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Danforth Pizza House - what to order?

I'd like to call for a pick-up order tonight and I don't want to wait too long. Anyone know any specifics about their menu? What size is big enough for 3 people?

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  1. Toppings are bare-bones - think pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, extra cheese, etc. My wife and I get a medium and it's too big for us to eat in one sitting - two toppings for $12.50! - but I think a large would be great for 3 people with maybe a slice or two leftover for the next day.

    I only converted recently to DPH, my wife is a "thin crust" type and theirs is on the thicker side. But it is really one of the best pizzas in Toronto - the crust isn't overly thick and its quality makes it crispy but with a good chew. The oven is kept very hot so you get a nice touch of char on the crust too. Sauce is perfect, cheese ratio fantastic...we decided the last time to never bother ordering in again and just get off our butts and head to Danforth.

    Someone should really scan the menu and upload it somewhere, would be incredibly useful.

    4 Replies
    1. re: childofthestorm

      Agree with your assessment of the crust - great chew & char! I like the House Special which includes bacon, onion, mushrooms, peperoni and green peppers.

      1. re: julesrules

        Me too. I live very close, so its usually piping hot when I get it home. I generally through on some extra anchovies, some good olives and capers and presto: a siciliana a la DPH.

        I agree: among the best in the city.

      2. My only complaint (and it's a small one - I am a die hard fan) is that they are sometimes off with their time estimates. Because there is only one oven, it just depends how many people called in ahead of you.

        1. Had never heard of this place. Sounds good. Doesn't look like they have goat cheese with roasted pine nuts and candied cumqats pizza, though. Kidding.

          Look forward to trying it. Is it pickup only?

          1 Reply
          1. re: grandgourmand

            Pickup or eat-in only. And their dining area isn't large, and the decor is functional. :) But who cares with pizza like that...

          2. Picked up a large pizza on Thursday night, the house special. Absolutely the best pizza I've had in Toronto. Certainly not gourmet, but the toppings they offer are fresh and the crust is to die for.

            14 Replies
            1. re: thenurse

              Thanks for reporting back...I think I'll be getting another DPH pie this week.

              1. re: childofthestorm

                Ok, I'm ordering tonight. What are the sizes like? I'm a pretty big eater. I need to split into three portions. Is a medium enough?

                1. re: grandgourmand

                  portions are HUGE. a medium is likely enough for three. I get at least two meals, often three (two larger and one smaller), out of a small.

                  1. re: grandgourmand

                    Hmm, my boyfriend and I split a large, with only 2 pieces left over. That was 6 slices for him, 4 for me (and he wanted the last two!). Keep in mind, I'm pregnant and he has both super metabolism and a hollow leg.

                    (FWIW, neither of us are overweight in the slightest....)

                    1. re: thenurse

                      Whoa I cannot fathom eating 6 slices of that pizza. I make myself stop at 3. Your bf is lucky, I wish I could gorge myself and not get fat.

                      1. re: childofthestorm

                        I was thinking the same....that crust is pretty thick and loaded with cheese. We order a large and between 2 of us, have plenty leftovers and both my hubby and I have good appetites.

                        1. re: childofthestorm

                          He got kicked out of AYCE sushi last night (they just stopped serving him...) so he subsequently made himself a grilled cheese - and was still hungry! He's 6'0 and about 185 lbs.

                          1. re: thenurse

                            Wow, good thing he hooked himself up with a nurse :)

                            1. re: thenurse

                              I'm surprised he didn't go fishing :)

                              1. re: bluedog

                                I finally had it last week. It was good, but not as much as I was hoping for. Although, the old school and no-nonsense approach is nice.

                                While I was waiting for my pizza, went into the italian grocery store a few doors down. Pretty neat place and they have their own prosciutto hanging up to dry. He said they'll be ready in September or October. I'll be checking those out.

                                1. re: grandgourmand

                                  That would be Masseli's. Others have raved about his prosciutto but I'm not fussy on it. I find it to be extremely hard and very dry around the edges. Nonetheless, I still shop there and enjoy other items they carry.

                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    To each his own millygirl, I love their prosciutto! I believe they also make their own pancetta. Very tasty.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      I've read on here that some people find it inconsistent, but I guess I've been lucky because it's always been buttery soft, never dry. I suggest you give it another try maybe when this batch is ready? I'm actually curious because of the above comment that they said it would be ready in the fall. Has anyone bought some lately? Did they run out of their own stuff?

                                      1. re: julesrules

                                        They must have. I pointed to the ones hanging and asked if he had any of the homemade stuff ready. Said, not until the fall but that he's got some tasty imported stuff.

                    2. ditto......DPH is the best pizza i've had in t.o. I like mushroom, onion, green pepper, hot pepper. a large is enough for the whole family (sometimes w/ leftovers).

                      1. I've been watching this thread with some interest. There's certainly nothing "wrong" with DPH. They are very old school pies, they are enormous, and they are extremely cheap. But they are ever so very boring.

                        He's a very nice man, but he's well past retirement age and he sometimes just doesn't open the store (a trait he shares with the much younger George Ghali down the road). DPH is one of those places I really wanted to love, but DPH is really just a very cheap feed. I'd choose Quattro Ragazze, or even plain cheese at Mamma's, over DPH.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: embee

                          Oh embee, I'm sadden. Our first disagreement :)
                          I give the guy full props for choosing to continue on. We don't order often, perhaps twice, three times a year but whenever that is, we've always found him open. I have noticed the shop closed once in awhile and perhaps we've just been lucky, but whatever. I think the place is a great addition to the neighbourhood and it would be sorely missed by many. We'd order more often if they had delivery service. Most importantly, I think the quality of pizza he puts out is a dying art. He is so passionate about getting just the right amount of char on the crust and the cheese he uses is wonderful. He specially grinds it himself and the taste is wonderful.

                          1. re: embee

                            Everything old is new again. Personally, 20 years after Il Fornello opened in the Beaches when I was a teen, I now find poorly done pizza with "gourmet" toppings boring and fondly remember Enrico's... ah those sausage crumbles with fennel seed... anyway I digress but boring DPH satifies a certain craving. I get Bona when I want interesting toppings. And I love watching that man examine his pies for proper char as many times as necessary before he will hand it over.

                            1. re: julesrules

                              No disagreement about poorly done "gourmet" pizza. I guess the best "old school" pizza is the one you grew up with. To me, that pizza has a thin crust, charred but foldable, with no toppings except a slightly spicy (ideally fresh) tomato sauce, good cheese,, and some fresh basil and good olive oil. Possibly some cornmeal undenneath. Even better when cooked in a coal (not wood) burning oven -- i.e., the pizzas of MY childhood (available all over Brooklyn; best at Frank Pepe in New Haven)

                              If you're from Montreal, you want toppings under the cheese. If you're from Chicago, it's multiple layers and a fried crust. In New York, toppings other than cheese were abnormal. At Frank Pepe, pizza was just a coal baked tomato pie. Cheese was an addon and their big deal topping was fresh clams (which I always thought weird).

                              My favourite old time pie in Toronto was the Margherita at Massimo's, which is still available but no longer reliable. At Mamma's, I order a plain cheese slice.

                              As I said, I eat at DPH sometimes and it isn't "bad", but it isn't mine. I hope he goes on forever, but I have found the place closed during nominal business hours quite a few times.

                            2. re: embee

                              embee, I too disagree! Living near him, I have rarely seen him closed, and when he is not there his son is working the ovens. And I have to agree with julesrules...while I like gourmet pizza with interesting toppings, it does get tiresome and is rareyl done well. DPH may be old school, but millygirl is right: he's practising a dying art.

                              By the way, who is george ghali?

                              1. re: bluedog

                                Ghali's Kitchen, sort of unreliable opening hours - here's a thread -

                                Ghali Kitchen
                                4 Greenwood Ave, Toronto, ON M4L2P4, CA

                                Danforth Pizza
                                920 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L9, CA

                            3. I look forward to trying this place. I've walked by and figured it was a good old school pie. My east end favourite has been a simple mushroom and cheese from Casa Di Georgio (that I put my homemade pesto on). As well, Gerrard Spaghetti House makes a really good fancy pie. it's quite expensive, but almost worth it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: air621

                                Finally tried DPH tonight. I popped in with my little boy and ordered a large with pepperoni, mushroom and green pepper, my new old school favourite. Angelo apologized when he told me it would be 30 minutes. That was fine, since I had to go get cash and buy some salad stuff from Maselli's. I ran out and did the errands and went back in to 'the pizza store' as my son called it, and sat back down. Our pie was almost ready. The phone was ringing off the hook. So much, that he took the phone off the hook. I paid him $20 and went home.
                                Opening it, I noticed that it looked AMAZING. It tasted even better, where it wasn't overcharred on the bottom. It is now my new favourite old school pizza. All the flavours came together perfectly. The sauce was mild but still very fresh tasting. The cheese was nice (it looks like mozzarella curds before it goes on the pie). The crust was nice and chewy. I want to buy the place.

                              2. Finally made it here and have to report a big thumbs up.

                                Love that the entire place is covered in flour, including the lovely older gentleman that made our pizza.
                                Beautifully charred, chewy crust, fresh ingredients... I know it's all been said.

                                I suspect there was a Chowhound lurking outside when we went in to order. He gave us a ringing endorsement and ushered us in. : ) Thx

                                1. I finally had a chance to try out DPH last night - wow.
                                  It was a good quality, old-school, well priced pizza pie.

                                  The guy is meticulous. He takes it very seriously and it's refreshing to see somebody so focused.
                                  Ordered a small cheese pizza and it was very, very good. Good sauce, decent crust and the cheese was top notch.

                                  Two things I enjoyed was the antique cash register and the awesome Gaggia espresso machine - they are both classics. Next time I'm going to be sure to ask for a shot of espresso...

                                  Anyways thanks for the heads up on this one folks...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pakmode

                                    I'm not sure that the espresso machine works, actually.

                                  2. Hey gang, made the trip to Danforth Pizza House during rush hour last night, and he was closed! At 5:30 pm on a Wednesday?
                                    Anyone know what the hours are?
                                    Is there a menu or a website anywhere, so I can phone in an order before travelling next time?

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: TorontoTips

                                      TOTips too bad to hear he was closed as I recommended DPH on another thread to you.
                                      I always call ahead, here's the menu:
                                      The prices have gone up a bit...I think $0.50 or so a pizza

                                      1. re: pakmode

                                        I've been meaning to try this place for ages, and since my kitchen reno is underway I thought I'd pick up a pizza tonight. I just called and the phone just keeps ringing.

                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                          Just phoned and someone answered, said they are open until 9:30. I'd better head over myself tonight and get one.

                                          1. re: foodyDudey

                                            LOL, I've stood in the restaurant and watched him take the phone off the hook if he is too busy. I always cruise by, sometimes he says come back later, so a beer at the Only and I go back.

                                            He must be close to 100 years old and still making great pizzas. If I was him, it would be my rules too.
                                            So now, it's like winning the pizza lottery if you get one.

                                            1. re: Mila

                                              They just started installing my kitchen cabinets today, and that will take 3 days so I'll grab a pizza there this week. I hope he has anchovies.

                                              I've had takeout from Makkah 3 times in the last week, they have some pretty decent Indian/Pakistani food there.

                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                  I just talked to the old guy, he answered the phone. I ordered the house special with anchovies. I think he could have it ready faster, but I ordered it for 7:30 pm.

                                                    1. re: Livingtoeat

                                                      It was very good. I invited by brother over also, so there were three of us. We all liked it. I'm actually eating the last slice right now for lunch. I'd go back there again the next time I want pizza. Angelo works in there by himself, and it was interesting how he opened the box to show me the pizza when I arrived. I've lived in the area for 17 years and this is the first time I tried one of these great pizzas.

                                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                                        Glad to hear you and your mates enjoyed. This board really is the best free advertising a business and can get. Now I am going to have to muscle all the other hounders out of the way when I go in to pick up next 'za! :)

                                      2. I can't understand the hype here. Everytime I've been I've found the crust heavy and insipid, and the toppings average. We badly need a good pizza place out east; this is not it.

                                        1. OK, Pak-Man, I'm going to try again tonight (if he bothers to open) and I'll report back.
                                          I am SO dying to find a great, old-school, pizza place in the north/east-end.
                                          (Please don't say Dante's or I'll have to kill you).
                                          Got my fingers crossed!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: TorontoTips

                                            Well, I'm baaack!
                                            We tried to phone in an order for pick-up, but they had taken the phone off the hook, because they had too many orders. So we walked-in, ordered from the owner's daughter, who was awkwardly taking walk-in orders while entertaining the grandchildren, and proceeded to wait about 45 minutes for our pizza at one of the creaky old tables in the back, surrounded by pizza boxes and an old fridge.

                                            While we were waiting, I watched a number of customers come to pick up their pizza orders from the tiny little 'Nonno' who was making each pizza one-by-one with a surprising amount of care and attention - watching him proudly open up the pizza box to show the customer just how nicely the pizza turned out.

                                            And the result? OUTSTANDING!
                                            Sorry, Andy, Pak-Man is right-on, this is some seriously delicious old-school neighbourhood pizza, truly one of the very best in the city.

                                            If your idea of great pizza is crunchy cracker-thin spelt crust with duckfat poached pears and goat-milk gorgonzola then this is not your place, but if you like hand-tossed yeasty dough, thin enough to crisp up, but thick enough to balance a generous topping of stretchy cheese and simple tomato-y sauce, (plus pepperoni, mushrooms and onions, in my case) then I would be surprised if you'll do better than this anywhere in Toronto.

                                            The pizza was beautifully well-done (without me asking) properly cooked right on the stone, turned faithfully so that the crust was evenly toasted with air pockets creating nicely-charred spots, with a generous amount of sauce and cheese (if perhaps a little light on the other toppings) - this was a GREAT pizza.

                                            If you've read my other posts, you'll know I'm pretty fussy, and I'm giving Danforth Pizza House an enthusuiastic 4 stars out of a perfect 5. I've had pizzas better than this, but none in Toronto - this place is a throw back to years gone by when pizza was about care and quality, not catchy phone-number-jingles.
                                            So, needless to say, I WILL be going back!

                                            1. re: TorontoTips

                                              James, I'm glad you liked it.
                                              Good things come to those who wait.
                                              Glad to have converted you the way other CH'ers converted me a year ago lol.

                                              The guy really intrigues me, I would love to learn his art of pizza making from him. He's so meticulous and his technique has been perfected through practise.

                                          2. Having read this string and living very close to Pizza House, I had no choice but to get me some 'za. This is definately a "hole in the wall" and the owner has to be at least 140 years old. I had called ahead and my pizza was just coming out of the oven when I arrived (about 40 mins after ordering). People coming in off the street were told that the wait would be an hour. If you want one of these bad boys, definately call ahead. I didn't peek until I got home and when I lifted the lid, I could hear the angels singing....at last....the perfect pizza crust.....little over done, and crunchy/chewy. It was prolly the best pizza I have ever had. I like thin crusts but even though this one is not terribly thin, it will do nicely. I ordered a small "house special" and I could tell it was a hefty pie as I was carrying it to the car. I have attached photos below. The pizza was $12 and the Brio was $1.50....taxes included. Thanks again to this board and all you Hounds. I would NEVER have gone into this place if I hadn't read about it here.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Livingtoeat

                                              What size was it? Looks yummy and well laden down with toppings.

                                              1. re: Livingtoeat

                                                small? medium? i ordered the house special small and it was enough to fill up two appetites. went around 3:30pm Thursday, luckily the wait wasn't long. 20 minutes. that pizza smell sooo.. scrumptious!! good crust too

                                                1. re: togone

                                                  The pizza in the photos was a small "house special" which has pepperoni, bacon (real bacon...sliced very small...not those grandular thingies that other pizza places consider bacon), mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. I had three slices (burp....) and there are five good sized slices left. I will be eating this pizza for days!! Run, don't walk, to Danforth Pizza House as soon as possible....before the owner keels over!

                                                  1. re: Livingtoeat

                                                    Since they say he's somewhere between 100 and 140, he may have died already - that could be his son wearing a costume.
                                                    You forgot the olives and anchovies, I'll add those to items to the "house special".
                                                    That first picture looks great.

                                              2. The pizza's are a bit busy, from the photos, (I like minimal additions, including anchovies), but the charred crust is impressive, lots of heat in the oven, and the price is right.
                                                Definitely a Chowfind, worth a detour.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: jayt90

                                                  As I said, above, in May 2008, there's nothing "wrong" with DPH. He does what he does very well, and it's certainly one of a kind, but it's not what I'd call a great pizza.

                                                  Neither is Terroni, in my opinion. Toronto just isn't a great pizza city. I've never understood why -- it should be.

                                                  1. re: embee

                                                    A great pizza is one I like. And vice versa.

                                                    Odd thing, none of the Italians I know can make a reasonable pizza. I'm not saying that's 'par for the course'; maybe it's just a coincidence.

                                                    1. re: Paulustrious

                                                      Or you don't know the right Italians.

                                                      If you are ever near Martingrove and HWY 7 on a weekday around lunch, drop in to Kappa Grill on Regina Rd. Everything they have is very good.

                                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                                        I'm not talking about restaurants here - I'm talking about Italian families. I (for my sins) am now part of one. Pizza to them is a dish you buy in. Pasta is a dish you make yourself.

                                                        It should be said that these Italians are all rooted in the post world war diaspora and are to some extent a culinary snapshot of that time.

                                                    2. re: embee

                                                      I'm curious what makes a great pizza, in your opinion.

                                                    3. re: jayt90

                                                      JayT: It's $7 for a small cheese at DPH.
                                                      That's probably the best pizza to start with and then you can experiment with toppings from there.

                                                    4. Read this post & headed out to Danforth Pizza for a medium "house" special - $18.

                                                      Admittedly, if I was walking past DPH - I may not have stopped in if not for CH. But CH'ers were right on the money.


                                                      Seriously. Loads of melted golden brown cheese, generous fresh toppings & crisp but chewy crust. Oh and the slightly charred crust... it lent the pizza a mild smokey flavour. Definitely a diet buster.

                                                      While, it's not exactly around the corner for us (we've got to hop in our car for a quick drive) but it's definitely worth it.

                                                      On a side note - I must be a fatty - I had 3 slices easily & my husband had 4... I could have easily eaten another 2...

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Apple

                                                        I must follow your example. It looks distinctly seedy from the outside, but it's all about the food.

                                                        1. re: Apple

                                                          No apple, it's not just you. Last time we ordered I thought the pizza had shrunk in terms of toppings and size. No big deal though, it's still a bargain at the price.

                                                        2. Angelo D'Auria. That's his name. Used to rent the apartment above the DPH. Hellishly hot in the summer. Ate a lot of his pizza. Liked it ok. There are better pizzas in the city, but not on the Danforth.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: mskc23

                                                            With that pizza oven beneath you, I bet!

                                                          2. Horrible news.

                                                            The owner, Angelo, has suffered a serious stroke. His son is working the shop, while his dad recovers.

                                                            To any fan of the DPH, stop in over the next little while and send your condolences.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: biggreenmatt

                                                              Thanks for letting us know. I will make a point of stopping in over the next week or two. My thoughts go out to his family.

                                                              1. re: biggreenmatt

                                                                I saw on facebook that Angelo had passed away. Am going to miss not only those amazing pizza's but Angelo's warm smile.

                                                                1. re: BIGeater100

                                                                  Just saw another post on facebook, saying that Angelo is in the hospital still recovering. Guess you can't believe everything you read on facebook. Good to hear he's recovering.

                                                                  1. re: BIGeater100

                                                                    That's terrible. I have not been in a while (away a lot) but this is by far my favourite pizza place. Angleo is such a sweet man.

                                                                    Has anybody been recently? Any updates?

                                                                    1. re: jimi1234

                                                                      I was in last Friday. His son is apparently keeping it open Thurs-Sat, maybe Sunday too I'm not certain. The place was hopping. There was an open pizza box on just about every available surface with people gathered around enjoying. The pizza was every bit as good as usual and it was mice to see it hopping in there!
                                                                      I didn't ask for an update on Angelo.

                                                                      1. re: cheesymama

                                                                        I hope he had the phone off the hook in his dad's honour :-).

                                                                        1. re: jimi1234

                                                                          LOL, he totally did! My hubby was out of town and I dragged my kids down there to place an order in person and then had to fill an hour with them complaining they were hungry before we could go back and pick it up. Definitely worth it though!

                                                                          1. re: cheesymama

                                                                            Went by today. There was a note on the door saying Angelo passed away. The store will re-open on the 10th.

                                                                            Very sad news. He was a very nice man and he could make one hell of a pie.

                                                                            1. re: jimi1234

                                                                              That's sad news. The last time I bought a pizza from him was about 3 months ago. I had an Italian friend visiting us and told her she had to go meet Angelo. I found this info on his funeral:


                                                                              1. re: jimi1234

                                                                                Wow. This is sad, sad news.

                                                                                He was one of the last great artisans our City had.

                                                                                He will be missed. May he Rest in Peace.

                                                                                Angelo D'Auria
                                                                                November 19th, 1928-October 3rd, 2013

                                                                                1. re: jimi1234

                                                                                  Just told my girl about the news. We are both very sad about his passing. Condolences to his family.

                                                                  2. Very sad. We just started going to DPH. Mr D'Auria was very nice.

                                                                    1. Does anyone know if they are still open?

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: szw

                                                                        think the son's running the restaurant. i haven't been in the 'hood for a month, so i can't confirm, but i assume it is still running.
                                                                        i would also assume that it won't be running for much longer.

                                                                        1. re: atomeyes

                                                                          The son is running it but hours are sporadic as I understand. Best to call first.

                                                                          And the pizza is every bit as good as my neighbour told me.

                                                                      2. They're open, and have new people working there, including a young dude with sleeve tattoos. Bit strange, but there it is.

                                                                        Open evenings, Tues-Sat.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: szw

                                                                            Haven't tried sleeves' pizza. Tried his son's though. Excellent, if not on par with the Master's.

                                                                            Something to strive for. :)

                                                                        1. Is it silly to ask if credit is accepted?

                                                                          Only cash I assume?

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: magic

                                                                            They only took cash in the past and I bet it will stay that way.

                                                                              1. re: magic

                                                                                I will check if they accept Bitcoins the next time I go there. :-)