I’ve decided to start with pizza, because what type of person doesn’t love pizza? A weirdough, duh. Sorry, I just needed to get at least one pun (ok, two if you count the title) out of my system. I’ll stop.
For real though, I think pizza is just one of those staple food items that’s too good to live without. I’ve managed to try a few really great places in Capitol Hill (my neighborhood) and so I figured that it’s a great place to start with some of my Seattle recommendations. While these are pizza places in Capitol Hill, some of them do have other locations around town, just in case you don’t want to make the trek or order delivery! Just to be clear, I’m not really a food blogger, but I am a food lover. I’m hoping my love of stuffing my face qualifies me enough to write about it. Now let’s get to it (before I start adding more pizza puns).
BY THE SLICE
Big Mario’s Pizza - 1009 E Pike Street (& other locations)
This little New York style pizza joint is the perfect place for a late night slice of pizza. Picture this - you’ve just come from the half price wine night over at Barca with your bestie, and while you’ve been energized by the rhythm of live jazz music, you’re also drungry (I think that’s what you call the drunk munchies). You turn the corner onto Pike Street and suddenly you catch a whiff of fresh baked pizza that makes your mouth water. Bingo. It’s Big Mario’s. You enter the dimly lit diner-esque pizza joint and make note of the leather booths, long bar, and old movies playing on the tv, while you deliberate you pizza choice behind a horde of other drungry people. Will it be cheese? Pepperoni? Sicilian? Whatever the featured pizza is? Whichever you choose, your slice is served on a paper plate, so you can see just how much greasy goodness you’re about to consume. The pepperoni pizza did not disappoint and was sufficient in satisfying my late-night craving. You can bet I’ll find myself back here in the wee hours of the morning in the future (though not too often, because I’m getting old and boring).
I should mention that they also have other flavors of pizza available, but only if you order a full-size pizza, as well as calzones and salads. I can’t speak to those, but I can say that if you find yourself at a bar on Pike Street, you should find yourself at Big Mario’s Pizza afterwards.
Ian’s Pizza by the Slice - 1620 Broadway
Like Big Mario’s, Ian’s is open late night on the weekends (but not the week days, so no pizza after wine night at Barca, sadly), but unlike Big Mario’s, it has a wide selection of specialty pizzas by the slice. If you prefer a little more variety with your pizza, this one’s for you. They have pizzas made with marinara, pesto, bbq, or white sauces. They also make pizzas with vegan toppings, as well as gluten-free crusts. Each month they have two featured pizzas that you won’t find on their regular menu (please note: one of the March flavors is Fish Fry, and if you’re the kind of person who would order that pizza, I’m not sure we can be friends). As if their wide selection wasn’t already enough to entice you, you can also build your own pizza.
I was initially drawn to Ian’s with the promise of a buffalo chicken pizza. For some reason, Seattle seems to be lacking in buffalo chicken options, and I was determined to get my fix. Here’s the thing, while you CAN order any specialty pizza by the slice, it’s not as if they have every pizza made and waiting. They seem to have a few regular and a few vegetarian/vegan options ready at any given time. The nice man behind the counter told me I could have the buffalo chicken pizza if I waited 15 minutes, but Chris and Prue were waiting outside in the snow and I’m impatient. I settled instead for the Florentine pizza (marinara sauce, mozzarella, diced tomato, sautéed spinach, & feta). I actually often order vegetarian pizzas, and this one had great flavor. Chris had the pepperoni, and he said it was ok as far as pepperoni pizza goes, but nothing too special. I think the specialty pizza is where it’s at.
Oh, and for the record, I’m still looking for some good buffalo chicken in Seattle. If you know of any, please hit me up.
PERFECT FOR DELIVERY
Southpaw Pizza - 926 12th Ave
Sweet, heavenly, salty pizza. If this pizza were a Hogwarts student, it would be Draco Malfoy at the end of the first year, when Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville win just enough points to win the House Cup for Gryffindor at the last minute AFTER the Great Hall has already been decked out in Slytherin colors. SALTY. Ok and also, while we’re sort of (but not really) on the topic, can I just say that that was such a dick move on Dumbledore’s part? Couldn’t he have awarded the points before the feast? Or at least not had any house colors up before he announced it? Totally uncool, Albus. But ok, back to the point. We ordered a pepperoni pizza (aka their “Uppercut” pizza) from Southpaw and it was both delicious and very salty. I happen to love salty foods so it didn’t bother me, but if that’s not your jam, you may want to order from somewhere else.
BUT THE CRUST. Let me tell you, that’s what stood out most about the pizza. I think the crust is such an important part of the pizza… dare I say the MOST important part? They describe it as “somewhere between Neapolitan and New York style”, but whatever you want to call it, it’s delightful. They don’t have a ton of pizza choices (7 to be exact), but you can build your own, and they do offer a gluten-free crust. I’d like to give another signature pizza a try in the future, especially considering the owner is an award-winning chef. I feel like that’s usually a good sign. Not to mention they have a dessert called “JM’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie” and I’m not saying it’s named after me, but I’m also not saying it’s not.
Sizzle Pie - 1009 E Union St
This Portland-based pizza place (founded by the same guy who founded Relapse Records - Matt Jacobson) only has a couple of locations outside of Oregon, and one of them is here in Capitol Hill. I think this was actually the first pizza place we tried when we moved here. If I’m being perfectly honest, we didn’t get delivery (they don’t offer it), but we DID get take-out so I’m still counting it in this category. In terms of storefront, Sizzle Pie is a pretty neat little place. It’s got this big American flag pizza mural out front that’s impossible to miss next to it’s all black facade and pops of red patio furniture. Your ears are blasted with heavy metal music when you enter the building. Their slogan is “Death to False Pizza.” It’s not like any other pizza place I’ve been in before.
So let’s talk pizza. Like I said, it was the first place we visited when we got here and we were in Famoso Pollo pizza withdrawal. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Famoso is an amazing Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant in Canada and the Pollo pizza is one of their original pizzas that they discontinued in like, 2012, and we’ve been trying to recreate ever since. Seriously - chicken, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, basil, fior-di-latte cheese, and an olive oil, garlic, and oregano sauce? Name a better pizza, I dare you. You can’t. Why they discontinued it, I will never know. Life is just unfair sometimes. Why am I telling you this? We attempted to build our own Pollo pizza via Sizzle Pie. While the pizza was still tasty, I think we set ourselves up for disappointment, because the cheese and crust could not replicate the OTP (One True Pollo). Our mistake though, not Sizzle Pie’s. I still think it was a good pizza in its own right however, and I would definitely still recommend giving them a try. I mean the place has a pizza called “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon”… could they BE any cooler? Vegetarians and vegans can rejoice as well, because they’ve got lots of options with spunky names for you too, and a gluten-free crust for you gluten-intolerants.
Fun fact: for an extra dollar, they’ll draw a sauce pentagram on your pizza. Because, why not?
Pagliacci’s - Multiple Locations
This Seattle-based pizza place is now our go-to delivery place. We first tried it when WebPass ordered it to our building in order to entice us to sign up for their internet (by the way - it worked. See ya CenturyLink, with your choppy internet connection and lack of pizza parties). I tried the pepperoni pizza and the chicken and feta pizza and I was HOOKED. I tried to take some of the leftover pizza and save it for lunch the next day, but I don’t think it even made it another half an hour in our apartment. We’ve ordered them again since, and their Hawaiian pizza was also delicious. And before you “@” me, YES, pineapple DOES belong on pizza, ok? You can’t change my mind.
As far as delivery goes, they’re my number one. I think their crust rivals South Paw’s, they have a 27 different pizza options, the option to build your own, and they offer gluten-free crusts as well. There are multiple locations throughout the Seattle area, including a couple in Capitol Hill. They might be the least “unique” of the three I’ve listed, but I think that might be what makes them kind of a “staple” pizza place. Plus they have an app, which makes ordering from them super convenient. Extra tip: if you want to sound like a Seattle local, make sure you don’t pronounce the silent “g” in Pagliacci’s.
Via Tribunali - 913 E Pike St (& other locations)
This one came recommended to me by Seattle blogger Brittany Streissguth (www.pumpsandplaid.com) and Chris and I were excited to find another Neapolitan pizza place that could potentially rival our love for Famoso. We went first for our anniversary, and next for Chris’s birthday. The ambiance is great for date night. It looks something like an old cathedral, with beautiful brick walls, wooden beams, chandeliers, and big wooden booths, lined with wine bottles and candles. There are these light-up, stained glass wall-hangings depicting religious figures, like John of the Cross and Jerome, that remind me of the type of decor you’d see in Baz Luhrmann’s version of Romeo and Juliet. The overall effect is charming and actually pretty romantic.
The pizza was really good as well (I mean obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing about it). I’m a creature of habit and I often order the same thing again and again. It’s hard for me to branch out when I’ve found a good thing. I ordered the Verde pizza both times (um hello, it has artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, pesto, and goat cheese) and both times, Chris also liked my pizza better than his. I’m telling you, there is something to be said about vegetarian pizzas. Not that he didn’t enjoy his (I believe he had the Diavola and some other meaty pizza - I’m always too invested in my own pizza to take notice, sorry Chris), but the Verde is just that good. They really nail the Neapolitan crusts on these, and they are THIN. Like, so thin they give you a pair of scissors to cut your pizza. I felt like some sort of crafty pizza connoisseur, cutting up my slices. I googled pizza scissors after, and the internet seemed really divided on their use. My opinion? Scissors or pizza cutter - I don’t care as long as it assists me in bringing the pizza from the plate to my belly. Anyways, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say their Verde pizza is probably one of my favorite pizzas. Like, ever.
Bar Cotto - 1546 15th Ave
I was sure that Via Tribunali was going to reign supreme as my favorite Neapolitan pizzeria in Seattle, but now I’m honestly torn between it and Bar Cotto. They definitely have different vibes. Where Via Tribunali has a very charming, almost medieval aesthetic, Bar Cotto is a much more modern and sleek. Both are beautiful spaces in their own right. I opted for the Funghi pizza, another divine vegetarian creation, and Chris chose the Diavola (he’s always going for the spicy ones). We swapped slices and the Diavola was tasty, but once again, we both preferred mine. At a certain point, I think Chris is just going to need to accept that I make the best pizza choices. You can bet I’m having the Funghi again the next time we go back, and I bet he will, too.
They’ve got happy hour from 4-6:30, so if you eat supper at a “normal hour”, you can also enjoy a nice little appetizer or drink with your supper at a good price. There’s not a ton of seating in the restaurant, so if you’re planning to hit it up during the dinner rush on a weekend, just be prepared to have to wait for your table.
Well, I think that about sums it up for my pizza experiences so far in Seattle! Hopefully this is at least moderately helpful, should you find yourself in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and hungry for some pizza. If nothing else, at least now you know what I’ve been doing with my time in Seattle, which is mostly eating, but now also writing about it. I’m also becoming well-versed in coffee shops, brunch spots, and Mexican restaurants, so you can expect to see some posts along those lines in the future. Disclaimer about the photos: contrary to my husband’s belief, I don’t take photos of EVERYTHING I eat (just a lot of it), so I don’t have photos of everything this time around. The blog was just a twinkle in my eye at the time, and honestly, I was usually just really hungry. I’ll be better next time! Oh, and if you’ve stuck with this post this long, thanks!! This has been fun for me and I’m excited to be writing again. If you have any burning questions about Seattle or want any specific recommendations, HOLLA AT YA GIRL and I’ll see what I can do! Ok, well… How are you supposed to end blog posts???? Do I need a catch phrase? A signature? Right well, uh, until next time? Bye!