I. Love. Pizza. It’s hands down one of my favorite foods of all time. So I set out on a quest to try as many pizza places from April to May to see which were my favorites across the Twin Cities and where I would need to go whenever I have someone come into town. Obviously, I had to miss a few places (sorry, I can’t eat/afford pizza each week), but I think this is a comprehensive list.
This little joint in Robbinsdale, Minnesota provides a truly unique dining experience. With their chalk boards, pig decor, and communal seating, the entire place brings a fun, inviting atmosphere. They have various beverages, a handful of appetizers, and most importantly, a wide variety of pizza. Ranging from classic cheese to a Reuben inspired pizza, they have it all. The pizzas are all 10 inches in diameter and range in cost from $12 – $18. So as any mediocre food reviewer would do, my pal Amy and I ordered the pizza’s we wanted to try, the Tijuana Tina and the Pig-cific Rim, and their classic “Cheeser” (minus the poached egg…). Was this a lot of pizza for two people? Yes. Did we get to take home leftovers? Yes. So who’s the real winner here? Us.
Out of the three pizza’s we tried, Amy and I both agreed that the Cheeser was our favorite. All of the cheese blended together so nicely that the flavor was spot on and their homemade pizza sauce was out of this world. I would also say the crust was cooked the best out of the three.
Specialty ‘Za: 2/5
Leftover Quality: 3.5/5
Nestled in Northeast Minneapolis lives Young Joni, a beautifully decorated wood-fired pizza joint that provides the classics and some signature takes on specialty pizza’s. Everything down to the napkins at Young Joni is cute, fun, and completely instagrammable (if you’re looking for something like that). The owner, Ann Kim, is known for owning various pizza places across the city (also check out Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza). As a chef, she provides quality pizza with unique flavors. The pizzas are around 10-inches in diameter and range in cost of $11 – $18.
Since you can’t go to a pizza place alone, fellow blogger Rachel, joined me in this trip. We ordered two pizzas: their Classic Margherita and their specialty pizza La Parisienne. And boy, am I happy with our selections. While we didn’t go for the Korean BBQ pizza they’re known for, we selected the specialty pizza in honor of the servers favorite.
To be a little bit of a critic, I will say the Margherita pizza was a little too soggy in the middle for my liking. I like my crust to be crisp when it’s wood fired. However, the La Parisienne was perfectly cooked. Rach and I were so happy with our choices and had a great environment to catch-up on life while sharing our favorite food.
Specialty ‘Za: 5/5
Leftover Quality: 3/5
The pizza place with a story to tell – seriously, it’s on every menu. This little spot is one for the books. With it’s dimly lit ambiance, cute patio area, and open kitchen, Red Wagon prepares you for a good meal. Red Wagon was featured on the noteworthy Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dives (which I didn’t know until arriving) and I could easily see why. They have a rich history of building from their small spot in the Farmer’s Market to creating a special experience through their brick and mortar shop.
My friend Michelle and I went late on a Friday night and were seated among the crowd. For eight at night, they were full. We would have preferred sitting on their patio, since it was seemingly quieter and less crowded, but it was almost too cold for that (thanks a lot Minnesota spring...). We had the most wonderful server who laughed along with us and gave us her expert opinion on drinks and pizza selections. We each ended up with one of their signature cocktails and then ordered their classic margherita pizza and their season special, Boba Feta Pizza. The pizza’s were about 12-inches in diameter and ranged in cost from $17 – $20.
I really loved both of these pizzas. In typical Casie fashion, I did prefer the margherita pizza over the specialty, but that’s mainly because I forced myself to choose. The crust was pretty crisp all around, the sauce on both pizza’s was delicious, and there were plenty leftovers for us to take home. Michelle and I were incredibly proud of our choices and definitely enjoyed the leftovers the next night while watching my favorite TV show.
Specialty ‘Za: 4/5
Leftover Quality: 5/5
With various locations across the Twin Cities Metro area, I’ve only dined at the Eden Prairie location seen from the infamous 212. This massive building has a homey atmosphere as people enjoy their drinks, pizza, and any possible appetizer they may want.
Amy once again joined me on this pizza excursion and might I say, her company is just so enjoyable. We were able to catch up as we waited for our table and then easily continued the conversation once we were seated. Now I will say, service was a little slow for a Wednesday night, and our server did bring me the wrong drink at first, but overall, I was happy with our experience. We ordered two pizzas, their classic Margherita and the pizza Athena. All ranging in prices of $14 – $20 for their smalls.
Unlike some people, I’m a fan of the Pizza Luce crust. It’s thicker than most, but still brings that crisp, wood fired taste I look for. I also find them to be one of the most vegetarian friendly pizza places in Minnesota – which is a big win for me. While their pizzas seem smaller than some of the others and it’s one of the most crowded places to go (docking atmosphere), I do enjoy their variety and their leftovers were amazing!
Specialty ‘Za: 4/5
Leftover Quality: 5/5
A brewery with a pizza joint right on top? Sounds like my perfect place. Sitting outside, looking out onto the green space and corn hole players, I sat sipping a beer, chatting with friends, and waiting for what would soon be some of the yummiest pizza I’ve ever eaten.
My friend Amy (who has adventured to many pizza places with me) was the one who said I had to try Surly’s pizza place and I always trust Amy. We both ordered our pizzas, she ordered the Kevin (with Parmesan) and I ordered the Walter White (potatoes sounded good that night). I had one major struggle with their menu…I couldn’t make a decision between which pizza’s I wanted. I was between the Walter White and the Dream Master and after a coin flip, my fate was decided.
The pizza came out so fast and we were quickly enjoying not only the conversation, but amazing food. I was so happy with the char on the crust, how it didn’t fall apart as I was eating, and the size of the pizza in general. Their classic red sauce on the Kevin paired with the cheese made my stomach happy and the unique flavors atop the Walter White were some I would come back for. Their prices were in the range of $9 – $18. I was relaxed, was enjoying the beautiful weather, and have decided I need to always go to Surly on weeknights.
Specialty ‘Za: 5/5
Leftover Quality: 4/5
While Town Hall Lanes isn’t specifically a pizza place, their pizza is really something special. It’s one of my favorite spots in town that I regularly enjoy with my friends Emily and Chris. They introduced me to Town Hall’s Pizza of the Month and now we go back to try what the chef has come up with. Their crust and various flavors deserve a special mention in this post. Be sure to check them out. You might even see me there.
So, am I getting hate for Black Sheep not being on the list? There’s a simple reason for this – I didn’t try it (lol what a great reason). I’ve had their pizza through delivery before and I honestly wasn’t sold. I’d love to give it another shot sometime, but it just didn’t fit in during my time frame of when I wanted to get this posted (basically, don’t come for me).
Pizza brings my life so much joy and it’s been so fun getting out, exploring the city, and trying one of my favorite foods. Thank you to all of my friends who joined me and helped me with my rating system.
Here’s to my winner, Surly Brewing Co. (Pizza Upstairs)! Everyone get out there and enjoy. I’m certain you won’t regret it.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Should I attempt to find the best tacos in Minneapolis next?