So where's the pizza in Cleveland?
I am making a trip out there in the next couple of weeks and I am looking for the best pizza in the area. I am mainly interested in what's commonly called New York style pie. Thin crust, chewy texture, that kind of thing. Anyone cooking with wood, or especially coal is of the most interest, but anything you just love to eat, I would enjoy hearing about!
The only place making true NY Style Pizza is Vincenza's, which is downtown and only open for lunch. However, this is not a wood or coal fired oven type of place, but more like the typical "slice or pie" place in the Greater NY area (where I grew up).
The best choices for wood fired pizzas near Cleveland are Lolita (Tremont neighborhood) or Crostata's (Highland Heights - east suburbs). Both have an awesome oven. Lolita is part of Michael Symon's restaurant world, and though the two chef's who are Neapolitan Certified are no longer working at Lolita, the craft has been handed on. I haven't been to Crostata's in way too long, but they imported their oven parts from Italy, and all of the ingredients are sourced from there also. I understand they have a new chef making the pizza, but he is supposed to be very good. I adored the Burrata Pizza I last had there.
I can no longer recommend Bar Cento for pizza. Though they have a great recipe and an awesome oven, the last time I dined there, I noted that the pizza was different (more cardboard like). I learned the reason before we left - the dough is not stretched to order, but is pre-formed into pie crusts that are grabbed from the refrigerator to fill each order. it isn't bad - but it isn't nearly as tender and flaky as it used to be.
900 Literary Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113
Vincenza's Pizza & Pasta
603 Prospect Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44115
558 Bishop Rd, Highland Heights, OH 44143
I would recommend Capri's Pizza in Middleburg Heights. They have been making the same pizza in the same way for over 30 years. I find it to be an amazing New York Style Pizza that rivals Vincenza's and Capri has better hours.
18340 Bagley Rd, Cleveland, OH 44130
I'm done recommending NY Style pizza in Cleveland. Capri and Vincenza's are passable but hardly warrant a special trip. If you happen to be downtown, by all means stop by Vincenza's but we're hardly talking about earth shattering stuff here.
I would, however, make a special trip to Crostata's. The quality of the ingredients is first class all the way. Napolitana wood fired pizzas made by a pizzaiolo who knows what he's doing. Should you make the drive, the spumoni is something special.