Thursday, November 3, 2011

Leaning Tower of Pizza- Best Pizza South Florida

Leaning Tower of Pizza

As many of my readers know, I am a huge pizza fan who grew up in NY.  Thus, I'm a big fan of traditional NY style pizza but also love the thin crusts coming out of coal and wood-fired ovens all over South Florida.

The following list includes all types of pizza. I wish the list was longer so I will keep searching the tri-county area.

**When I refer to dough, I am talking about the portion under the cheese and sauce. "crust" to me is the edge of the dough that you fold. I believe that is technically referred to as cornicione. I suppose you can simply call the entire dough the crust and the edge the upper crust. Whatever!! I like calling it pizza dough and crust. No idea if that is proper terminology or not but it's always been mine.**

I also attempted to make the list "lean" like the tower of Pisa but that failed...


Mauro's (Downtown Hollywood)- Huge authentic NY style slices. Perfect dough, sauce and cheese ratio which is something I look for and is very important to me. Their sauce skews slightly to the sweet side.  As good as it gets in South Florida.

Cafe La Buca (Pompano)- NY style/thin crust hybrid. Fantastic tasting dough with a nice chew that is not overly charred. The cheese and sauce is top notch and perfectly proportioned. Pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven imported from their hometown of Naples, Italy.  Five tables, daily changing verbal menu.  Get a small pie so you can try one of their fresh housemade pastas. Hidden gem and a must visit.

Kings County Pizza (Aventura)- Another recent find that opened within the last year or so.  They are serving authentic NY style pies including stellar Sicilian and grandma pizza.  Sauce skews on the spice (basil/oregano) side.  On a side note, the wings and baked ziti are even better.

Macalusos Market (South Beach) - I'm a big fan of Macaluso's, the restaurant and was very happy when he opened the market next door. The Market features great appetizers including their legendary meatballs, heroes and pastas.  They also serve fantastic pizzas. Kill two birds with one stone and order the meatball pie. 

Racks (Sunny Isles)- I must admit that I wasn't a huge fan off the bat but it was good enough early on to get me back and they have really won me over.  I don't think I was off early on. I think they have improved. Regardless, their pizza is another NY style/coal-fired hybrid. The underlying dough is on the thin side but the overall flavor is all NY style thanks to the great sauce, gooey cheese and great tasting dough.

Harry's Pizza (Miami) I really struggled over where to place Harry's.  I initially had them on the BUST list because I was disappointed with the baseline matzoh margherita pie I tried. It was super thin and overly crispy.  BUT I knew going in that Harry's wasn't about a traditional margherita pie. Chef Schwartz's pies are topping driven and the stars of his pizza.  He combines great ingredients with interesting and flavorful pairings that really work. I know a lot of people that will love what is coming out of Eismann's his wood-fired oven.  Leave your NY state of mind at home and go with an open one. I think you will leave happy.   


Steve's (North Miami)- This is a place I really want to love but always falls just short for me.  It's very good but the sauce is just too sweet for me to rank above the honorable mention bar.

Spris- (South Beach) An underrated spot over on Lincoln Road that features some interesting topping combinations. Always leave satisfied.

Anthonys Coal Fired Pizza (Multiple Locations) Anthony's seems to have a real love/hate following.  I'm on the love side of the fence but do find their pizza to be on the overly salty side and their toppings tend to weigh the pizza down. Regardless, they serve unique and tasty pies.

Papa Juan's- ha-ha just making sure you're paying attention.

Alternative Pizza's I like-

Michaels Genuine- (Design District) Love the breakfast pizza on the brunch menu.
Sustain- (Midtown Miami) Big fan of the Green Eggs & Ham pizza on their brunch menu.


Tuccis Pizza (Boca)
Pizzeria Oceano (Lantana)
Kitchenetta (Ft. Lauderdale)
Frankie's  (Miami)
Timo (Sunny Isles)- Have fond memories of the Black & White (shaved black truffles) but it's been a while.
Pucci's (South Beach) I was a huge fan of the prior incarnation back in the early to mid 90's but that was back in my partying days. Most slices were post clubbing and/or nursing a Rebar/Velvet/Chili Pepper/Groove Jet/Chaos hangover...very fond memories though)

Really Miss-

Pizza Volante


Stefanie said...

What are your thoughts on Andiamo?

The Chowfather said...

Stef, I've driven past Andiamo's thousands of times and have never stopped. For some reason, it has remained off my radar. Worth trying?

SteveBM said...

You must've missed Andiamo on that leg of the pizza crawl. I thought it was pretty good but not a fav of mine. The way you describe Harry's it should be in your Honorable Mention tier. That pizza definitely is topping driven but I like the crust/dough as a vehicle. Flavor-wise it doesn't add much though. You should also add that place Frod recently visited to your "To Eat" list. Looked pretty good. Joey's in Wynwood makes a really good pie. Fratelli la Buffala also makes a decent pie. My favorite is Spris though. Consistently great pizza there.

The Chowfather said...

Steve, Pizzeria Oceano was included in my "to eat list"

Again, I debated where to put Harry's. Honorable mention was the landing spot but my palate insisted on bumping it up. Those toppings are legit and I know a ton of people who will love those pies.
I'll post back after I try all of them.

Anonymous said...

What about Pie Ducks in Brickell? Also, Z Pizza in Key West. Im from NY and those 2 places have been the best in my opinion. I cant wait to hit up some of the places on this list. Thanks!

Stefanie said...

Personally, I like Andiamos. Great toppings, love the atmosphere there as well. I recently ate at Fratelli la Bufala - have to disagree with Steve. From the second my boyfriend lifted up his piece, we could tell it was already extremely soggy - just seconds out of the oven. Better things to order there, like the lasagna. I am a huge fan of Giotto's on West Ave. on SoBe - I feel like this place is pretty under the radar. I'm from New York as well, and I have to say, I've found it hard to find one slice that's as satisfying as ANY of the local places by me at home. But you make do with what you have, I guess ! said...

I like Antonio's in Miramar.

Jon G said...

I'm from New York and how any New Yorker who knows anything about Pizza can put mauro's as the best in South Florida must be an imposter.

tubeornot2b said...

Gotta agree with Jon G. I am proud to be not from NY, but I do love good Pizza and anyone who can call Mauro's the best pizza anywhere has no clue. Tasteless dough, sauce, skimpy overpriced toppings and undercooked slices are no formula for good, let alone great pizza. Befitting of the drunks and burnouts that you usually find there. BUt certainly no pizza lovers delight.