Pizza may have originated in Italy, but by now, it’s a dish that is often seen as American as apple pie! Although apple pie itself is originally Dutch. Everyone loves that perfect combination of crust, tangy tomato sauce, melted cheese, and any number of toppings, from the classic (like pepperoni) to the controversial (like pineapple). There are dozens of different kinds of pies available. The classic Italian style is made in a wood-fired oven and topped with simple and delicious ingredients. Whereas other versions might include a deep dish or cheese stuffed crusts, wild flavor combinations, or vegan substitutes for the plant-based contingent. No matter what kind of pizza you are after, Portland has something to satisfy.
Ken’s Artisan Pizza
There are plenty of places that specialize in traditional wood-fired pizza in this city, but when it comes to arguments over whose is the very best, you’ll hear Ken’s Artisan Pizza brought up a lot! These thin-crust blistered pizzas won’t come with dozens of unusual toppings, but with delicious mozzarella, a few simple toppings, and usually with a little pile of arugula on top. Started after the success of pizza at Ken’s Artisan Bakery, this Neapolitan pizzeria quickly became a local favorite. It also features an interior made with wood reclaimed from the Jantzen Beach Big Dipper roller coaster, so it’s got some great environmental credentials too. Ken’s Artisan Pizza takes no reservations, so expect some long lines if you head down there for a slice during peak hours!
Ken’s might be the place to go if you want to pretend that you are spending an afternoon at a Neapolitan pizzeria. If you want pizza that could only be from Portland, check out Sizzle Pie. This rock’n’roll inspired pizzeria bar has a few locations in the city, for late night drinks and slices with weird and wonderful toppings. In true Portland style, the servers are usually heavily tattooed and offer up vegan and gluten-free pies. They also offer traditional options, all topped with rock’n’roll combos like Napalm Breath and Spiral Tap. They’re obviously doing something right, too, as they have now expanded to five locations in Portland, one in Eugene, and one in Seattle.
Of course, there are plenty of pizzerias in between the classic and the proudly weird. Vegans will love Virtuous Pie, which makes cashew mozzarella and tops it with meat-free options like cauliflower buffalo fried chicken (and they’ve got vegan ice cream, too). New York style pizza is king at the old-school Portland mainstay Escape From New York. There are wood-fired or food truck options on every other street corner. What’s your favorite place to grab a slice in Portland?