The List: Jason’s Favorite Pizza in the Twin Cities

Food critic ranks the 30-plus best slices in the metro and beyond. This won’t be controversial, right?

Happy National Pizza Day! I love making lists of best pizzas, because the reality is—we are all experts. We love pizza, we love our neighborhood pizza places, and we love to brag them up. So, all of us are right.

When I make a pizza list, I think about consistency, quality, uniqueness, history, and ambiance. You may overvalue your neighborhood place compared to my assessment—and you should! You should love the place that sponsors your kid’s soccer team and cheerleading squad, and I won’t tell you you’re wrong!

I want to start with Punch. It’s consistent, widely available, obsessed with ingredients and technique. To some of you, it’s too floppy in the middle, but I like it—that’s how it’s supposed to be, and that’s how they’re intentionally making it. I’d eat this dough with nothing on it, and to me that’s a key indicator of quality. Punch is my go-to, it’s my favorite, but Punch paid me for a video I made for them, so I can’t put them at No. 1 on my list. Still, I have put them at No. 1 in the past, and it’s still my favorite local pizza.

So, here comes the top 26, which includes a tie, so that makes 27—plus Punch, plus multiple concepts by the same chefs. That means this post has my 31 favorite pizza spots!

The List

  1. Black Sheep Pizza, North Loop and Eat Street: It’s the pizza I think about the most. That perfect fennel sausage on that deeply flavorful, coal-fired dough. First bite is crunchy, then you get chewy, then you get sauce and cheese and mmmmm.
  2. Hello Pizza, Edina: Used to be my favorite slice shop, now they only do full pizzas, but still. Absolutely perfect dough, perfect ratio of cheese to dough to sauce to toppings, a really good pizza.
  3. Pizzeria Pezzo, White Bear Lake and Woodbury: The absolute best deep dish pizza I’ve had, even better than many of my Chicago favorites.
  4. Red Wagon Pizza, Minneapolis: Quality ingredients, creative toppings—this pizza gets better year after year, and the restaurant itself is the differentiator. Great people, great wine. I love it!
  5. Young Joni / Pizzeria Lola / Kyndred Hearth, Minneapolis and Eagan: Ann Kim’s pizza shops have achieved national acclaim for good reason. Really good dough and soulful toppings that tell a story of Ann’s upbringing.
  6. Wrecktangle Pizza, Malcom Yards Market and Minneapolis: Just the most fun people creating a consistently excellent Detroit-style pizza. I can only eat 1.5 slices of this because it’s so filling, but the quality here makes it worth the indigestion.
  7. Sanjusan / Rosalia / Josefina, Minneapolis and Wayzata: Sanjusan is my favorite of Daniel del Prado’s restaurants because it’s so unique, so cool, and the pizzas are glorious. But all three of these DDP spots have excellent pizza—same dough, just different toppings based on the theme of the spot.
  8. Pompeii Pizzeria, Elk River: Wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza in the northern suburbs. Doing a great job.
  9. El Mar Pizza, Plymouth: They have that cool machine that tries to mimic the water they use in New York City. Beats me if it makes a difference. Regardless, the pizza here is really good.
  10. Boludo, Minneapolis: Could this be our Minneapolis-style pizza? The slightly sweet crust topped with sea salt? The unusual round shape? I wonder what this would taste like if it were cooked in an oven that isn’t conveyer-style, but it’s pretty awesome as is.
  11. Surly Pizza Upstairs, Minneapolis: New Haven-style pizza means almost burnt pizza but not quite. Great toppings and quality crust.
  12. Cafe Latte‘s Pizza Bar, St. Paul: The back room behind Latte is a secret St. Paul gem. Fresh toppings, chewy crust, and the best by-the-glass wine program value in town.
  13. Tie between Cossetta’s (St. Paul) and Broder’s (Minneapolis): Two great slice shops, run by two amazing families.
  14. Red Rabbit, St. Paul and Minneapolis: Vastly underrated pizza here. This dough is tops in the Cities.
  15. Vesuvio’s, Hamel: Amazing technique. Some of the best wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza I’ve ever had.
  16. Mama’s Pizza, St. Paul: Tavern-style, loaded with cheese. The sauce makes it special.
  17. Latuff’s, Plymouth: Diamond-cut. Tavern-style. Love the sauce
  18. Mucci’s, St. Paul: The frozen pizza is excellent, but don’t miss the original when you visit their restaurant in St. Paul. Montanara-style, with a deep-fried crust, then topped and finished in the oven. It doesn’t taste oily or fried, just gives a cool depth of flavor and crunch.
  19. Red’s Savoy, various locations: Square-cut, slightly spicy sauce. Usually has too much cheese for my liking, but I’m a fan. Quality has improved greatly over the last couple years, too.
  20. Tono’s Pizza, Chanhassen, Woodbury, St. Paul, Coon Rapids, and Maplewood: Don’t look now, but Tono’s Pizza is expanding quickly! I love their cheesesteaks, but the pizza is legit, too.
  21. Snack Bar: This is fancy pizza by the slice ($9 for the mushroom bonanza), and it’s worth it. Issac Becker’s got the perfect slice shop for the North Loop, in a very sexy room.
  22. Slice Brothers, Minneapolis and coming to St. Paul: Rock-solid slice shop with really nice dough.
  23. Jet’s Pizza, various locations: Jet’s is a national chain, but for takeout only, and for a national chain, it’s pretty awesome. Detroit-style pizza with optional enhancements to amp up your crust flavor.
  24. Pizza Luce, various locations: I’m not sure when it became cool to hate on Luce, but it’s still cranking out excellent pizza with respect for vegans, vegetarians, tattooed freaks, rock ‘n’ rollers, and even nerds like me.
  25. Davanni’s: I’m still mad at them for not being in Maple Grove, but a Works pizza with those red onions just hits the spot.
  26. Domino’s: Hear me out—it’s pretty solid pizza. The app is cool, it’s cheap, we have kids.

Honorable Mention:

Mario’s, St. Paul: The sandwiches are so great, they overshadow really solid pizza.

Frankie’s Pizza, New Hope

Joey Nova’s, Tonka Bay

Olive’s, Edina and Excelsior: They spilled a pitcher of water on my wife when I went years ago and I can’t let it go.

Love Pizza (takeout only), Golden Valley

Sammy’s Pizza, many locations—better up north

Tapper’s, West St. Paul (Coney pizza with hot dogs!)