To eat some of the best pizza in the city, you’ll either have to secure a reservation at Pizzeria Beddia, call Angelo’s and hope they pick up, or stand in Shackamaxon’s line. But at Pizza Jawn, you simply have to order online, pay around $25 or less, and walk out with one of the best pies of your life.
After a few years of perpetually sold-out pop-ups, Pizza Jawn finally opened a brick-in-mortar spot in Manayunk. When they first opened, you needed a little luck to secure a pizza before they sold out—especially if you were trying on weekends. But now, on weekdays, it's easy as preordering, picking it up, and heading back to your couch.
They might have some specialty pizzas every once in a while, but you’ll always find grandma, Detroit-style, and a round Neapolitan/New York-style hybrid on the menu. Each pizza has golden crispy edges, but the grandma is always speckled with sesame seeds on its edges and bottom. If you go for the thin-crusted round, expect a chewy, charred, and puffy crust with quarter-sized smoky circles on the edges. When grabbing a pan-roasted Detroit pizza, the caramelized crunchy cheese and toppings on the rim give each bite a satisfying crackle.
So you might be wondering: which style of pie is best? We go for the grandma because of its breadstick-like thickness and the nutty flavor that comes from the sesame. The dough has some heft, which means it can hold the weight of Pizza Jawn’s 38 topping choices (OK, maybe not all of them). Keep it simple, though, and go with a margherita base. It has the perfect balance of ingredients and the mozzarella is some of the creamiest in the city. The constant element for all their pies is the tangy tomato sauce that would be good enough to toss with some pasta and serve as a stand-alone dish.
When it comes to the specialty pies, sandwiches, and menu items—which get randomly announced on their Instagram like a surprise album release—expect things like lasagna sandwiches wrapped in a seeded kaiser roll, salads, and birria pizza. They rotate often, so similar to characters in Black Mirror, there’s no point in getting attached since you’ll never see them again.
Pizza Jawn also happens to work as a great low-stress dinner option after a Happy Hour at Manayunk Brewing Company or any other bar nearby. But regardless of the occasion, you’ll get to try the latest and greatest pizzeria in a town that’s full of excellent options.
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Cheesy Garlic Bread
Made in the same pan as the Detroit-style pizza, these doughy sticks get buried under mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and garlic sauce. Served with their excellent tomato sauce, you may spend more time being dazzled by the stretching strands of melted cheese before remembering to take your first bite.
The first time we had a slice of this Neapolitan/New York-style hybrid pizza, it was overflowing with thick vodka sauce and creamy piles of ricotta. It was so good that we ate it straight out of the pizza box, burned our mouths, and made a complete mess (and didn’t regret anything). So of course, this is a topping choice that we recommend. You can always rely on the crust to be airy, full of circular puffs, and have an audible crunch to each bite.
Our favorite style of pie. This chewy pizza’s edges and bottom are sprinkled with a handful of sesame, making each bite toasty and nutty. It doesn’t have as much depth as the Detroit pie, so you should probably only add a maximum of four or five toppings before it starts to get weighed down.
Detroit Style Pizza
If you want a pizza that’s thick enough to load up on toppings without the cheese, pepperoni, or peppers gliding off the crust, this is the one. Everything tossed on top of this pizza gets caramelized including its cheesy edges.