serve it on its own as a free basket of bread and we’d be happy. The Center City spot usually only has around five pizzas on the menu, with at least two red and white options, but their clam and leek pie that comes with a grilled lemon is a standout. It’s like a citrusy clam chowder that’s surrounded by a crusty rim, which makes the whole thing more comforting than a fuzzy blanket on a cold day. Come here to spend your night sipping on some natural wines, watching someone flip dough in the corner, and eating under a pink-bulbed chandelier. Sally even places reheating instructions on the to-go box, since they know their slices will be the first thing we think about when waking up in the morning.

The Best Restaurants In South Philly guide image

Guide

The Best Restaurants In South Philly

Head to Pizzata Pizzeria for a classic New York-style round pie. No matter if you go with a red or white pizza, they’ll all be sprinkled with parmesan, basil, and a smooth drizzle of olive oil. The wood-fired pies are a must-grab before game night or when you forgot to grab a present for your coworker’s 10-year anniversary and know that this is an upgrade over some socks. Either way, you should go for the Calabrese pie that melts pepperoni, long hots, mounds of burrata, and hot honey. The crust has balloon-like pockets of air, but it still has a deep crunch that sounds like a mini earthquake in your mouth.  


With a focaccia-like crust that’s coated with tangy tomato sauce (and sometimes gets dusted with parmesan cheese), the tomato pie is a classic. When we want one for a stand-alone meal, snack, or just when we’d rather spread something on bread other than butter before 10am, we go to South Philly’s Cacia’s Bakery. Open since 1953, they’ve been serving slices covered in tomato sauce and dotted with Italian herbs since back when phones still had rotaries on them. They understand here that for a good tomato pie, the dough and crust have to bring it. The edges are perfectly crunchy and the crust feels like it got a few bucket splashes of olive oil on it for an extra golden crunch.

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