March 19th, 2016 and April 8th, 2017
Aside from Margot’s, Pizzeria Beddia is probably the most difficult pizza to get. This is because the pizzeria is open only from Wednesday to Saturday, from 5:30-close, and Joe Beddia only makes 40 pies per night. But we should start off by saying that this pizza is entirely worth any wait. There is a reason that we rank it at #2 (after Pepe’s of course, and only narrowly before Di Fara). It is also cash only.
The first time we went to Beddia, we went on a cold March Saturday. We had heard that there would be a line, and the website said that people start lining up before 4 pm. So, we decided to get there a little after 3 pm. We weren’t going to take any chances of missing getting a pizza.
We were obviously the first ones in line, but only for about half an hour, when the next couple joined us, and the line just kept growing until the doors opened just before 5:30. We had to take a couple of warm up/bathroom breaks to the closest McDonalds.
Here we are, first ones in line (and not dressed appropriately for the cold):
We were really glad that we got there when we did, though. The restaurant itself is tiny. There is only one gas oven in the back, and they make one pizza at a time. You don’t have many options – you can only get whole pies, and the main pie is tomato sauce, mozz, old gold aged cheese, and olive oil, and costs $21. You can get toppings for $3-5 dollars extra, but we just went with the straight plain pie. They also have a seasonal rotating pie, one Arrabbiata pie, and one tomato pie, but we’d recommend just going for the classic here, at least to start.
You walk in, order your pie, and then they tell you when to come back and pick it up. You can order a max of two pies, and they pop one out every 15 minutes or so. Since we were first in line, we only had to wait about 15 minutes until the pizza came right out of the oven to our table. As we were eating it, though, we’d hear people placing orders that would be coming out of the oven around 9:30 pm and later. Lucky for those people, there are plenty of good bars and beer gardens around Fishtown that they could visit while they wait for their pizza to be ready. They keep a running tally until they get to 40 pies, and then you are out of luck.
We went back to Beddia for the second time this past Saturday. It was a bit warmer out than the last time we went, so the wait was much more enjoyable. We were first in line again, since we got there around 3:15pm. We also brought our friend Phil this time, so we felt justified ordering two pies. The line was even longer this time, and we felt so bad for the people who were next in line when they ran out of the 40 pies to order.
But OK, about the pizza. There is a reason that people line up for these pies, and as we told everyone in line who hadn’t been to Beddia before, it is absolutely worth the wait. The crust is thin but has a great char on it (I mean, look at those bubbles!). The sauce is perfectly seasoned and there is just enough of it on the pie. The cheese really steals the show, though. It must be that Old Gold aged cheese that adds the perfect complement to the mozzarella.
Pizzeria Beddia only opened in 2013, but Bon Appétit magazine has already called it the “Best Pizza in America”. We maybe wouldn’t go that far, but it easily places in our top 3.
Philly Mag recently scared everyone with a headline that said that the pizzeria is closing next year, when the 5 year lease is up. It doesn’t sound certain, and we hope it doesn’t happen!
We already have another date to head to Beddia this summer, and I think we’ll give one of the other pies a try. Let us know if you want to join us waiting in line 2 hours early!
115 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125