Slice of CMH: The Best Pizza in the Capital City
(A work in progress) – I am listing the best Pizza places in Columbus – with detailed reviews and photos. This is updated haphazardly so check back when you are bored.
If any one wants to write a review of a place I have not completed for this page – I will post your review and give you credit for it.
Here is the history of all things pizza in Columbus, from me, we have quite a heritage and we may still have the highest number of pizzerias per capita of any city in the Union. Deal with that east coast CMH pizza hating transplants.
There is a nice video on Columbus Pizza – here (Rotolos, Rubinos and Flying Pizza)
My Pizza Story: My first slice of pizza was at Dante’s in Clintonville during 1975 or 1976. I recall thinking pizza was weird. The second time I had it – I ate so much I almost got sick. Since then I have expanded my pizza palate. I have sampled most places in Columbus as well as hot spots in New York, Chicago, Rome, Queenstown (the Cow) and the rest of the world. I spent three months researching pizza for a failed book project. I think I can be objective on the subject of pizza pies. If you want to shout out a place – leave a comment.
Here is a list of 100+ places in town to get you started.
Add a topping of good places in Ohio, from Pizza Therapy.
And now – the favorite places of the Gourmand. Enjoy.
Adriatico’s New York Style Pizza
265 W. 11th Ave
Columbus (OSU Campus)
Monday – Thursday 11 AM – 2AM
Friday-Saturday 11AM – 3 AM
Sunday Noon – 1 AM
For alumni of the Ohio State University, there is not much left to be nostalgic about other than an occasional football national championship. Most of the business’ (for many that meant bars) that were once stomping grounds in “the day” have been bulldozed down or changed hands too many times. One exception is a small pizzeria towered over by dorms and a parking garage, hidden away on 11th near Neil Avenue.Billed as New York Style Pizza, many natives of the big apple would disagree with the title but not with the taste or price. Adriatico’s, in the thick (Sicillan) or thin varieties has been a student (current and former) and faculty favorite for over 25 years. This devotion is not just limited to campus; Adriaticos has won numerous accolades at the (former) annual Columbus Pizza Challenge as well in local magazines and newspapers.For those that can find the place as well as a parking spot, there is usually no problem getting a seat at one of the few tables in the cozy dining area. Most patrons get the pizza as carry out or delivery. The pizza is reasonably priced even with a January 2007 price increase – but you can get some great deals by ordering the famous Monday and Tuesday night specials, Adriaticos is legendary for the gigantic, thick crust only, rectangular slab of bulk pizza known as the Buckeye. The Slab/sheet of pizza that is the Buckeye is quite a sight especially when it has the gigantic slices of pepperoni on it. You could feed a sorority with one of these and still have a slice left over. Make sure to specify if you want thin or thick (with lots of garlic) crust when you order.There are other items available as well such as subs, salads, pastas, and Zoni’s (calzones) which are all good, but why bother, if you are going to make the effort to get here – stock up on pizza.Another note – Adriaticos does not accept Discover cards – something that I am sure Visa thinks is priceless.
Bexley / Gahanna Pizza Plus
Bexley Pizza Plus (since 1980)
2651 E. Main St.
Gahanna Pizza Plus
106 Granville St.
A few awards -
1st Place at the 2006 NAPICS Pizza Pizzazz
1st Place at the 2003 NAPICS Pizza Pizzazz
1st Place Judges Award at the 2002 & 2004 Columbus Pizza Challenge
1st Place Peoples Choice Award at the 2005 Columbus Pizza Challenge
10501 Blacklick-Eastern Road (Rt 204)
Catalfino’s is the little place that does. They won the people’s choice award and the judges award several times at the (former) Columbus Pizza Challenge ( in 2000, 2001, an d2003) as well as high marks at other local and national competitions. The pizza that helps them win is called – accordingly – The Champion: pepperoni, ham, salami, bacon, Italian ground beef, Italian sausage, ricotta and provolone cheese. Two other pizzas of note are, The Alfredo Collection: alfredo sauce, diced tomatoes, provolone and choice of shrimp, chicken, or vegetables; and Carolina Pulled Pork: smoked pulled pork, homemade BBQ sauce, and crispy fried onion. The Motto at Catalfino’s is “a little different…a lot better”. I would say that is about right.
Hounddog’s Three Degree Pizza
2657 N. High St
Hounddogs bills itself as Pizza for the People. Their late night hours certainly help get pizza to the people. However, historically, Houndogs is not typically known for being real strong in people centered service. Phone orders can be a bit terse and on site service can be hit or miss. Most of the tattooed and pierced alterna-punk servers seem to be on the verge of waking up or going to bed, which means serving you can sometimes be an inconvenience to them. However, this is not always the case and with slightly lowered service expectations walking through the door – you can not be disappointed. Hounddogs added the Ravari Room a few years ago – a great bar and music venue to support and supplement Hounddogs late night pizza.
The essential experience is ordering a Smokin’ Joe’s style pizza – garlic crust and a spicy, hot pizza sauce creates a cravable combo that can not be beat. While the quality can vary from really good to really great (depending on who is pushing pies that night) Smokin’ Joes style pizza is addictive and any other variety will be a little disappointing.
Iacono’s Pizza & Restaurant
4452 Kenny Road
Upper Arlington (kind of)
2965 Brice Blvd
Little Sicily’s was established in the early to mid 1970′s. The tag line for the restaurant is “The Pizza Worth the Drive” – which is good because they do not deliver. They also serve a great meatball sub. This is kind of on the border of Reynoldsburg and Pickerington. An unexpected pizza combo here is Ziggy’s Special – Italian Sausage and Sauerkraut.
Mama Mimi’s Take and Bake (don’t get the canadian bacon)
2923 North High Street
2092 Henderson Road
1565 King Avenue
Located inside Gentiles – The Wine Sellers
569 State Street
Best Gourmet Pizza
Midwest Pizza Pizzaz 2001
Pizza Expo 2004
Pizza of the Year
Pizza Festival 2006
747 E Lincoln Ave
Columbus (south of SR 161, off Sinclair)
895 N High St
This is the closest to true NY style pizza I have found in town. The Rossi is in my top 5 pizzas of all time, after a few more trips, it may be my favorite. The toppings are top notch. The bottom crust is thin and might collapse on you if you do not do the classic NY fold while the end crust is slightly crisp and chewy – perfect. The Rossi is more bar than restaurant, but this means you can get quick service if you hit this spot late on a weeknight.
(The original location)
1749 West 5th Avenue
Grandview Hts, OH
Rotolos expanded a few years ago. The best place to get a pie is still at the original location. Each slice feels like it has 1 pound of cheese on it. I remember the first time I picked up an order (it is all carry out) – I was not ready for the weight of the box when I pulled it from the counter. Rotolos is sometimes forgotten about when discussing pizza in Columbus – but they have a fair number of awards. The most unusual accolade is an article from Los Angeles Magazine which lists Rotolo’s as one of the ten best pizzerias in the nation. This list was no fluke – having done a lot of pizza research – the other places on the top ten list were true contenders for the best. You can see the magazine cover and part of the article on the wall at the Grandview location.
Tommy’s Pizza – (No 1 – the original)
1350 West Lane Avenue
Upper Arlington, OH