Pizza, a simple yet delicious food consisting of oven-baked, flat dough topped with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and various other toppings, is a subject of national obsession. Pizza from the Latin verb "pinsere" meaning "to press" is Greek in origin. The resourceful ancient Greeks covered their bread in oils, herbs and cheese. Modern pizza originated in Naples when Italians added tomato to their pies. Philadelphian Italians have continued to the tradition of mind blowing delicious pizza pies right here in the city of brotherly love. Whether your looking for a two dollar slice at 3am or want to ball out on pizza at a posh eatery, Philadelphia has so many options. Here is your official guide to Philadelphia pizza pies. Buon appetito!
Lorenzo's : This no-seating available pizzeria at 3rd and South is open all night. Known for it's brisk service, sweet sauce and huge slices, Lorenzo's pizza is dough bomb that is the perfect prescription for late night post bar that will stave off your hangover.
305 South Street, (215) 627-4110
Rustica : Rustica is Northern Liberties answer to Lorenzo's, albeit with arguable better pizza. Though not 24 hours, the pizzeria is located on the nightlife main drag of 2nd St. and is open till 1am. Rustica was voted best "non-gourmet" pizza in 2012, and has of plethora of gourmetesque toppings to choose from.
903 North 2nd Street, (215) 627-1393.
Further West on South Street, away from all the hub bub is Little Italy Pizza, an unassuming pizza joint that get's it right where so many others fail. Unlike the sugar sweet sauce of Lorenzos, Little Italy's sauce is bright, bold and tangy.
901 South Street (215) 922-1440
Stogie Joes: In the midst of East Passyunk Avenue, a.k.a. Hipsterville, USA, lies Stogie Joes. An authentic Italian restaurant with sincere servers that call you hun. The sauce is spread on top of the cheese. This simple reversal adds amazing texture and taste to the pizza.
1801 East Passyunk Avenue, (215) 463-3030
Tacconelli's : This BYOB Port Richmond hole in the wall is famous for great pizza across the city. The fact that you have to reserve your supple plot of dough only adds to the mystique, the dough is made fresh daily. The pizza is straight forward Napoléon style with a thin, crispy crunch, bold savory sauce and basic toppings. The crust is so thin that you can eat a lot of pizza so don't skimp on the dough reservations.
2604 East Somerset, (215) 425-4983
Dock Street Brewery : This West Philly Brewery specializes in house brewed beer, but the open kitchen with it's brick ovens pops out perfect pizza. Built into an old firehouse, the fiery oven produce thin crust pizza with top notch toppings, like fig jam, gorgonzola, and apples.
701 South 50th Street, (215) 726-2337
Mama Palma's : Mama Palmas has been serving great dine in pizza for almost two decades. It introduced gourmet pizza baked in oak-fired brick ovens to the Philadelphia pizza scene. With far out toppings like Peking duck, lump crab and clams, it is still the barbeque chicken with cilantro that haunts my dreams.
2229 Spruce St. (215) 735-7357
Osteria : Osteria was one of the first fancy restaurants to shine the spotlight on gourmet pizza. Who better to do it the Chef Mark Vetri? The owner and chef of his namesake restaurant, Vetri, which fetches around $250 per head. Osteria also started the trend of upscale eaties on North Broad Street, which had pretty much nothing going for it at the time. Philly mag calls The Parma at Osteria, with it's paper thin cut procuitto, peppery arugula and thin blistered crust, "quite simply the best pizza in Philadelphia" and far be it for me to disagree.
Barbuzzo : OK, remember what I just said about Osteria's the pizza pie? I have to disagree. Burbuzzo's pizza is better. The crust is impossibly thin and crispy yet somehow doughy and chewy. I have no idea how this hybrid of perfection is created, nor do I give a damn. Also the atmosphere is better in this cozy nook of a restaurant. Barbuzzo offer's a $4 upgrade of procuitto on any slice of pizza. And when you add procuitto to a an egg and black truffle pizza your mouth pretty much thinks it's died and gone to heaven.
110 South 13th Street, (215) 564-9300
Pizzeria Stella : You didn't think you could make it through this list without a Stephen Starr mention did you? How silly! The red and white tiled oven takes center stage at this upscale pizzeria. There's something for everyone here from the simple classic margerita pizza to the deliciously stinky truffle and egg tartufo.
420 South 2nd Street, (215) 320-8000
JG Domestic : Of of course this list wouldn't be complete without an entry from Philly's own Iron Chef, Jose Garces. Though not really pizza perse, it's more of a flat bread and he only offers one special kind at a time, usually during lunch, it's just that good that it really leaves an impressio.
2929 Arch Street, (215) 222-2363