Top 10 pizzerias in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

pizza.jpg
Eat your heart out, Dominos
The Twin Cities is bursting with killer pizza. Some of the pizzerias on our Top 10 list are cultural institutions that staked out their place in the pizza hall of fame years ago. Others are newcomers, bursting onto the Twin Cities dining scene with all the fury of an 800-degree wood-fired oven. Limiting the list to 10 forced us to leave some favorites off, but they'll be included in a special mention at the end.

1. Pizzeria Lola

pizzerialola.jpg
Emily Utne
Recently featured on the TV show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Pizzeria Lola is the hottest pizza joint in town. The best seats are at the bar, which offer a view into the fiery mouth of the restaurant's iconic, copper-clad oven. The space looks worthy of inclusion in a contemporary architecture magazine, with its wood-lined walls, tomato-can track lighting, and vintage soda bottles that double as tabletop flower vases. The vibe--and the nice beer and wine list--makes Lola date-worthy, but it's still a suitable, though spendy, place to take the kids. The pies are excellent: Neapolitan-style, wood-fired crusts covered in toppings that stray from typical Italian or Midwestern styles. The Xerxes, for example, includes rapini, feta, and olives; the Sunnyside combines leeks, pecorino, cured pork cheek, and a sunny-side up egg. Also good: the roasted vegetables, the beet salad, and the luscious, house-made soft serve.
5557 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis
612.424.8338;Pizzeria Lola website


2. Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

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Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza (which has locations in both the North Loop of Minneapolis and St. Paul) puts a big premium on its crust. Its anthracite coal oven delivers a crust that is crisp but chewy, thin but not crackery, and just firm enough to hold a slice with one hand. Black Sheep has six pizzas to choose from (at 12 or 16 inches) and a full list of ingredients to design your own. Toppings include exotic departures such as fennel sausage and anchovies, in addition to more classic choices such as meatballs and garlic. Its four taps exclusively feature microbreweries, and the wine list is brief but sophisticated enough for a nice date. Two people can easily leave fed and happy for under $20.
600 Washington Ave N., Minneapolis. 612.342.2625
512 N. Robert St., St. Paul. 651.227.4337
Black Sheep Pizza website

3. Pizza Nea

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Pizza Nea stands apart from the other wood-fired pizzerias in town because of the outstanding quality of its toppings: rich, rustic sausages, plush sweet fior di latte mozzarella, and deep green, roasted artichoke leaves. The artichoke ramekin (they call it carciofo), which looks for all the world like a plate of hot whipped cream, is not to be missed. For wine lovers, Pizza Nea is distinguished by its definitively pleasant pizza-shop wine list, full of country values. Its convenient location right across the river from downtown, and right across the street from Minneapolis wine-and-cheese institution Surdyk's, makes it a perfect launching pad for (or resting place during) an urban adventure.
306 East Hennepin, Minneapolis
612.331.9298
Pizza Nea website

4. Punch Neopolitan Pizza

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Named after the birthplace of pizza, Punch Neopolitan's secret lies in the wood-burning ovens super-heated to 800 degrees. A spirit of smoke dwells in the paper-crisp crust and tender, springy heat of every pie. Most popular is the the margherita extra, which includes fresh mozzarella, basil, and crushed San Marzano and Mt. Vesuvio tomatoes. Other varieties feature anchovies, salami, artichokes, ham, and goat cheese. Of course, you can build your own as well. Basic pizzas start around $6, with specialty combinations running about $8 to $12. Another benefit of the hot, hot oven: an individual pie can be done in 90 seconds. The salads are also good, and the wine list is a moderately priced, pizza-friendly dream come true. With seven locations throughout the metro area, your next Punch pizza feast is never more than a stone's throw away.
Multiple locations
Punch Pizza website

5. Pizza Luce

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All five Twin Cities Pizza Luce locations (and a sixth in Duluth) serve up a crisp crust, potent red sauce, and more toppings than you can shake an antipasto at: Calamata olives, roasted red peppers, barbecued chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, and spicy mock duck, to name a very few. Definitely the most vegan- and vegetarian-friendly pizzeria on the list, with multiple fake meat and alternative protein sources on the menu, Pizza Luce is also a safe bet for people with gluten sensitivities, offering many menu items marked GFR (gluten-free upon request). The Lyn-Lake and St. Paul locations have a beer and wine license, and the other three TC locations (Hopkins, Seward, and the Warehouse District) all have a full bar. The Hopkins, St. Paul, and Warehouse District locations also offer a fantastic weekend brunch.
Multiple locations
Pizza Luce website


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67 comments
robindthom
robindthom

These all look and sound delicious. Thanks for compiling a list. We are currently on vacation and we love to find the best pizza places everywhere we go. We found awesome pizza in Calgary but we are now on our way to the Twin Cities. I can't wait to try some of these out. 

http://www.atlaspizzasportsbar.com/Menulist/Display/

TheDebster
TheDebster

How could you forget 'X' pizza?!?!?!  Or, 'Y' pizza?!?!?!  How could you not include 'Z' pizza?!?!?!  *complain complain complain* #neverhappy

Sara Mobrei
Sara Mobrei

Punch has gotten worse every time I've been there :-/ it's not in the twin cities but just visited Pompeii Pizza in Elk River and it was awesome. Creative pizzas and high quality ingredients.

Eric Marshall
Eric Marshall

The University Ave Leaning Tower must have closed not long after you created that 2011 list.

HelloNurse
HelloNurse

What about Fat Lorenzo's in S. Minneapolis off of Lake Nokomis, or Frankie's in Maple Grove? That's some good pizza.

ed_l_grey
ed_l_grey

What about Broder's Deli, across the street from Broders Pasta Bar? It should be at #5 or better. Pizza Luce's pizzas are second rate, never quite cooked right, and to name a place like Dulono's in the honorable mention and completely ignore Broders means your food reviewers have naugahyde palates.

pjvesperman
pjvesperman

I'd put Black Sheep #1 for sure. Psycho Suzi's is a good one too. Great list!

John2690
John2690

Pizza Pub in Pine City puts these to shame!

Treatml
Treatml

Parkway Pizza in South MPLS. Best sauce ever.

Srl310
Srl310

Sub categories might resolve some the conflict.  Maybe a Charlie Awards night for pizzas!  If we can redirect some of our passion for pizza we can change the world!

mike ferguson
mike ferguson

Lake Harriet Pizza is absolutely 2Die4!  Seriously.

John Buchanan
John Buchanan

How could you miss Mozza Mia? I was in Italy this summer and ate incredible pizza there.Mozza is the closes I've found.

Scoops
Scoops

I've eaten pizza all over the world, but I still love Cosseta's the most! I think its just what you grow up with.  For me it goes 1. Cosseta's 2. Black Sheep 3. Pizza Nea. 4. Pizza Luce. 5. Pizzeria Lola.

JM
JM

I miss deep dish from back home.  We need a place like Papa Del's in Champaign, Illinois.   Any suggestions for good deep dish close to Saint Paul?

Jeff
Jeff

How can you not put Red Savoy's on this list?  I would also agree Luce in not a top 10!! 

hipsterssuck
hipsterssuck

Pizza Luce is to hipsters & college kids as McDonalds is to the obese & poor...not a good pie, at all! Black Sheep is where its at...

Johnbrost
Johnbrost

I couldn't disagree more. I am not a big fan of artzy fatzy bistro neopolitan pizza.  I like New York and Chicago deep dish. This is the worst pizza town in which have lived.  Lots of good places to eat but it lacks a couple key items.  A solid deep dish pizza,  and a solid pastri on rye piled high.

Pmf1
Pmf1

I stopped patronizing Pizza Luce.I think they should advertise it as Pizza Served with an ATTITUDE ~ ! ~

Wheetbix1
Wheetbix1

Hands down the best pizza in the Twin Cities is Mesa Pizza By The Slice. Not even in the same ballpark as most of these others.

Very disappointing and kind of embarrassing.

Tholomew Plague
Tholomew Plague

Pizza Luce is overrated garbage. Seriously could care less how vegan friendly they are. Their sauce literally gave me sores inside my mouth. Black Sheep is the best the Twin Cities has to offer, Lola is just the trendy new hipster haunt. Hell Delano's is even better than Luce.

Dave Gangler
Dave Gangler

Not that I would expect it to make a list because it's kind of obscure, but I highly recommend Marcello's Pizza in Plymouth.

Dave Gangler
Dave Gangler

I thought this list was pretty right on the money for the most part.  And there are some here that I haven't tried and now I'm excited to check out.  Although.....  I'm surprised to see Leaning Tower on this list.  They are the absolute bottom of the barrel for Twin Cities pizza as far as my palate is concerned.  And it is a crime against humanity that Red Savoy's would be left off a top 10 list of pizza places in town!  Crime.  Against. Humanity!  I'm contacting The Hague!

joe
joe

No love for Davannis, there traditional is by far a better product then pizza luce.

john
john

If this were a best pizza in MN that secret pizza "place" in SE MN would be #1.. I'd tell you the name but I'd lose my membership. There's no signs, no website, no ads, nothing. haha you'll never find it it's all ours to enjoy.  

Pizzaface2005
Pizzaface2005

A crime that Pizza Hut's Crystal location was slighted YET AGAIN! Where does it stop?? Ugh.

Jk
Jk

All of these are reasonable choices, except Cossetta. Savoy is a notable absence.

Really
Really

Leaning Tower?  Have you ever eaten their pizza?

smatthew
smatthew

No love for Crescent Moon? The best sauce in town. As for Punch, it's like fast food. I cannot understand people's love for wet pizza.

Oscar
Oscar

This is suburb style but for some delicious pizza try a Chicken and Pep pizza at Gina Maria's in Eden Prairie. Seriously its for real. Or dare to try their lunch special slice and a pop. You won't be disappointed.

Zangbam
Zangbam

I mean, if you take away the 3am close time, drunk people having nothing else to eat , and the fact they deliver....Luce wouldn't be shit.

Oscar
Oscar

This should really be broken into 2 categories: Neapolitan or Regular style pizza. I mean they are just to different to even be considered in the same list. And If you dont think Pizza Luce has delicious regular pizza you are nuts.

purplesquirrel
purplesquirrel

I think the only reason Luce keeps making it into City Pages' "best of" lists is because they're an advertiser. Luce is the Domino's of local pizza places.

CB
CB

Why is Psycho Suzi's on this list. it is not a pizzaria. Pizza Biga, attached to the Turtle Bread on 48th and Chicago, gets absolutely NO love. Ever. Foodies know about chef Adam Vickerman, right? Head chef at Levain, worked at Sea Change under Tim McKee, was in the most recent CP Iron Fork contest. He creates the menu for Biga. Wood fired pizza, relaxed, no frills atmosphere, the biggest wine pours you'll get in the city, and treats from Turtle Bread. Venture south and try this place out. 

JimmyD
JimmyD

Nea should be below Punch for one vital difference: the crust. Nea's crust tastes bland compared to Punch and that's the element that makes or breaks a pizza. I assume they're ranked higher on this list because they either pay more for advertising (just kidding, you guys do that all the time, not just here) or you need to push some kind of pretentious "the one-off is better than the chain" nonsense because your listed

Dan Frye
Dan Frye

Obviously you guys have never heard of this new start up called "The Pizza Hut"?? They make the BEST pizza in the Twin Cities its New York and Chicago style. It blows all of these other places out of the water.

Way to do your research CP.

Scoops
Scoops

6. Galatic Pizza 8. Broders 9. Punch 10. Davannis

Adam.
Adam.

Have you been to bewiched for your pastrami on rye? Only place 'round here I go for it..

Zangbam
Zangbam

....And hipster is the new commonly used term by people who are socially awkward and terrible at insults.

Steve Tellers
Steve Tellers

I admit I havent eaten most of those pizzas, but I would guess Pagliai's in Mankato puts most of them to shame.

Hi Pals
Hi Pals

I'm going to guess George's or Steve's in Austin? Not too shabby...

Oscar
Oscar

Crescent Moon is delicious...but its tough to get a lady friend to even go in there and their service is putrid.

Steve Tellers
Steve Tellers

Gina Maria's is so very good, I love the way they load on the cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Pizzaface2005
Pizzaface2005

I KNOW!! The Crystal location in particular. Bonus point for being a PHut/WingStreet combo. Can't miss!!!

Tholomew Plague
Tholomew Plague

Look to your life for it is forfeit. Time to go back to mommies basement and play beer pong with your drop out loser friends, asshat.

Tholomew Plague
Tholomew Plague

I'm not terrible at insults Zangbam, well not nearly as terrible as your pitiful attempt at a witty, tactful rebuttal. Far from socially awkward as well, toolbag. And what does Lola's location have anything to do with the number of hipsters that flock the place? You obviously have no clue about Richfield, what a hipster actually looks like or culture in general. Hipsters are everywhere MORON but try again!!!!

me
me

oh zangbam.  you poor little hipster you.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

The service varies from HORRID to meh. The old man...he gets every order wrong...every time. He won't look my wife in the eye. Last time we went in, he told us they were going to stop letting people order pies 1/2 & 1/2 because he gets confused and orders 2 pizzas. WHAAAA!?

When the younger girl is working...like, teenager, it is awesome. She is awesome...she makes sure there is extra green sauce. Old man needs to retire... 

Oscar
Oscar

At the NE location at least. Never been to the other.

Zangbam
Zangbam

My point is, why would you slight a great pizza place by saying the customers are hipsters? The fucking place is damn near Richfield.

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