If you’re asking a five-year-old or a fifty-five-year-old what their favourite foods are, chances are pizza will be on that list. Here are 12 contemporary pizza joints across the country that use dough as a blank canvas to create some mouth-watering pies.
Anthony’s (Ottawa, ON)
If you’re in the country’s capital, you won’t find a better wood-fired pizza than at Anthony’s. Traditionally prepared, Neapolitan-style crust topped with Italian ingredients we all know and love, including fior de latte and basil, spicy salami and more. The restaurant is currently putting finishing touches on a big renovation, so look for Anthony’s to open very soon, more slick and delicious than ever.
Campagnolo Roma (Vancouver, BC)
Pizza may only occupy one portion of this Italian eatery’s menu, but these creative options aim for quality over quantity. Try the “Coppa,” which included garlic scapes, pecorino and smoked jalapeno aioli, or the asparagus pizza, topped with white anchovies, mozza, pickled chilies and a fava bean pesto, for something out-of-the-box delicious.
Christie’s Il Secondo (Saskatoon, SK)
Located just half a block away from Broadway Avenue is this quaint pizza joint. Since it opened back in 2010, it’s been a popular place for well-made wood-fired pizza for lunch or an early dinner (Secondo closes at 6 p.m. daily) for Saskatoonians. They serve up calzones and salads too, but it would be a real shame to pop in there and not enjoy a pizza, first and foremost.
The Good Son (Toronto, ON)
Top Chef Canada alum Vittorio Colacitti opened his first restaurant, The Good Son, earlier last year on Queen Street West. The menu highlights both his worldly travels (not pizza-related, but try the jerk shrimp — amazing), and Italian roots, which is where the tasty, thin-crust pizza creations come into play. Consider trying one as an appetizer before you dive into Colacitti’s global-inspired mains and craft cocktails.
Morris East (Halifax, NS)
If you’re looking for a big, greasy, late night slice in Halifax, the city’s famed Pizza Corner would be the place to go. But for a more refined pie, Morris East should be on your radar. Earlier this spring, the restaurant’s head chef placed 3rd in his competition at the International Pizza Expo (now that’s an expo theme I can get behind!), with one of the Morris East’s menu signatures, topped with poached pear, shallots, prosciutto, blue cheese and tarragon aioli.
Nicli Pizzeria (Vancouver, BC)
There’s all kinds of flavours to experience at the restaurants peppered throughout the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver, but for some beautifully crafted pizza, this is the place to go. Go with the classic and try Nicli’s margherita to see how just a few ingredients, when used with expertise, can create something extraordinary.
Pizzeria Gusto (Winnipeg, MB)
Winnipeg’s premier pizza spot has remained one of the top restaurants since it opened seven years ago. The combination of friendly service, romantic ambience and delicious Neapolitan pizza (go for the Lucia, dressed up with fig jam, salami, cambozola, arugula and pecorino) is clearly a recipe for success. Hockey fans might appreciate periodic sightings of Winnipeg Jets players here as well!
Pizzeria Libretto (Toronto, ON)
This small Toronto pizza chain has made its stake in the city’s bustling food scene with their consistency and delicious food. Of course the line-up of thin-crust pizzas are the backbone of this menu and there are a dozen to choose from, with interesting menu options like duck confit, grilled eggplant and more.
Posto (Calgary, AB)
Probably the least traditional out of the list, Posto still fires up their pizzas like any good Italian-inspired place, but their crust is a little more thick and doughy (in a good way) than others. The result is a menu full of unique pies that stand out from other joints in the city that offer a contemporary pizzeria experience. Order the potato, leek and smoked pancetta pizza. You’ll be happy you did!
Prima Strada (Victoria, BC)
Vancouver Island is well known for their beautiful bounty of seafood, but wood-fired pizzas? Not so much. With two locations in Victoria, Prima Strada is pretty much the undisputed pizza king of the island. The traditionally prepared dough is stretched and topped with anything from house-made pepperoni or sausage, to wild mushrooms and balsamic caramelized onions. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been here, but my memory tells me this place has some of the best Neapolitan pizza I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring.
Rosso Pizzeria (Edmonton, AB)
Edmontonians can’t seem to get enough of the creations coming out of the oven at Russo. But who can blame them when there’s an array of tasty traditional offerings, as well as indulgent breakfast pizza (delicious pizza blasphemy?) with toppings like rapini, fennel sausage and egg.
Without Papers (Calgary, AB)
What’s not to love about a pizzeria with a great atmosphere, movies projected on the wall and an open kitchen where you can see the chefs making pizza after pizza? There are some classic options here, but meat lovers will appreciate the subtle ode to Alberta, the “Blue Ox,” topped with beef striploin, caramelized onions, horseradish and more. Without Papers is also a family-friendly eatery, so bring your kids to join in on the delicious eats.