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Philadelphia has a large Italian-American influence, with classic bakeries and pizzerias. Read ahead for our guide to where you can find some classic Italian pizzerias in South Philadelphia, along with newer gourmet restaurants throughout the city.
One of Philadelphia’s most popular pizzas, Lorenzo and Sons Pizza on South street serves large, fresh cheese slices with sweet, tangy sauce. Service behind the counter is still fast-paced and with attitude if you ask for any alterations. Remember, toppings are available on slices only on Tuesdays. Open until 3AM on the weekdays and 4AM on the weekends, Lorenzo is the perfect late-night dough binge.
Lorenzo and Sons Pizza, 305 South St Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-800-1942
With two locations in the city, Nomad Pizza is a gourmet pizzeria that uses only the freshest, organic, locally-sourced ingredients. There are usually around 12 different pizzas on the menu, including their sweet and tangy spicy soppressata pizza. The best time to go is for happy hour during the week from 4:30PM-6:30PM, when you can get cheap bar pizzas and drafts. They also have a late night happy hour starting at 10PM on weeknights, and be sure to check out their Queen Village location as well.
Nomad Pizza, 1305 Locust St Philadelphia, PA 19107 215–644-9287
The seasonally-named Uovo or Asparago pizza with light greens and a ‘secret’ white sauce is the showstopper here; made with parmesan and fior de latte, the raison d’etre is the truffled farm egg presented on top. Also try the Cinghiale with wild boar sausage and pepperoncini. Pizzas are also served with fennel and mouth-watering chili aioli for an added kick. One pie and appetizers are generally very filling, and a pie will cost you around $13-$17, the Asparago being the latter cost. The small Mediterranean space gets crowded, so make reservations.
Barbuzzo, 110 S 13th St Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-546-9300
In true form, Tacconelli’s serves pizza only with a limit of three toppings for their thin-crust pies. With some of the best sauce around, the one-man, one-oven haven of Port Richmond pizza is some of the best pizza in the city with its sweet, but bold sauce. It’s made in limited quantities daily, so be sure to call ahead for a reservation.
Tacconelli’s Pizzeria, 2604 E Somerset St Philadelphia, PA 19134 215-425-4983
Located in the East Falls section of the city, In Riva boasts a menu inspired by Naples cuisine. Their wood-oven, thin crust pizzas are made for sharing. A unique spin is the crab and chile pizza, add prosciutto while you’re at it. Perfect for those bikers and runners on Kelly Drive, the restaurants looks out onto the Schuylkill River for an equally breathtaking view.
In Riva, 4116 Ridge Ave Philadelphia, PA 19129 215-438-4848
Over 100-years-old, Iannelli’s Bakery serves classic tomato pie pizza squares with some of the freshest and subtly spongy dough. You can order various ways, including without garlic, with pepperoni and mozzarella, or ‘Mabladonna’-style, with spinach, sliced tomatoes and ricotta. They also have amazing call-ahead pizzas with their perfected thin crusts. Iannelli’s is a true South Philadelphia staple.
Iannelli’s, 1155 E Passyunk Ave Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-468-0720
It may be a surprise that gourmet chef Jose Garces has some of the best pizzas in the city but the Chicago native knows his slices, and has some mouthwatering recipes to back it up. With a fantastic pistachio pesto flatbread on the menu, Garces also makes a mean cornmeal crusted pan pizza with oozing layers of chorizo, bacon and duck confit swimming in mozzarella. While you wait upwards of 30 minutes, check out the cocktail list and small appetizer menu.
Garces Trading Co, 1111 Locust St Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-574-1099
The BYOB pie counter serves arguably the best pizza in the city. With no reservations, no phone number and no seating, you’ll wait at least a half hour for your pie, but it’s worth it. The Girard Avenue shop churns out only 16in tomato pies, but they’re layered with Old Gold aged cheese and fresh milk mozzarella. They are in such high-demand, they only make 40 pizzas a day and people have started lining up as early as 2:30 for pies. Keep in mind only two are allowed per party. Try their coveted #1 and #8 pizza pies. It’s also cash only. Pizzeria Beddina is only open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner.
Pizzeria Beddia, 115 E Girard Ave Philadelphia, PA 19125
Pizza Brain releases its brain hive of magic on patrons with its creative pies and fresh ingredients, not to mention its very own Please Touch pizza museum. Large slices and creative menu options are just as inspired as the ingredients themselves. Try the Frankford Ave Taco, complete with a scoop of the neighboring Little Baby’s ice cream, to form a south-of-the-border style pizza taco.
Pizza Brain, 2313 Frankford Ave Philadelphia, PA 19125 215-291-2965
Vetri’s pizzas are so good, the pizzeria was named as one of the 25 best restaurants by GQ in 2014. Made in-house, the pies change seasonally. A list of eight pizzas ranges from $12-$18, and keep a look out for their rectangle-cut ‘pizza of the day’. The wood-fired pizzas are made in a Renato oven and give the crust a delicately charred flavor, authentic to the Neapolitan pizza they perfectly emulate. Wash down the pizzas with a menu of fairly-priced canned beers and wines.
Pizzeria Vetri, 1939 Callowhill St Philadelphia, PA 19130 215-600-2629
The tomato pies at Gennaro’s are classic, thin crust pies. Start off with the traditional tomato pie, white pizza or pesto and add toppings at your discretion. Prices range a little high, up to $27 with toppings for one large pie, but they’re filling. The classic 1940s-style atmosphere, with white tiles and Italian music playing, makes this an enjoyable, no frills pizzeria. Cash only and pies only, Gennaro’s is also a BYOB with a $1 corking fee.
Gennaro’s Tomato Pie, 1429 Jackson St Philadelphia, PA 19145 215-463-5070