The Best Italian Pizza in Toronto
221 Ossington Ave.; 550 Danforth Ave.; 155 University Ave.; 545 King St. W.; 589 College St.; pizzerialibretto.com
If you doubt the authenticity of Libretto’s Neapolitan-style pizza, just ask the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana. This Italian non-profit certifies pizzerias that comply with the most rigorous Neapolitan standards, and Libretto gets their stamp of approval. Aside from specifications of size, thickness and softness, a Neapolitan pizza crust must be blistered, the ingredients top-notch and the flavours exquisite. Anyone in search of a taste of Naples right here in Toronto need look no further than Libretto’s classic Margherita, but those with a yen for heat should opt for the Diavola, with spicy salami, chili, onion and kalamata olives.
Woodfired: 1485 Dupont St.; Pizzeria: 321 Roncesvalles Ave.; pizzeriadefina.com
While their cozy Roncesvalles location is packed with locals every night, Defina’s newest outpost on Dupont has even more room to accommodate fans of wood-fired Italian cuisine. The custom-built wood-burning pizza oven does wonders for a thin crust, but equally praise-worthy is their pan-baked Roman pizza. Thicker and heartier than its Neapolitan cousin, Defina’s comes topped with fire-roasted tomatoes, pesto, fior de latte and caciovallo cheeses, and is finished with smoked salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
11 Clinton St.; facebook/Bitondos
Tucked away on a residential block in the heart of Little Italy, this old-school pizza parlour serves up a slice of nostalgia along with its simple menu of pizza, pasta and calzones. A holdout from an era before anyone had heard of kale or artisanal charcuterie, your choices are limited to pepperoni or plain cheese, if you’re ordering by the slice. Add a sprinkle of chili flakes from the shaker by the door and you’ll realize that’s all you really need.
609 King St. W.; fornocultura.com
Among the most tantalizing creations that spring from this bakery’s ovens are their exquisite pizzas al taglio. These deep-dish squares are delightfully crunchy underneath and loaded with a mouthwatering assortment of traditional Italian toppings that vary by the day. For a truly civilized experience, order your pizza to stay, along with a tumbler of wine from Hinterland or Norman Hardie, and bask in the aroma of fresh-baked goodness.
716 Queen St. W.; terroni.com/sud-forno
Owned by the same family as Terroni, among the city’s most-loved Italian restaurants, Sud Forno specializes in regional specialities like the Ndujana, a pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, eggplant, basil and spicy nduja sausage. Whether eating at their large communal table or in nearby Trinity Bellwoods Park, you’ll definitely want to grab a bombolino (an Italian doughnut filled with custard or Nutella) for dessert.