We get the question a lot: what is the best pizza in Tampa? And today we are settling the debate once and for all!
From the moment the first Italians settled in America, their cuisine has been taken to heart, including the humble pizza - once considered a basic food for poorer people. It's now become one of the ultimate comfort foods, is amazingly versatile, and can be presented in many different styles to suit all tastes. Pizza can be eaten at almost any time of day, so when you're out and about and you feel like grabbing a slice you might ask, who makes the best pizza in Tampa?
Here are the seven pizza parlors that will put you on the right track to finding the perfect slice!
Eddie & Sam's NY Pizza - Downtown
Nestled in Downtown, by the heart of the financial district, Eddie & Sam's has been a handy place for hungry office workers to grab an authentic 'New York' style slice since 1998. The secret, apparently, is in the water shipped down from NY to make the dough!
As well as feeding office staff, Eddie & Sam's caters to the tourists who have spent a busy day in the nearby parks and museums, enjoyed the spectacular Tampa Riverside Walk, visited the Tampa Boat Show or even attended an event at the Amalie Arena. With over 20 mouthwatering toppings, Sam & Eddie are sure to have something to suit your taste.
Cappy's Pizza - Seminole Heights
If deep-dish style Chicago pies are your thing, then this is the place for you! Many reviews rave about Cappy's Chicago-style bases, though they also make a mean NY thin crust too. Out of the five locations that this Tampa-based chain owns, this is a firm favorite with locals.
Situated on North Florida Avenue at the southern end of the Seminole Heights neighborhood, it has plenty of competition from other eating places but still remains popular. Away from the busy main streets, Seminole Heights is a quiet neighborhood, stacked with pretty, historic homes. There are plenty of parks here too, some with beautiful views over the Hillsborough River. What better way to work up an appetite before heading to Cappy's!
Bella's Italian Cafe - Hyde Park
Situated in an attractive building in the Hyde Park area, Bella's has been tempting locals for over 30 years. This isn't your usual pizza place, though. The interior is stylish and tasteful, with a menu to match. Don't let the word 'cafe' fool you! This has the atmosphere of an upscale restaurant, offering an impressive range of wines and cocktails.
Classic Italian cuisine is cooked to perfection, with pizzas made in wood-fired ovens. Hyde Park is a popular neighborhood, with great shops within easy walking distance, as well as the Bay, and the Bayshore Boulevard, all set around some beautifully-kept historic houses. Bella's fits in here perfectly, offering top-quality pizza without the premium price tag.
New York New York - SOHO
Whether you're an early bird or a night owl, SOHO is the place to be. With so many unique and interesting boutique stores, independent eateries and a diverse range of arts and cultural centers, it has something to offer everyone. Including a real slice of New York life, with a trademark thin and crispy base from this seriously popular pizzeria.
An enviable range of toppings is available, even when ordering by the slice! Everything here is made from scratch, so you just know you are getting that 'home-made' taste. Ideal for when you've been sampling the delights of the local taverns and craft alehouses.
The Corners Pizza - Channelside
The Channelside neighborhood has experienced some real changes recently, with the development of Sparkman Wharf and a range of new architecture that blends with the old to produce an effect that is eclectic and pleasing. The Corners Pizza slots is made from shipping containers, painted a beautiful shade of pale blue, offset by a wooden strip on which the neon sign is hung, and finished off by tufts of seagrass above.
It encapsulates the whole atmosphere of Channelside district in itself; modern, stylish, relaxed, casual, and fun. You have a choice of eating inside, chilling in the outdoor seating area, or grabbing a slice as you pass. But what makes The Corners truly special is the pizzas themselves – they are square, and absolutely loaded with delicious toppings!
Islands Pizza - Davis Islands
Named for the pizza slice-shaped island on which it sits, Islands has a modern, no-nonsense feel about it. Good food, happy hours, friendly staff, all set on the beautiful Davis Islands where meandering waterways loop their way through a fascinating tangle of tree-lined streets – who could ask for more?
Nowhere is far from the water here, and boating is in the blood, with many houses having private mooring, and marinas dotted all across the neighborhood. The Islands have their own sense of community, and Islands Pizza contributes significantly to this. Although they have a pretty extensive menu, at affordable prices, pizza is a definite favorite here.
Mangia Bene Pizzeria - Ybor City
Some of the words that come to mind when thinking about Ybor City are things like historic, diverse, multicultural, and community. Its famous 7th Avenue was named as a 'Great Street' by the American Street Planning Association because of these very attributes. Mangia Bene Pizzeria is a part of this enviable accolade, being situated just off 7th Ave.
As you stroll through this neighborhood you will immediately see the rich cultural heritage contributed by the immigrant communities from past years reflected in the architecture, all adding to the tapestry that makes Ybor so attractive. Mangia Bene, meaning 'Eat Well', lives up to its name, with a range of classic Italian fare that is freshly made with love and care. They pride themselves on a speedy service delivered with a smile. Their reputation has been established by taking the classics and interpreting them in a modern way that enhances each dish.
Well, we hope you enjoyed our rundown of the best pizza in Tampa! Let us know in the comments which ones you like the best.
And remember, if you find yourself in one of Tampa's awesome neighborhoods to eat on a Saturday afternoon, be sure to represent with our Tampa neighborhood apparel!