Everyone has a favorite. What’s yours?
Whether you want thin-crust, deep-dish, Detroit-style or allergen-free, Pittsburgh is a perfect place to grab a pie.
You’ve got your legends, which we have profiled here, from Mineo’s Pizza House and Fiori’s to Driftwood Oven and Badamo’s. But there are so many great pizza spots throughout the region that don’t get the attention they deserve.
Here are 11 under-the-radar eateries that are doing dough right. Got a favorite? Let us know.
Shelly Pie Pizza, 912 Penn Ave., Turtle Creek
Shelly Pie Pizza is named for Shelly Farren, who launched the pizzeria on a whim with two friends in 2012 in a former VFW Post. This patriotic pizzeria’s pies are available in traditional, Sicilian or specialty variations, and they come big and piled high with tasty toppings.
People’s Indian Restaurant, 5147 Penn Ave., Garfield
Known for putting a modern spin on classic Indian dishes, People’s Indian Restaurant is getting into the pizza game. The restaurant offers five options, including the Bethab Pizza, made with tandoori sauce, ground lamb, red onions, bell peppers, mozzarella cheese and fresh cilantro.
Mandy’s Pizza, 512 Perry Highway, West View
Even if you’re allergic to traditional pizza ingredients, you can still enjoy a slice at Mandy’s. The family business specializes in a crust that’s devoid of wheat, soy, dairy, nuts, corn, legumes, gluten, egg, casein, seafood and sesame. Whatever your dietary restrictions are, come hungry.
Alberta’s Pizza, various locations
The menu at this pop-up pizzeria changes daily along with its location, but no matter where you find it, you’re going to get a great pie. Past pizza incarnations include The Calabrese Kid, made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, soppressata, chili oil, honey and basil, and The Electric Banana — a summertime favorite topped with mozzarella, garlic, pecorino, Sicilian oregano, banana peppers, gorgonzola and basil that’s named after the famed Pittsburgh punk rock venue. Alberta’s is a frequent visitor at local breweries such as Eleventh Hour Brewing Co. and Dancing Gnome, so you can pair your slice with a brew.
Mama Lena’s II, 732 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks
Hungry? Let Mama feed you. The McKees Rocks establishment is in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s largest commercially available pizza: a 3-by-4.5 behemoth made from 20 pounds of dough, a gallon of sauce and 15 pounds of cheese. If you’re on a diet, you can make do with the 30-inch, 64-piece Monster Pizza.
Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville
The former Moose Lodge is now a two-level bar, event space and pizzeria. The spot recently reopened for outdoor dining, complete with an all-weather, tent-covered patio where you can chow down from 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. Enjoy your pizza as a rectangular grandma-style slice or as a 12-inch round pie.
Black Lotus Pizza, 4065 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
At Black Lotus Pizza, a new gaming pizzeria on Penn Avenue, you can choose your own dining adventure by selecting a crust (hand-tossed or thin), sauce (zesty, smoky or traditional) and toppings (the usual suspects). Bring a game to play or grab one off the shelf. Forget what your parents told you and play with your food.
Michael’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant, 2612 Sarah St., South Side
After 40 years, this South Side institution is under new ownership: Bar Marco co-founder Kevin Cox and his sister, Mary Cox, are now at the helm. Their recipe for success? Don’t change. Michael’s is still serving stellar pizza using house-made dough and sauce.
Sir Pizza, multiple locations in the North Hills
Sir Pizza makes big, round pies then cuts them into small squares, so you can boast about eating 25 pieces and not be lying. The North Hills institution, which has locations in Ross Township, Franklin Park and now Pine Township, has been in the business since 1975. As a native of this area, I’ve probably consumed 10,000 squares in my lifetime and my daughter (pictured above) is carrying on the tradition. Get your pizza to-go or dine-in and make a knight out of it.
Country Style Pizza, 536 Dewey Ave., Bridgeville
Country Style Pizza has been in the business for more than three decades. Opt for one of their traditional red or white pizzas or step out of your comfort circle and try a specialty pie. From a Chicken Devonshire, Baby Back Rib and Steak and Potato to vegan-friendly slices and the Bridgeville Deep Dish — a handmade deep-dish shell layered with red sauce, three kinds of cheese and your choice of up to four toppings — you will leave full and happy.
Angelo’s Pizzeria, 4768 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield
When you visit Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, you expect to find good pizza. Angelo’s, in operation since 1976, doesn’t disappoint. Whether you stop in for a single slice — available in Boardwalk Traditional, White or Sicilian — or go full circle, the fresh ingredients, chewy crust and flavorful tomato sauce will leave you saying, “delizioso!” Angelo’s was highly recommended by many readers in the comments section of our top pizza places in Pittsburgh article.
Have room for more? Here’s our list of 19 great places to pig out on pizza.