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Feb 6, 2005 12:24 AM

Decent pizza in Vancouver

  • h

I moved to Vancouver recently and am enjoying the many excellent restaurants, but have been very disappointed by the apparent lack of decent pizza here. I'm talking about real Napoli style with a nice thin, bubbly crust, flavourful sauce, good quality mozzerella and interesting toppings. Ideally baked in a wood burning oven, but at least in a brick oven. I have tried all the pizza places which have won numerous 'best of Vancouver' awards and they are all terrible. Thick, bready, pizzas or flavourless cardboard crusts or worse, whole wheat crusts! I mean roughage is good for you, but not when you have a pizza! I might be spoiled having been to Naples and having grown up in Toronto, but really, pizza in Vancouver is proving to be the biggest food disappointment in an otherwise excellent restaurant city. I hope someone can help prove me wrong so I can get a decent pie.

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  1. I like that new-york style place on Denman- locals can give you the name, there is one in the Kits area too i think, but even it is not what I would call great. I had the unfortunate experience of ordering from two pizza places on a sojourn to Van in August, and the first was one of those "best of" places, and it was absolutely disgusting and very expensive; the second was recommended to me by a guy who apparently lacks teeth and taste buds, it was called Dallas and "digusting" is just not strong enough. I cannot fathom how anybody could describe it as edible, never mind the best in town.

    I'd just give up. Vancouver does so many things well, it just completely sucks at pizza.

    Speaking of Toronto- my God the potato and rosemary pizza at Amato's is TO DIE FOR!!!

    23 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      Sadly, I hear more and more people who share your view about Vancouver pizza. I had a pizza from a place called Rebellious Tomato, winnner of numerous best of awards and like your experience, found it absolutely disgusting.

      The NY place you refer to is Nats and I agree that it is not great. They mean well and have decent toppings, but the crust is what I would call cardboard like. It seems to be popularly regarded as one of the best, so maybe I should give up, but I'm hoping there is some hole in the wall place that does a great pizza and someone will tell me about it. otherwise, I may have to give up my career and open up a decent pizza place.

      1. re: Hungry_Dave

        on commercial drive there is a place right across the street from the santa barbara market. i have found that to be good pizza with excellent crust and cheeses. typical to what you would find in toronto. i cant think of the name but its one of those places where the italians go to watch soccer, drink coffee and eat pizza. it has a green awning. lower commerical area below 1st street on the top of the hill.

        1. re: benzer

          Sounds hopeful. I will look for it. Thanks for the tip!

          1. re: Hungry_Dave

            You want thin crust.

            Best in thin in town:


            1. re: Deckard

              I loved Amadeus, but had been led to believe they were out of business. Do you have details?

              1. re: waver

                Sadly Amadeus has been gone for a while. I think another pizza place is/was supposed to go in there (can't remember where I read that).

                1. re: grayelf

                  Finally stopped to look at the new place in Amadeus' old location. Olie's Pizza. Looks promising. Will try it at some point.


                  1. re: waver

                    I've eaten their pizza there. Not bad at all - the crust is crisp on the bottom to the point of being flatbread. The toppings were decent - and adequately dosed. They use gas-fired pizza deck ovens, IIRC. I hadn't been to Amadeus so I didn't know that this was their old location till now.

                    1. re: waver

                      went to olie's yesterday , thin crust mostly crunchy , could have been moreso for my tastes, overall though a very nice slice, albeit a slurge at $3.50 a slice, but also an added bonus spot to pop into on a foodie venture to Granville Isle

                      1. re: vandan

                        Thanks for the intell Vandan. Amadeus was a favourite for us -- will have to give Olie's a try.

                        , Vancouver, BC V5Y, CA

          2. re: Hungry_Dave

            Try Ragazzi Pizza....22nd and Nootka in East Vancouver. Best Pizza in the city.

            1. re: Vancouver101

              Agreed! That's my go-to delivery and by-the-slice place now.

              1. re: Vancouver101

                havent tried ragazzi, but uncle fatih 's( across from broadway skytrain stn) has good toppings but its the crust that makes it, always a nice crunch to it, but never overdone, best on the drive for sure(well technically its on broadway, but close enough)

                1. re: vandan

                  Yes, I definitely like Uncle Fatih's better than Ragazzi and Uncle Fatih's delivers too!

                  1. re: ck1234

                    Sorry, I'm not a fan. I'm not a fan of that style of Pizza in any case - the most common type in Vancouver. Puffy, oily dough that is overloaded with toppings. I prefer unoiled dough with real toppings. Ragazzi uses real mozza and real salumi.

                    I don't like the oily dough, institutional-grade "cheese" and "salami" at Fatih's (Uncle Fatih's does not even use real cheese - it is that "pizza cheese" - a caseinated milk product). If I had to choose a pizza in that style, I would choose the Megabite in the Skytrain station over Uncle Fatih's - I have to order it "thin crust" though.

                    Sorry! Just my opinion.

                    1. re: fmed

                      Don't have to be sorry! I find Uncle Fatih's tastes better than Ragazzi. That's just me. We've ordered from both places numerous times and it's just our preference. I like Megabite too!

                      1. re: fmed

                        ok so i made it out to Ragazzi today , good for sure, still prefer the crust @ Fatihs, but Raggazzi's was still quite good, a few + and - that i observed for both, when i arrived today @ Ragazzi they only had 2 types peperoni and veggie and i was there for about 30 minutes and nothing else came out, Fatihs always has better selection and waay more foot traffic hence better chance of just out of the oven pie, advantage Fatihs , but what i really did like about Ragazzi was that true east van neighbourhood joint feel to it, its actually a nice little place to sit (especially in vile weather) advantage Ragazzi, keep in mind my observations are more for popping in not take out

                        1. re: vandan

                          I like the renos they've done at Ragazzi. And they do have a good pie. Another place that's good is Goldies on Pender at Seymour. Really good slices for about a buck more than other places. Nice thin, crispy crusts and not laden with toppings. Goldies is also better value than nearby scuiƩ, and it's open late for the post-club people.

                          1. re: el_lobo_solo

                            ya i haven't been there since summer, do you know if they still have that deal you save if you buy it before, i believe, noon (??)

                            1. re: vandan

                              I work nearby and many of us wish they could open before noon. (It's also the nearest place to us for decent java.) I just looked at their newest delivery / take-out menu, and there's no mention of an early special.

                            2. re: el_lobo_solo

                              I haven't been to Goldie's but I have heard raves from many people I trust. It has been on my list for a while - but just can't find an excuse to be in that area.

                            3. re: vandan

                              At Ragazzi, I would order an pie or two to go and have one or two slices right there before taking it home. That guarantees a fresh slice.

                              Fatih's definitely has a huge turnover.

                              1. re: vandan

                                ok another observation @ ragazzi , why on earth are they not licensed, i understand the hoops that businesses have to jump through to circumnavigate bc's ridiculous liquor laws, but somehow sitting there it just felt like something was missing, pizza and beer, a magical combination, pizza and espresso not so much

                  2. Try Marcello's on Commercial Drive. It's not a pizzeria but their pie is wonderful.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: islandgirl

                      I did have their pizza once before and (sigh!) I was disappointed. I guess it started when I asked for some garlic on it and they said they had none, but could put some garlic powder on it. GARLIC POWDER at an Italian restaurant! Shameful. When I got the pizza, it too sufferred from the common ailment of hard biscuit like crust with no flavour. I do realise that this place is highly regarded, but to me, it just doesn't cut it.

                      1. re: hungry_dave

                        Have you tried Steamworks? I know it's a brew pub but their pizza is pretty good (although if you didn't like Marcello's my suggestions might not be up your alley)

                        1. re: islandgirl

                          I went to Steamworks a few times and the service was horrible both times. On top of that, the food (including the pizza) wasn't even good. All I know is that I'd never go again.

                    2. Try Zachary's on Oak and 16th it's great

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Marcus

                        I used to live right around the corner. Again, it's the dough. This one is quite bready, to my taste. Zack is a character though.

                        1. re: Marcus

                          This would be my recommendation for a thin crust place in Vancouver. The crust totally makes the pizza and the menu provides decent variety in interesting toppings!

                          1. re: Marcus

                            Zaccary's Pizza Is the best pizza in vancouver! Just waiting to get some delivered right now!

                            Tel:(604) 737 - 1933
                            Location:3150 Oak St. (at 16th)


                            1. re: Marcus

                              I wanted to try this place out since it's so close to me and I see some people like it...

                              Big mistake. Just not very good, and I actually didn't even want to put the leftovers in the fridge cause I knew I wouldn't touch them. I did end up putting em in the fridge cause I practically never throw away leftovers... but these slices, I didn't eat.

                            2. I know that Vancouver does really cheap, soggy, half-ass pizza really well. Nat's on Denman (and in Kits) is popular because of the atmopshere and history it has in the neighbourhood, but...

                              have you tried pizza at Incendio? They have one location in Gastown on Alexander and Columbia and another location on Burrard and W 5th, next to the Fifth Avenue Cinema. Personally, the one in Gastown has more ambience - brick walls and likely a brick oven. Hrm. Looking at their website, I notice that they too have won awards for best pizza. I've had great antipasto dishes and pasta dishes there, but never the pizza. Regardless, if you haven't been there yet, it's worth a try at least!


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Robyn

                                I did try Incendio. This is not bad, but really an opportunity missed. The toppings are very good and the wood fired oven is good, but the crust is hard and crunchy like a cracker, not a real pizza crust. I'm not looking for thick and doughy, but just a nice crust texture with some give and some flavour. Nice place otherwise though.

                              2. Station Square in Metrotown. Good taste for the price. I think the owner is from Boston.