Amici. Uptown: 3218 Magazine. 504-300-1250.

The proudest boast of a majority of New Orleans Italian restaurants is, “We’re a Sicilian family, and our recipes have been passed down over many generations.” One nods one’s head at this knowing that there is as much difference between this Sicilian restaurant and that one than there would be if this one were Roman and that one was from New York. You can even break up all the local Sicilian-rooted places into Early, Middle, and Modern Sicilian. (Let’s see. That would be Frank’s, Impastato’s, and Vincent’s, respectively.) More to come. . .[divider type=""]

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Happy Italian. Harahan: 7105 Jefferson Hwy. 504-305-4666.

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Harahan and River Ridge have a restaurant community all of a sudden. It was a long time coming, after decades of having fewer places to eat out than you have fingers on a hand, and the nearest restaurants rather far away. Some of the new Harahan-River Ridge places are actually innovative, perhaps even unique. At the same time, the nature of the town is that it’s a great place to raise children. The new Harahan restaurants catered to that clientele with what seem like straightforward local dishes, but which often turn out to be quite original. More to come. . .

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That’s Amore. Metairie: 4441 West Metairie Ave. 504-454-5885.

Deep-dish pizza is controversial. You either love it or you hate it, because it makes a big statement. Taking forty-five minutes to prepare, a deep-dish pizza has a crust built more like that of a cheesecake (but not sweet) than that of a classic Neapolitan pizza. The crust fades into the background, overwhelmed by the inch-and-a-half mass of tomato sauce, cheese, meats and vegetables. It’s almost a casserole. This kind of pizza. . . More to come. . .

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Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. Riverbend: 615 S Carrollton Ave. 504-866-5900.

Pizza prepared in the style of the French Riviera: very thin, almost crackerlike crusts, baked in a wood-burning oven, more often spread with olive oil than tomato sauce, topped not with layers but piles of cheese, vegetables, meats, and seafood. Pasta is prepared in the same spirit, lighter than in the standard local Italian restaurant. Salads, sandwiches, and daily specials continue these themes. Prices are a great value. Full Review. . .

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Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. French Quarter: 95 French Market Place. 504-522-9500.

Pizza prepared in the style of the French Riviera: very thin, almost crackerlike crusts, baked in a wood-burning oven, more often spread with olive oil than tomato sauce, topped not with layers but piles of cheese, vegetables, meats, and seafood. Pasta is prepared in the same spirit, lighter than in the standard local Italian restaurant. Salads, sandwiches, and daily specials continue these themes. Prices are a great value. Read More. . .

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Mariza. Bywater: 2900 Chartres St. 504-598-5700.

Mariza ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS Restaurateurs Ian Schnoebelen and Laurie Casebonne gave a sharp turn to the rudder of their business a few weeks ago when they announced the closing of their Iris restaurant. (Its last day will be May 24.) That came as a surprise to a lot of people who had become fans of Iris. The restaurant they opened in 2013 was no less unexpected a move. Where the food at Iris was highly original new American and Creole cookery with a lot of polish, their new Mariza is…

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Theo’s Pizza. Elmwood: 1212 S Clearview Pkwy. 504-733-3803.

Theo’s Pizza Elmwood: 1212 S Clearview Pkwy. 504-733-3803. Map.Very Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Theo’s created a stir when they opened a few years ago on Magazine Street, making pizzas in a stone oven and creating some offbeat combinations with entertaining names. It’s a measure of how far the standards for pizza in New Orleans have come (we are not historically a great pizza town) that Theo’s seems merely above average. Ten years ago we would have called it brilliant. WHAT’S GOOD The crust is the key…

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Andy’s Bistro. Metairie: 3322 N. Turnbull Dr. 504-455-7363.
Contemporary Creole

Andy’s Bistro. Metairie: 3322 N. Turnbull Dr. 504-455-7363.

Andy’s Bistro Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3322 N. Turnbull Dr. 504-455-7363. Map.Nice Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY This is an Americanized Creole bistro, specializing in basics: fried and grilled seafood, steaks and chops, hamburgers and pizza. All of this is prepared reasonably well, but it seems to compete more with the upscale chains than their local equivalents. That said, Andy’s is a pleasant place to hang out and have a casual lunch or dinner. WHAT’S GOOD The menu is more abbreviated than it appears. It’s…

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RocketFire Pizza Co. Covington: 1950 N Hwy 190. 985-327-7600.
Italian

RocketFire Pizza Co. Covington: 1950 N Hwy 190. 985-327-7600.

RocketFire Pizza Co. Covington: 1950 N Hwy 190. 985-327-7600. Map.Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY These are boom years for the pizza business around New Orleans, bringing us much better pie than we have had at any point in our history. Things are a little different on the North Shore, however. With only a few exceptions, the many new pizza places there are mediocre and thoroughly mainstream. RocketFire, on the other hand, joins Carmelo and Pizza Man in the North Shore gourmet pizza category. WHAT’S GOOD What sets RocketFire…

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Ancora Pizzeria. Uptown: 4508 Freret St. 504-324-1636.
Italian

Ancora Pizzeria. Uptown: 4508 Freret St. 504-324-1636.

Ancora Pizzeria Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 4508 Freret St. 504-324-1636. Map.Very Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Pizza was created in Naples. In that southern Italian city is a quasi-official body called Association di Vera Pizza Napoletana. It sets strict standards that pizza makers must follow if they are to display the sign identifying their pizzerias as authentic. Ancora thought it would be interesting not only to bring in a wood-burning oven made from stone (from Mount Vesuvius!), but also to follow the rules of the AVPN. Having…

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Midway Pizza. Uptown: 4725 Freret St. 504-322-2815.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Midway Pizza. Uptown: 4725 Freret St. 504-322-2815.

Midway Pizza Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 4725 Freret St. 504-322-2815. Map.Very Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Midway is the perfect name for this place. Not only is is physically halfway between Jefferson and Napoleon, but the pizza is halfway between New York and Chicago. It’s a deep-dish job, with a crust about twice as thick as you’re used to. However, it doesn’t hold a two-inch stratum of tomato sauce, nor does it take an hour to bake the way a real Chicago-style pie does. But a thin,…

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Coscino’s. Mandeville: 1817 N Causeway Blvd. 985-727-4984.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Coscino’s. Mandeville: 1817 N Causeway Blvd. 985-727-4984.

Coscino’s Mandeville: 1817 N Causeway Blvd. 985-727-4984. Map.Very Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Hidden but convenient (it’s at the junction of Causeway Boulevard and LA 22), Coscino’s purveys a simpler menu in a more spartan space than do the chains (both the local and national ones), but if you’re going for the food this is a better choice. WHAT’S GOOD The pizzas are based on a crisp-bottomed, thin crust, baked in the old-style hearth ovens that lend so much more interest than the more common conveyor-belt ovens that…

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Mark Twain’s Pizza Landing. Metairie: 2035 Metairie Rd. 504-832-8032.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Mark Twain’s Pizza Landing. Metairie: 2035 Metairie Rd. 504-832-8032.

Mark Twain’s Pizza Landing Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 2035 Metairie Rd. 504-832-8032. Map.Casual.DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY In one way, Mark Twain’s is a blast from the past, reminding me of the pizza parlors we used to have when pizza was just beginning to be popular. It’s an old storefront that could use some renovation, with a wide-open kitchen and a juke box full of superannuated (but highly listenable) records. The menu, however, is much more modern, and would be just right in a brand-new pizzeria….

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Reginelli’s Pizzeria. CBD: 930 Poydras. 504-586-0068.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Reginelli’s Pizzeria. CBD: 930 Poydras. 504-586-0068.

Reginelli’s Pizzeria CBD: 930 Poydras. 504-586-0068. Map.CasualAE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality. WHAT’S GOOD The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is deftly assembled. If you…

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Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Kenner: 817 W Esplanade Ave. 504-712-6868.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Kenner: 817 W Esplanade Ave. 504-712-6868.

Reginelli’s Pizzeria Kenner: 817 W Esplanade Ave. 504-712-6868. Map.CasualAE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality. WHAT’S GOOD The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is deftly assembled….

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Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Elmwood: 5608 Citrus Blvd. 504-818-0111.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Elmwood: 5608 Citrus Blvd. 504-818-0111.

Reginelli’s Pizzeria Elmwood: 5608 Citrus Blvd. 504-818-0111. Map.CasualAE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality. WHAT’S GOOD The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is deftly assembled. If…

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Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Uptown: 741 State. 504-899-1414.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Uptown: 741 State. 504-899-1414.

Reginelli’s Pizzeria Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 741 State. 504-899-1414. Map.CasualAE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality. WHAT’S GOOD The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is…

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Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Lakeview: 874 Harrison Ave. 504-488-0133.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Lakeview: 874 Harrison Ave. 504-488-0133.

Reginelli’s Pizzeria Lakeview: 874 Harrison Ave. 504-488-0133. Map.CasualAE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality. WHAT’S GOOD The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is deftly assembled. If…

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Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Uptown: 3244 Magazine. 504-895-7272.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Uptown: 3244 Magazine. 504-895-7272.

Reginelli’s Pizzeria Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 3244 Magazine. 504-895-7272. Map.CasualAE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A local chain of clean, sharp, Americanized (maybe even Creolized) pizzerias, staffed by pleasant people. The selection of specialty pies is reasonably interesting, but you can build any way you want. The crust is a bit softer, breadier and fluffier than the ideal, but it tastes good and the ingredients are of good quality. WHAT’S GOOD The pizza’s finest quality is consistency. Unless you overload it with ingredients, it holds up well and is…

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Tower of Pizza. Metairie: 2104 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-9373.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Tower of Pizza. Metairie: 2104 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-9373.

Tower of Pizza Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 2104 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-9373. Map.Casual.DS MC V WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY You know something about this place before you even step inside. One of the neon signs in the windows beams the charmingly retro expression “Pizza Pie,” the other “Spaghetti.” This is no affectation. The Tower really does serve the kind of food that the city’s first pizzerias did back in the 1950s. Which is to say that it’s highly Americanized, but not mechanized the way most pizzerias have become. WHAT’S…

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Theo’s Pizza. Mid-City: 4024 Canal. 504-302-1133.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Theo’s Pizza. Mid-City: 4024 Canal. 504-302-1133.

Theo’s Pizza Mid-City: 4024 Canal. 504-302-1133‎. Map.Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Theo’s created a stir when they opened a few years ago on Magazine Street, making pizzas in a stone oven and creating some offbeat combinations with entertaining names. It’s a measure of how far the standards for pizza in New Orleans have come (we are not historically a great pizza town) that Theo’s seems merely above average. Ten years ago we would have called it brilliant. WHAT’S GOOD The crust is the key to a great…

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Theo’s Pizza. Uptown: 4218 Magazine. 504-894-8554.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Theo’s Pizza. Uptown: 4218 Magazine. 504-894-8554.

Theo’s Pizza Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 4218 Magazine. 504-894-8554. Map.Very Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Theo’s created a stir when they opened a few years ago on Magazine Street, making pizzas in a stone oven and creating some offbeat combinations with entertaining names. It’s a measure of how far the standards for pizza in New Orleans have come (we are not historically a great pizza town) that Theo’s seems merely above average. Ten years ago we would have called it brilliant. WHAT’S GOOD The crust is…

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Slice. Uptown: 5538 Magazine St . 504-897-4800.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Slice. Uptown: 5538 Magazine St . 504-897-4800.

Slice Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 5538 Magazine St. 504-897-4800. Map.Very Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Before all those high-end chefs started opening pizzerias a few years ago, Slice was already matching or exceeding the best pizza around town. They still do, with minimal posturing. Here are thin-crust pizzas in the New York style with an array of excellent toppings. The kitchen also makes a surprisingly large list of daily specials, sandwiches, and appetizers. WHAT’S GOOD Even one step in the direction of operator convenience brings pizza…

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Slice. Lee Circle Area: 1513 St Charles Ave. 504-525-7437.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Slice. Lee Circle Area: 1513 St Charles Ave. 504-525-7437.

Slice Uptown 1: Garden District & Environs: 1513 St Charles Ave. 504-525-7437. Map.Very Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Before all those high-end chefs started opening pizzerias a few years ago, Slice was already matching or exceeding the best pizza around town. They still do, with minimal posturing. Here are thin-crust pizzas in the New York style with an array of excellent toppings. The kitchen also makes a surprisingly large list of daily specials, sandwiches, and appetizers. WHAT’S GOOD Even one step in the direction of operator convenience…

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R&O’s. Bucktown: 216 Old Hammond Hwy. 504-831-1248.
Neighborhood Cafe

R&O’s. Bucktown: 216 Old Hammond Hwy. 504-831-1248.

R&O’s West End & Bucktown: 216 Old Hammond Hwy. 504-831-1248. Map.Very CasualDS MC V WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY A restaurant will never go too far wrong with enormous servings at lower-than-normal prices. That has always been the hallmark of R&O’s food–but it’s good, too. Now that nearby West End Park is bereft of its restaurants, R&O and its neighbors in Bucktown are even more important to the casual dining scene, even without a view of the nearby lake. WHAT’S GOOD The three specialties have always shown some distinction. The thin-crust pizza…

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Pizza Man Of Covington. Covington: 1248 Collins Blvd (US 190). 985-892-9874.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Pizza Man Of Covington. Covington: 1248 Collins Blvd (US 190). 985-892-9874.

Pizza Man Of Covington Covington: 1248 Collins Blvd (US 190). 985-892-9874. Map.Casual.Cash only. WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Pizza Man is the kind of place where, if you start showing up on a regular basis with your kids and their friends and parents, a bank of memories will grow that will make you feel warm and fuzzy just to think about the place for the rest of your life. And the pizza is good–not just good, but unique, and prepared with some drama. WHAT’S GOOD The toppings on the pizzas here have…

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Olive Branch Cafe. Algiers: 5145 Gen de Gaulle Dr. 504-393-1107.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Olive Branch Cafe. Algiers: 5145 Gen de Gaulle Dr. 504-393-1107.

Olive Branch Cafe Algiers: 5145 Gen de Gaulle Dr. 504-393-1107. Map.Very Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY This locally-owned chain of three pizza-and-pasta cafes has one thing going for it: when it needs bread for anything, it bakes it. Near as I can tell, they use the same dough for everything, but fresh-baked bread is better than any other kind. This enhances all the pasta entrees, because they come with a small, sauceless cheese pizza right out of the oven. It’s everything in the pizza entrees, of course….

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Olive Branch Cafe. Marrero: 1995 Barataria Blvd. 504-393-1107.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Olive Branch Cafe. Marrero: 1995 Barataria Blvd. 504-393-1107.

Olive Branch Cafe Marrero To Lafitte: 1995 Barataria Blvd. 504-393-1107. Map.Very Casual.AE DC DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY This locally-owned chain of three pizza-and-pasta cafes has one thing going for it: when it needs bread for anything, it bakes it. Near as I can tell, they use the same dough for everything, but fresh-baked bread is better than any other kind. This enhances all the pasta entrees, because they come with a small, sauceless cheese pizza right out of the oven. It’s everything in the pizza entrees, of course….

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New York Pizza. Uptown: 4418 Magazine. 504-891-2376.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

New York Pizza. Uptown: 4418 Magazine. 504-891-2376.

New York Pizza Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 4418 Magazine. 504-891-2376. Map.Very Casual.AE DS MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY This is a great name for a fairly good, consistent pizza shop, except for one thing: it’s a misnomer. It’s thin-crust pizza, crisp on the bottom, and restrained in its application of ingredients–all hallmarks of the New York style. But it’s not quite that, and people acquainted with the best pizza in New York might be disappointed. After thirty years in a cramped location, it moved in 2009 to a much…

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Mo’s Pizza. Westwego: 1112 Avenue H. 504-341-9650.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Mo’s Pizza. Westwego: 1112 Avenue H. 504-341-9650.

Mo’s Pizza Westwego: 1112 Avenue H. 504-341-9650. Map.Casual.MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY Mo’s makes a modified New York-style pizza with a great crust, thin and crisp at the bottom, with a nice breadiness at the perimeter, and a few really dark brown spots to make everything exciting. Also here are all the cousins of pizza: calzones, sausage rolls, and the like. The basic pasta dishes. And poor boys and muffulettas. The portions are laughably large; the prices ridiculously low. WHAT’S GOOD The crust is excellent here, and is only seconds…

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Italian Pie. Covington: 70488 Hwy 21. 504-871-5252.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Italian Pie. Covington: 70488 Hwy 21. 504-871-5252.

Italian Pie Covington: 70488 Hwy 21. 504-871-5252. Map.Casual.AE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The success of this burgeoning local chain of pizza shops rests on a menu that aims at a mainstream taste for a clean, pretty pizza, big portions, and flexibility in its combinations. Also here are pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches. While all are similar, some locations are owned by franchisees who might alter the menu a little, with a resulting blip in consistency. The Italian Pie is a great place for families, because the prices are low,…

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Italian Pie. Slidell: 1319 Gause Blvd. 985-661-0210.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Italian Pie. Slidell: 1319 Gause Blvd. 985-661-0210.

Italian Pie Slidell: 1319 Gause Blvd. 985-661-0210. Map.Casual.AE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The success of this burgeoning local chain of pizza shops rests on a menu that aims at a mainstream taste for a clean, pretty pizza, big portions, and flexibility in its combinations. Also here are pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches. While all are similar, some locations are owned by franchisees who might alter the menu a little, with a resulting blip in consistency. The Italian Pie is a great place for families, because the prices are low,…

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Italian Pie. Mid-City: 125 N Carrollton Ave. 504-483-9949.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Italian Pie. Mid-City: 125 N Carrollton Ave. 504-483-9949.

Italian Pie Mid-City: 125 N Carrollton Ave. 504-483-9949. Map.Casual.AE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The success of this burgeoning local chain of pizza shops rests on a menu that aims at a mainstream taste for a clean, pretty pizza, big portions, and flexibility in its combinations. Also here are pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches. While all are similar, some locations are owned by franchisees who might alter the menu a little, with a resulting blip in consistency. The Italian Pie is a great place for families, because the prices are…

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Italian Pie. Metairie: 5406 Veterans Blvd. 504-887-9977.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Italian Pie. Metairie: 5406 Veterans Blvd. 504-887-9977.

Italian Pie Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 5406 Veterans Blvd. 504-887-9977. Map.Casual.AE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The success of this burgeoning local chain of pizza shops rests on a menu that aims at a mainstream taste for a clean, pretty pizza, big portions, and flexibility in its combinations. Also here are pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches. While all are similar, some locations are owned by franchisees who might alter the menu a little, with a resulting blip in consistency. The Italian Pie is a great place for…

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Italian Pie. Mandeville: 4350 La 22. 985-626-5252.
Pizza (And Basic Pasta)

Italian Pie. Mandeville: 4350 La 22. 985-626-5252.

Italian Pie Mandeville: 4350 La 22. 985-626-5252. Map.Casual.AE MC VWebsite WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY The success of this burgeoning local chain of pizza shops rests on a menu that aims at a mainstream taste for a clean, pretty pizza, big portions, and flexibility in its combinations. Also here are pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches. While all are similar, some locations are owned by franchisees who might alter the menu a little, with a resulting blip in consistency. The Italian Pie is a great place for families, because the prices are low,…

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