photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: KERRY MCINTYRE
Have you ever liked something so much that it’s hard to explain exactly why you feel so passionately about it? Maybe it’s a hair salon you’ve been going to for years, your favorite book, or a Tweet that you favorited back in 2010. Whatever it is, you want to immerse yourself in it as much as possible.
That’s how we feel about Pizzeria Beddia, the reincarnation of a small, counter-only pizza shop in Fishtown. At the old spot, you’d have to wait up to six hours just to get a plain pie to eat on a stoop somewhere. But this new version is practically the opposite—with a u-shaped bar and dining room, a well-curated natural wine list, and a kitchen that can spin out hundreds of pizzas every hour. Those are just the tangibles, though. What we really love about this place is the way it makes us feel—and while that’s hard to explain, we’re going to try.
“Where am I?” is something you’ll ask yourself every single time you step through the front door at Pizzeria Beddia. Because the first thing you feel when you walk into Beddia is that you’re far from home. It looks like no other restaurant in Philadelphia. The space has high ceilings with light-wood planks, but is otherwise mostly white, with only a large, smiling cloud lamp hanging over the bar to greet you. And everyone here looks like they just finished being extras on an independent film, or came from a Julien Baker concert up the street.
Before you even think about eating, your first move should be to run through the wine list. There’s a great selection of bottles, as well as a few options on draft at all times—which also makes this pizza place one of the best natural wine bars in the city. And there aren’t too many of those (yet, at least), so order a glass or five while you’re here.
There’s probably a part of you that wonders if this pizza is worth the two-month wait for a reservation, or two hours if you walk in. And, sure, maybe it won’t live up to the Mount Everest of pedestals you put it on. But it’s f*cking delicious pizza, so who cares, really? The first time you ever take a bite of the plain cheese pie, no toppings—your immediate reaction is one of nostalgia. There’s something about it that tastes like a memory. For one person it’s the boardwalk pizza from their favorite place down the Shore, for someone else, it’s a better version of the stuff from Chuck E. Cheese. The thin, crispy crust is strong enough that your pizza can hold all the little pools of grease safely in place until they make it into your mouth. There’s nothing about this pie that’s revolutionary, but eating it makes you feel like every perfect slice shop from your past has come back to throw you a surprise party.
You’ll want to dedicate a majority of your stomach’s real estate to the pies, but there are some other items on the menu that are worth getting for the table. Our favorites are a caesar salad topped with hot, roasted vegetables, judion beans soaked in lemon and olive oil, and squares of thick, spongey tomato pie covered in sweet tomato sauce and dripping with olive oil. But the main thing you’ll want to save room for is the soft serve. Both flavors, espresso and sweet cream, are excellent—with or without the amaro topping. If you happen to be in the neighborhood and don’t want to wait two hours for a table, the ice cream is the only thing you can order from the restaurant to go. Even if everything else disappeared, the single hostess stand handing out two flavors of soft serve would be the best ice cream shop in Fishtown.
“Is it weird if I come back tomorrow?” is the last thing you’ll think as you’re walking out the front door. Maybe next time you’ll sit outside. Or maybe you’ll end up at one of the big, spacious booths in the back room. Or maybe you’ll just grab a seat at the bar and try to make friends with some of the people who actually look good wearing wide-brimmed hats. Either way, you’ll be back. Because it’s really not just pizza—it’s an experience that you’ll want to repeat over and over again.
This salad is less of a salad and more of a pile of roasted vegetables with caesar dressing. But nobody looks forward to a salad for the lettuce anyway.
No, tomato pie isn’t just a regular pizza without cheese, and this one shows what’s so great about Philly’s tomato-pie obsession. It comes in thick and doughy squares, with a spread of sweet, chunky tomato sauce on top. And the entire thing is drizzled in olive oil, which makes it shine like a brand new car in the sun. But it’s way better than a new car, because it doesn’t smell like a factory in China, and also because you can eat it.
The plain cheese pizza is our go-to here. It’s perfect in its simplicity, topped with mozzarella and Royer Mountain cheese, and it tastes like every happy memory you have of eating pizza as a child.
If you like spicy, get this. But just know that when they say it’s spicy, they mean it. You’re going to need a full pitcher of water to cool your mouth down after a slice.
Every night, there’s a different special pizza that they’re serving. If they happen to be serving one with cherry sauce on it, get it. It sounds weird, but it’s surprisingly savory, a bit tangy, and completely delicious.
It comes in espresso and sweet cream, you can get it topped with amaro or not, but whatever you do, save room. Even if they didn’t serve pizza, we’d come here for the soft serve. And when we aren’t in the mood for pizza (which is rarely), we still would stop by and order a cup to go from the hostesses.