Outstanding Old-School Pizza

Jason and Joy share hidden gems for the best traditional pies

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers.

Jason’s Picks

My 8-year-old son’s favorite food in the world is pizza. I love it too: infinite variations on a base of crust, sauce, and cheese. So simple but so hard to nail.

Latuff’s Pizza: For 45 years, Latuff’s has been getting it done in the western suburbs. The Latuff family cuts their pizzas diagonally, so you end up with parallelogram-shaped pieces instead of squares, which I love for no particular reason. The crust is good and the sauce is savory. Get the Italian Favorite with sausage, salami, and pepperoncinis. (Highway 55 & 169, Plymouth)

Jet’s Pizza: I know, I know…a chain? Yes. There are 350 Jet’s locations around the country for good reason: It’s really good take-out pizza! Get the 8-Corner pan pizza (they call it deep dish, but it isn’t), or “flavorize” your hand-tossed crust with poppy seeds, romano, or cajun flavors. (8 MN locations including St. Cloud, Eden Prairie, and Blaine)

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Photo by TJ Turner

Joy’s Picks

One of the great joys in life is the first cheesy bite of a terrific slice of pizza. That is, until the hot-cheese chin-slap comes. But I still refuse to wait until it cools! Pizza is my everything.

Red Savoy’s on West 7th: I would be in love with this restaurant if for no other reason than the bar is perfect: long and retro, with a great elbow rest. Plus, the room is so blessedly dark. However, the square-cut pizza, buried in cheese with its thin crust dusted in garlic powder, inspires deep and passionate devotion. It’s great for kids, too—just request a seat by the large fish tank. (Downtown St. Paul)

Maverick’s Pizza in St. Paul: I’ve too long kept this take-away and delivery-only gem a secret. Maverick’s wide New York–style slices fold beautifully and the sauce is artfully spiced. The Italian sausage is my favorite, seasoned with plenty of fennel and a welcome amount of kick. (Randolph & Edgcumbe, St. Paul)