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Top 13 Independent Columbus Pizzerias to Support During Covid (and After)!

Posted by cmh gourmand on April 21, 2020

Let’s just say Covid and the Ides of Covid have been a trying time. Many of my friends own and/or work in local restaurants, breweries and distilleries. The stories of their grit and determination to keep going are amazing. It is expected a large percentage of restaurants may not come back when we return to whatever the new normal becomes. There is one sector of food service that has seen a glimmer of “Okayness” during Covid – PIZZA!

Although pizza sales have slumped 8% this year, that is nothing compared to double digits in other food industry sectors except grocery stores. Whereas other food businesses are laying off staff, the big pizza players such as Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Domino’s are hiring thousands of staff to meet increased demand for delivery. It is great that jobs are created, so many people need a paycheck. And I would say so many people need pizza, however, the chains will survive Covid or not, our around the corner shops, may not.

This is a crucial time for our local mom and pop pizza shops. For the last two decades the number of independent pizzerias has rapidly declined due to fierce competition from corporate chains. In Columbus, the former Pizza Capital of the USA (true fact in the 1990’s), the decline of independent pizzerias has had a more shallow curve than most other cities, but is still significant. During the heyday of Columbus Pizza, there were more pizzerias per capita here than anywhere in the country, today, Columbus does not even place in the top fifty. The end of 2019 saw several old school Columbus pizzerias close including the original Minelli’s on Sullivant. The closing trend was expected to continue during 2020.

Before Covid, many of our local independent pizzerias were struggling to keep their doors open. A bevy of factors contribute to the teetering fate of mom and pop pizza shops: fierce competition in the pizza industry, a greater variety of food choices that can be picked up and delivered, more late night food options, the high price of quality ingredients and more. The biggest hit to the continuation of independent shops has been a lack of desire of third and fourth generation children to take over the family business. Families today are typically smaller than their first generation pie slingers which means – less family to work the business to continue the legacy and cut down on payroll. A profitable business and strong local support might change a few minds about shutting off their pizza ovens. Covid can slow the decline of independent shops and each of you can do something to help with that, order from a neighborhood pizzeria.

My primary research tool on Columbus pizza consumption is Instagram, which seems to show a lot of pizza consumption from local shops. Keep it up, support your neighborhood shop and try to add at least one new spot to your list – ideally one per week, but once per month would be OK.

Here is a list of favorites (not in exact order). And there are more than 13 that are list worthy.

Tommy’s

Iaconos

Adriaticos

Hounddogs

Meisters (hours may be very limited)

Pizza House

Little Sicily

Enricos

Dantes

Josies (The Bottoms)

Rubinos

Panzeras

Gattos

22 Responses to “Top 13 Independent Columbus Pizzerias to Support During Covid (and After)!”

  1. Cindy Leland said

    Very good idea! But you forgot Borgata. We get a pie from them about every 10 days! Eat more pizza!

  2. Kathleen said

    Please be sure to try Borgata pizza. I’m sure you will want to add them to this list as soon as you do.

  3. Greg said

    Borgotta, Borgotta, Borgotta! Real NY pizza

  4. Jane Magni said

    Please add Sparano’s in San Margherita

  5. A. J. said

    My fave of nearly 3 decades, and numerous winner of “Best pizza”. Rotolos

  6. Brenz Pizza in the Lenox! Try their buffalo chicken pizza, best crust in cbus!

  7. Kathleen Brewer said

    Love Iacono’s
    Thx for your list!

  8. Joy Duty said

    I love Eagles Pizza ..to me they are the BEST!

  9. Sara Brubaker said

    Why about Rotolo’s?????!!!!
    We crave that pizza- we all live away from Columbus now, but grew up living their pizza, and have to have it when we are there!

  10. carrie m said

    Great list! Also would add Borgata, it is amazing. Planks! Yellow Brick Pizza! Bexley Pizza Plus! All local owned!!

  11. lisacraigmorton said

    Loved revisiting this list of Columbus’ great pizza places. We’ve always wanted to try Gatto’s and this was the perfect reminder. It is not too far from our house in Victorian Village and so tonight we went for carry-out. It was delicious and we’ll for sure be going back. If I were going to describe the pizza (we always start out with a straight-up large pepperoni when we try a new pizza place) Gatto’s was like if Tommy’s and Panzera’s had a baby. Super yummy!

    Lisa Craig Morton

    Certified Tourism Ambassador

    Owner

    Victorian Village Guest House

    1149 Neil Avenue

    Columbus, OH 43201

    info@victorianvillageguesthouse.com

    http://www.victorianvillageguesthouse.com

    614-294-2849 (Guesthouse)

    614-309-0191 (Mobile – Call or Text)

    Experience Columbus Partner Business

    Member Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association

  12. Holly said

    You forgot about Portofino’s and Sarefino’s!!!

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