It’s no doubt that I have developed this strong love for pizza, and any time I’m asked for dinner, I always seem to want pizza; something about the combo of dough, cheese & amazing toppings, and I never seem to get sick of it! When I moved to Toronto 5 years ago, one of the things I loved first about the city was the never ending amount of restaurants to try. Honestly, my list of places to try consistently grows.
One of my favourite things to do is get together with friends for a night of good wine and even better food. While my boyfriend favours wings & beers, I’m slowly converting him. So over the years, I have eaten my way around Toronto trying the different pies across the city. I have put together a list with MY top 5 pizza places in Toronto that I always go back to.
1. Gusto 101
For those that know me, this is not the least bit surprising. This is hands down not only the pizza restaurant I go to most often, but the Toronto restaurant you’re most likely to see me at. Gusto 101 has only been open since 2012 over on Portland Street, and the place is always buzzing. I couldn’t even count the number of times I have been there, but I am always happy to go back. The vibe is awesome, service is good, the food is great and the fact that they have $1/ounce of wine just makes everything that much better!
Given that we’re talking pizza, I’ve tried almost every pizza on the menu and my personal favs are the Spinaci and the Fungi (which they’ve sadly removed). I’m not a big red meat eater, but the Diavolo with the calabrese salami and smoked provolone never fails! Don’t forget to try their kale salad too!
2. Queen Margherita Pizza
QMP was one of the first places that I tried in Toronto (after Libretto) and I always talked about it being my favourite pizza. The problem was, is that it was located all the way over in Leslieville, and living on the West end, that was a bit of a trek for me. I was stoked when they opened up their location at Dundas & Bathurst, and even happier when I moved around the block from it, so my boyfriend and I go all the time now.
While I don’t go here for the vibe (it’s quieter and not as vibrant – speaking specifically about their Dundas location), the pizza is AMAZING! The dough is cooked so perfectly; soft and chewy, and the cheese melted exactly as it should. They also do a great Prix Fixe menu ($30 for an appie, za & dessert), which we always go for. In that I love the Grilled Kale, or Calamari for the appetizer, and my pizza go-to is the Giovanna; a white base pizza with buffalo mozzarella, olives and garlic basil, and my boyfriend usually goes for the Dominator or Gio Oldschool.
This place is a must-try if you’re a pizza lover!
Another fav spot of mine, not just for pizza, but their pasta is also amazing. Terroni is one place that I often find myself at with my girlfriends, and a few bottles of wine. They have 3 locations in Toronto and for atmosphere and vibrancy, my favourite is their Queen Street location (Price St is a very close second). If you’re looking to get into to either of these spots on a weekend night, you’re generally looking at a 45+ min wait time, but it’s well worth it! So, I recommend that you put your name down earlier and then grab a drink across the street while you wait. The patio at the Queen St spot is also so pretty during the summer months.
Terroni is the most ‘Italian’ of my list. They will not do any alterations to the food items, and it’s for good reason; they have designed each of the items based on how the flavor profiles work together. Their pizza menu is lengthy and includes a lot of different options, and while I have tried a couple different ones, hands down my favourite is the C’t Mang. While not your traditional pizza flavours, this one includes both sweet and salty tastes, with the combination of honey, pears, gorgonzola and speck. Yumm!!
4. Pizzeria Libretto
Libretto was the first pizza place I tried after first moving to Toronto, and I’ll never forget my first experience there. It was their Ossington location, and it was packed! We had a 1.5 hr wait, which shocked me coming from Winnipeg, but it started my love for Toronto dining. Personally, I am all about the atmosphere and ‘coolness’ of a restaurant, and Libretto on Ossington gives just that. I don’t get that same feel from their King Street and Danforth spots, but it depends on what you are looking for! Vibe aside, Libretto makes an amazing Neapolitan style pizza, extremely comparable to the pizza I’ve had in Italy. It’s soft, and chewy, and beautifully cooked; it melts in your mouth. It’s consistent too, which I find so important!
As for my fav za’s here, I LOVE their traditional Margherita D.O.P., and I sub in buffalo mozzarella. I know this may seem boring, but it’s heavenly. A second is the Roasted Cremini Mushroom, soo good. Side note: their calamari here is also awesome!
5. North of Brooklyn
Unlike the others on this list, North of Brooklyn, aka Nobro, is more for a quick slice or take-out/delivery. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had this for take-out, it’s definitely my #1 when ordering pizza. It’s the best pizza really for any occasion; girls get together (yes, we include this in our girls potlucks), date night in, moving day (it’s dangerously close to my new place), party catering, or solo chills (I may have ordered a large to myself before). They do an awesome job on the quality of the ingredients, and putting together flavours, plus the size of the 18” pie is huge! The turnaround time is also relatively quick (~ 20 mins), which is key when you’re wanting pizza stat, and I’ve never been disappointed. They do recommend that you pop the pizza back into the oven before you eat it, and I had always avoided that, until this past weekend and it made it THAT much better! So I highly suggest you take that advice too.
I used to only order the White pizza, but now the Kale & Bacon has taken that place. The bacon is cut thick, and cooked right, and the kale is nice and crispy. Both options are great. I feel like I constantly have leftovers of Nobro in my fridge, and I am totally ok with that.
A few other places I enjoy are:
If you have any other recommendations, please share!