Via readers share their favorite pizza parlors in nine Western states.
APIZZA SCHOLLS Portland. "The crust at this family-run pizzeria in Southeast is superthin and crispy with a smoky flavor," says Stacy Larsen of Portland. "They add just enough tasty sauce to let the simple, fresh toppings like house-made sausage shine. Come early to avoid a long wait." (503) 233-1286, www.apizzascholls.com.
BLACK ROCK PIZZA CO. Sparks, Nev. "Twenty-nine specialty pizzas on whole-grain or sweet Italian crust," writes Patrick Winans of Reno. "My favorite is the Smoke Creek, a combo of bacon, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, while my wife's is the Brushfire jalapeños, spicy meats, and peppers." (775) 356-1771, www.blackrockpizza.com.
CELESTINO’S LIVE FROM NEW YORK PIZZA Chico, Calif. "Like a bite of the East Coast,"says Renee Pope-Pangelina of Paradise, Calif. " Our family will eagerly use any excuse to stop in for a slice—it’s right in Chico across from the state university campus—or to take home a few of the heavenly meatball sandwiches." (530) 896-1234.
CHEESE BOARD PIZZA Berkeley, Calif. "The line here is usually 20 deep before they open for lunch, but the wait is so worth it," writes Betsy Llosa of El Cerrito, Calif. "Only one type of pizza a day, and the toppings—cheese and vegetables only— change daily: blue cheese, feta, Gruyère, zucchini, corn, garlic, pistachios, lemon zest." (510) 549-3055, www.cheeseboardcollective.coop.
FLATBREAD COMMUNITY OVEN Boise. "The most awesome pizza in the United States," says Jacque Street of Eagle, Idaho. "The dough is stone-fired and comes as close as any I’ve ever found to true Neapolitan pizza. To taste Italy, try the Margherita." (208) 343-4177, www.flatbreadpizza.com.
FLYING PIE PIZZERIA Portland area (four locations). "It’s old-school," says Cynthia Macias of Portland. "You order what you want and, boom, they get busy right before your eyes, prepping the dough, pouring on ingredients. Then it’s bake, baby, bake." (503) 254-2016, www.flying-pie.com.
FOG CITY PIZZA Montara, Calif. "You wouldn’t expect to find great pizza at an Indian restaurant on Highway 1," writes Mike Gaynes of Moss Beach, Calif., "but Fog City serves terrific pie with a crust made like naan bread." (650) 728-5672.
HAWK CREEK CAFE Neskowin, Ore. "We’ve been enjoying this hidden spot for 15 years," says Debbie Bowman of Tigard, Ore. "We love to sit on the stools, chat with the chef as he creates our pizza, then watch it bake to perfection in the brick oven." (503) 392-3838, www.oregonrestaurantsearch.com.
HOTLIPS Portland (four locations). "Fantastic pizza from a small business on the cutting edge of the sustainability movement," says Lee Weinstein of The Dalles, Ore. "They buy organic wheat from eastern Washington and as much local meat and produce as possible." www.hotlipspizza.com.
MACKENZIE RIVER PIZZA COMPANY Helena, Mont. (12 locations statewide). "Best I’ve ever eaten," writes Jenny Hagen McJannet of Helena. "Handmade sourdough and natural-grain crusts with toppings from basic pepperoni to spinach, pesto, and artichoke hearts and—my kids’ favorite—peanut butter and honey. Its decor is River Runs Through It style, so boots and fishing gear are welcome." (406) 443-0033, www.mackenzieriverpizza.com.
MOUNTAIN HIGH PIZZA PIE Talkeetna, Alaska. "Locals and visitors alike—famous Denali climbers among them—enjoy this spot," says Vicky Kaye of Palmer, Alaska. "Not only is their pizza great, there’s an outdoor beer garden, too." (907) 733-1234.
MULDOON PIZZA Anchorage. "We are forever thankful when we return home from travels to this unassuming hole-in-the-wall," says Courtney Everard of Anchorage. "Generous portions of toppings and cheese, crust that tastes like homemade bread, and the perfect amount of sauce." (907) 333-7711.
NEO WOODFIRED PIZZA Tacoma, Wash. "A one-person pizza here is bigger than a dinner plate," says Dorothy Fletcher of Canyonville, Ore. "They make the thin-crust, wood-fired, brick-oven, gourmet stuff. Vegetarian, or no cheese (for anyone who’s lactose intolerant), or pepperoni or prosciutto—all are just as delicious." (253) 539-0870.
PIACI PUB & PIZZERIA Fort Bragg, Calif. "This place offers ‘adult pizza’ as good as any in Naples, Italy," says Irene Thomas of Fort Bragg. "Light, crunchy crust with toppings both simple and sophisticated, and a huge selection of beers. Makes Fort Bragg feel like a big city." (707) 961-1133, www.piacipizza.com.
PIZZA MONDO Bend, Ore. "Outrageously great pizza," writes Tiffany Talbott of Bend. "The sauce is tangy and the thin crust crackles with flavor. On Monday they offer gluten-free pizza." (541) 330-9093, www.pizzamondobend.com.
PIZZA FACTORY Willow Creek, Calif. (plus 132 other locations). "Up here in the Trinity Alps we have only one restaurant that stays open all year, whether we have electricity or not," writes Harvest McCampbell of Hoopa, Calif. "Even by lantern light, this place serves awesome handtossed pizza." www.pizzafactory.com.
PIZZA ON THE FLY Missoula, Mont. "The Bronx, where I live, is known for its great pizza," writes Beverly Orth Geoghegan of Bronx, N.Y., "but this place inside Missoula’s Mountain Line bus transfer station offers a very similar slice: thin, crisp yet flexible crust, top-quality cheese and sauce." (406) 549-4334.
PIZZA RESEARCH INSTITUTE Eugene, Ore. "Truly unique," promises Lesley Woodruff of Newberg, Ore. "PRI makes standard pizzas, of course, but best is the chef’s choice—asparagus and roasted sweet potato slices one day, baby corn, eggplant, and torn basil the next. Home-brewed root beer, too." (541) 343-1307.
SOAPS ’N’ SUDS LAUNDROMAT–CAR WASH Philipsburg, Mont. "A surprise awaits, Fridays only, as visitors and locals line up for New York–style pizzas," writes Hayley Nolte of Philipsburg. "On perfect crust, find Gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked salmon, mushrooms, as well as fabulous pepperoni and sausage." (406) 859-3000.
SPEEDERIA PIZZERIA San Carlos, Calif. "Really good New York–style pizza. A thin, crispy crust is just right for folding in half and eating without a fork and knife," says Anna Lau of Redwood City, Calif. (650) 591-9115, www.speederiapizzeria.com.
TERRA GRANO PIZZA Wheatland, Wyo. "The best!" says Jennie Cline of Wheatland. "Fresh vegetables, homemade crusts, and many options. I love their breakfast pizza in the morning—and so does my great-granddaughter." (307) 322-4888.
3RD STREET PIZZA COMPANY McMinnville, Ore. "Try it, you’ll like it," writes Deborah Bishop of Forest Grove, Ore. "Not too cheesy, not too saucy, their hand-tossed New York–style pizza is cooked in a traditional stone oven and topped with the freshest ingredients." (503) 434-5800, www.3rdstreetpizza.com.
WASATCH PIZZA Salt Lake City (five locations). "The menu offers 20 combinations named for local attractions," says Jeanette Ricci of Salt Lake City. "Mount Nebo is a vegetarian pie with ‘trees’ (broccoli). La Sal is a mountain range in southern Utah and a great pizza with Alfredo sauce, garlic, chicken, and mushrooms." www.wasatchpizza.com.
Photography by Kirsten Shultz
This article was first published in January 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.