Burlington is home to some truly tremendous pizza. When I was an undergrad in Windsor, people would always talk smack about how lame Greater Toronto Area (GTA) people were for loving a popular pizza chain with a catchy phone number … Unless you were from Woodbridge, hailing from the ‘burbs of the Big Smoke automatically meant you were content with an order of large pepperoni from (fill in the blank) … so in other words, we knew nothing about pizza. Well, that was more than a decade ago and oh, how wrong are they? Surely, those haters need to come to Burlington to learn a thing or two about how to make an outstanding pepperoni pie. Here are the top 5 pizza places in the city.
It’s all-natural pizza with cute little pepperoni slices. Hand-tossed fresh pizza dough is made daily at Artisan’s New St. shop using premium bakers flour, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, baker’s yeast, 100 per cent natural spring water, and sugar. Don’t get the saucy details twisted: it’s made from real vine ripened-tomatoes, not from concentrate, topped with real Canadian mozzarella cheese. Service is fast and friendly and they clearly take pride in their product. Gourmet and premium toppings include real bacon and steak, asiago cheese, and organic prosciutto. Note: Gluten-free crust, Daiya cheese and soy cheese are offered for vegans and others with dietary restrictions.
Price for a large pepperoni: $15.14
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It’s hot and cheap and parking is a breeze at this Lakeshore Rd. shop. South end locals polled all recommended Napoli, so I bit … the crust from Napoli had me going back for another slice, and the sauce has a hint of sweetness to it. Yum, yum, yum. Foodies, pizza snobs, and picky eaters alike can agree that Napoli makes a really delicious pizza!
Price for a large pepperoni: $8.99
Applestone offers a variety of crust options – multigrain, etc. but I opted for their classic original. Their tangy sauce does no wrong and even though I’m watching carbs, that crust just had to be devoured! Their dough is made from “00” Italian flour, hand-stretched and cooked in a granite stone oven. This was my favourite dough out of many varieties sampled. Sauces, from vine-ripened tomatoes, are topped with delicious cheese and meat — in this case, premium dry cured pepperoni. Applestone opened in 2012. Its owner, Mike, mastered his craft at Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in San Francisco before setting up shop. Outstanding customer service at this Appleby Line shop will have me returning.
Price for a large pepperoni: $13.75
With savoury sauce and cheese, it tastes like the tomatoes used in Lugano’s pies have been simmered for a few hours. The soft crust – a tad too soft for my liking but I was out-voted by dining companions — is utterly foldable and begs to be doubled up and eaten in half the time. Parking was a tad tricky at the south end of Brant but the long-standing (albeit, sketchy looking) affordable no-frills pizza joint is the perfect place for a quick bite followed by a digestive stroll along the waterfront trail.
Price for a large pepperoni: $12.99
The gluttonous pizzaholic in me was outed at the mere sight of this pepperoni pie, finished with fresh basil and parmesan. Everything is made in-house at this cute downtown pizzeria on Pine St. Well, technically the meat and cheese are smoked outside, but you get the idea. One bite in, and you can taste so much flavour from the quality farm-to-table ingredients. The slightly burnt crust – from three-day cold fermented naturally leavened dough – was phenomenal. To wash it down, there’s sparkling wine on tap (they say they’re the first Burlington resto to offer this), plus hand-crafted local beer and wine. As far as atmosphere, it’s dimly lit and makes a great spot for a low-key first date … and regardless of how it goes, you’ll leave smelling divine. There’s no delivery, so you’ll have to come here to have Burlington’s best pizza. Complete with great service, the only word to describe this endearing gourmet pizzeria is fabulous!
Price for a large pepperoni: $33
What’s your favourite pizza place in Burlington?