Pizza has had a long journey.
In fact, the word pizza first appeared in local lexicons in 997 in Gaeta and other regions of central and southern Italy.
So how did a dish that evolved in Naples, Italy from the Foccacia of Ancient Rome become the most beloved food in the world?
Emigrants from Italy took pizza with them as the spread across the world, with the dish arriving in the United States in the 19th century. While it was popular within those migrant communities, pizza really became a global phenomenon after World War II when soldiers returned home from Europe singing the praises of Italian cuisine.
While there is great debate about when pizza arrived in the US and who first sold it here, in Columbus, the answer is clear.
TAT Ristorante di Famiglia opened in 1929 and started serving pizza to the public in 1934. Although they have only been in their current location for a cool 40 years, they are still serving up the pizza that captured the hearts of Columbusites long before this city’s other iconic pizzerias opened their doors.
Over the years, pizza has evolved into many shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for a foldable slice of New York style pizza, a crispy square of Columbus-style pizza, or you’re ready to bust out a knife and fork for some deep dish, Columbus has a pizza place for you.
Now that we’re all brushed up on our fun pizza facts, it’s officially time to dive in and see who’s slinging be best pies in town.
About: Rubino’s has been a favorite in Bexley since 1954, and to be honest, not much has changed. The restaurant is cash only, your drink options are limited to canned soda or water, and the general vibe inside will leave you feeling like you’ve just fallen through time. But the reason people keep coming back is for the iconic crunchy, thin crust pizza that Rubino’s has perfected. You won’t find any doughy crust here folks, this is Columbus pizza at its crispiest.
Location: 2643 E. Main St, Bexley, OH 43209
Website: Rubino’s Pizza
The Wizard of Za
About: Wizard of Za was the pizza hero of 2020 that we didn’t know we needed. After giving us all something to be excited about during an otherwise uncertain time, Wizard of Za has earned a loyal fanbase here in Columbus. The Sicilian-style pies consist of a delightful focaccia crust that’s made in house, topped with fresh mozzarella, housemaid sauces, fresh herbs & other ingredients, and a sesame seed base on the crust.
Location: 4214 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Website: Wizard of Za
About: Adriatico’s has been serving their New York Style pizza for nearly four decades. A long-time staple on the campus of the Ohio State University, Adriatico’s actually serves a few different kinds of crusts, ranging from thin to Sicillian.
Location: 1618 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
About: Harvest Pizzeria is what my husband likes to call “fancy pizza”. And although Harvest labels themselves as gourmet, my husband isn’t wrong. Harvest is kind of fancy pizza and it makes you feel a little fancy when you eat it. It’s made with fresh, local ingredients and you can tase for yourself what a difference that makes.
Location: Multiple locations
Website: Harvest Pizzeria
About: For years, Yellow Brick Pizza was an absolute staple in Olde Town East. Although they’ve closed their original location, you can still get your fill of these iconic pies by visiting their East Market or Franklinton spots. The pizza at Yellow Brick is innovative and flavorful, with the restaurant offering a few different styles for customers to enjoy.
Location: 212 Kelton Ave, Columbus, OH 43205 and 415 W Rich St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Yellow Brick Pizza
About: Tommy’s Pizza is no frills, no fluff, just delicious old-school pizza (and vibes). Tommy’s has been slinging Columbus-style pies since 1952 and they’ve gotten pretty darn good at it. You can’t really go wrong with any pizza at Tommy’s, but personally I’m a fan of the “all the way” pizza, which is topped with pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, green pepper and onion.
Location: Multiple locations
Website: Tommy’s Pizza
About: There are seven Pizza Cottage locations throughout Central Ohio now, and we’re all better off for it. The OG Pizza Cottage splashed onto the scene at Buckeye Lake back in 1972 serving Columbus-style pizza. For over 40 years, that was the only location. But starting in 2007, more Pizza Cottage’s began popping up, including spots in Lancaster, Powell, and most recently, in Grove City.
Location: Multiple Locations
Website: Pizza Cottage
About: Terita’s Pizza was founded back in 1959 by Gus Iannarino and over 60 years later, it’s still in the family. The ingredients are fresh, the sausage is homemade, and the vibes are impeccable.
Location: 3905 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43224
Website: Terita’s Pizza
The Pizza House
About: When I was a kid, one of my best friend’s and I planned out how we would live in an entire house made out of pizza. I wish The Pizza House was that, but I’ll just have to settle for it being a normal, delicious eatery instead. They first opened in 1961 and over the course of the last half a century, they’ve really perfected the art of the pizza. You can get thin or thick crust pizza at The Pizza House, so don’t be afraid to take lovers and haters of Columbus-style pizza to this spot. There will be something for everyone!
Location: 747 E. Lincoln Ave, Columbus, OH 43229
Website: The Pizza House
About: Hounddog’s always seems to inspire a polarized response in this city. It’s very much a love it or hate it kind of establishment, but Columbus residents consistently comment, vote, and shout about how much they love it. The pies are huge, perfectly foldable, and they’ve got some of the best crust in town.
Location: 2657 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202
Website: Hounddog’s Pizza
About: As we mentioned before, TAT is kind of the point at which all pizza in Columbus begins. You can create your own pizzas at TAT or trust in the specials, which is always my go to. I’m a fan of ordering the Justin’s Way, which is topped with pepperoni, sausage, red onion, and banana peppers.
Location: 1210 S James Rd, Columbus, OH 43227
Website: TAT Italian Ristorante
Mikey’s Late Night Slice
About: Mikey’s Late Night Slice was born out of necessity in 2009. Not to sound like a grandma but, “back in my day”, aka pre-2009, pizza by the slice was a faraway dream in places like New York City and Chicago. But Mikey’s Late Night Slice made that a reality here in Columbus and changed the game. The slices are big, foldable, and the perfect bite to eat whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m.
Location: Multiple locations
Website: Late Night Slice
Plank’s Cafe & Pizzeria
About: Plank’s Cafe opened in 1939 as owner Walter Plank’s response to the aftermath of Prohibition. Over the years it has evolved, but the iconic South End pizza spot is still in the family. They serve Columbus style pizza with a slightly sweet sauce that will leave you wanting more.
Location: 743 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43206
Website: Plank’s Cafe & Pizzeria
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