Slice of life: Toronto’s best pizza

Unlike most places you’d think of as pizza capitals – from Naples and Rome to Chicago and New York – Toronto doesn’t really have its own regional style, but you can’t swing a pizza peel in this town without hitting a great slice. We’ve got Italian-certified pizzerias slinging to-die-for wood-fired pies, venerable neighbourhood takeout and delivery joints, doughy drunk-food slices and everything in between. These 15 spots are truly among Toronto’s upper crust.


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  • 1

    Tanja-Tiziana

    Maker Pizza

    59 Cameron St, Toronto, Ontario

    With sit-down dining, fast-casual takeout and third-party delivery services ruling the T.O. restaurant scene, it’s almost quaint to hear about a place that not only banks on delivery being the bulk of their business, but delivers the pie themselves. (Groundbreaking, right?) And deliver Maker does: their Chinatown spot ships pizzas anywhere between Roncy and Pape. Novel combinations like the chili- and pineapple-topped Tropic Thunder or sweet-and-savoury Frank’s Best (both $14-$25) mean the flavours deliver, too.

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Handled in-house

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 2
    PIZZA - Descendant-1.jpg

    Tanja-Tiziana

    Descendant Pizza

    1168 Queen E, Toronto, Ontario

    Deep-dish pizza is not a species native to Toronto, but pizza hounds have been in hot pursuit of Descendant’s Detroit-inspired pies since they opened last fall. It’s not unusual for the line to snake right out the door of the Leslieville pizzeria occasionally, they sell out completely. A small runs you between $16 and $20, but even if that wasn’t enough food to fill two stomachs (blame that thick, golden-brown crust), their pies would be more than worth the cost. Skeptics should immediately sink their teeth into the Sergeant Peppers ($20/$32), a salty, sweet, smoky, cheesy flavour-bomb stacked with nduja, hot peppers, soppressata and drizzles of Mike’s Hot Honey and house-made Tabasco ranch.

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Through UberEats

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 3
    PIZZA - Libretto-1.jpg

    Natalia Manzocco

    Pizzeria Libretto

    221 Ossington, Toronto, Ontario M6J 2Z8

    Once a buzzy upstart on Ossington, Rocco Agostino’s pizzeria is now packing ’em in at four locations (see below), proof that their concept is universally palatable: Business lunch? Date night? Dinner with the kids? No problem. Apps and snacks like octopus carpaccio impress, but the main event is what comes out of the wood-burning ovens: DOP Margheritas ($14, or $17 for a souped-up house version with bufalina and Grana Padano), pies topped with house-made sausage or Ontario prosciutto, and a love-or-leave-it version topped with duck confit and bosc pear ($17).

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Through Just-Eat

    VEGAN/GF: No

    More locations: 545 King West, at Portland, 647-352-1200 155 University, at Pearl, 416-551-0433 550 Danforth, at Carlaw, 416-466-0400 pizzerialibretto.com.

  • 4
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    Michael Watier

    Pizzeria Via Mercanti

    188 Augusta, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1M1

    The crust at Neapolitan expat Romolo Salvati’s pair of pizzerias (one in Kensington, one at Bay and Elm) is truly something to behold: paper-flat in the centre, satisfyingly fat and chewy at its lightly floured edges. With that as the base, any of their pizzas is a surefire winner – from the classic margherita ($13) to the gut-busting double-decker house signature ($20), which parks a basic marg on top of a fully loaded ricotta-soppressata-ham-mushroom pie.

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: No

    VEGAN/GF: No

    Second location: 87 Elm, at Elizabeth

  • 5
    PIZZA - Vesuvio-1.jpg

    Steven Davey

    Vesuvio – CLOSED

    3010 Dundas W, Toronto, Ontario

    Vesuvio comes by its claims of authenticity honestly – it opened way back in 1957, during the Junction’s dry-community days – but the west-side standby doesn’t traffic in the sort of delicate, all-DOP-everything thin-crust pies you’ll see at the city’s trendier pizzerias. These are beefed-up, oiled-bottom numbers (check the seam from the pan running around the edge!) closer in spirit to New York deep-dish than anything else you’ll find in town. The Vesuvio Super, a triple-meat, triple-veg house special ($15), is a surefire crowd-pleaser, but the Pizza Bella ($16.50), which melds pesto with marinara, artichoke hearts and asiago, shows off their softer side.

    SLICES: Yes

    DELIVERY: Handled in-house

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 6
    PIZZA - Queen Margh-1.jpg

    David Laurence

    Queen Margherita Pizza

    1402 Queen E, Toronto, Ontario M4L 1C9

    What began in 2010 as a lone standard-bearer for real-deal Neapolitan pizza on the outer reaches of Leslieville has joined Libretto and Terroni in a keep-away game for the title of top pizza franchise in town. They’ve standardized the menu (still almost entirely made up of pizza) across locations and announced plans for a Financial District spot, but a few things have stayed the same: the DOP San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce, toppings like smoked mozzarella or Parma prosciutto, and a crust that’s – if I can rob a line from my predecessor Steven Davey – “as blistered around the edges as a sunbather on the last day of Pompeii.”

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Through Foodora

    VEGAN/GF: Gluten-free crust available

    More locations: 785 Annette, at Jane, 647-345-4466 772 Dundas West, at Markham, 647-748-4666.

  • 7
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    David Laurence

    FBI Pizza

    2336 Lake Shore W, Toronto, Ontario

    Created to bring resto-quality pies to the doorstep, this Mimico takeout spot is the brainchild of partners at Queen Margherita Pizza and Big Slice, who absorbed the best of both influences to make the ultimate delivery pie. Their mozz is fior di latte, the tomatoes are San Marzano, and the prosciutto is DOP – but the crust is solid enough to make it to your place without disintegrating. Pro tip to west-end rental agents: put “located within FBI Pizza delivery zone” on your ads. 

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Handled in-house

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 8
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    Steven Davey

    Mangia e Bevi

    260 King E, in the Ontario Design Centre, Toronto, Ontario M5R 4L5

    King East-ers in the know bypass the Bay-bro crowd at the Adelaide Terroni and go for this tucked-away trattoria hidden in office territory. Their 32-item list of options (!) skips from classic Margherita ($15) and 4 Stagioni ($19) to fun house picks like the speck-Brie-arugula Tirolese ($18) or the Giudaica with artichokes, pecorino and mint ($18). All share a couple of notable hallmarks: generous hits of bright sauce and a bubbled crust that’s paperlike at the centre, crackerlike at the edge.

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Through Just-Eat

    VEGAN/GF: Gluten-free crust available

  • 9
    PIZZA - Gusto-1.jpg

    David Laurence

    Gusto 101

    101 Portland, Toronto, Ontario

    Gusto is a reliable safe harbour for the King West after-work crowd, and you might be tempted to put that down to the epic beverage list and striking three-floor setting, crowned with a glass-ceilinged rooftop patio, rather than the relatively brief pizza menu. But those pies have the approval of the Naples pizza authority, and it shows: the crust is soft, but the edges are crisp and peppered with black blisters, the marinara sauce is flavourful, and the mozz is abundant. Grab the Funghi ($17.99), which comes smothered in meaty mushrooms and gets depth from a twist of thyme and some funky Taleggio cheese.

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Through UberEats

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 10
    PIZZA - True True-1.jpg

    Natalia Manzocco

    True True

    169 King E, Toronto, Ontario

    After opening as One Pizza in 2014, the team behind this fast-casual spot on King East abruptly gave the joint a South Beach-inspired makeover this winter. Aside from the new sun-faded colour scheme and the weirdly colloquial name, it’s the same place, down to the solid quality of their rectangular pies. Build your own or pick off the menu –  it’s all the same price ($12.86) – but I’ve never gotten out of there without grabbing a Hunt and Peck, which teams chorizo chunks and runny egg with chili oil and generous shavings of parm, all on a chewy crust.

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: Through Foodora

    VEGAN/GF: Gluten-free dough and Daiya cheese available

  • 11
    Pizza -Terroni-1.jpg

    Steven Davey

    Terroni

    720 Queen W, Toronto, Ontario

    Some find the menu at this long-running family of trattorias a little difficult: Why can’t I make substitutions? Why won’t you slice my pizza for me? How the hell do you pronounce “C’t Mang”? But Torontonians have long learned to put up with these quirks, due in large part to Terroni’s whisper-light pizza. It was the first item added to the menu when Cosimo Mammoliti started turning imported goods into fresh eats at his Italian grocery store on Queen West, now the company’s flagship restaurant. It’s tough to go wrong, but I recommend loading up on the premium stuff with the Santo Stefano: bufala mozzarella, arugula and prosciutto ($19).

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: No

    VEGAN/GF: No

    More locations: 57 Adelaide East, at Toronto, 416-203-3093 1095 Yonge, at Price, 416-925-4020 terroni.com.

  • 12

    Village Pizza

    759 Dovercourt Rd., Toronto, Ontario

    Fun fact: Hawaiian pizza was dreamed up in Chatham, Ontario, in the early 60s. Had the ham-and-pineapple pie been invented by actual Hawaiians, it’s just as likely that Spam (the state’s unofficial canned meat product) would have been the featured meat topping. In a tucked-away space off Bloor West, this brand-new pizza shack rectifies that glaring inaccuracy by topping floppy, foldable slices ($5) with caramelized pineapple and big seared chunks of the pink stuff. They call it the “Thanks, Obama,” and it’s delicious – but if I haven’t sold you on that, there are classics like marg or pepperoni, an extravagant mushroom version with porcini, enoki and button ’shrooms, and a slew of $5 cans of craft beer to boot.

    SLICES: Yes

    DELIVERY: Handled in-house

    VEGAN/GF: A cheeseless “Hungry Vegan” pizza appears on the menu a GF crust is on the way.

  • 13
    PIZZA - Danforth Pizza-1.jpg

    Steven Davey

    Danforth Pizza House

    920 Danforth, Toronto, Ontario M4J 1L9

    Those of you who know DPH as a grimy, beige-tiled hole-in-the-wall will be pleasantly surprised to see their brand-new spartan-chic makeover, featuring gleaming subway tiles, a pristine white counter and artfully weather-battered signs preserved from their 50-plus years on the strip. The pizza, mercifully, remains untouched: the crispy-chewy crust comes beautifully charred, topped with a thin sauce that underpins a generous, golden-brown scattering of cheese (double it if you’re smart).

    SLICES: No

    DELIVERY: No

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 14
    PIZZA - Pizza Thick-1.jpg

    Tanja-Tiziana

    Pizza Thick – Closed

    1026 Queen E, Toronto, Ontario

    The other reason Leslieville has become ground zero for deep-dish lovers: Pizza Thick, who are giving many Torontonians what might be their first exposure to Regina, SK’s doughy, densely layered pies. (Didn’t know Regina even had a signature regional style of pizza? They do – and it’s a doozy.) The signature is in the crust – crisp and flaky on the bottom and fluffy on the inside, in contrast to Descendant’s well-oiled decadence – as well as sheer girth. Pizza Thick’s Hawaiian pies, for example, are said to contain nearly a kilo of ham and weigh about five pounds. Also on the menu: mad-science gelato flavours from Death In Venice, custard tarts made by co-owner Amylee Silva’s dad, and a laid-back vibe reflected in banners made of cut-up rock T-shirts and a big chalkboard mural that reads “HOUSE RULES: We do mistakes/2nd chances/I’m Sorry.’”

    SLICES: Yes

    DELIVERY: Handled in-house

    VEGAN/GF: No

  • 15
    PIZZA - Za Pizzeria-1.jpg

    Natalia Manzocco

    Za Pizzeria – Closed

    402 Bloor W, Toronto, Ontario

    Let’s be real: if our childhood selves knew we were treating pizza like fancy-pants fork-and-knife food, they’d be horrified. Relive the glory days of sticky-fingered pizza parties at this new-ish takeout pizzeria in the Annex. In addition to offering a wide and varied roster of slices and whole pies, all made to order (even the slices, if they haven’t made a fresh pie in the last 30 minutes) in a souped-up barbecue, Za will let you order a half-size pizza, then roll up the rest of the crust with ample lashings of garlic butter. The result: moist, oozy, gloriously carby garlic bread that will put your childhood memories of Crazy Bread to shame.

    SLICES: Yes

    DELIVERY: Handled in-house

    VEGAN/GF: Vegan pies, including the occasional special (like the “vega-waiian” with smoked tomato bacon), are made with nut-based ricotta.

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