May 17, 2017
By Brian Freedman | October 14, 2016 | Food & Drink
Charting the city's most sacred slices, one thin-crust margherita at a time.
Philadelphia has gone from playing second fiddle to the epic pizzas of New York to a starring role as one of America’s great destinations for a memorable pie, thanks to the restaurateurs and pizza fanatics who have raised the city’s carb game in seemingly no time at all. Here, the best pie picks for everyone, no matter what the neighborhood, no matter what the topping.
LA DOLCE VITA
Of course Old City’s Capofitto was always going to be great: It’s the brainchild of Stephanie Reitano, the same genius who brought our city Capogiro, which boasts some of the best gelato this side of the Atlantic. Capofitto’s pizzas stand out as a result of the same level of attention to detail, with airy crusts so well-developed that they act like an additional topping themselves. Start with some Italian charcuterie, tuck into a margherita, and wash it all down with an Italian beer. And yes, save room for gelato! 233 Chestnut St., 215-897-9999
BRING THE HEAT
The pared-down dining room at nationally ranked pizza hot spot Wm. Mulherin’s Sons.
Relative newcomer Wm. Mulherin’s Sons has been making a splash ever since it opened in Fishtown, with visitors dying to tell their friends tales of chef Chris Painter’s impeccable pasta and the astounding grilled meats. But it’s the pizza that really makes guests swoon: Speck and egg pizza? A lamb and artichoke pie? Yes, please! But for the Philly-est one around—at least in the naming department—check out the Spicy Jawn, with hot coppa, pepperoni, sharp provolone, tomato, long hot peppers, and caciocavallo. 1335 N. Front St., 267-753-9478
The Brussels sprouts pizza at Pizzeria Stella.
Pizzeria Stella is a perfect slice of Italy right on Headhouse Square. The result of extensive on-the-road research by Team Starr, the menu is memorable not just for the namesake pizza, but also for the dishes you’ll eat over the course of the meal. Start with beguilingly tender grilled octopus with salsa verde, fork some garlicky broccoli rabe, and then dive into the pies. Tartufo, with egg, Fontina, and black truffle, is a decidedly decadent offering. ’Nduja, with Calabrian sausage, smoked mozzarella, and red pepper, is a bracing beauty. The 11 more to choose from, all executed beautifully by head chef Shane Solomon, guarantee that you’ll be back. 420 S. Second St., 215-320-8000
The Mulherin’s cocktail menu is filled with creative pours.
Don’t let the notes on Pizzeria Beddia’s website scare you off—no phone, cash only, just 40 pies each night it’s open—because the pizza at this Fishtown address is first rate. And while the pies aren’t cheap, they’re more than worth it. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic made with mozzarella, tomato, and olive oil, or something a bit more exotic, like an asparagus offering punched up with mushrooms, ramps (when in season), and cream, Beddia—and chef-owner-pizzaiolo-extraordinaire Joe Beddia—is the real deal. 115 E. Girard Ave.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTY IMAGES/EYEEM; OPPOSITE PAGE: MATTHEW WILLIAMS (WM MULHERIN’S SONS); GETTY IMAGES/EYEEM (PIZZA IN OVEN)