As someone who, in my 20s, cured hang-overs with chain pizza, I’ll admit that its form and function is baked, so to speak, into my culinary DNA. But that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the growing number of local pie shops producing high-quality ’zas, from which Sepp’s stands out.
It’s a thin-crust pizza, but baked sturdy enough to hold a truly varied number of toppings (we count at least 15 unique flavours, including an absolutely loaded vegan). And its uneven crust and less-than-perfect circle shape is part of its charm — as is picking it up through a slot in Sepp’s kitchen-only establishment north of Whyte Avenue. The Porco Funghi is a personal favourite and, if I’m being honest, it would have been wasted on drunk 20-year-old me. – Cory Schachtel
Located in Jasper Gates, but facing away from Stony Plain Road, Italia Mia isn’t easy to find. It could even be fair to call Italia Mia one of the best kept secrets in town. But famed pizza chef Carlo Raillo — who had worked for other Edmonton establishments in the past, including The Parlour Italian Kitchen and Bar — has created an experience that’s well worth talking about. The fire-roasted pizzas are all about simple but delicious ingredients, made well. No matter if you like spicy Italian sausage, dollops of mozzarella or a simple tomato-and-cheese pizza, the pies are consistently delicious. – Steven Sandor
If there’s anything our Best Pizza list proves — at least when it comes to our judges — it’s that it might be nice to drizzle your pizza with honey, or try a variety of different gourmet toppings. But, a great pizza place is decided by how well it does the basics. And the stone-baked, thin-crust pies that come out of the oven Panini’s Italian Cucina check off the vitals — a crust that can hold the ingredients, and toppings that show simplicity can shine. Sure, go crazy and add some shrimp or feta cheese, but I’m happy with some Italian sausage, red onions and mushrooms. Don’t even think about taking that last slice. – Steven Sandor