Crust Issues? Windsor’s Winning Pizza Spots
By Jeffrey Hernandez
When crafting a pizza bucket list, you’ll likely think of the big three. The classic Neapolitan pizza of Napoli; its American descendant in the New York thin crust; and of course, Chicago deep dish. But there’s a hidden gem slinging award-winning pies here in Canada: Windsor.
Thanks to its deep-rooted Italian community, Windsor has developed a deliciously distinct approach to pizza over the past 70 years. A chewy, yet crunchy, dough with minimum crust; a hearty sauce that balances sweet and spice; a liberal spread of toppings; and, most importantly, shredded pepperoni.
If you’re planning a pizza pilgrimage, here are five institutions that help establish Windsor as the Pizza Capital of Canada:
Antonino’s Original Pizza
4350 Howard Ave; originalpizza.ca
Antonino Ciaravino, a founding father of the signature Windsor pie, opened his first pizzeria in South Windsor in 1959. Antonino’s Original Pizza is a tribute to Tony by his son Joe, with three locations spread across the Windsor area offering dine-in, take-out and delivery options.
3021 Dougall Ave; arcatapizzeria.com
The first thing you notice when entering Arcata is the aroma—a sweet, smoky scent that’s like a cozy blanket on a cold winter night. A modest pizza shop that’s been family owned and operated since the early ‘50s, Arcata serves up carefully-crafted classics and audacious specialty pizzas.
3202 Walker Rd; armandospizza.com
Armando and Antonia Gerardi first opened Armando’s in 1967—a small joint with only eight tables. Since then, Armando’s has expanded to 10 locations offering dine-in, take-out, delivery and catering, and has won awards on the international stage. Perhaps the most well-rounded pie on the list, Armando’s is a mainstay in Windsor pizza and also a great spot for Italian cuisine as a whole.
Giovanni Caboto Club
2175 Parent Ave; cabotoclub.com
While a departure from the signature Windsor pizza, banquet hall Caboto Club is home to a pizzeria offering 40+ unique pies that you order by number. If you choose to dine in, you’re treated to a beautiful lounge space with an old school aesthetic. Easily the best dough of the list thanks to their wood burning oven—springy, doughy, crunchy and perfectly seasoned.
2595 Dougall Ave; naplespizza.com
Naples first opened in Windsor’s east side in 1984; a family-owned operation that has since expanded to 20 locations across Southwestern Ontario. An unassuming pizzeria offering take-out and delivery, Naples’ strong suit is its toppings—especially their pepperoni. The Windsor-style pepperoni shreds are extra thin, perfectly crisped, and balanced out by Naples’ chewy dough.