After asking experts and laymen for suggestions, we crisscrossed the Valley to review two dozen suggested pizzerias. From enormous slices to Motor City-style deep dish, here is what six writers found on their pizza treks.
Select a writer to follow their journey or click on any pizza place to read the reviews.
Before our Pizza Issue hit the newsstands, we asked you, our readers, who served the best pizza in the valley.
Now, you can still let us know what you think. by submitting your favorite pizzeria and letting us know why. We'll soon post your responses so you can see where your fellow Las Vegans like to get their pies and what you may be missing.
Adobe Flash is required to view this content
4012 S Rainbow Blvd, Suite N, 362-7556
Verrazano's has been reliable for years as good comfort pizza. Especially the "back easters" in town who crave that classic "New York" style pizza (thin, hand-tossed crust and cut in slices that you can fold and eat as you walk around). This little branch tucked away in the corner of a busy strip mall off Rainbow and Flamingo maintains the quality well enough, although the crust was a little more charred than I'd prefer. Still, good lunch specials abound including two single cheese slices and a soda for $4.99.
4760 W Sahara Ave, No. 11, 252-7050
The slices are generous in portion, but I'm just not a fan of the heavy, excessive oil that sat on my slices. Still, the customer service is excellent and the place has its defenders. Plus, they make a pizza that's a whopping 30 inches in diameter should be hit at many a Super Bowl party.
8810 Maryland Parkway, 818-3789
More of a place to have a business lunch than grab a quick slice, in terms of capacity and presentation Don Antonios did stand out. I didn't mind the slight sterility of the under-decorated atmosphere (I'd rather have that than ersatz Italian memorabilia shitting all over the place), but the tables were crammed in a little tight. Fortunately, the lunch special of an 8-inch pizza with your choice of one topping and a drink for only $4.99 compensated very well, and the prompt service didn't hurt either.
1910 Village Center Circle, #6, 243-1700
A fresh and lively joint, the Upper Crust comes through with some tasty pizza. Made in that ever controversial "Boston" mold — in this case, similar to New York style, but the crust has more of a rich, chewy consistency. The two slices and drink special for $4.75 is fine, but spend an extra 50 cents and upgrade your slices to whole-wheat — it's better than you might think.
5601 N. Tenaya Way, 396-4849
Now THIS is pizza, dammit, courtesy of Windy City transplants Liz and Nick Radogna. She waits tables and he cooks, and for lunch you order pizza by the slice. A great idea, since two slices and a drink is only $4.50 — $4.50! It feels like highway robbery when you first bite into the crust, thick but with a hard-enough crunch that you don't feel like you're eating at some milquetoast chain. Then you taste the amazing sauce and come to a very specific conclusion before you're done with slice No. 1: You're coming back. Oh, yes, you're coming back.
2724 N. Green Valley Parkway, 458-2166
A nice lunch experience, but nothing really stood out here. New York natives Enzo and Margaret Sciara have been serving up "Nevada-style" pizza here for the last 23 years, and while I loved the lunch deal price (two slices and a drink for just south of six bucks), not to mention the fresh-as-can-be toppings, I found it a bit lacking in taste. Sauce is typically light on New York-style pizza, but here it seems more like a whisper. Still, love the ambience.
4950 S. Rainbow Blvd., 489-4444
I wanted more the minute my napkin hit the plate. I'm not sure which one I liked more, the jumbo-style pizza (the more traditional triangular slice) or the Sicilian (thicker crust, rectangular-shaped), but in either case, be on your guard: The toppings are spread so liberally they fall off with every bite. Carmine Vento, the entrepreneur behind Villa Pizza and Carmine's Little Italy, obsesses over every detail here, and it shows in the results.
10860 W. Charleston Blvd., 796-0111
It's hard to forget a meal at Bronx native Rocco Crea's Summerlin restaurant. I love the East Coast attitude that hits you the minute you order at the counter, the enormous slices — 11 inches long, at least — and most of all the New York-style pizza itself. The toppings could have been a bit more ample, but in no way was I hungry on my way out the door.
7570 Norman Rockwell Lane, 221-1010
Even though it's a chain based in Arizona, don't hate. Streets of New York boasts three major components every great pizza parlor needs: a comfy, casual dining room, takeout and delivery capability, and beer by the pitcher. (Why doesn't everyone have beer by the pitcher?) The menu reaches beyond pizza (minestrone!) but that doesn't matter now. There's little difference between thin and traditional crusts here, and both are done right, the proper crispy-chewy balance. Toppings run from artichokes to shrimp to roast beef. The only reason you don't know about this place is because it's in a recession-slashed center in the far northwest, but well worth the trip.
3310 S. Nellis Blvd., 898-0900, and 2333 N. Jones Blvd., 631-1111
Joey's Pizza is the prototypical neighborhood takeout joint, thoroughly unspectacular but mean enough to get the job done. You can tell because the list of appetizers is full of things called "balls," "sticks" and "poppers." The most exotic topping option probably is linguica. The apparent specialty of the house, Joey's Famous Home Run, has Alfredo garlic sauce, mozzarella and cheddar, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage and tomatoes. They also sling a taco pizza and a barbecue chicken pizza, equally frightening. Joey's crust is chewy and substantial, like Domino's only it actually tastes good. In two words: extremely mediocre.
In the Golden Nuggget, 129 E. Fremont St., 385-7111
The Grotto may not belong on this list because it's a restaurant with decent pizza, not a pizza place. But it is one of the better restaurants in one of the better casinos on Fremont Street, and it may serve the most refined pie Downtown. Plus, where else can you eat pizza while watching people and sharks swim in the same place? They do it Neapolitan-style here, super-thin crust with a crisp, crackery edge. One has roasted herbed chicken, garlic, goat cheese and caramelized onions; another has prosciutto, pine nuts and artichokes.
9595 S. Eastern Ave., 657-9400
The funny thing about Grimaldi's Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria, a franchise with just this one Nevada location, is that there are no set pizza pies. There are no suggestions. You pick the sauce, cheese and toppings to add to one of the great crusts in the Valley, all bubbly and charred. Keep it simple in order to maximize the toasty marshmallow texture and fresh flavor of homemade mozzarella. The ingredients list is short but long on quality: anchovies, roasted sweet red peppers, kalamata olives, ricotta, a terrific pesto. Grimaldi's is definitely top five in the city.
140 Green Valley Pkwy., 222-3556
Super-flavorful, super-authentic Neapolitan pies, scurried from wood-fueled oven to table. Served individual-style (around 12 inches apiece, with most going for $11-$13), these foodie wonders feature thin-yet-doughy crusts, complex tomato-sauce and mozzarella-cheese flavors and exotic toppings such as prosciutto cotto, sautéed rapini and Kalamata olives. It's tough to beat the titular Settebello (wood-oven sausage, pancetta, roasted mushrooms, pine nuts, basil), but we've yet to misorder off this skillfully constructed menu. The gold standard for pizza in the Vegas Valley.
880 E. Pyle Ave., 614-8575
Set in the wings of a gas-station minimart, this South Vegas joint operates primarily as a takeout option for folks in the vicinity; it houses two tables and four stools, but unless you prefer chowing down while staring at wall-mounted photos of Robert De Niro and Julia Roberts, you might as well pick up your pie. Fairly reasonable (our large Babe Ruth Home Run special — pepperoni, sausage, meatball, onion, pepper, mushrooms and black olives — cost $16 and included a two-liter soda), solid if unspectacular pizza. You could do a lot worse.
Everybody's favorite Vegas mini-chain serves consistent, classic food that won't put your wallet through a cheese grater (at lunch, an individual-size sells for $8.95 before toppings, and comes with a salad, soda and bread). Try one of Metro's stuffed pizzas, generously jammed with ingredients and served with tomato or meat sauce. A fork and knife are highly recommended for the Stockyard (pepperoni, sausage and ground beef) or, if that's just one meat too many, the Loop (pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms) — two of Metro's best, not-so-secret weapons.
7531 W. Lake Mead Blvd., 255-8822
This longtime Northwest neighborhood favorite operates as both Detroit sports fan hangout and purveyor of Motor City-style deep-dish pizza. Baked up in individual square pans (sizes: 6, 11 and 15 inches), the pies arrive with expertly crisped edges and a thick blanket of cheese over a thin layer of tomato sauce. The flavors — whether you opt for a simple pepperoni pie or something more glamorous like the Nicely Nicely's (chicken, mushroom and garlic) — won't floor you (okay, that garlic might), but there's a reason Nathan's has been operating for 12 years. Order with confidence.
3250 N. Tenaya Way, 656-9191
Okay, maybe the interior is a little hard to fathom — window facades inside the restaurant, corrugated tin roofs above the booths. It's clear we're meant to feel like we're actually outside somewhere, but where? Never mind. Think of Gallo's as a classic, swinging college town pizza joint. (There's even a stage featuring local bands.) I don't usually like chunky tomatoes in my pizza sauce, but Gallo's ladles it on strong on their Sicilian slice, and it's sweet and tangy. The tasty garlic crust is potent!
Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, Meadows Mall, 259-5031 (multiple locations)
We know, we know. Chain pizza joint in a food court in a mall. The pizza gods weep. But try appeasing them with the Sicilian pizza — their version features sauce, pepperoni and sausage on a thick hunk of focaccia bread. Yeah, the cheese is mostly leaden, and the bread — crispy at first — loses its zing by the last bite. But damn if that sausage isn't good, and the sauce is sweet enough to tie it altogether. It's a little pricey — almost $4 for one slice! — but if you're in a pinch, and a chain is all you can find, Villa Pizza will do.
4460 S. Durango Dr., 889-2700
Settebello seems to have the lock on smart, boutique pizza — the perfect balance of a hearty red sauce regular and a "healthy" white sauce slice from California. But Ciao Ciao is shaping up as a worthy foil. In a large and friendly space studded with plasma screens, the pizza is consistently inventive. Try the Sicilian, with first-rate sausage, basil and clumps of ricotta cheese that are like thrilling little taste bombs.
1725 E. Warm Springs, 368-3327
Now here's an unassuming, salt-of-the-earth pizza joint. No frills. No fancy themes. Not much whimsy outside of the name. Even the personal pizza comes on a paper plate. And truth be told, the bread is a little greasy at first — the pizza seems like maybe it's gonna be a loser. Then, somewhere around the third bite, the pie comes into its own. The light sauce dances, and the cheese is fantastically chewy. Cheap, simple and good.
7930 W. Tropical Parkway, 645-3337; 11710 W Charleston Blvd., 363-7272
The place is encrusted in New York flair — framed photos (De Niro, et. al), Sopranos posters, arty bridge pics, the waitress' pitch-perfect accent. But what do I know from authentic? All I care about is, did it taste great? Well, yeah. The sauce is rambunctious, the cooks pack a ton of chewiness into their thin crust and slices come carpeted in toppings. Is this how authentic New York pizza tastes? Who cares? It tastes terrific here, and that's what matters.
873 S Rainbow Blvd., 483-6100
"Bo's in the back, Mannie is at work — she's a massage therapist," the gal at the counter said when we asked if Mannie and Bo were real people. The pizza is sort of like that, too — friendly, possibly made by folks you might know. The sauce could be more assertive, but the crust had a good chew factor and the toppings — we had sausage and pepperoni — were tasty and liberally applied. And the two-for-one Sunday special made for one full family. As we left, a guy stepped out of the back (Bo?) and hollered a genial goodbye. Nice place.
840 S. Rancho Dr., 259-9002
I'm looking for just the right allusion to illustrate the size and weight, the sheer mass, of these Sicilian-style slices. Slab? Barge? No, this: Imagine a building foundation you can eat. That you want to eat, because it's delicious in its thickness; because it's a miracle Broadway doesn't go broke, the way they pile on the toppings (was that a whole onion across my two slices? I hope so!). The special is two slices, which just means you'll have one for later.
7380 S. Eastern Ave., 896-6050
Friendly place, decent pizza. The slices are large flaps of good crust, cheese; toppings are fine. If not a pizza of the first rank, it's still solidly done.