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Cleveland's Best Pizza Restaurants


If you ask ten people in Cleveland to name their favorite pizza restaurant, you're likely to get ten different answers. Located midway between Chicago and New York City, Cleveland embraces both the deep-dish and the thin crust pizza -- almost equally.

Although this list is by no means complete, below are some of my favorite Northeast Ohio pizza restaurants (in no particular order).

Mama Santa's Pizza

(courtesy of University Circle Inc.)
Mama Santa's, located in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood, is widely regarded as the best pizza place in Cleveland. The casual eatery, in business for over 60 years, was rated #1 in Cleveland in AOL's readers poll. You can dine in or carry-out and nothing is very expensive.

Mama Santa's Pizza
12305 Mayfield Rd.
Cleveland, OH
216 421-2159


(© Stu Spivack/cc license)
Located on near John Carroll University in University Heights, this pizza restaurant is a consistent Northeast Ohio favorite. It was rated #2 in the city by AOL City Guide readers and offers a variety of pizza and Italian specialties, most made with their signature semi-sweet tomato sauce. The dining room is snug, but cozy, or you can get your pizza to go.

2266 Warrensville Center Rd.
University Hts., OH , 44118
216 371-5643

Fire Food & Drink

(© edseloh/cc license)
Fire, on Shaker Square, is not a typical pizza joint, but the stylish restaurant turns out tasty pizzas from their clay oven. On the menu are such creations as mushroom, gruyere, and caramelized onion pizza. In the summer, the dining expands to include a popular front patio.

Fire Food & Drink
13220 Shaker Square
Cleveland, Ohio 44120
216 921-3473


(courtesy of University Circle Inc.)
A traditional Little Italy favorite, Valentino's served reasonably-priced pizza as well as sandwiches and classic Italian entrees, such as lasagna and stuffed shells. You can eat in the small dining room or 12-table outdoor patio (in the summer months) or get your food to go.

2197 Murray Hill Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
216 795-0463

Rascal House Pizza

Rascal House Pizza in Cleveland Ohio
Best known for its downtown (E21st St.) location at Cleveland State, Rascal House has expanded all over town. They are best known for their friendly service, tasty pizza, and cozy ambiance. The downtown location delivers to offices and apartments in the downtown area and is a perfect place for a drink before a concert at the Wolstein Center.

The Rascal House has six locations in and around Cleveland, at Cleveland State University, at John Carroll in University Heights, in Euclid, at University Circle (pictured at left), in Maple Heights, and in Seven Hills. Click on the above link for individual addresses and telephone numbers.

Flying Fig

(© Stu Spivack/cc license)
Not your traditional pizza place, but the Flying Fig, on Market Avenue in Ohio City, serves some of the best--and most innovative--pizza in town. Called flatbread, the pies features a changing array of fresh Ohio ingredients.

The Flying Fig
2523 Market Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
216 241-4243

Bar Cento

Pizza at Cleveland's Bar Cento
(© Stu Spivack/cc license)
This cozy storefront Italian restaurant, near Cleveland's West Side Market, is named for its list of over 100 wines, in all styles and price ranges. Bar Cento offers more than just wine, however. The kitchen, manned by Michael Symon protegee, Jonathon Sawyer, turns out excellent thin-crusted pizzas, using fresh--mostly local--ingredients.

Offerings include the Salsiccia, with sausage, basil, fresh mozzarella, and tomato sauce, as well as the Puttanesca, topped with black olives, capers, provolone, anchovies, and tomato sauce. A great new addition to the Cleveland food scene.

Bar Cento
1948 W. 25th St.
Cleveland, OH
216 274-1010

Beach Club Bistro - Euclid

This fun and quirky eatery in downtown Euclid was a pizza joint in a past life and it has forgotten its roots. The Beach Club serves a variety of fish and meat dishes, but the highlights are the pizzas.

Offerings are all named for local landmarks and include the Beachland, with red sauce, spinach, bacon, onion, asiago, smoked mozzarella; the Gilchrist, with white sauce, spinach, fresh tomato, calamata olive, asiago, provolone; and the Edgecliff, with red sauce, green pepper, onion, black olive, mushroom, mild peppers, asiago, provolone.

The Beach Club also has a charming, bricked-in patio behind the building, a lovely oasis, complete with a koi pond.

Beach Club Bistro
21939 Lakeshore Blvd.
Euclid OH
216 731-7499

Angelo's Pizza - Lakewood

This Lakewood Ohio pizza restaurant is frequently mentioned among the best pizza places in and around Cleveland. Angelo's features thick crust pizzas. Order a traditional pizza or try one of their unique creations, such as the veggie pizza or the cheesy seafood pizza with crabmeat and lobster.

Angelo's also serves sandwiches and salads and offers beer and wine to go with your meal. They have a small dining area or order your food to go.

Angelo's Pizza
13715 Madison Ave.
Lakewood, OH
216 221-0440

Danny Boy's - Rocky River

Located in the heart of Rocky River's commercial district, Danny Boy's is a favorite of westsiders. They offer a host of usual and less-often-seen ingredients, such as peas, zucchini, feta cheese, and sauerkraut. Pizzas are available in thin, medium, or deep dish crusts.

Specialty pizzas include a Polish pizza, with kielbasa and sauerkraut; the Potato Skin pizza, with potato wedges, bacon, and cheese; and a Chicken Alfredo pizza, with Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, and chicken. Dany Boy's also serves excellent calzones, salads, and breadsticks.

Food is available for dine-in or carry-out.

Danny Boy's Pizza
20251 Lake Rd.
Rocky River, OH , 44116
440 333-9595
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