20 October 2010

Pizza in the City of Brotherly Love

“Pizza is a lot like sex. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good.” Whomever it was that said this was on the right track. Yet even though bad pizza can still be pretty good, it is still helpful to know where to go for the best pizza. Being that October is National Pizza Month, I felt that now would be a good time to highlight some of my favorite pizza joints in (and around) Philadelphia.
With that in mind, allow me to qualify what I am considering good pizza. To me, a decent pizza has a thin, somewhat crispy brown crust, a sweet sauce, and the perfect portion of mozzarella cheese. There are, of course, variations to this designation as pizza is quite the versatile food and can be served in a variety of ways. I will do my best to cover as much as possible, and I certainly welcome feedback as to which establishments you believe serve up the best pies.
Simply The Best Pizza
When asked what is my favorite pizza joint in Philly, I always immediately respond with Germantown Pizza, located where Germantown Ave. crosses 4th and Jefferson streets in Old Kensington. Their crust meets the Goldilocks standard: just right. It’s crispy throughout with a nice, doughy edge. The guys at Germantown have found the perfect balance between mozzarella and their tasty sauce. It’s quite delicious. I’ve known several New Yorkers who, while usually snubbing Philly pizza, find the pies at Germantown to be just the way they like it. Aside from fantastic pizza, the staff is super nice and can boast a menu that has never let me down whether I’m ordering pizza, steaks, or anything else. Consider yourself lucky if you live in Germantown’s delivery radius, which stretches to Fishtown, NoLibs, and several other surrounding neighborhoods. If you’re not nearby, make the trip like I did when I lived in South Philly, it’ll be worth it.
Alternative Pizza
Family gatherings are always pleasant for many reasons, but one of the main reasons I look forward to having a bunch of relatives over is due to Marchiano’s Bakery. Marchiano’s is located at 4653 Umbria St. in Manayunk, which just so happens to be around the corner from my grandparents’ house. Nine times out of ten, when they come by, they’re bringing a tomato pie and some specialty breads. There’s just something about the sauce at Marchiano’s that makes it widely regarded as the best in Philly at preparing tomato pie. Furthermore, the talented bakers at Marchiano’s make some amazing breads stuffed with a variety of delicious things like pepperoni, cheese, cheesesteak, and so much more. There are few things more satisfying then scraping up the leftover sauce from your tomato pie with one of these breads. Be sure to swing by Marchiano’s before your next party, your guests will instantly fall in love with the amazing food you provided for them!
Me and Pizza Down by the Schoolyard
Enjoying Eddie's Pizza
When you combine a deep love for pizza with a fair amount of time spent on college campuses, you end up becoming something of an expert on which school has the best pizza. Call me biased, but no other school can lay claim to Eddie’s Pizza, found on the campus of my alma mater, Temple University. Situated in the outdoor food court next to the Tech Center, Eddie’s is the equivalent of heaven on earth for college students. Five bucks and five minutes gets you two slices and a drink for a quick bite between classes. Furthermore, the selection of pies rivals most larger pizza places in the city. I recommend a slice each of their chicken parm and BBQ chicken. In fact, Eddie’s is one of the few places that does chicken parm pizza the right way, with breaded chicken. While Temple may have a ton of potential places to stop for a bite, look no further than Eddie’s.
So Far Away – Pizza on the Edge of Town
With the holiday season fast approaching (don’t act like you haven’t seen the Christmas cards in Target), you may find yourself craving a slice far from Philadelphia and its fantastic pizza scene. Fear not, dear readers, for I have got you covered! For those of you who will make the trip to the Cherry Hill Mall, you’re only minutes from a pizza experience you’ve probably heard about on television but never experienced yourself. At 818 Haddonfield Rd, just around the corner from the mall, is Cici’s Pizza Buffet. For about seven bucks you have yourself unlimited pizza, pasta, breadsticks, salad, desert, and drinks. I first discovered Cici’s while living in Orlando and was beyond thrilled when one finally opened up in the Philly region. Should you decide to do some outlet shopping out in Lancaster county, you’re in luck. Not only are you near another Cici’s (2405 Covered Bridge Dr.), but also not too far from one of the best pizza places I’ve ever been to. In the world. Riviera Pizza is right off of exit 286 of the PA Turnpike on PA Route 272. Everything I said about Germantown Pizza is also true here, but Riv’s has the added bonus of seating. Speaking of added bonuses, if you do stop by and eat in the restaurant, you’ll get complimentary garlic knots with your pizza. To give you an idea of how much I like this pizza, I have ordered pies to go from Riv’s and driven them back to my apartment. In South Carolina. Now that’s some good pizza!
The Wind Cries Pizza
So, yes, bad pizza can still be pretty good, but no one should settle for anything less than the best. Certainly there are many more quality pizza establishments in the Philadelphia area, and you now have my opinion on where to find the best. I welcome any pizza joints you suggest so that I might try them out myself. Even if I didn’t mention your favorite place, give one of these pizza parlors a shot and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Take Me To The Pizza
Germantown Pizza – 215.232.0100 – 1517 N. 4th St. Phila, PA 19122
Marchiano’s Bakery – 215.483.8585 – 4653 Umbira St. Phila, PA 19127
Eddie’s Pizza – 215.763.8028 – 1835 N. 12th St. Phila, PA 19122 
Cici’s Pizza – 856.910.2424 – 818 Haddonfield Rd. Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Cici’s Pizza – 717.392.2740 – 2405 Covered Bridge Dr. Lancaster, PA 17602
Riviera Pizza & Restaurant – 717.336.3879 – 1405 N. Reading Rd. Reamstown, PA 17567


  1. I'm a huge fan of Gaetano's Pizzeria on Springfield Rd in Clifton Heights. It's sort of different since the sauce is actually on top of the pizza (which I think is actually more of a "true" Italian style, but I could be wrong). It's also more of a thick pizza so I'm not sure if you'd like it, but I think it's amazing.

  2. Top of the cheese that should have said.

  3. I do enjoy that style, Sartucci's in Northeast Philly does the same thing.

  4. I think we need a day out to binge on pizza.


Share your thoughts!