Vegas is a foodie’s paradise: we boast more than our fair share of celebrity chefs, and we’ve even managed to transform the humble buffet from perfunctory eating into culinary art. (Need some evidence? Just check out R Buffet).
But let’s face it: sometimes you just want to get back to basics, right? Like a delicious piece of pizza pie. Here are our picks for some of the most sinfully delicious slices in the Nevada desert.
This is the pizzeria from which President Obama himself picked up some pizzas to deliver to his Las Vegas campaign headquarters. Maybe he chose them since they were featured in Travel and Leisure, who noted their use of Molina Caputo flour “for a chewy, slightly sour crust” that perfectly complements the use of San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil.
As you might have guessed from the particular ingredients used, Settebello specializes in Neapolitan-style pizza, meaning thin crusts topped with the freshest toppings, many of which are sourced directly from Italy. In fact, Settebello is a member of the venerable Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN), established in Napoli in 1984 and which issues guidelines for “true” Neapolitan pizzas.
Metro Pizza co-owner John Arena is something of a pizza legend. He’s even taught classes on the history of pizza at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas! His philosophy of pizza, in his own words: “For a pizza or a pizzeria to approach greatness the entire experience must tell us something about the person or people who created it.”
Entering Metro Pizza, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a classic 80s diner. But it’s the expertly prepared pizza that’ll have you coming back for a second visit. And not just the pizza: do yourself a favor and try the (new) succulent meatball sliders on fresh-baked garlic knots.
An import from Brooklyn, Grimaldi’s has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the Vegas pizza scene. We featured Grimaldi’s previously as a great eatery that’s budget-friendly without sacrificing flavor. Their coal-fired brick oven pizza imbues each New York-style* pie with an unmistakable and delicious smokiness, beneath the rich and fresh ingredients that melt in your mouth.
If you’re a meat-lover, try the meatball pizza if it’s available. The meatballs are thickly sliced and generously layered on the pie for a savory explosion of flavor.
- Just FYI: New York-style is derived from the Neapolitan variety, which is why they’re both thin crust pizzas. For a more in-depth explanation, check out this article from SeriousEats.com.
Due Forni, a relative newcomer, has received some serious acclaim around these parts. It was this year’s winner of the Best Pizza in Vegas from Vegas Eater. Before that, it got a rave review from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Due forne is Italian for “two ovens.” The first oven at Due Forni is heated to 500 degrees to bake Roman-style (very crispy) pizza. The second one is heated to 900 degrees, which yields delicious Neapolitan-style pies. According to Vegas Eater, it’s the sheer quality of ingredients that helped push Due Forni to the top.
The Review-Journal has some good advice too: don’t pass up the appetizers. The reviewer particularly enjoyed the carpaccio (which, indeed, is mouth-wateringly good). But if you’re feeling even a little adventurous, we suggest the Polipo: braised octopus tossed with arugula and a light mint vinaigrette. It’s so tender (which, as with calamari, is just so crucial to the success of the dish), with all of the flavors perfectly balanced.
Bonus: For A Quick Slice
Angelina’s at the Riviera Food Court
Right here on the Riviera’s own premises, you can find a satisfying slice of pizza pie. Are you going to get quite the same quality of pizza from a fast food court as one of the other restaurants listed? No. But if you’ve just got a hankering for a slice and can’t wait, Angelina’s will help you satisfy the craving – even late (open till midnight).
Image Credit: LotusHead via sxc.hu