Best Pizza Joints in Columbus
Nothing like a great pie. Wondered what people's thoughts were on the best pizzas in the city. This would be my top 5:
Tommy's (preferably in Arlington) - great pepperoni and delicious flakey crust
Plank's on Parsons - great pepperoni and delicious sweet crust
Bexley or Gahanna Pizza Plus - the Ultimate Pizza is pretty amazing
Rotolo's (preferably in Grandview) - cheesy, still pretty solid
Eagles in N.A. - a large pepperoni & sausauge for $12 is probably the best value in town
Figlio isn't a "pizza joint" but makes good wood-fired pies
Flying Pizza on Bethel for NY or Sicilian pizza by the slice
Carsonie's now has the best calzones and strombolis
Pizza is such a subjective thing. And I can tell we have very different tastes in pizza from you list which includes places where I won't order pizza (Tommy's, Plank's). But we do agree on Figlio.
My favorite pizza in Columbus is Hound Dog's / Smokin' Joes in the campus area. Two different pizza styles from the same place, and both are great.
We live in Bexley and I won't order Bexley Pizza Plus, inedible as far as we are concerned. We have a Tommy's and theirs is kind of greasy thin crust, if I want that, Rubino's is better. We order from Massey's Pizza in Whitehall and are thrilled they now deliver to Bexley.
DH is from Chicago, where we lived for 20 years. No, nothing in Columbus compares to that, not thin or thick crust nor any stuffed. As Kura Kura says, taste is subjective. We agree to disagree.
I would agree with Rotolo's. I'm from Chicago too (Hi Diane!) and am not a fan of the "Chicago Style pizza" but I do like a thicker crust. Rotolo's beats everything I've had here so far in the medium-thick crust category. For the most part, everything else I've had is from a chain (Donato's and Papa John's when the kids get to choose) and is merely tolerable.
I do like Figlio for their wood-fired pizza, although, dare I say it - I like California Pizza Kitchen's pizzas also. Scandalous, I know!
I've tried most all of the places mentioned and one which has not been discyussed and that satisfies me in a way that none of the others do is Adriatico's thick crust, pepperoni and extra sauce. The extra sauce is the key.
For thin crust, there is Cowtown Pizza in Grandview. I hate the name and initially discounted the place because of it but the quality of the ingredients they use results in a superior thin crust pie. I also like Hound Dog's and the fact they have multiple red sauces in a variety of levels of heat. Sometimes I like a nice spicy pie and theirs delivers.
I have lived in Columbus all my life, and had never even heard of Cowtown Pizza. I lived in the Short North for the last four years, and alas only discovered Cowtown delivered to us mere months before we moved. I have to say, I was very impressed by the quality, taste, and price. But above all - the customer service.
We called on a whim, never having their pizza, to ask if they delivered to us. They said yes and brought us a pizza - very quickly, and still hot and fresh, on a busy Friday night. The next day, the manager called us to see what we thought, since we were new customers. Since then, every time we ordered from them, the manager sent us a hand-written postcard, mentioning our order specifically, and stating that we should call if we had any problems. Also included on these postcards was an personal offer - usually a note saying "mention this card and we'll give you a free order of breadsticks" or something similar. Sure, not a huge cost to them, but still - it was PERSONALLY written by the manager. That's not something you see everyday.
Was it the best pizza I ever had? No. Was it good? Yes. Very tasty, flavorful, and hot and fresh. I had no problem continuing to order it without the personal touches, but WITH the personal touches it made it even tastier.
I only regret that we didn't discover them sooner. We now live in Pickerington, and are beginning to explore the east-Columbus pizza scene. We'll have to venture back to Cowtown sometime soon.
We lived next door to Plank's on Parson's for 2 years, and I will have to say that it might be the WORST pizza on the planet. Donut sweet crust? OMG! OTOH, we now live 2 blocks from Tommy's Whitehall store, and now consider it the ultimate midwest pizza. I love Panzera's in UA, but no place to eat except in summer, and can't get it home hot = no thanks.
Hound Dogs in the Campus area rocks, too. Too bad the parking sucks so bad.
In my experience, people will eat poo-poo if it is steeped in local tradition. But, if their taste-buds were not awash in cheap beer they would notice that, for the most part, pizza is merely junk food made from low-grade ingredients.
I have been all over the U.S. and have eaten pizza everywhere(unfortunately), and this I can say for sure- ALL chicago pizza is doughy and uninteresting, and is preferred by folks who value quantity over quality- oh boy! raw dough!!
New York pizzas are simplistic Italian peasant recipes with varying qualities of crusts, but a flavor that relies almost entirely upon sprinkled oregano and garlic salt. Any one who considers that special has no business giving out food advice, period.
There is no good pizza in California, 'nuff said. Finally, for some reason, the best pizza- we're talking flavor and texture, not any-other-thing, is................IN COLUMBUS, OHIO! And it comes down to two places- Tommy's, and Massy's.
These two local institutions which, by the way, are owned by two separate and unrelated Italian families, have taken the universally accepted flavor of what we omnivores know as pizza to a new level.
Tommy's has flakey crisp crust that is layered and absolutely delicious, not just a bunch of dough. Massy's crust is similar, but is also under-coated with a large-grit cornmeal that is truly unique and does something special to the flavor and mouth-feel.
Both have ample and very rich sauce, copious amounts of provolone, and, when you order "pepperoni only", which I highly recommend, they use gobs and gobs of it, and all of them curl up and toast around the edges! Freakin' Delicious!
Their pizzas are well-crafted and carefully seasoned, not just big. So, don't believe the hype about N.Y. and Chicago, folks. If you want the best, ya gotta come to Cowtown.
re: mr. objective
re: mr. objective
While I respect that you have tried pizzas around the country I can say in general Columbus is a pretty disappointing pizza town, although I have yet to try Massy's and I am not sure if the Tommys you are talking about is the same one that is on Lane, which I wouldn't have said was world class. Not that NY pizza is all good, but I've definitely had more good slices and pies there than here and flaky isn't something I associate with good pizza, crisp and chewy yes, flakey sounds like a biscuit recipe. Oh and by saying there is no good pizza in CA is probably one of the craziest things I've heard, its true CA style is no good, but I don't know if you bothered to look but there are some great ones in SF among other spots.
pizza lovers are like sports fans, dead-heads, parrot-heads, cultists, and religious zealots, - they remain obstinate and loyal despite the facts set before them.
time and time again i have been disappointed by rubino's. their sauce falls just short of flavorless and relies upon sugar for what little flavor it has. their crust is devoid of nuance- it is just thin, unlike both massey's and tommy's, and planks for that matter, whose crusts are thin and crispy, yet complicated and interesting. i do have to admit that rubino's shaved sausage is just about the best i have ever come across on a pie. it is a shame that they leave you wanting more. twice i have asked for and paid for extra, and they still chinsed. there is nothing exceptional about the pepperoni they use, and the same goes for the cheese.
rubino's (that's "rubin" with an "o") as a business relies almost exclusively upon people that are loyal to their home-town-something-or-other, and a certain minority of columbusites focused around bexley that enjoy a sort of clannish pride from their mutual agreement about pizza. they cling to their "you just don't get it" attitude, like a dead-head, or a religious zealot, or a bad conceptual artist. i have taken many people to rubino's over the years, and have not seen one that considered their goods especially remarkable, but the same is not true for both massey's and tommy's.
when people say that taste is subjective that is an understatement. some people prefer the big mac to a hamburger made on a grill at home. people talk about coke and pepsi like there is more than a negligible difference. most people prefer rock and roll to classical music. there are those who consider gerry garcia to be the greatest musician in the history of music. unfortunately, truth is the enemy of appearance and perspective, politics and policy.
I'll have to try Tommy's again. I worked by the one in Upper Arlington and ate there a few times and was not blown away...not bad but not great as I remember.
I can't believe no one has mentioned Villa Nova (in Beechwold). This is the best "Ohio style" thin crust pizza. Get it with pep...you will not be disapointed.
I like Smokin' Joes crust with Houndog's second level sauce. (my second favorite)
Addriatico's wins for thick crust
Good Heavens - Adriaticos is the best in the city - hands down. But to categorize it:
Adriaticos - best silician, not to mention great breadsticks
Grandad's - best thin crust
Flying Pizza (aka Fly Pie) - best New York slice
Figlio is good too - but also agree can't really be "a pizza joint" - but they would win best specialty
In this order: 1. Adriadico's on OSU campus thick and good, but hard to get to. 2. Ange's Pizza in whitehall or Noe-Bixby rd for the Stromboli and pepperoni pizza and Italian sub, 3. Tommy's Lane ave good pep and italian sub. 4. Flying Pizza is just a good slice 5. Hound dogs and Catfish at a tie for 5th.