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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The top 30 pizza in Toronto by neighbourhood

pizza in torontoPizza in Toronto is ubiquitous, with pizzerias blanketing every corner of the city. Playing favourites with just one pizza in a given district isn't easy, but if delivery zones don't make the decision for you, then try these standout pies found in 30 Toronto neighbourhoods.

See also: The top 30 burgers in Toronto by neighbourhood


On Bloor, you'll find west coast chain Famoso doing a decent, though unremarkable job. You're better off heading down to Harbord, where Pizza Gigi slings slices until late night or THR & Co. (my pick for tops in the Annex) which improves on the classics with additions like white anchovies or n'duja layered onto a base of sweet tomato sauce and fresh mozza.


Pizza topped with shaved chicken shawarma and zesty garlic sauce: gross or great? Your feelings towards this greasy slice of pie might fluctuate depending on your state of sobriety, but this is exactly what Chito's, a standing room only joint at Bloor and Lansdowne, is known for.


The expansion of Queen Margherita Pizza to Baby Point has been well received, and rightly so. The namesake pie ($14), simply topped with tomato, fior di latte and fresh basil, is excellent; the lineup also includes delicious original creations like the Birdman ($16) with kale, parm, garlic aioli, dried tomato and sunflower seeds.


The plentiful variety of pizzas out of the wood-burning oven at F'Amelia are commendable, but the unique gumbo and Louisiana-style pies at Peter's Cajun Creole Pizza are perhaps the most reputable in this 'hood.


North of Brooklyn is a great addition to this neighbourhood and while the new digs are compact, the menu actually offers more than its Queen West counterpart. Available by the slice or full pies, signature pizzas are loaded with goodies like kale and double smoked bacon, or with garlic ricotta and arugula.


In Corso Italia the top contenders are Pizza e Pazzi or Marcello's, and both are truly worthy but my pick is Frank's Pizza House where crowd pleasing hand crafted pizzas are offered for dine-in, take-away and delivery. Try the Pastore with mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted peppers and Italian sausage.

pizza in TorontoTHE DANFORTH

Danforth Pizza House has been a mainstay on The Danforth for 50 years and despite an abundance of nearby alternatives (Libretto, Il Fornello and Big House Pizza) the old school joint still reigns. Original owner Angelo has passed in recent years, but new management are family friends committed to upholding the original recipes.


Pizza fritta at Mr. Ciao is a novel but delicious way to satisfy cravings for cheese, sauce and crust. Stick to traditional styles like the Margherita ($14) with basil, tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella, or opt for the Peking duck pie ($17) that nods to the neighbourhood with with black bean, char siu sauce, wasabi peas and scallions.


Like it's name suggests La Famiglia is a family-run pizza parlour where the pizzas come generously topped with wacky but wonderful combinations like cordon bleu (chicken, ham, cheese) and lasagna (ground beef and ricotta).

pizza in torontoETOBICOKE

Encompassing such a large area makes Etobicoke home to large swath of worthwhile pizzerias and according to our best of list, it's the premium pies at FBI Pizza that are tops. Bonus they even deliver to the downtown core.


La Bettola di Terroni does brisk business at lunch attracting well heeled Bay Street types with a menu featuring Terroni's top sellers. Try the bufalina ($17) with tomatoes, buffalo milk mozzarella and basil, or get fancy with the C't Mang ("what are you eating?"), a white pizza with gorgonzola, fresh pears, walnuts, speck and honey ($17).


Newcomers like Nodo and Buddha Pie are welcome additions to the neighbourhood, but Vesuvio, the old school pizzeria that has been slinging pies since 1955, earns this honour for its delicious New York style pizzas. The family-run operation was integral in reforming prohibition in The Junction, and even just that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy for them.


Via Mercanti rules when it comes to pizza in The Market. The charming trattoria is a favourite for traditional Naples-style pies where thin crusts are the base for a soupy mess of cheese and sauce in the centre.

pizza in torontoKING EAST & CORKTOWN

Over two dozen top-notch pies at Mangia e Bevi beat out nearby competition from Magic Oven and Pastizza. Standouts on the menu include a potato and pancetta pizze bianche ($15) and the puccini ($15) with eggplant, fresh ricotta and lots of garlic.


Home to Gusto 101, Cibo Wine Bar and Luce makes King West a competitive neighbourhood for pizza. If it wasn't for Buca, then maybe some of these other places would stand a chance. Their rustic stretched pizzas, topped with luxe ingredients like taleggio, white truffles and duck yolk, have become infamous.


Bravo Pizza in Leaside has been a mainstay since 1969, thanks to its eclectic assortment of offerings - which include both thin-crust pies and fine cigars. This place is pretty much a take-home pizza party waiting to happen.

pizza in TorontoLESLIEVILLE

Queen Margherita Pizza proved so popular in this 'hood that it's spurred a city-wide expansion. The pizza parlour is renowned for being loyal to Naples traditions while also spicing up the menu with selections like The Dominator ($19) topped with rapini, smoked mozzarella, fennel sausage and chili oil.


National chains have invaded Little Italy in recent years, but tucked away on Clinton, off the main drag, Bitondo's is the longstanding local favourite. Slices, whole pies and panzos are the specialties and while it's primarily a take-out operation, there are a handful of seats if you want to sink your teeth into a slice ASAP.

pizza in torontoMOUNT PLEASANT

Viva Napoli upholds the strict standards set by the VPN, offering prized Neapolitan pies dressed in vibrant red sauce, pools of fior di latte and ultra fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes and arugula.


In business for over 50 years, Camarra Pizza is an oasis in a sea of big chains that dominate North York's pizza landscape. The family-run pizzeria is home to authentic Italian cuisine, including a dozen signature pies like the Siciliana, a simple combination of tomato sauce, onions and pecorino cheese, with fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Staying true to the authentic Neapolitan style, Libretto on Ossington has been the go-to since the day it opened its doors, and continues to expand with more locations planned to open in the downtown. There's lots to love on the menu, where thin wood fired pies feature toppings like duck confit and bosc pear, or prosciutto with tomato, mozzarella and basil.

pizza in TorontoPARKDALE

Top honours in Parkdale go to ZeZe (although Old Man Pizza & Wings and Amico's get honorable mentions). The newish spot is a charming all day cafe where light, golden crusted pizzas are a standout on an eclectic menu.


Competition is fierce on Queen West where North of Brooklyn and Enzo Pizza Bar sit just doors apart (not to mention Lo Zingaro and Fusaro's). I tend to favour Enzo's in this case - the classic pizzas are solid but it's The Americano (essentially a Big Mac hybrid pizza) that's incredibly addictive.


Pizza Defina on Roncy isn't your typical pizzeria. Embracing both Roman and Neapolitan styled doughs (the choice is yours), this inviting neighbourhood joint offers creative toppings like boar meatballs and caramelized shallots, or hen of the woods mushrooms and n'duja sausage.


Pizza e Pazzi is so popular it has spawned two locations on St. Clair just to keep up with demand. The VPN-certified pizzeria strictly adheres to tradition hand-tossing its dough and topping it off with San Marzano sauce and DOP ingredients.


The original Terroni on West Queen West is still a neighbourhood favourite and while the 'no substitutions policy' is strictly enforced, you'll find the ample selection of thoughtfully topped pizzas will impress.


Amato's on Yonge is an excellent source for a varied array of ready-made slices. The sheer selection available for walk-up ordering is impressive and includes house favourites like the patate alla creme, a white pizza topped with mixed cheeses white onions, potatoes and rosemary.


Big Slice isn't fancy, but it's well loved for offering inexpensive and enormous slices. Better still, it's open until the wee hours in the morning making it a reliable destination for late night eats.

pizza in torontoYONGE & EGLINTON

Pizza enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice in this neighbourhood where you'll find solid options at Vita Sociale, SIP Wine Bar and Doppio Zero. My top pick is Falasca SPQR, where squares are sliced and sold by weight (just like in Rome). The thing to do here is go at lunch when the counter is stocked with fresh slices, order a sliver from multiple varieties and sample until you find a personal fave.


Cafe Nervosa used to be the best game in Yorkville with pizzas layered in translucent sheets of prosciutto and piles of peppery arugula. The arrival of Buca upsets the long established hierarchy with truffled topped pizzas raising the bar.

What did I miss? Disagree with my selections in the comments.

by Liora Ipsum via blogTO

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