Pizza — it’s basically the perfect food. It’s versatile. It’s filling. It’s delicious, saucy, cheesy goodness from tip to crust. And thankfully, Hamilton’s got plenty of it.
Confession: this might be the toughest top 10 list we’ve ever written. There are just too many amazing pizza spots all over Hamilton, and choosing the best ten was no easy feat. Ultimately, we did our best to balance the list out with old classics and newer arrivals, with traditional takes and more modern & twisty fare.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the 10 best pizza spots in Hamilton for 2020.
This place is so underrated. Located at Upper Gage and Fennell on the Hamilton Mountain, this 16 year-old, family-owned operation makes some pretty fantastic and authentic pizza, panzerotti, and pasta out of their tiny, longstanding storefront.
Not only are the pizzas massive and customizable with a list of all of your favourite classic toppings, but the prices are also extremely reasonable. For a great no-nonsense, comfort food type of pie that won’t empty your wallet, there’s hardly a better place in the city.
Rise Above Pizzeria is easily one of the city’s most unique spots for a pie, and that’s because it’s Hamilton’s first and only vegan pizza place!
You almost don’t miss the meat & dairy real deal, either. A spinoff of the immensely popular vegan comfort food café in St. Catharines, Rise Above knows how to make a pizza that rivals a lot of non-vegan options, and does so without the use of any animal products.
Rise Above also serves some pretty delicious wings made out of seitan: a broth-boiled wheat gluten product that plays the part of chicken. Smothered in house-made wing sauces, these babies are unmissable. Give it a try if you’re down for something a little different!
For some great stone-baked thin crust pizzas with inventive toppings, Earth to Table: Bread Bar has got the goods.
With an enduring location on Locke Street and a more recent sister spot open on James North, Bread Bar stands out for its commitment to locally-sourced ingredients of high quality; and that certainly comes through on their creatively designed pizzas.
With options like the Bee Sting, which is topped with spicy sausage, honey, basil, and lemon ricotta; and the Apple & Bacon pizza with white sauce, mozzarella, smoked cheddar, caramelized onions, and fried sage, there’s pretty much something on the menu for every adventurous palate at Earth to Table: Bread Bar.
A hidden gem in the most literal sense, The Red Door Cucina is not only one of Dundas’ best pizza places: it’s also its most hidden one.
Dedicated to bringing the best possible authentic Italian eats to the city, The Red Door operates out of a small utilitarian kitchen hidden away down an alleyway and tucked behind the main attractions on the Downtown Dundas Strip.
But once you find the place, get ready for traditional thin crust pizzas of the highest quality, with standard pies such as a Margherita or Pepperoni, and more adventurous ones like the Mela Fumosa, topped with apple slices, bacon, caramelized onions, mozzarella, and gorgonzola. Buon appetito!
Can you say classic? With almost 30 years in the city, the family-owned and literally underground Bronzie’s Place is one of Hamilton’s iconic and enduring spots for humble-yet-satisfying Italian eats.
On top of their mountainous pastas tossed in homemade sauces – served in portions large enough to be three separate meals – Bronzie’s is also well known for its tremendously good pizzas that they’ve managed to keep serving up at extremely reasonable prices.
With a couple of signature pies on hand or the option to build your own, Bronzie’s is a no-brainer for a fix of some of the city’s best pizza.
Locals go absolutely wild for this place. It isn’t uncommon to see groups of people crowding outside of Chicago Style Pizza well before it opens, and you’re likely to have at least a 45-minute wait to snag a table any day of the week.
But there’s good reason for it: Chicago Style Pizza is one of the only spots in the city serving up those wildly satisfying, carb-loaded Chicago deep dish pizzas, and they do it very, very well. Sure, they’ve got standard pizzas and pastas and such; but if you haven’t had a slice or three of that stuffed deep dish, you haven’t lived.
Chicago Style Pizza has been around a long time, and its popularity has never wavered; a testament to its reputation as a pizza place of strong, consistent quality.
One of Hamilton’s most authentic spots for Roman-style pizzas by the slab or slice, Café Baffico is almost like having a little piece of Italy right here in the city.
Owner and Chef Jordan Weisz, formerly of Smalls Coffee, originally cut his culinary teeth during a stint in Rome, Italy, where he studied the craft and worked in the kitchens of prominent restaurants. Now, he’s brought that well-honed knowledge and skill back to Hamilton, and our city is all the richer for it.
Simply put, Weisz’s pizzas and sourdough breads are spectacular. With standards on offer like a Margherita or Pepperoni pizza as well as an ever-changing selection of features, Café Baffico always holds true to the Italian tradition of simple food with top quality ingredients. Short of jumping on a plane to Rome, you’d be hard pressed to find better Roman pizza anywhere in and around the city.
This place is quintessential Hamilton. Yes, Roma Bakery has all kinds of delectable baked goods on offer; but what they’re most well-known for are their famous bread pizzas that have become a staple at many a local barbecue, party, or picnic for years and years.
Roma’s slab pizzas are simple, made with little more than a light and airy crust, oil, and their iconic red sauce generously slathered on top. But even without glorious cheese to top it all off, Roma pizzas are still enduring favourites that are just as good cold or toasted in the oven.
Simply put: if you’ve never had a slice of Roma pizza, are you even a Hamiltonian?
This place is pretty new to Hamilton’s food scene, but it’s already gained a frenzied popularity and top notch reputation among locals.
Headed by Salar Madadi of the city’s famous Pokeh and located in East Hamilton on Barton Street, MaiPai specializes in square Detroit-style deep dish pizzas and, oh mama, they’re freaking amazing. Dense square pies with crispy edges and creative, tempting toppings, you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything MaiPai has to offer.
Even a standard, simple Detroit Red Stripe with brick cheese, mozzarella, romano cheese, and a thick stripe of house-made red sauce does the trick, but MaiPai’s even got some more playful pies such as the Secret Pickle Pizza, which is loaded with dill pickles, bacon, fresh dill, and garlic aioli; or the Do You Wanna?, featuring Nduja sausage, fig marmalade, ricotta, and basil.
The pizzas are on the pricier side, but trust me: they’re well worth it.
True Hamilton pizza lovers won’t be surprised to see Shorty’s take the top spot. This is the place in Hamilton to get authentic New York-style, foldable thin crust pizza, and it doesn’t remotely disappoint.
Shorty’s Pizza is so popular that, even on weekdays, it’s not uncommon to see an hour’s wait for your pie; but oh, it’s so worth the wait. Standard varieties like the classic New York Cheese are packed with balanced flavour (that sauce!), and less common offerings like the White Pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, pesto, lemon zest, and a nutty sesame seed crust are always poised to impress.
Accompanied by an assortment of house-made dips (the garlic dill is particularly exquisite), Shorty’s Pizza fully captures the experience of authentic New York-style pizza without having to cross the border. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks.
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What changes would you make to our list? Let us know in the comments!