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Feb 19, 2011 02:22 PM

Pizza in the Reading Area

My husband and I are recent transplants from Chicago, where pizza is king. I know I'll never find anything as good anywhere but there, but would love to learn where Chowhounds go for good pizza in the Reading area. Thanks for your help.

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  1. I have tried many places, but I would have to say that the best I know of is Paolos in Shillington. Excellent Pizza and Stromboli ( I have never tried anything else, these are so good! ) We used to live in the general area, and now live in the Mountains and drive over 70 miles to eat here.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Ravenquille

      Sadly, I have found Berks to be a kind of a pizza wasteland... (Though I have never tried Paolo's and I certainly will after the above recommendation.) I think Russo's market has a decent pizza for takeout and it's a good deal. I usually order from GNA in West Reading, which I think is good but not great. I look forward to seeing other people's replies!

      1. re: Ravenquille

        UPDATE! I found, hands-down, the BEST PIZZA IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, not just the best in Reading!
        MARIA'S on Penn St. right in town in Reading! Just the basic cheese pizza is so exquisite, that you wouldn't need any other toppings. It has a delicious crusty crust, but is a thinner kind of pizza; and it is HUGE! One slice will fill you, but a large pizza is staggering in size. My husband and I got one to eat there, and it looked like it was 3 ft in circumference! CHEAP too; like $10 for the mega-gargantuan thing.
        Weekdays are best. Deli with seats in front, full bar and large bar table area in the back ( open, you can see it from Deli area ). It is street parking, park where you can; street down in back and side street probably your best bet. It is worth the walk. I might even walk from home....
        I am not kidding here, this one puts every other pizza I have ever had, in any state, to shame!


      2. I just have to say that I feel like I have seen several requests for Chicago Style pizza lately - here, Philly board, trip advisor. And I have to admit, it baffles me. I understand the craving, but it is a regional specialty, and expecting to find it in PA is like me going to Chicago and expecting to find someone that knows how to make a good shoo-fly pie. . . .

        5 Replies
        1. re: centralpadiner

          Gee, I wasn't asking for Chicago-style pizza in the Reading area. That would be an absurd request. I'd just like to find some good tasting, even delicious, Pennsylvania pizza.
          In my previous post, I forgot to mention that we would prefer to eat in rather than do take-out. Thanks again.

          1. re: OleyValleyGirl

            I'm afraid you won't really find acceptable pizza in Berks County.

            1. re: CChaz

              That seems rather harsh, CChaz. I left the area years ago, but I remember going to Paolo's with my family. The pizza was quite good there, as were some of the other dishes. I'm afraid the great pizza places of my youth are long gone. To OleyValleyGirl, let me wish you well on your quest. Have you ever thought of making your own? When I was in high school, we started a tradition of making our own pizzas for major sports events and other family parties. Berks County boasts some great Italian markets, where you can purchase some high quality ingredients, and you can purchase good dough from ATV Bakery. It doesn't take all that long, and the results are scrumptious. I'll ask my family for some recommendations, too.

              1. re: terrierboy

                A bit of a dead thread but somehow I got to this and feel the need to add my thoughts. Today all type food is available somewhere other than the country or city of origin. With in a food type one may have a favorite and use that as their definition of good. The main style of pizza found in the east is New York and more recently via chains Chicago. Even within these main types a Jersey guy may not find a NY pie to his liking. Many argue that Chicago Pizza should be call something else as it is certainly not Pizza by any standard outside Chicago, perhaps a crusty lasagna? Many people have the same problem when it comes to finding what they would deem GOOD PIZZA. Your best chance would be in a larger metro area. So many variations it can be quite a task. Philadelphia and environs have an considerable Italian presence in the food industry. I suggest you might consider traveling south east from Oley in your quest and perhaps also consult the Philadelphia board for suggestions. There you will find considerable disagreement on the ' what is and where is " the good pizza along with some names of places for you to try for a good enough pie.

            2. re: OleyValleyGirl

              I don't know if there is an Uno restaurant where your are. I think they are a chain and do a tasty deep dish. The salad croutons are yummy too.