At this point, the regular readers know the drill - but if you’re new here, welcome! Grab a seat and a cold one, we’re talking pizza; specifically, the best pizza in Toronto.
While pizza lovers argue all over the world about which city does it best, who’s “right,” and more, we’re over here shouting from the rooftops that all pizza is great. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a greasy slice that shouldn’t be as cheap as it is; other times, you want something new - something gourmet, and that’s equally valid.
Luckily, Toronto has all of that. They have award-winning, chef-owned and operated joints, places that flip our concept of pizza on its head, and more - so let’s take a look, shall we?
Levant is, quite simply put, an experience unlike any other. They’re a Sicilian-style pizza joint that makes their focaccia dough daily by hand - but there’s something else that sets them apart. While the roots are Italian, they take heavy inspiration from Middle Eastern cuisine, serve a hefty dose of vegan pies, and offer authentic Italian deli sandwiches to boot!
While it’s undoubtedly served in a new form, the flavors that are present are comfortingly familiar. Kofta, shawarma, and maqluba are all present - but they’re served atop the fluffiest, crispiest Sicilian-style pizza crust you’ll ever taste. It’s also worth noting that their sandwiches are truly excellent - but that’s not why we’re here, is it?
Ultimately, Levant serves unique pies - and some of the best pizza in Toronto.
Slice of Toronto is a relatively new entry to the Toronto pizza scene. They opened in 2018 with a simple and quite admirable goal - to serve Calabrian food from the south of Italy with the same love as the owners’ mom did in the past. And it shows, as Slice of Toronto has garnered much local love over the past four years.
The pies, put simply, are some of the best in the area. While Calabrian pizza isn’t quite what most diners are likely used to, it’s genuinely delicious. It’s a minimal affair, using the least amount of cheese possible atop a fluffy, slightly thicker crust than the standard (New York) thin crust. They also offer a healthy helping of pasta, sandwiches, and panzerotti if, for some inexplicable reason, you’re not feeling pizza tonight.
Give Slice of Toronto a try for some of the most unique and best pizza in Toronto.
Pizzeria Defina is a work of love from two incredibly well-renowned American-Italian chefs. The minds behind Pizzeria Defina are Tony Gemignani, a California native, and New York-based chef Roberto Caporuscio - the US President of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli, APN. This all goes to say that Pizzeria Defina is Neopolitan pizza at its best, right in the heart of Toronto.
Their pies stay in strict Neopolitan tradition, though they branch into truly creative areas. Plum tomato sauce adorns most pies, with several international award-winning pizzas on the menu. Whether you want a traditional Margherita or something new, like the Spanish Coca pie, there is no way you leave Pizzeria Defina without
Ultimately, Pizzeria Defina is undoubtedly some of the best pizza in Toronto - if not North America.
Now, competing with the likes of the joints above is challenging. Award winners, pizza association presidents, and Italian natives are brutal competition - but the two below made do. While they can’t boast international fame, they serve some unique pies in their rights.
As a disclaimer to the pizza purists out there, Three Kingdoms (our final entry) isn’t what most people would consider pizza - but dang it, it’s incredible. So maybe shush for a second and just trust me; it will all be clear quite soon.
Descendent Detroit-Style Pizza serves traditional Neopolitan pizza…
I had you there! Seriously though - it’s all in the name. Descendent serves top-notch Detroit-style pies in a hip little spot that could compete with the old boys in Detroit proper. For the uninformed, this is Sicilian-style pie, but bastardized in all the best ways by Americans. Its square, crispy crust and the “upside down” assembly of sauce on the top are the signature of Detroit pies.
And we’re going to be honest here - it’s good. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a pan pizza guy, New York thin crust gal, or a gender-neutral/fluid Neopolitan nibbler - Descendent is freaking delicious. They bring the best parts of pizza - crunch, vibrant flavor, and textural tomfoolery - to their heights, and we can’t help but love it.
If you want the best pizza in Toronto but are tired of the same old pie - call Descendent; they’ll hook you up.
The final entry on our list is sure to be controversial - but it’s so good that we really don’t care. Chinese-style flatbread pizza, or Tujia Shaobing (don’t ask me how to pronounce it, ask Google), is the primary focus here, and it’s so unique that we legitimately couldn’t just leave it from the list. They’re in the center of the BOLD Food Hub in a tiny stall, though their store’s physical size belies the massive flavor on offer.
To clarify - Chinese-style pizza eschews most “traditional” pizza recipes. They rid the flatbread of the sauce and cheese, topping it with Chinese meat and veg. It also varies in form depending on where you get it - this time, it's more pizza-like, though you'll find a few styles if you dig. Customers can order spicy beef, pork and veggie, BBQ mushroom, and multiple other incredibly unique combinations, bringing something genuinely new to their palate with each bite.
While we can’t call them the best pizza in Toronto (because, well, are they actually pizza?), they are certainly the most unique - and that deserves recognition.