Sauce. Crust. Cheese. No matter what your favorite topping are, all pizzas are judged on the right amount of zesty tomato sauce, freshly shredded cheese and the right amount of chewiness and crispness in the crust. Forget the chains, this post recognizes the local establishments around town that make traditional pizza in a deck oven and have been doing it right for decades. Join us as we blow our diet and chow down on a true American classic and share with you some of our favorite and best pizza in Grand Rapids.
Best Pizza in Grand Rapids
ANDREA’S PIZZA – 2014 Boston Street SE (Eastgate) http://www.andreaspizzagr.com
For nearly 50 years, Andrea’s has been serving up some of Grand Rapids’ most delicious pizza. Owned and operated by a hard-working husband and wife team, Andrea’s differs from other pizzerias by offering the right combination of slightly sweet and zesty tomato sauce, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese and your choice of toppings, all atop an airy, chewy and crisp homemade crust. Andrea’s offers submarine sandwiches, pizza, calzones, appetizers, salads, and desserts. The standouts here include the Spicy Garlic Pizza (fresh garlic, ham, bacon, mushrooms, onion, green olives and jalapeno piled on a garlic butter crust), the oven-baked Super Sub (ham, pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella and pizza sauce) and the homemade tiramisu. Andrea’s also offers pizza-by-the-slice during lunch hours. For a great deal, stop in Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday for a 12” one topping pizza for $7.99 (carryout only). Do yourself a favor and call them at (616) 241-5446 or go online and order yourself a pizza. Your stomach will thank you!
GINO’S PIZZA – 1132 Walker Avenue NW (West Side) http://www.ginospizzagr.com
Operated by a husband-and-wife duo (seeing a trend here for great pizza), Gino’s Pizza has been serving up fantastic pizza to the West Side for decades. Gino’s bakes up some of Grand Rapids’ best pizza, stromboli, subs and Italian dinners. Gino’s keeps it simple by keeping a limited menu (you know what they say, have a limited menu, but do it well). Come here for the pizza, which has a nice, rich, well-seasoned sauce, freshly shredded mozzarella and a well-baked crust made with homemade dough. We recommend creating your own pizza here. Looking to save some cash? Gino’s is usually offering up a 16” two-topping pizza on special for $12.99. Stop what you are doing and call Gino’s at (616) 454-1800 and order one of their delicious pizza pies.
CARLUCCI’S PIZZA – 890 Fuller Avenue NE (NE Side) http://www.carluccispizzagr.com
Continuing the theme of family-owned and operated establishments making the best pizzas and treating their customers right, this husband-and-wife duo (along with their son) have been making pizzas for nearly 40 years (although Carlucci’s itself is not that old). Carlucci’s offers pizza, appetizers, Italian dinners, Mexican dinners, subs and salads. We recommend their garlicky breadsticks topped with copious amounts of parmesan cheese, the oven-baked Piccantino Sub (ham, sausage, pepperoni, jalapeno, and cheese) or creating your own traditional pizza. Carlucci’s sauce is a little more zesty than sweet includes plenty of parmesan cheese in the sauce (we like cheese). Carlucci’s also offers pizza-by-the-slice during the lunch hour, where you can get two slices and a pop for around $5.00. They also have many specials to save you some money, but the best deal may be the 18” one topping pizza for $13.99. We can’t urge you enough – put that salad down, call (616) 336-0040 and get a hot and delicious pizza.
BIG BOB’S PIZZA – 661 Croswell Avenue (East Grand Rapids) http://bigbobspizza.com
Head to East Grand Rapids’ Gaslight Village for some of the best pizza around. Big Bob’s Pizza offers up some of the best pizza in Grand Rapids. Featuring subs, soups, salads, pasta, calzones, burritos, wraps and pizza, there is something on the menu to please the whole family. Frequent patrons rave about the Spicy Chicken Pizza (chicken, peppers, garlic, banana peppers and cheese), The Meat Lover’s Pizza (pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon), the Meatball Sub (meatballs, sauce, and mozzarella cheese) and the Briazzos. Wait, what is a Briazzo, you ask? It is better that a deep dish pizza. Stuffed with toppings, cheese, and sauce, a Briazzo is then baked to a golden brown. We’d like to say it is delicious and unique. When you get a hankering for some of Big Bob’s delicious pizza, pick up the phone and dial (616) 233-0123. Your stomach will thank you!
HARMONY BREWING COMPANY – 1551 Lake Drive SE (Eastown) http://harmonybeer.com
We thought it would be nice to add one non-traditional, newer pizzeria to our list, so we picked Harmony Brewing Company. Located on the eastern end of Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood, Harmony has great pizza (in addition to their great beer). With dough made from scratch, each pizza is quickly wood-fired in a 700-degree oven, giving us the taste we are looking for. Those in-the-know order favorites such as the Mi Cubano (shredded pork, mozzarella, ham, Jarlsberg cheese, red onions and pickles on a mustard base sauce), the C-3PO (pepperoni, a shredded cheese blend, charred pineapple and red onion atop a basil pesto sauce), or the Crispy Pig (pepperoni, ham, prosciutto and basil). Whatever you pick here, you will be treated to a mouthwatering and unique creation, expertly baked to perfection by a trained pizzaiolo. In lieu of placing a phone order, we suggest stopping in, grabbing a pint (or two) of craft beer and placing your order.
RUSSO’S PIZZA – 1760 44th Street SW (Wyoming) http://russospizza530-3200.com
The granddaddy of all pizzerias in Grand Rapids, Russo’s has been dishing out tasty pizza pies since 1953! Russo’s is still family-owned and operated, and prides themselves on their customer-centered focus; they want you to really enjoy their pizza and keep coming back. Usually, crust is an afterthought, left for the dogs or discarded in the trash. Not so at Russo’s, where their hearth-baked crust is the star of the show. Add in a more savory pizza sauce and fresh grated mozzarella cheese, and you have yourself a winner! Russo’s offers the standard pizza, salads, stromboli, pasta, appetizers, and dessert. The stars of the show here are the freshly made cannoli, the Russo’s Special Sub (pepperoni, ham, capicola, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and mozzarella cheese) and, of course, the made-to-order pizza. Russo’s is unique in that they offer a discount if you order two pizzas at once. For instance, if you want two 12” pepperoni pizzas, the second one is always half-off. Also, if you choose to bake the pizza yourself, Russo’s will give you a 31% discount on the menu price. Take that, Papa Murphy’s. Russo’s also offers many other specials if you visit their website. They are open for lunch and serve pizza-by-the-slice for cheap. Call them at (616) 530-3200 today!
VITALE’S PIZZA – 834 Leonard Street NE (NE Side) http://www.theoriginalvitales.com
Opened by Salvatore Vitale nearly 50 years ago, Vitale’s has spawned a mini-empire of five locations around West Michigan. The original Vitale’s is still at the same location on Leonard Street. Vitale’s offers quite a hefty menu with appetizers, wet burritos, salads, pasta, Italian dishes, strombolis, and subs, but come here for the pizza. We swear Vitale’s has some of the best pizza sauce in Grand Rapids, and when combined with fresh mozzarella cheese and homemade dough, it is a thing of pure beauty. The best deal we can find here is between Monday and Thursday, you can get a 16” one topping pizza for $9.99. You cannot beat that deal. Vitale’s also offers a lunch buffet on weekdays for $7.99, so you can fill up on pizza, pasta, entrees, salads, and dessert. You will often even spot Salvatore himself enjoying the buffet at lunch. Stop in or call Vitale’s at (616) 458-8368 to savor some of Grand Rapids’ best pizza.
Do you agree with this list of best pizza in Grand Rapids? Have any other favorites in the area. Please let us know.