CremeDeLaCremeSquare-150x150Pizza is so appealing that it has swept across the world. If you’re in a place without pizza, you are truly in a remote area. Unfortunately, pizza lends itself to so many shortcuts, commercialized versions, and cheap ingredients that there is far more bad pizza out there than good.

New Orleans was not historically a great pizza town, but that has changed in the past few years. Since my last edition of this list a year ago, several superb new pizza specialists have appeared–most of them near the top of the list below, replacing some wistful old favorites. If your own sentimental choice isn’t here, keep on eating it, but open your mind to these, too.

"The Board" pizza at Pizza Man of Covington, my own sentimental favorite that just missed this list.

“The Board” pizza at Pizza Man of Covington, my own sentimental favorite that just missed this list.

There’s plenty of room for individual tastes in pizza. Thin or thick, loaded with ingredients or just cheese, tomato sauce or not. Add the dizzying varieties of toppings and the possibilities become for all practical purposes infinite. I look for an excellent crust, with a paper-thin crisp zone at the bottom and a slight breadiness at the edge. A fresh-tasting sauce with a distinct herbal and pepper quality. Whole-milk or fresh-milk mozzarella, laid down with restraint. And a minimum load of other toppings. Here are the pizzerias that satisfy those criteria best.

Calabresi pizza at Domenica.

Calabresi pizza at Domenica.

1. FleurDeLis-4-ForLists Domenica. CBD: 123 Baronne (Roosevelt Hotel). 504-648-6020. Neapolitan style, from a wood-burning stone oven.

2. FleurDeLis-2-ForLists Brooklyn Pizza. Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 4301 Veterans Blvd . 504-833-1288. Not much on looks, but the perfect New York-style pie.

Coppa pizza at Ancora.

Coppa pizza at Ancora.

3. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists Ancora Pizzeria. Uptown: 4508 Freret St. 504-324-1636. 800-degree stone, wood-fired oven. Toppings are offbeat. Not for pepperoni lovers.

4. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists Ciro’s Cote Sud. Uptown 4: Riverbend: 7918 Maple. 504-866-9551. A French restaurant that inherited a pizza oven. Great spicy sauce and excellent crust.

5. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists Slice. Uptown: 1513 St Charles Ave. 504-525-7437. ||Uptown 3: 5538 Magazine St. 504-897-4800. A classic New York pizza, a little thicker and more loaded down than average.

Thunderbird pizza at Midway.

Thunderbird pizza at Midway.

6. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists Midway Pizza. Uptown: 4725 Freret St. 504-322-2815. A breadier, puffier style, with some unusual pizza specialties.

7. Pizza Delicious. Bywater & Downtown: 617 Piety. 504-676-8482. An avid following among Downtowners, New York style, a bit overloaded.

8. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists Amici. Uptown: 3218 Magazine. 504-300-1250. Coal-burning oven. Get pizza for the appetizer and then survey the full Italian menu.,

Venezia-Sign

9. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists Venezia. Mid-City: 134 N Carrollton Ave. 504-488-7991. Old New Orleans style for over sixty years. Very consistent.

10. FleurDeLis-2-ForLists New York Pizza. Uptown 3: Napoleon To Audubon: 4418 Magazine. 504-891-2376. The ingredients on top are better than most (whole-milk mozzarella, for example).

11. FleurDeLis-3-ForLists That’s Amore. Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 4441 West Metairie Ave. 504-454-5885. The only shop in town making deep-dish pizza. Call 45 minutes ahead.

12. FleurDeLis-2-ForLists Mo’s Pizza. Westwego: 1112 Avenue H. 504-341-9650. A thick pizza with a sweet sauce, and many specialties (sausage rolls, calzone, etc.)

I can’t fail to honorably mention a pair of new pizza shops with what would have been standout pie twenty years ago. Both are in Harahan. Oak Oven (Harahan: 6625 Jefferson Hwy. 504-305-4039) has the eponymous equipment, and sends out very good thin-crusty, Italian-style pies. A few blocks up the road is Happy Italian’s (Harahan: 7105 Jefferson Hwy. 504-305-4666.) pizzas come off a conveyor-belt oven–usually not a good sign. But this belt is made of granite, and the results are great. What you may remember even more is a ground meat pizza–an idea that sounds obvious but is almost never encountered. It’s spectacular.

27 Readers Commented

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  1. TR on March 29, 2014

    What about R and O pizza? Great sauce, good cheese and cooked in a traditional wall oven my favorite over a brick oven any day.

    • Tom Fitzmorris on March 31, 2014

      It was on my first list, but it didn’t quite make the cut. We have a lot of good pizza out there these days, and this is one of them. (Although I find the crust a little too soft for my tastes.)

  2. Jay on October 11, 2014

    Another list that needs an update. Slice has been sliding seriously downhill for years now; the pizza at Domenica’s Pizzeria Domenica spinoff is arguably better than the original; and any Best Pizza list that doesn’t include the Bywater’s Pizza Delicious isn’t worth its toppings.

    • Tom Fitzmorris on October 11, 2014

      This is a list that gets revised once a year, and with all the pizza places out there. . . well, it’s not ever going to be perfectly up to date. Sad to say, it’s quite impossible to hit every pizza joint every day.Which is why other sites don’t even attempt to keep up such a list. I disagree with your comments about Slice and Domenica. But that’s what this feature of the website is here for.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  3. Jay on October 13, 2014

    Ah, the 2011 date on this post led me to believe it hadn’t been updated in three years, instead of updated yearly. I agree that it nonetheless provides good fodder for spirited debate! (Still maintain that Slice isn’t what it used to be, though … and that you have to overcome your hesitancy to cross the tracks into the Bywater and check out Pizza Delicious one day soon 🙂

  4. mark jones on December 23, 2014

    no RocketFire? really?

    • Tom Fitzmorris on December 25, 2014

      At the time this was written, RocketFire was in transition from Covington to Metairie. I always liked the one in Covington, but I have not reviewed the Metairie location yet, waiting for its long-term performance to be fully established.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  5. McKinleyDay on March 15, 2015

    Wife and I visited “That’s Amore” today. Great atmosphere and friendly staff. The owner made it his business to visit each table to check on guest. And the pizza, which is why we went, was simply awesome. I wanted to try the Chicago style pizza but was disappointed to learn that it would take a minimum of 45 min to get it. Owner did tell us that we could call in advance an have it ready when we arrived.

    Overall, great place. That’s Amore deserves to be on this list.

    • brian on April 21, 2015

      Agreed. That’s Amore seems to be virtually unknown in the metro area… Their deep dish is consistently great. Yes, you should call ahead, though.

  6. Tom S. on April 21, 2015

    Personally, I love Mariza’s pizza, and rank Sugar Park up there as well but maybe not in the top dozen.

  7. Dane on April 21, 2015

    Dolce Vita was near the top of my list, prior to Chef Bogdan leaving in November. I’ve been once since his departure- was still good, but there was a slight drop off. May need to pay them another visit.

  8. Beth bayer on April 21, 2015

    I’m glad you included midway. Good Chicago style pizza. They are now delivering be aware that the delivery pizzas don’t seem to be cooked quite long enough. That is actually perfect however because you can toss it in the oven for a few minutes when it gets delivered then it’s piping hot.

  9. Robert on April 21, 2015

    Had pizza at every site listed, save for pizza delicious. Like them all –Deminica is fantastic — however Tower of Pizza is our fav. Great thin hand tossed crust and a rich tom sauce has been consistently great for years.

  10. Danny Ward on April 21, 2015

    How does Sugar Park keep missing being placed on “best pizza” lists?!? Best New York style pizza in the city. Pizza Delicious doesn’t even come close. (I still don’t comprehend the popularity of Pizza Delicious.) I know every good pizza place can’t make the “best of” lists, but put Sugar Park on your radar. And Mid-City Pizza is another “up and comer”.
    Oh…and deep dish pizza isn’t pizza. Its a casserole.

    • M. Tucker on April 22, 2015

      Sugar Park is the best of the lot. Beats me why it goes unnoticed by most people. Great Marguerita pizza and very good Caesar Salad!

      • Tom Fitzmorris on April 23, 2015

        Do you really think so? Well, enjoy!

        Tastefully yours,
        Tom Fitzmorris

  11. David Landrieu on April 21, 2015

    Brick Oven has great wood fired pizza. Have you tried the Brick Oven on Williams Tom?
    25 years and going strong!

    • Tom Fitzmorris on April 25, 2015

      I’ve been there many times since it opened, and have had mostly good dinners there, but I would not put its pizza in the top dozen.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  12. Harry Thompson on April 22, 2015

    We went out on Sunday to try Pizza Delicious…it was extremely average, not much flavor, I think they use store bought Hormel peperoni, and the crust had no taste. It was OK pizza but no where near reason to be so popular.

    We are on a quest see if anyone can beat Brooklyn Pizza, next we are trying Mark Twain, Tower of Pizza, then New York Pizza. So Far Brooklyn Pizza is winning by a long margin.

  13. Mike Marullo on April 22, 2015

    You missed Pizza Florence in Metairie – the best pizza in town! Also, Mello Mushroom is another favorite. Both are very good — and (notably) very consistent!

    • Tom Fitzmorris on April 23, 2015

      The omissions were intentional. We all have different palates, and mine finds nothing much in either Florence or (even less interesting) the Mellow Mushroom, a national chain with a crust recipe I find disagreeable. Please take up my slack in both places for me.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  14. Schoeboy on May 15, 2015

    All good selections, but I think you missed the boat by not including Tower of Pizza

    • Wade on June 29, 2015

      Tower of Pizza has a small, but loyal following. I find it to be average, at best. I like some of the pies at Mark Twain’s, but the consistency of excellence isn’t there. There are a few on this Top 12 list I’ve yet to try….but they are on the list, now.

  15. Bobby Swayze on July 18, 2015

    Great list! Just used it to order a pizza to go from Ciro’s. Been eating there since high school and it is always excellent!

  16. Jeff on January 1, 2016

    Tom, My vote is for Gios pizza in Metairie. Great pie and best red gravy in the greater New Orleans area in my opinion.

  17. Beth on June 6, 2016

    Is there a good place with wood-fired oven pizza on the Northshore?

    • Tom Fitzmorris on June 6, 2016

      No wood-burning pizza ovens on the North Shore, to my knowledge.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

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