#8 Buddy’s Pizza

May 28th, 2016

Detroit, MI

After eating all of the pizzas that Chicago had to offer, we were ready to try another style. Luckily, our final road trip stop was in Detroit, at Buddy’s Pizza. We had heard that Detroit-style pizza could be pretty heavy, so we planned ahead and only ordered a small deep dish at Lou Malnati’s for lunch.

Buddy’s Pizza is the most famous pizzeria in the area because it was the first to make Detroit’s signature style pizza. It opened in 1946, right on the corner of Six Mile Road and Conant Street. It now has 12 locations around Detroit, but of course we wanted to go to the original one. When we pulled into the parking lot, we weren’t sure if we had the right place. There wasn’t much around the pizzeria in terms of other shops or homes, and the restaurant itself looked almost like it was closed because there weren’t any windows and the door was sort of tucked away. If it wasn’t for the decent number of cars parked in the lot and the large signs reading “Voted #1 best pizza” painted on the outside of the brick exterior, we probably would have driven away.

We ended up ordering one of the traditional square pizzas. We went with the 8-slice version (they also sell a 4-slice version), which is topped with a Motor City cheese blend, which is a mix of fontinella, asiago and brick cheeses, and a tomato basil sauce. They had a good selection of specialty pizzas as well, but for our first Detroit-style experience, we wanted to go with the classic.

If you’ve never tried Detroit-style pizza, it is similar to a Sicilian pizza. They are both square, with a thicker crust, and heavy on the cheese. The difference is mainly that Detroit-style has a nice crispy cheese around the outside of the crust. The sauce is also put on top of the cheese here, and in globs. The sauce was so good, we wished there had been more of it.

You may have noticed Detroit-style pizza popping up in other locations around the US – specifically in NYC. We’ll chat next week about our experience with these other Detroit-style pies, but we’ve found that the best is still the original, and Buddy’s deserves it’s solid ranking near the top of the list.

To visit:

Buddy’s Pizza
17125 Conant Street,
Detroit, MI 48212

101 Best Pizza Places list 2017

We’ve been waiting for the new Daily Meal 2017 list to come out so that we could add some new pizza places to our list. In case you missed it, the list came out last week! We were even more excited to see the results this time because we had the opportunity to vote on the winners (which was SO COOL) along with 55 other people. You can even see us mentioned in the article.

So, now to the results. Overall, we were pretty happy with the results this year.

101 Best Pizza Places (2017) : places in bold are new to the list in 2017!

#101 Inferno, Darnestown, MD
#100 Il Forno, San Antonio, TX
#99 Crust, Cleveland, OH
#98 Proof, Miami, FL
#97 O4W Pizza, Duluth, GA
#96 Metro Pizza, Las Vegas,
#95 The Cheeseboard, Berkeley, CA
#94 Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, Anchorage, AL
#93 Burt’s Place, Chicago
#92 Reservoir Tavern, Boonton, NJ
#91 Micucci Grocery, Portland, ME
#90 La Nova, Buffalo, NY
#89 Deniro’s, Depew, NY
#88 Sofia Pizza Shoppe, NYC
#87 Pizza Gruppo, NYC
#86 Papa’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville, NJ
#85 Colony Grill, Stamford
#84 Pizzeria Beddia, Philadelphia, PA
#83 Pizzeria Locale, Boulder, CO
#82 Serious Pie, Seattle, WA
#81 Del Popolo, San Francisco
#80 Sotto, Los Angeles
#79 Gjelina, Los Angeles
#78 800 Degrees, Los Angeles
#77 Pizzeria Lola, Minneapolis, MN
#76 Vito & Nicks, Chicago
#75 Nellcote, Chicago
#74 Bocce Club Pizza, Buffalo, NY
#73 Providence Coal Fired Pizza, Providence, RI
#72 Pizza Brain, Philadelphia, PA
#71 Lorenzo and Sons, Philadelphia, PA
#70 Amore Pizza, Queens, NY
#69 Little Vincent’s, Huntington, NY
#68 King Umberto’s, Elmont, NY
#67 Williamsburg Pizza, NYC
#66 L&B Spumoni Gardens, NYC
#65 Emily, NYC
#64 Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza, Elizabeth, NJ
#63 Mike’s Apizza & Restaurant, West Haven, CT
#62 Galleria Umberto, Boston, MA
#61 Area Four, Cambridge, MA
#60 Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco
#59 Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
#58 Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Portland, OR
#57 The Backspace, Austin, TX
#56 Pizzeria Uno, Chicago
#55 Pizano’s Chicago
#54 Giordano’s Pizza, Chicago
#53 Pizzeria Vetri, Philadelphia, PA
#52 Lee’s Tavern, Staten Island
#51 Louie and Ernie’s, NYC
#50 Paulie Gee’s, NYC
#49 J&V Pizzeria, NYC
#48 Juliana’s Pizza, NYC
#47 Emmy Squared, NYC
#46 Razza, Jersey City, NJ
#45 Delorenzo Tomato Pies, Robbinsville, NJ
#44 Bru Room at BAR, New Haven, CT
#43 Una Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
#42 Pizza Rock, Las Vegas
#41 Cane Rosso, Dallas, TX
#40 Home Slice Pizza, Austin, TX
#39 Pizza Domenica, New Orleans, LA
#38 Denino’s, Staten Island
#37 Al Forno, Providence, RI
#36 New Park Pizza, Queens, NY
#35 Co., NYC
#34 Star Tavern Pizza, West Orange, NJ
#33 Zuppardi, West Haven, CT
#32 Ernie’s Pizza, New Haven, CT
#31 Santarpio, Boston, MA
#30 Flour + Water, San Fransisco
#29 Varasano’s, Atlanta, GA
#28 Umberto’s Pizzeria, New Hyde Park, NY
#27 Coalfire Pizza, Chicago
#26 Spacca Napoli, Chicago
#25 Grimaldi’s, NYC
#24 Piece, Chicago
#23 Lombardi’s NYC
#22 Rubirosa, NYC
#21 Buddy’s Pizza, Detroit, MI
#20 Prince Street Pizza, NYC
#19 Joe’s, NYC
#18 Apizza Scholl’s, Portland, OR
#17 Roberta’s NYC
#16 Pequod’s, Chicago
#15 Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
#14 Gino’s East, Chicago
#13 Totonno’s NYC
#12 Patsy’s, NYC
#11 Motorino, NYC
#10 Lucali, NYC
#9 Joe & Pat’s, Staten Island
#8 Sally’s Apizza, New Haven, CT
#7 Lou Malnati’s, Chicago
#6 Di Fara, NYC
#5 Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix, AZ
#4 Keste, NYC
#3 Modern Apizza, New Haven, CT
#2 John’s of Bleecker, NYC
#1 Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, CT

Like last year’s list, the majority of the places that made the list are the same as the previous year. There are a few newcomers to this year’s list – 19 to be exact. It looks like we’ll have some fun travel ahead of us, although I’m not sure we will make it out to Alaska. A Chicago trip definitely needs to happen because we still have a handful (Pizano’s, Giordano’s, Vito & Nicks) that are repeats from last year’s list that we haven’t yet made it to, and 2017 just added three more Chicago pizzerias! We also never would have thought that Buffalo was such a good pizza city, but two pizzerias from Buffalo have made it on to the list this year.

It is nice to have a new pizzeria from NJ make the list, but we were a bit disappointed when we went to Razza and actually didn’t vote for it. That post will go up later this week. We assumed that it would make the list, though, after hearing all the hype about it. Also glad to see Juliana’s and Sofia Pizza Shoppe make it on to this list – both of those spots are well deserved.

So how are we feeling about the rest of the list? Well, first of all, we are thrilled to see Frank Pepe’s back in the #1 seat. We also are happy with John’s of Bleecker at #2, but we miss Di Fara in the top 5.  Overall, we’re happy with the top 10, and Eric is thrilled to see Kesté at #4. We still personally prefer Sally’s over Modern, but that’s really just being picky. Lou Malnati’s and Gino’s East beating out Pequod’s…we aren’t sure how we feel about that. Also, Joe & Pat’s is a newbie to the list and came in at #9. We’ve been there and it was decent, but maybe not quite top 10 material (and not better than Totonno’s!).

Marg (my sister) will be glad to see Umberto’s still doing strong, and we’re happy to see our local spot Star Tavern also hanging in there. The biggest drops this year were Louie & Ernie’s up in the Bronx, which went from #11 last year to #51, and Pizzeria Beddia, which dropped from #12 back down to #84. We still think Beddia deserves top 10, but I think that the fact that it is so difficult to get to eat has really hurt it. We’re also happy to see Co. back on the list!

What did you guys think of this year’s list? Any places that you’d like to see on it? We’re still rooting for Da Legna in New Haven to break on to the list, and also we’d like to see Pizza Moto in Brooklyn come back.

And let us know if you want to take a trip up to Buffalo or out to Alaska?? We’ve got 14 new places to visit this year, and still have 9 from last year’s list!

#68 Pizzeria Uno

May 27th, 2016

Chicago, IL

If you are from the East Coast and have tried Deep Dish pizza, you probably tried it at Uno’s Pizzeria and Grill. We’ve all seen and eaten at the chain restaurant, I’m sure. I don’t think that I ever tried the Deep Dish there, but I’ve certainly tried their thin crust pizza and also that cookie deep dish dessert.

 You probably also know that the original Uno’s was started in Chicago, in 1943. It claims to have originated the “Deep Dish” pizza, and it also claims to have kept the same recipe for the last 75 years. The founders, once realizing the success of Pizzeria Uno, opened a second pizzeria right on the opposite street corner, Pizzeria Due. Today, they are the only two restaurants in the Uno’s Pizzeria chain that don’t have to adhere to the chain restaurant menu.

That means that you won’t find chicken entrées or burgers at the original Uno’s. You’ll only find pizza, and a small selection of pasta and salads (but really, who would come here for the salad?).

Additionally, while the chain may have options of thin crust pizza or “flatbreads”, at the original Uno’s you can only get deep dish. Most people will go for the “Numero Uno”, the most popular pizza, which has sausage and pepperoni, as well as mushrooms and peppers, but we were feeling like we should go a little bit lighter and just went with some veggie toppings. To be honest, though, I’m not sure that it is really possible to go “light” with a deep dish pizza. (And yes, I went on a 10 mile run the morning before I ate this.)

The crust on this was also very different from the crusts at Pequod’s and Gino’s East. It doesn’t have the crusted cheese on the outside, or the cornmeal taste. Instead, it is like a buttery, thick, piece of toast. It was actually a bit on the bland side, but you don’t notice anything missing when the pizza itself is laden with cheese and tomato sauce. This was probably our second favorite deep dish of the trip, but we can see why the locals avoid coming here. The place is PACKED with tourists.

Also, just for your information, they do serve the deep dish cookie at the original locations. If your stomach can handle it.

And to think – the original founders of Pizzeria Uno wanted to start up a Mexican restaurant instead…

 

To visit:

Pizzeria Uno
29 East Ohio
Chicago IL 60611

#17 Gino’s East

May 26th, 2016

Chicago, IL

After a morning run to burn off some of that pizza from Pequod’s, we made our way downtown for our second pizza stop in Chicago, at Gino’s East. We were excited to try our second deep dish! We’d heard that the lines can get quite long here too, because it is one of the more tourist-y deep dish pizzerias, so we made sure to show up right before the doors opened. The restaurant itself is really unique because the bars, seats, and walls are all covered in graffiti from customers. It was really cool to look at, especially during the long wait for the pizza to come out (which took about an hour). We are really not used to having to wait so long for our pizza. We can see why so many people took to drawing on the walls.

Gino’s East was opened back in 1966, and they have been serving their signature deep dish pizzas the same way ever since.  The secret crust recipe is topped with mozzarella, toppings (we went with spinach and tomato), and then a tangy sauce, and is slowly baked in cast-iron pans. The sauce goes on top so that the cheese doesn’t burn! We didn’t think that the sauce OR the crust was as good as Pequod’s, but I’m sure you’ll find plenty of people in Chicago that disagree with us.

I mentioned the crust at Pequods in my last post, and I’m going to mention the crust of the deep dish here as well because I think that it is interesting to compare all of the different styles. This crust recipe was developed by the same woman who developed the crust at the original Pizzeria Uno (post to come!). The crust at Gino’s East is thick, and yellow-colored (probably food coloring…). Some people speculate that it is made of cornmeal, but that wouldn’t really make a crust that holds up to so many toppings.  More likely, it is a combination of cornmeal and corn oil. It actually tastes kind of like a thick biscuit instead of a dough.

If you want to know anything else about the recipe for the crust or the sauce, you are out of luck.The restaurant owners are notoriously secretive about what ingredients are used.

 

Instead, you’ll have to check out one of their locations around the US (in Texas, Arizona, and Wisconsin, as well as several locations around Chicago). OR you could get their pizza delivered to you! And while you are ordering yourself one, please send us one too.

 

To visit:
Gino’s East
162 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611

#91 Zaffiro’s

May 25th, 2016

Milwaukee, WI

Our last pizza stop in Milwaukee was one of the classics – Zaffiro’s. Zaffiro’s has been making pizza since the 1950’s, and it has a solid following in the city. It was predominately a bar when it opened, but it was able to expand into the shop next door in the 70’s and it has stayed in the same location ever since, with the same family as owners.

Again, this is Milwaukee-style pizza, and had a super thin cracker crust. The crust holds up to the cheese and toppings here, and there was plenty of both. There was more cheese on this pizza than there had been at Pizza Man, and the cheese layer was definitely thicker than the crust itself.

We ended up choosing to order the “EBF” or “Everything but Fish” pizza. It came with both pepperoni and sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. Also, black olives, which we picked off. I guess we could have ordered it without olives, but we really don’t like to be difficult, and we already had requested that the meat stay on one side of the pizza.

So, the big question is obviously: which pizza did we like better? We both gave the slight edge to Pizza Man. Mainly because it felt fresher and had more unique topping combinations. If you are looking for the traditional pizza (with the Milwaukee-style crust), then Zaffiro’s is where you should go.

There are now offshoots of Zaffiro’s pizza around Wisconsin and neighboring states. Similar to the abundance of Patsy’s around NYC, these seem to be related somehow to the original and they bake similarly-styled pizzas. However, they also have a different website from the original Zaffiro’s that we went to. We’d be interested to see how the other Zaffiro’s Pizzeria & Bar compares.

If anyone is really up for a challenge, those alternate Zaffiro’s have a good one: the “Big Z” challenge.  (Or at least this was going on last year – they may have discontinued it by now). I think that Eric and I could have finished 4 square feet of pizza, especially with that thin crust. But that would have had to be its own road trip.

Also, according to this article, the average person eats 46 pieces of pizza per year. Um, I think we are wayyy past that….

To visit:

Zaffiro’s
1724 North Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Lately around NYC…

We’re doing something a bit different today and interrupting our stories from our Epic Pizza Roadtrip last year. Although we haven’t been flying around the country for pizza this summer, we’ve been exploring our hometown of NYC, and all of the amazing pizza that it has to offer. So, we thought we’d give you a look in more detail at the pizzas we have been tasting the last couple of months.

June 28th
Farinella Bakery, Manhattan

We decided to check out Farinella Bakery after hearing a recommendation from my cousin, who lives nearby. We went to the location in East Midtown, since we didn’t feel like hiking all the way up the Upper East Side. This was Eric’s first time trying this Roman-style of pizza (I had tried this in Stockholm). The pizzas are called “palams”, and you can order them whole or by the slice. We decided to order a variety of slices. Our favorite was the Caprese and the Felice, which had burrata, arugula, and parmesean. The slices are a bit pricey, but they are delicious.

July 5th
NY Pizza Suprema, Manhattan

Where has this slice joint been hiding all of our lives and why isn’t it on the Daily Meal list? Please, can someone answer that question? I walked by this place every week on my walk from PennStation and never noticed it (which may be because I walked by at 6 am, when there was no line out the door). Anyway, we finally made it. We tried the Margherita, an upside down, and a marinara slice. We say it is worth fighting the Penn Station crowds at the end of the day to get some slices here. There will be a line, but it moves fast!

 

July 26th
Tappo, Manhattan

We wanted to switch it up one day and headed up to Tappo. This place was PACKED for lunch. These pizzas have seriously thin crusts, almost like a cracker. It was a nice, light lunch, but the personal sized pizzas wouldn’t have been enough for us for dinner. We also had an order of the bruschetta. We tried the ‘shroomtown pizza and also a Formaggio Blanco with arugula. You really should make sure you like mushrooms before you get the ‘shroomtown.

It’s located in prime location for a business lunch rush, and they have great lunch specials, but if thin crust is your thing, this place should be on your list.

 

July 29th
Pizza Barn, Yonkers

One Saturday, we were going to head to Philly but our plans changed last minute. We decided to drive up into Yonkers to Pizza Barn, home of the “super slice”, which is just over 2 feet long. One “super slice” costs $12, and it was PLENTY to feed both of us.  They actually cut the slice into smaller “slices” for you.

We kind of wished that they hadn’t cut it at all because it would have been fun to eat uncut. In full disclosure: this isn’t a real “slice” of pizza. They make it on a baking sheet, one “slice” at a time. It has a full crust around it when they bake it, but then they cut the side crusts off to shape it into a “slice”. But don’t worry – we asked, and they use the discarded crust for breadcrumbs.

August 2nd, 2017
Don Antonio, Manhattan

Don Antonio is operated by the same chef and owner of Kesté, and we could see the similarities between the two Neapolitan pizzas. Don Antonio is located up in Midtown, and we were worried about the crowds when we went in for dinner one night after work, especially since the restaurant is tiny. We luckily grabbed seats at the bar. We tried the Margherita here, and one of the Rachetta, which is part pizza-part calzone, but we didn’t get to try the fried pizza. We liked the hint of salt on the crust. Don’t try to go here with a crowd, it is very tight inside.

Let us know if we haven’t made it to your favorite NYC pizza yet! We’ve got a list going and are always looking for some new options!

#60 Pizzeria Lola

May 24th, 2016

Minneapolis, MN

Next on our very detailed Epic Pizza Road Trip itinerary was Pizzeria Lola, in Minneapolis. We stopped here for lunch on our way out of town, after a nice morning of running around the lake and visiting a nearby waterfall. Minnesota is so pretty, and we only got to see one of the 10,000 lakes!

We were expecting Pizzeria Lola to be just another Neapolitan pizzeria, but we were pleasantly surprised by the menu. The pizzeria was started by Ann Kim, who left the west coast and a former career as an actress to become a pizzaiola (making her one of the only females that we’ve come across to do this!) She also merges her Korean heritage and food culture into the pizzas that she creates. The menu is one of the most creative that we’ve come across, probably only bested by some of the newer Neapolitan restaurants in LA and NYC.

We tried the Korean BBQ pizza, which had beef short ribs and arugula and was covered in a soy chili dressing. The arugula was dressed so perfectly and the dressing provided just enough sweetness that this really worked on the pizza. This is probably still one of our favorite and one of the most interestingly-topped pizzas that we’ve tried. We also tried one of the “Old Reliable” pizzas, which was essentially just a regular cheese. The wood-fired crust on these was almost Neapolitan, but it wasn’t quite as fluffy, and it was more like a NY-style crust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Um, also, they have homemade soft serve.  I’m not sure it can get any better.

Next time we find ourselves in Minneapolis (not exactly sure when that will be) we want to check out Ann Kim’s newest restaurant, Young Joni, which just got ranked as one of Eater’s 12 best new restaurants of 2017.

 

To visit:

Pizzeria Lola
5557 Xerxes Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410

#79 Punch Neapolitan Pizza

May 23, 2016

St. Paul, MN

After our second night in St. Louis, and our spur-of-the-moment trip to Memphis, we left bright and early for the drive to St. Paul/Minneapolis. This was one of our longer drives – about 8 hours north. We got in to St. Paul for dinner before checking in to our AirBnB.

Punch Neapolitan Pizza was the first stop on our list. They make true, Neapolitan-style pies that are quickly baked in a 900-degree oven. We went with the “Margherita Extra” pizza. This is a step up from the traditional margherita pizza because it is topped with mozzarella di bufala (fancy words for “buffalo mozzarella”, or mozzarella from an Italian breed of water buffalo). We should have had a taste test to compare with the regular margherita pizza (which I’m assuming was regular cow’s milk mozzarella, although I’m not really sure about this). We really liked the taste of this cheese, but we’d need to compare it side-by-side with regular mozz to tell if it’s worth the extra $5.

To round out our pizza, we also got an arugula salad that was served in a warm pita. We felt like we needed some vegetables to go along with our pizza, and this salad was awesome. We highly recommend trying it.

The pizza itself was good, but it wasn’t our favorite Neapolitan. It wasn’t as good as Hog & Hominy (but, yes, that wasn’t a VERIFIED Neapolitan pizza). On average, we find traditional Neapolitan pizzas too thin and flimsy. They can get a little watery with too many toppings or thin sauce. We definitely appreciated the freshness of the mozzarella and tomato sauce, and we like the taste of a doughy crust, but we also need our crust to have some weight. So, Punch gets points for staying true to its style, but loses some for letting the fancy mozzarella slide off the crust when we picked it up.

Another plus: the location that we went to had a really nice patio outside, which was so enjoyable after sitting in a car for 8 hours.

Fun fact learned while writing this post: Did you know that to make 2.2 pounds of mozzarella cheese, you need 18 pounds of cow’s milk, but only 11 pounds of buffalo milk? If you want to know more about buffalo mozzarella, this article was really fascinating.

To visit:

Punch Neapolitan Pizza
704 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#59 Hog & Hominy

May 22, 2016

Memphis, TN

Picking up the story from my last post, we were staying in St. Louis and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals, who were losing, on the first weekend of our epic pizza road trip. We were getting a little bored of the game and Eric had an amazing idea: we should drive down to Memphis!

Memphis has one pizza place on the 101 list, Hog & Hominy, and we weren’t planning on hitting it during this road trip. However, Eric pointed out that it was only a 4 hour drive from St. Louis, and it would save us a weekend of flying. If we left right then (it was around 3 pm), we’d be down there just in time for dinner. That sounded like a lot of driving to me, but Eric volunteered to do all of the driving so I couldn’t say no.

   

Of course, on our way into Memphis we had to stop at Graceland. We couldn’t really be tourists because Graceland had already closed for the day, but we got to stand outside and peer over the stone wall. We took a couple of pictures and then drove down to the restaurant.

Hog & Hominy is known for their wood-fired pizzas, but their other Southern-inspired vegetable and pork-based menu items also get rave reviews. We started out with the poutine (we were hungry!) and then moved on to two pizzas – the Prewitt, with fontina, mozzarella, sausage, and scrambled egg, and a Margherita. We really loved both of these. The “Prewitt” was the most interesting combination on a pizza that we’d had so far, and we do love egg on a pizza. The crust was also one of the best Neapolitan-style crusts that we’d had, being the perfect amount of fluffy and also having a nice char around the edge. Not too much cheese and not too much sauce to weigh the crust down – just how we like it!

Eric liked these pizzas so much that Hog & Hominy made it into his top 20. I ended up ranking it at a decent #36.

Their other pizzas all have really interesting combinations of toppings, too! If we were ranking some of the most unusual and delicious combinations of toppings on pizza, Hog & Hominy would be pretty high up on both of our lists. For example, the “Red Eye” is topped with pork belly, egg, fontina, celery leaf, and sugo and the “When I was in Tuscany” has tomato sauce, gorgonzola, spicy pork sausage, and fried capers. We could have tried all of them if we weren’t looking forward to 10 more days of eating pizza on this road trip.

Can we also just say how cute this restaurant was? It was very homey and rustic. They also have an outdoor patio and I’ve seen around the internet that they have bocce too, but I can’t personally confirm that because it was after 8 pm by the time we got there and we weren’t going to be playing bocce in the dark!

We were glad to have made it to Memphis for this pizza, although it would have been nice to explore the city a bit more. We drove through downtown on our way out and it was pretty raving and the neon lights were intense. Luckily, it was *only* a short 4 hour drive back to our hotel. 🙂 Maybe we will make it back there in the future.

To visit:

Hog & Hominy
707 W. Brookhaven Circle
Memphis, TN 38117

#84 Roseland Apizza

May 18th, 2016

Derby, CT

Do you remember back in this post when I mentioned that Eric and I tried to hit the top 20 best pizza places in New Haven county a few years ago? And that we made it to 18/20 before we moved out of CT and into NJ? Well, Roseland Apizza was one of the two that we didn’t make it to. Not that we didn’t try. One Saturday we drove all the way out to Derby for lunch, only to realize that we hadn’t checked the opening hours. Of course, it didn’t open until 3 pm.

 We were really excited to see that Roseland made the Daily Meal’s list, because it gave us an excuse to go back there. We had the chance last May, when I was driving back from a work event in Boston. Eric took the train out to Milford, where I picked him up and we made it to Roseland for dinner.

The drive had been long, and we got to Derby on the later side, which was actually good because we only had a short wait for a table. We were amazed that it was so packed, even at 8 pm!

We ordered a regular New Haven-style tomato pie. It is hard to say that any tomato pie is as good as Pepe’s or Sally’s, but this one certainly comes close. The pizzas here are round, not oblong, like those at the two Wooster Street greats. The crust is crispy and holds up to the amazing amount of tomato sauce, and the pizza is sprinkled with the perfect amount of grated cheese. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

What made this pizza stop even more memorable was that this was the first place that we were recognized! Roseland pizza followed our Instagram from the very beginning, and they actually knew who we were when they sat us! They also knew we were from New Haven, and it was great to talk to them about how amazing New Haven pizza is. We were glad to be able to give them a raving review.

(By the way, we still rarely get recognized. You’d really think we’d be famous by now.)

We’d agree that this is the most underrated pizza in New Haven. It definitely ranks in our top 5 in CT, and above some of the “classics”, like Modern. We haven’t tried the clam pie to compare, but that just means we’ll have to go back.

To visit:

Roseland Apizza
350 Hawthorne Ave
Derby, CT 06418