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Dec 10, 2006 10:07 PM

Artisan pizza in Portland, Maine

Are there any local joints in Portland who specialize in, say, the sort of pizza you can get a Figs in Boston? Say, a topping of fontina and swiss chard? Or something like figs and pancetta?

I'm in the Bay Area, and a friend of mine visted and went berserk over the (her words) unusual pizzas here, and I'd love to take her to something near her when I visit, or buy her a gift certificate.

I haven't been to Portland in a few years...who's doing great pizza these days?

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  1. Hi. I haven't found much great pizza in the 4 months that I have lived here. However, I do recommend the portland Pie Co. on Fore St. (though their sauce is a little sweet)for proscutto pies. The Pizza Villa, on Congress Ave., has really, really good calzones. Maybe not fancy-pants ingredients, but super-solid. Good luck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FuriousG

      Portland Pie...that's deep dish, right? Can't abide by it.

    2. I've only been once, but had really good pizza at Flatbread in Portland. Fresh, unique ingredients and great salad too. [I do remember a great pizza many years ago at Gugliomo's (sp?) in the Bay Area and a ridiculously overpriced one at Chez Panisse cafe!]

      1. Great pizza....those two words can incite more argument then most dishes. That said, I often paraphrase the quotation "pizza is like sex, it's all good".

        Personally I've had mixed experiences at Figs in Boston and find the pizza in Portland only average. Flatbread is tasty with a thin smoky crust that turns hard as a rock when cooled and has "organic" ingredients but mostly commonplace (unless kalamata olives are exotic for you).

        Portland Pie also has the pseudo-exotic (e.g. BBQ chicken or white) but a usually thin crust and well cooked. For the "regular pizza" it is my place of choice.

        For the most "Fig"-ish pizzas my palate would bring me to Vignola on Dana Street in Portland. The darling of Portland as of late (most recently opened restaurant in this fickle town)has small, tasty pizzas with a variety of toppings (lamb sausage, unusual italian cheeses). I've been trying to get them to do a fig, blue and coppa one but havent seen it yet.

        By the way, they had a maine shrimp app this weekend to die for!

        1. I concur with Noreaster. If you're looking for something comparable to Figs, I would recommend Vignola. This is the restaurant that is most similar in style to Figs, with a fun downtown location, sophisticated but slightly rustic atmosphere, thin crust pies and high-end ingredients. I recently wrote a review of it here

          The sausage pizza at Flatbread Company is also fantastic. But the hippy earth-loving vibe at Flatbread does not offer a comparable experience to Figs. Overall, these restaurants are in a different category. The wait, on the other hand, can rival that of Figs...

          And yes, for standard pizza parlor experience, I concur that Portland Pie is the way to go for the best pie. Service, however, can be a bit of a challenge if that blond woman with the very high voice is still standing behind the counter. Perhaps she'll submit your order. Perhaps not. And 30 minutes later when you approach the counter to inquire, she may act like she's never seen you before, even though you've been sitting 6 feet away from her all along.