In Pittsburgh, some things are simply understood.
We love our city, root for the Steelers, and speak a language all our own. We’re hardworking. And friendly too. Unless you’re on the wrong side of the Pittsburgh pizza debate. Because around here, picking your favorite pie is serious business and your slice of choice speaks volumes.
Aiello’s and Mineo’s are as opposed as Gryffindors and Slytherins. These houses simply don’t mix. Things are further complicated by the number of people who will go to bat for Beto’s, fight for Fiori’s, or swear by Spak. Every fanbase wants their favorite slice to take the House Cup. And there can only be one winner.
To which we’d reply, says who? Listen, we respect your loyalty and all, but why choose one pizza place when you can have them all? That sounds like a much better idea if you ask us. So you’d better make room for these 15 PGH pizza places that will change your life.
It’s cash only at this Murray Avenue mainstay. So you could call it old school. If you did, you’d be right. Giuseppe Aiello built this place with hard work and elbow grease (and the secret recipe from Mineo’s!?). So who wins in the battle of these neighborhood pizza shops? Squirrel Hill, of course.
But first, there was Mineo’s. They beat Aiello’s to the pizza punch when Old Man Mineo set up shop on Murray Avenue in 1958. The phones haven’t stopped ringing since then. Pittsburghers have been clamoring for the spicy sauce, chewy crust, and copious amounts of cheese.
Slice on Broadway
At Slice, one thing is abundantly clear. These guys LOVE pizza. As proof, we submit exhibit A. the Ginormous 16 cut pie. And exhibit B. the 20 specialty pies on the menu, including the Slaughterhouse Five (think Meat Lovers but with real meat). Two locations – Beechview and Carnegie – make getting to Slice easier than ever before.
Brookline’s best pizza shop also happens to be among the top shops in the Burgh. Watch your tossed-by-hand dough become a thin crust pie, oozing with cheese, that’s so good you could eat it plain. But that shouldn’t stop you from heaping on high-quality toppings.
Love it or hate it, the by-the-slice squares, served with cold toppings have made this pizza joint on Banksville road a Pittsburgh favorite. After cooking the dough and sauce, the toppings, including the cheese, are just piled on top. Odd, we know. Just don’t knock it, until you try it.
Few things are better than a piping hot pizza paired with a smooth glass of wine. Gelato happens to be one of those things. And Mercurio’s combines all three under one roof. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by these wood-fired pies, made with a sweet and chewy crust.
From the slices to the space, and even their efforts to be sustainable, Dinette is a modern take on a classic meal. A thin-crusted pie is lightly sauced before being adorned with various accoutrements ranging from simple (pepperoni) to more complex options (roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and leeks) and ingredients from their rooftop garden.
Make your way to Market Square for one of the most magnificent Margherita pizzas to ever grace your palate. They spare no expense, importing authentic ingredients from Italy. Before firing that bad boy at a 1,000 degrees and topping it with mozzarella and fresh basil.
Pick up your favorite bottle of wine before heading to this spot on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. The entire menu is on point, but be sure to sample the wood-fired pizza. Fresh ingredients and creative combinations make these pies a must.
Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room
Add another wood-fired pie to your Pittsburgh pizza bucket list. While you could probably eat an entire pizza yourself, the right way to order Proper involves multiple pies shared amongst friends. That way you can try the Black and Gold, the Forest, and the Soppressata. Bonus points for an epic draft list.
Do up a DIY pie at this spot in Penn Avenue in the Strip. It’s by-the-slice here. And those slices of hefty. All the better to support any and all toppings with. Considering the fact that there’s more than a dozen to choose from, you’ll certainly have your work cut out for you.
The Church Brew Works
Oh, man. We can hear the yinzers now. Hey, this isn’t a pizza joint. No kidding, buddy. Well then, the only possible explanation for including this place would be if the did something crazy, like put pierogies on a pizza. Exactly! A mashed potato “sauce” and cheddar cheese combine to create a Polish pizza pie, unlike all the rest.
Spak Brothers Pizza & More
As funky and eclectic as the section of Penn they call home, Spak is a crowd pleaser. From the coin-operated pinball machines that you can play while waiting for your big-enough-to-fold pieces of pie this place is serving up something everyone will love. They’re even vegan-friendly, from the pies to the seitan “wings” and a “steak” hoagie.
Pasquarelli’s Pizza House
Although this place is a little out of the way, it’s definitely worth the trip to McKee’s Rocks. Afterall, it’s home to the birthplace of stuffed crust pizza. Except it’s not filled with cheese. Instead, you’ll find sauce that’s been applied before the edges are rolled to create a little pocket of goodness.
Bread and Salt
This Bloomfield bakery can make bread disappear. Seriously, the loaves fly off the shelves so fast it will make you wonder if they were actually there in the first place. The same can be said of the pizza. So arrive early for your shot at a rectangular slice of pizza that is sized to your likely. You point and coach the server as the hack off your share of the pie before paying by the pound.