QM Pizza, with three locations across Toronto, is no doubt putting their pizza on the map. All ingredients are ‘ethically sourced’ and only the best meats and produce are used; the dough is even made from Caputo Tipo flour straight from Italy, and the sauce from San Marzano tomatoes (a necessary component for true Neapolitan-style pizza). Go for the ‘margherita’ (the house specialty) or the ‘gio oldschool’ with fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto di parma and arugula. The ‘alla champagnolo’, covered in mushrooms, asiago cheese, garlic, goat cheese and oregano, the ‘calabrese’ and the ‘diavola’ are all fan favourites, as well. *Delivery available via Hurrier.
Everyone knows Libretto as the go-to spot for authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza: thin crust in the centre and a charred, pillowy outside edge. With four locations to choose from, you can get your Libretto on in all places of the city; although, if you’re a first-timer, head to their original location, a quaint little spot tucked along Ossington. From appetizers to pizzas, every dish on the menu is spot on with homestyle Italian flavours that will blow you away. The ‘libretto margherita’ is always a solid choice, simple but flavourful; but, if you’re looking for something that packs a punch, go for the ‘Nduja’ pizza: spicy sausage, tomato, garlic, basil, mozzarella and stracciatella. Other favourites include the ‘Ontario prosciutto & arugula’ with garlic, tomato, oregano, basil and shaved Grana Padano, the duck confit pizza, the house-made sausage pizza and the cremini mushroom pizza.
Defina‘s wood-fired game is on point: situated on quaint Roncy, this little gem serves up all kinds of dishes roasted over hot wood. From wood-roasted chicken wings to pizzas, every dish packs a full smoky flavour. Choose from ‘Nepoletana’ (a thin centre with fluffy crust), ‘Roma’ (crispy and thin), or ‘Kamut’, an ancient grain with high protein and, there’s even a long list of vegetarian options. The ‘margherita’ and ‘diavola’ are simple, yet delicious; ‘the butcher,’ with tomato sauce, pancetta, sopressata, fennel sausage, prosciutto di parma and caramelized shallots is the answer for all meat lovers. If you’re into trying something different, go for ‘the pumba’, tomato sauce, fior de latte, wild boar meatballs, mushrooms, grana padano, caramelized shallots, garlic and oregano.
North of Brooklyn
North of Brooklyn is a new kind of pizza joint; a casual atmosphere, mostly doing take-out and delivery, but offering Neapolitan pizzas by the slice (yep, we said it). Using inspiration from Brooklyn-style pizzerias, where the pizza making is taken very seriously, North of Brooklyn makes everything from scratch, using only fresh (never frozen) and local ingredients. An all-time favourite is the white pizza (mozzarella, garlic, ricotta and arugula) although, other stars of the show include the ‘killer bee’ with sauce, mozzarella, Calabrese sausage, Serrano peppers, pickled red onion and honey, and the ‘kale & bacon’ with mozzarella, garlic and pecorino. If you can’t decide, that’s what the slices are for; or have a go at the craft, and make your own pizza, choosing from a list of toppings. Don’t forget the garlic knots, made from leftover pizza dough and covered in garlic butter, thyme and grana padano, and if you’re not able to make it over to Queen, NOB is also serving up pies at the back of the Get Well Bar on Dundas or on Church St. in The Village. *Delivery available.
ZA Pizzeria is The Annex‘s pizza spot doing something different: here, the pizza is thrown on the BBQ for a unique smoky flavour. A casual spot for take-out (and delivery), ZA cooks their pizza at a high temperature, pumping them out quickly and crispy, using Canadian flour rather than the standard Italian flour used at most pizzerias. The dough is fluffy and airy (thanks to the addition of soda water in the dough), and the flavour combinations are something special (think: maple, bacon and potato chips, or duck confit, roasted grapes and balsamic reduction). Everything is made from scratch, and there’s even a vegan option (fake cheese not included) drizzled with a house-made cauliflower and macadamia nut purée in place of the cheese. *Delivery available.
True True Pizza is all about the personal pizza, they specialize in artisanal pizzas that come in oblong shapes, meant for one person and stretched by hand to order. All ingredients are local, seasonal and fresh, and everything is made in-house, from the 48-hour proofed signature dough to the selection of toppings. Go for one of their signature pizzas, like the ‘donnie brasco’ loaded up with fennel sausage, chorizo, pepperoni, ricotta, cheese, sauce, pickled red onion, oregano and parmesan, or the ‘into the wild’ mozzarella, blue cheese, wild mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil. Want to get creative? Opt for making your own pizza, and be sure to load up on toppings, as they are free of charge (that’s right). Perfect for lunch, True True is dishing out pizzas in just over two minutes. *Delivery available through Foodora.
Mangia & Bevi
What started as a grab-and-go coffee spot near Corktown, is now a bustling Italian restaurant serving up some of the best pizza in town. Although there’s no wood-fired oven at Mangia & Bevi, the sourdough crust still comes out charred and fluffy and the long list of pizzas to choose from (‘bianche’, ‘classiche’ and ‘guiste’) makes this spot a real hidden gem. Favourites include the ‘communista’ with San Marzano sauce, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and sopressata, the ‘piccante’ with spicy sausage, chili flakes, red onion, sauce and mozzarella and the ‘patata & pancetta’ with mozzarella, potatoes, bacon, rosemary, red onion and parmesan. Be sure to have a go at one of their breakfast pizzas, served only during brunch. *Delivery available through Just Eat and Foodora.
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Descendant Detroit Style Pizza
Descendant is Toronto’s answer to Detroit-style pizza, two-day proofed dough baked in oil-slicked pans, rising to form a light and fluffy sponge-like centre with crispy edges. Covered with crushed tomatoes in place of sauce and loaded with toppings, Descendant pizza takes this whole pie making business to the next level; but, don’t be surprised by the prices, these babies are bound to fill you up quick. All of the specialty pizzas here pack a punch, like the ‘jaffna’ with roti, mango chutney, cilantro cream, green onions, Calabrian chiles. Other favourites include the ‘sausage and peppers’ (smoked cheese, Nduja sausage, Calabrian chiles, Peruvian peppers, hot ranch sauce). *Delivery available through UberEats.
Maker Pizza is a hidden haunt that has gained massive recognition for delivering solid flavours in the way of delicious pies. Boasting a casual space meant for mostly delivery and take-away (there’s a long communal table for diners), Maker sets the bar high, bringing in Chef Matty Matheson from Parts & Labour to develop and create the menu: pizza, hot and cold Italian sandwiches, salads and hot wings. Choose from three different sizes, small, medium and large, and from a list of white and red pizzas. Feel free to be daring and make a pizza of your own, creativity is encouraged here. *Delivery available.
Lo Zingaro Pizzeria
In the heart of Queen West, you’ll find Lo Zingaro — a humble Italian eatery serving up classic dishes like pasta, risotto, antipasto and of course, pizzas; but, this spot is doing it different than the average Toronto pizza joint. Here, you’ll find Roman pizza (instead of the traditional Neapolitan that plagues the city’s food scene) — crispy, thin crust and fresh, bold Italian flavours. Using only the freshest ingredients, Lo Zingaro bakes their pizzas in an oven, featuring both red and white options. If you’re into the white pizzas, go for the ‘pecorella’: house-made lamb sausage, roasted red peppers, spiced goat cheese, spinach and fior di latte; if you’re into the red sauce, opt for the ‘quattro stagioni’ with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, oven-baked olives, Italian ham, artichokes, mushrooms and fior di latte. Be sure to stay awhile — this gem of a spot is meant for cozying up with a glass of wine and a pizza pie.
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Pizza e Pazzi
Pizza e Pazzi is known to the locals as arguably one of the best pizza spots in Toronto, and it doesn’t get any more authentic than here: serving up Neapolitan pizzas, it is one of the few places in town that is actually certified by the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana, along with most of their ingredients being Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta (D.O.P) certified. With an open kitchen and casual atmosphere, Pizza e Pazzi does it right, offering classic pasta dishes, antipasto and fritti (fried appetizers), salads and a long list of red and white pizzas. Fire in a wood-burning oven, the pizzas here come charred and fluffy, with a thin centre and fresh ingredients. Go for the ‘diavola’ with spicy salami and basil, the ‘di parma’ featuring 24 month old prosciutto di parma or the ‘ai tre funghi trifolati’ with three kinds of mushrooms, fior di latte, black pepper and basil; from the list of white pizzas, try the ‘tartufata’ with olive oil, mozzarella di bufala, 24 month old prosciutto di parma, shitake, champignon and cremini mushrooms, truffle oil and basil.
Viva Napoli Pizzeria
Viva Napoli is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in Mount Pleasant started by an Italian chef straight out of Naples. The restaurant is a member of the VPN (L’Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), which has strict guidelines on how the pizza is made, the techniques used and where the ingredients come from (they must be from Campania). Just like Naples-style, the pizzas here cook in just over a minute in a wood-fired oven burning at 1000 degrees and made with ’00’ flour. The crust comes perfectly charred with a soft centre; be sure to order their specialty, the margherita pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte, basil and olive oil, or the ‘balsamica’ with ham, arugula, fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, grana padano and balsamic; although, all of their pizzas (with 37 to choose from!) are perfection.
Pizzeria Via Mercanti
Via Mercanti is a popular Kensington Market destination and Toronto staple for authentic Neapolitan pies. Expanding to a new location on Elm St, Mercanti dishes out perfectly charred pizzas from their wood-fired oven. The margherita is their specialty, but other go-to options include the ‘crudo e rucola’ with fior di latte, cherry tomatoes, arugula and prosciutto di parma, the ‘diavola’ featuring porchetta, roasted red peppers and hot chiles, and the ‘via mercanti’, a two-layer pizza with ricotta, prosciutto cotto, mushrooms and hot soppressata on the bottom, and a margherita pizza on the top.