Post overview: Best Pizza in Portland, Oregon based on firsthand experience from a lifelong local.
We could talk about how Portland, Oregon was recently rated the Best Pizza City in America. We could talk about the discernible eye-rolls and sardonic sighs evoked from resolute east coasters.
Or we we could talk about the tepid applause from Portland locals because the sensational headlines only confirmed what we already knew — the pizza in Portland was underrated for too long, and we meant to keep it that way.
I mean, it’s only fitting that one of the best beer cities in the country is churning out some of the best pizzas too. The secret to our success? Variety and quality.
Between the traditional New York style, artisanal wood-fired Neapolitan or the beloved deep-dish Chicago style, Portland can satisfy the needs of any ardent pizza lover.
I’m speaking from firsthand experience, of course. I’m a life-long Portland local that panics anytime I have to choose between staring longingly at my loving husband or a hot pie. I’ve had every pie on the map in the thirty years I’ve lived in Portland, below is my personal list of the clear standouts.
Best Pizza in Portland, Oregon
You can’t make everyone happy. You’re not pizza.Anonymous
The best NYC-Style Pizza in Portland
First things first, the style of pizza served at Apizza Scholls is hotly debated. Some call it Neopolitan, while others swear it can only be an east-coast pie. I’m with the latter, I’ve dined at Apizza Scholls more than twenty times — this is definitely a NYC-style pie.
Technicality aside, Apizza Scholls is a Portland institution. Founded in 2005, this beloved Portland pizzeria has been serving Portlanders for almost 20 years and doesn’t show signs of slowing anytime soon. The restaurant has two cozy dinning areas and neither are very large, which means snatching a table on a weekend evening is nothing short of a feat but well worth the effort.
Note: During COVID Apizza Scholls paused indoor dining and only offers take-out orders until they sell out. They plan to return to indoor dining in April by reservations only.
If you’re one of the lucky few that snatches a reservation, the large pies are reward enough. Cooked in an electric oven with one mission: simple and fast. They don’t complicate the art of pizza making, the menu is perfectly curated with the proper toppings-to-crust ratio.
Clear standouts are the New York White (garlicky cheesy perfection) and the classic pepperoni (the pepperoni cups curl at the edges – mercy!). Whichever pizza you decide to order, make sure to start with the Caesar salad, it’s one of the best in Portland.
Address: 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Unless you are a pizza, the answer is yes, I can live without you.Bill Murray
Pizza Jerk was founded by spirited east-coast native, Tommy Habetz, who churns out some of the best NYC-style pizza in Portland in an inviting, no-frills pizzeria (with old-school red-checker tablecloths, chef’s kiss).
How do I know? For starters, Bon Appetite named Pizza Jerk the best new pizzeria in America in 2016. Secondly, only people that haven’t had a pie from Pizza Jerk can ask such questions.
The char-blistered crust is the star of the show, creating an ideal crispy canvas for the plethora of innovative toppings (shout-out to the clam pie), but my favorite is the classic pepperoni.
The best part is that Pizza Jerk serves vegan and cast-iron deep dish pizza as well. Making this one of the best places to get pizza in Portland if you have a crew with dietary restrictions and/or different pizza preferences!
Address: 5028 NE 42nd Ave & 621 SE Morrison St
Scottie’s Pizza Parlor
Scottie’s Pizza Parlor is the only place to go when you’re nostalgic for the pizza parlors of yesterday. Scottie Rivera, the Brooklyn-born founder, wanted to share the joy of true New York-style pizza with Portlanders and he delivered.
His large fold-able slices have earned him a permanent place in locals’ hearts. This is largely thanks to his two secret weapons: The #1 (a twist on the class margherita pizza) and the compelling Defino (Grandma-style Sicilian pizza named after Rivera’s grandmother).
The Defino is crafted using naturally leavened dough made with local ingredients. The crust is carefully delivered to a blazing electric oven to be cooked twice: once on high heat to char the crust and then on a lower setting to crisp it up.
From there, Scottie generously dresses the crust with high quality garlic-infused olive oil, generous heaping of fresh basil and a shower of fragrant Pecorino Romano. I can confirm, based on firsthand experience, that this single creation is one of the best deep dish pizzas in Portland, and worth a one-hour detour most days of the week.
Address: 2128 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Handsome Pizza’s claim to fame is their passion for making exceptional pizzas in Portland using local purveyors exclusively. In fact, this business takes great care in ensuring it builds up those around them, made evident by the fair wages they pay their employees.
The pizza churning out of this beloved and unfussy pizzeria boast names of local icons and should definitely be ordered if they pique your curiosity. Indeed, nothing coming out of the oven at Handsome Pizza will disappoint.
To that end, one of my favorite things about Handsome Pizza is the breakfast menu offered at Seastar Bakery next door. The Everything breakfast pizza (cheddar, bacon, onion, kale, colin couch memorial hot sauce, everything spice) is a knock-out!
Address: 1603 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211
East Glisan Pizza
The first thing you’ll notice after walking into East Glisan Pizza is the laid-back vibe of this popular Portland pizza joint. Located in a refurbished Mexican restaurant, the restaurant is part bar and part pizzeria.
Specializing in both classic New York style pies and deep dish pizzas, they’ve earned quite a reputation for their vegan pies as well.
In terms of what to order, I can honestly tell you that I’ve never been disappointed by anything on the menu. The pepperoni and sausage are my go-to, but I always keep my eyes peeled for the seasonal specials. Also, I can’t resist splitting the customizable Sicilian pie when I’m with friends. Come for the vibe, stay for the pizza.
Address: 8001 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97213
Image courtesy Glisan Street Pizza
Baby Doll Pizza
Baby Doll Pizza opened in 2012 with a simple mission: serve proper New York-style pizza in Portland. Started by Travis Miranda, a New York and New Jersey native, he wanted the City of Roses to have a pizza slice shop worth getting excited about, and he delivered.
Admittedly the name confused locals at first, Baby Doll? Thankfully, there was a simple explanation, he named his Portland pizzeria after his grandfather’s former strip club.
Patrons love him for three reasons: the crispy thin crust, the toothsome tomato sauce (which Miranda makes himself), and the quality ingredients (the ricotta and mozzarella cheese are made in house). Oh, and did I mention that he grinds his own meats as well? A man of many talents.
The most popular item on the menu is a toss up between the two classics: pepperoni and cheese. I consider this a testament to the quality of the sauce and toppings, simplicity never tasted so good. But if you’d like to step out of your comfort zone, I’d order the white pie.
Vegetarian and vegan pizza options are available as well.
Address: 2835 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214
Verdict | Best New York style pizza in Portland (tie): Apizza Scholls & Scottie’s Pizza Parlor
Best Neapolitan Pizzas in Portland, Oregon
Ken’s Artisan Pizza
Ken’s Artisan Pizza hails from Portland’s best baker, Ken Forkish, the two-time James Beard Award wining mastermind behind Ken’s Bakery in NW Portland. This iconic Portland pizzeria self promotes as Italian-inspired with an American accent.
Forkish recently relocated to Hawaii after twenty years in the baking business, but not before perfecting the pizza dough at Ken’s Artisan Pizza.
The new dough promised to be better than ever and (surprisingly) exceeded expectations. I say surprisingly only because it was hard to imagine the pizza getting any better.
The long-fermented sourdough/yeast blend creates generous airy bubbles within the soft crust. Pies are expertly charred in a trusty wood-fired oven immediately after being topped with locally sourced ingredients like hand-stretched cheese.
You can’t go wrong with a single item on the menu, but I’m partial to the Fennel Sausage and the Brooklyn (Mike’s Hot Honey steals the show). The Caesar Salad is non-negotiable and the cocktails are equally delicious.
Address: 304 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
If you’re looking for unique pizzas in Portland, Oregon, make a beeline for Lovely’s Fifty Fifty. It could be argued that innovations sometimes comes at the cost of quality (trying to stand out in a saturated field requires risk).
Thankfully, Sarah Minnick’s pizzeria, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, make it clear that serving top-quality pizza in Portland was non-negotiable.
Locals can’t help but benefit. Serving creative Neopolitan-style pies with toppings sourced from locals farmers markets, you’ll be wondering why it took so long for Portland to be called the best pizza city in America.
In terms of toppings, seasonal reigns supreme. Don’t be surprised to see apricots and edible flowers listed on the ingredients list. This is the place to take risks because you’ll be safe in the hands of the thoughtful creations churning out of the blazing hot oven.
Often considered the best Neapolitan pizza in Portland, you’ll want to arrive early to get your hands on a pie, because they sell out often.
Aesthetically speaking, this has the be one of the prettiest pizzas in Portland too but I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Address: 4039 N Mississippi Ave
Red Sauce Pizza
There’s no denying that Red Sauce Pizza churns out some of the best Neapolitan pizzas in Portland, Oregon. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The founder of Red Sauce Pizza, Shar Dues, has also successfully broken into the deep dish pizza game and fans have noticed. Their pan pies have folks biking over from all corners of Portland to get their hands on one of these bad boys.
The secret here, aside from natural passion and talent, is the slow-fermented dough and quality ingredients — most of which are made in house. The well treated dough transitions to a satisfying and chewy crust and creates a perfect canvas for the quality ingredients after some quality time in the oven.
My personal favorite pie is the Jill of all Trades, which comes with anchovies, ricotta and castelvetrano olives.
Address: 4641 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213
Nostrana is a high-end Italian restaurant owned by acclaimed James Beard Award finalist Kathy Whims. You might be surprised to see an Italian restaurant pop up on a list outlining the best pizza places in Portland, considering how steep the competition is.
But that only speaks to the mad talent of Chef Whims and the love she pours into this place, everything on the menu is exceptional. Focusing on creating authentic Italian recipes using seasonal ingredients from local purveyors, success is all but guaranteed.
Her meals have been called out by The New York Time, Bloomberg and Eater, so if you’re looking for the best pizza in Portland you don’t have an excuse not to visit Nostrana.
The traditional thin-crust Neapolitan pies are crafted using handmade cheese and delightful seasonal cuisine. My personal favorite pizza is the Funghi Verde, well adorned with shiitake mushrooms, garlic, mozzarella, pecorina, arugula and a citrusy olive oil.
If you’re on the hunt of the best vegetarian pizza in Portland, the Funghi Verde from Nostrana is a must-order.
Address: 1401 SE Morrison St #101, Portland, OR 97214
What I like best about Gracie’s Apizza, apart from the fact that is serve some of the best pizza in Portland, is the how personalized the service is.
Craig Melillo is a one-person show and churns out the pizzas himself in the charming St Johns neighborhood. The specialty at this food-truck turned restaurant are the 10″ Neapolitan pies, of which Melillo makes 70 per night.
He sells out most nights, but there’s a reason for that. Perfectly chewy and charred, crusts are topped with homemade tomato sauce and house made mozzarella cheese. The ricotta pie deserves a standing ovation and the Very Vegan has tempted this carnivore more than once.
If you’re nervous about getting your hands on a pie, order in advance online (you can choose between to-go and in-house dining). The seating area is limited, offering 15 chairs and 8 picnic tables on a small patio he shares with the Garrison cocktail bar.
Worth mention, at $11-$15 per pie, this is some of the most affordable pizza in Portland.
Address: 8737 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203
Life of Pie Pizza (best happy hour pizza in Portland)
Life of Pie Pizza (two locations) is my go-to spot for happy hour in NW Portland. Happy Hour runs from 11am to 6pm, and at a mere $7 for a Margherita pie, the prices can’t be beat.
The aroma of wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas hits you the second you walk through the door and serves as an invitation to indulge.
You can watch the pizzas being prepared as you place your order. The chewy crust is adorned with vibrant tomato sauce and generous portions of gooey mozzarella cheese, topped with fragrant basil leaves.
In my opinion, this is the best happy hour pizza in Portland, by a mile. The quality to price ration is a steal of a deal, which is why this places fills up so quickly, arrive before the 5pm rush!
Address: 1765 NW 23rd Avenue & 3632 N Williams Avenue
Verdict | Best Neapolitan pizza in Portland (tie): Ken’s, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty & Red Sauce
Best deep dish pizzas in Portland
Ask any Portlander about the best deep dish pizzas in Portland and the honest ones will mention Ranch PDX. The dishonest ones will try to keep it a secret.
Boasting four lively locations since opening in 2017, Ranch PDX specializes solely in deep-dish pizzas in Portland — making them the perfect example of mastering one thing. The hearty deep-dish pies coming out of the oven are guaranteed to impress even the most ardent food critic.
The menu isn’t overwhelming (the perks keep adding up), and everything on offer is great. I’m partial to the classic pepperoni and The #4 (heaping portions of spicy port sausage neighboring chilies and soothing ricotta).
Also worth mention, with a name like Ranch PDX, the restaurant is making a statement. Their homemade ranch is a perfect companion for the deep dish pie.
- 916 NW 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97209
- 2239 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214
- 1760 NE Dekum Street, Portland, OR
- 12960 SE 162nd Ave. Suite 202 Happy Valley Oregon
In a lot of ways a good pizza boils down to two things: the crust and sauce. And the magic is in the perfect union between the two, which creates a harmonious marriage bursting with flavor when done properly.
Enter Ex Novo, the brewery that churns out some of the best deep-dish pizza in Portland. Ex Novo Brewery swells with locals eager to quench their insatiable IPA palate, to be sure, but some of those folks use the brews as a mere disguise to get their hands on the pie.
Indeed, the perfected deep-dish concoction coming out of the kitchen has inspired Ex Novo’s second location in Beaverton to be focused predominantly on pizza. What can I say? They know how to give the people what they want.
Address: 2326 N Flint Ave, Portland, OR 97227 & 4505 SW Watson Avenue
Skillet baked cornmeal-crusted pizzas are the top attraction at Dove Vivi, setting them apart from the competition. The buttery deep dish pies are topped with homemade sausage, goat cheese and creamy roasted eggplant. Nothing on the menu disappoints so pick something interesting.
The mere size of this Portland pizza begs you to arrive with an empty stomach (we all know that re-heated pizza isn’t the same). Also worth mention, Dove Vivi is known for having some of the best vegan pizza in Portland — order the signature cashew pie to see what all the fuss is about.
Address: 2727 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232
Verdict | Best deep dish pizza in Portland: Ranch
The Best Pizza in Portland, Oregon (Post Overview)
In sum, here’s the Portland pizza joints you can’t afford to miss.
- Apizza Scholls
- Pizza Jerk
- Scottie’s Pizza Parlor
- Handsome Pizza
- East Glisan Pizza
- Baby Doll Pizza
- Ken’s Artisan Pizza
- Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
- Red Sauce Pizza
- Gracie’s Apizza
- Life of Pie
- Ranch PDX
- Ex Novo
- Dove Vivi
best Detroit style pizzas Portland, best Chicago style pizza Portland Oregon
Map of the best Portland pizzas
Let me know if I missed anything (but don’t be mean about it)!