Brandon Anderegg
Guide

Milwaukee’s 30 Best Pizzas

The pizzerias in town, any one of which will make your day.

By - Feb 17th, 2017 01:58 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
Pizza at Transfer. Photo from Facebook.

Pizza at Transfer. Photo from Facebook.

This is a pizza-crazed nation.

Consider that more then three billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year, actually four billion when you count frozen pizzas. Or that 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly, at least once a month or 46 slices a year. Or that that 17 percent of all American Restaurants or more than 61,000, are pizzerias. Americans, in fact, eat more pizza per person than any country in the world, and about twice as much as second-place Italy, the inventor of pizza.

Can we in Milwaukee measure up to that hungry standard? You bet.

And to help us do so, we present Urban Milwaukee’s First Annual Best Pizza Guide. Here are 30 of the best pizza purveyors in town, all worth trying should you have that all-American urge for a slice of pizza, be it thin crust, deep dish or cracker crust, small, medium or large, sausage, pepperoni or veggie.  It’s all good and it’s all here.

Monster Pizza

Why it made the list: Monster Pizza, having just opened in January, is known for creating the Frankenstein of pizzas. Their 28 inch pizzas, a kind of lasus naturae to the average pie lover, comes in 18 combinations including maui wowie (that title alone sold on this place), chicken ‘n’ waffle and siracha chicken bacon ranch.

Where is it? 2856 N. Oakland Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
More info: monsterpizzamke.com

Pizza Shuttle

Why it made the list: For some Milwaukeeans, the shuttle was a classic hangout spot in their teenage years. For others, the shuttle is a go-to late night spot since carry-out and delivery are available until 2 a.m.

Where is it? 1827 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
More info: PizzaShuttle.com

Lisa’s Pizza

Why it made the list: Stepping into Lisa’s pizza is like stepping into a museum of Milwaukee’s old-school places. With a warm and family-friendly atmosphere, Lisa’s has been serving pizza since the 60s. And the ingredients are always fresh. .

Where is it? 2961 N. Oakland Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., and Sunday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
More info: pizzabylisa.com

Sal’s Pizza

Why it made the list: What makes Sal’s Pizza so unique among the six plus pizzeria’s on the East Side’s stretch of Oakland? For college students, it would probably be the close proximity to campus, the cheap prices, the by-the-slice option, and the free garlic knot. Sal’s is also known for pizza’s close cousins, the Calzone and the Stromboli.

Where is it? 2974 N. Oakland Ave., Milwaukee, 53211
Hours: Open Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
More info: salspizzaeastside.com

Ian’s Pizza

Why it made the list? After a night out on North Ave. with your buddies, Ian’s pizza is an ideal place for sustenance, especially if you’re at the point where all you can manage to mumble is, “Mac ‘n Cheese.” Not to mention, the style of music in Ian’s often provokes an in-line dance party.

Where is it? 2035 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 2:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3:30 a.m.
More info: ianspizza.com

Streetza Pizza

Why it made the list: With just enough room for two bakers and a couple of pizza ovens, Streetza is a mobile, rapid-fire pizza-making machine. There is just something special about that impromptu slice of pizza on a street corner. Streetza’s default locale is the intersection of Water Street and Juneau Avenue, but can be found anywhere in Milwaukee based on the requests of their twitter following.

Where is it? Location Varies and can be found online
Hours: Open Friday and Saturday 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.
More info: streetza.com

Little Demarinis

Why it made the list: Demarinis is known for its 1950’s-style thin-crust pizza and its yummy homemade sausage. The interior has a retro feel to it with its U-shaped bar and rustic styled tables.

Where is it? 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. Closed on Monday.
More info: littledemarinispizza.com

Pizza Man

Why it made the list? After a three year hiatus, and much lamenting by its fans, Pizza Man reopened on N. Downer Ave.  While Pizza Man is a little pricier than most pizza joints in the county, the cozy atmosphere is unparalleled. During the warm months, the upstairs has an open air sunroof, an outdoor patio and a wine display room with a wooden table for larger parties.

Where is it? 2597 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

More info: pizzamanwi.com

Brick 3 Pizza

Why it made the list: Brick 3 is home to “Milwaukee’s largest Pizza,” which is a monstrous 34-inch pie. Looking for a slice of pizza before the sports event or a concert at the Bradley Center? Brick 3 pizza is at most a five minute walk from the Bradley Center. And you’ll need to walk after a pie that large.

Where is it? 1107 N. Old World 3rd St., Milwaukee, WI 53203
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
More info: brick3pizza.com

Classic Slice

Why it made the list: We always hear about “Meat Lovers” but love comes in all shapes and sizes. Classic Slice has a variety of vegetarian pizzas as well as pies that are strictly vegan. You can even pick up raw pizza dough to make your own pizzas at home! It’s a great meal in one slice.

Where is it? 2797 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m., Sunday and Monday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
More info: classicslice.com

Pietro’s Pizza

Why it made the list: Pietro’s father, who was a baker in Sicily, opened Pietro’s in 1973. The family owned restaurant’s Italians roots are evident in the taste of their pizza, especially the sauce. Spicy, bold and delicious are just a few of the  ways to describe Pietro’s uniquely tangy sauce.

Where is it? 2797 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Hours: Open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sunday 4:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. Closed Tuesday.
More info: pietrospizzawi.com

Nori’s New York Style Pizza

Why it made the list: Nori’s does New York Pizza justice with its spicy sausage and pepperoni toppings, a trademark of New York-style pizza. If there are so many toppings loaded on each slice that you have no choice but to fold her up, you know it’s a quality New York-Style pizza.

Where is it? 2952 S. 13th St., Milwaukee, WI 53215
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
More info: norisnewyorkstylepizza.com

WY’East Pizza

Why it made the list: When you walk into WY’EAST you’ll notice a blue-and-red tiled Forno Bravo gas-fired domed Italian Pizza oven. WY’ East’s style of pizza is a unique hybrid between a Neapolitan and New York-style.

Where is it? 5601 W. Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
More info: wyeastpizza.com

Ned’s

Why it made the list: Ned’s features some of the sauciest pizza in town at no upcharge if you ask for “heavy.” However, if “you say “extra” sauce, Ned’s will spatter the toppings with a little more. The fact that Ned’s has been around for nearly 50 years is a testament to how popular the pizza is. Ned’s neatest feature is that you can pick up a parbake, which is a premade pizza to be baked at home.

Where is it? 3246 S. 27th St., Milwaukee, WI 53215
Hours: Open daily Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
More info: nedspizzarestaurant.com

Hup’s Pizza

Why it made the list: Hup’s is a total dive, yet reminiscent of a favela. It’s a small place. In this case, lacking the niceties of a usual pizza joint means more focus on the quality of their great tasting pizza.

Where is it? 5400 W. Hampton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53218
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Monday.
More info: places.singleplatform.com

Transfer Pizzeria Café

Why it made the list: Remember that time you were on the phone with the delivery driver debating pizza toppings with friends, while the driver awkwardly listened? Yeah, well, it’s usually the pineapple guy’s fault. Sometimes, getting pizza is the best option if you have a large group. Other times, getting pizza can be a hassle if not everyone can agree on the toppings. End the topping debate at Transfer Pizzeria Café where everyone can order their own personal pizza. Not to mention, they have gluten-free pizza and beer with no up-charge. And the place is charming, with a cool urban vibe.

Where is it? 101 W. Mitchell St., Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
More info: transfermke.com

Maria’s Pizza

Why it made the list: As a sit-down pizza joint, Maria’s Pizza has one of the warmest atmospheres in Milwaukee. From the classic red-and-white checkered table cloths to the wooden paneled walls to the many knick-knacks like the Elvis Presley guitar clock, Maria’s is the perfect place to split a pie with the family.

Where is it? 5025 W. Forest Home Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53219
Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday 4 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Open Saturday 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
More info: facebook.com/MariasPizzaMKE

Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

Why it made the list: Simple. Anodyne has an unexpected wood-fired pizza oven that churns out some of the tastiest authentic Neapolitan pizza in the area. Coffee and pizza? Yep, that’s a weird combo. However, it makes sense given that pizza and coffee are among the few drugs that are actually still legal.

Where is it? 2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Hours: Open Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m, and Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
More info: anodynecoffee.com

Pizzeria Scotty

Why it made the list: Pizzeria Scotty’s deep dish pizza is so deep that it is almost subterranean. Want the full Scotty’s experience? Do not leave without trying their deep-fried garlic breadsticks.

Where is it? 9809 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53227
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

More info: Pizzariascotty.com

Alphonso’s the Original

Why it made the list: Alphonso’s is at the cutting edge of “crustology” with its ghost pepper crust on the “Evil Knievel” pizza and the honey crust on the “Honey Bee.” If you look at the menu, you’ll notice that most of the pizzas are named after cars. Below the glass covered counter, you’ll find an interesting story that explains the reason behind the car-themed pizzas.

Where is it? 1119 S. 108th St., West Allis, WI 53214
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Closed Monday.
More info: alphonsostheoriginal.com

Riverwest Pizza

Why it made the list: Riverwest Pizza (RWP) has become well-known for its gourmet pizza, which features toppings such as free-range chicken, duck, and chorizo. As a local favorite, RWP’s pizzas are named after the streets of Riverwest. If you purchase the “RWP” pizza, a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to a Riverwest organization every month. RWP is a sit-down restaurant and only offers carryout, no deliveries.

Where is it? 930 E. Wright St., Milwaukee, WI 53212
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
More info: riverwestpizza.com 

Pizzeria Piccola

Why it made the list: Pizzeria Piccola has the Neapolitan-style pie down to a science. If you’ve never tried this style of pizza before, the Margherita is a good place to start. The Margh comes out of a wood-fired oven and features tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.

Where is it? 7606 W. State St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

More info: pizzariapiccola.com

Fixture Pizza Pub

Why it made the list: Fixture, which focuses on the thin crust and square cut Milwaukee-style pizza, is one of the newest pizza pubs in town. While Fixture does make a deep-dish pizza, their specialty is the thin crust with cheese on the bottom and sauce on the top.

Where is it? 623 S. 2nd St. Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Monday.
More info: fixturepizza.com

Zaffiro’s Pizza & Bar

Why it made the list: Zaffiro’s is one of Milwaukee’s been-there-forever joints that you cannot pass up.  Not to mention, not many Milwaukee pizzerias have mastered the cracker thin-crust quite like Zaffaro’s. This pizza joint has the coziness of a dive-bar but the quality of a 5-star (well, maybe 4-star) restaurant. If you stop by, don’t forget to check out the first birthday on the birthday board!

Where is it? 1724 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. -10 p.m.
More info: Zaffirospizza.com

Organ Piper Pizza Palace

Why it made the list: It’s all about the organ. The center of the palace is a white Wurlitzer-style organ that emits melodious notes that leave the room trembling. This place is perfect for kids as the music and ambiance often leave children in awe. The pizza’s pretty good, too.

Where is it? 4353 S. 108th St., Greenfield, WI 53228
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Friday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
More info: organpiperpizza.com

Calderone Club

Why it made the list: Authenticity is the first word that comes to mind. The key to their pizza might just be the freshly peeled tomatoes in their sauce or the fact that they use Grande Cheese, one of Wisconsin’s greatest cheese manufacturers.

Where is it? 842 N. Old World 3rd St., Milwaukee, WI 53203
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m. Saturday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Sunday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
More info: calderoneclub.net

Roman Candle Pizza

Why it made the list: Roman Candle has a really zesty and spicy sauce worth trying called “fireworks”; that is, if you’re into the “chipotle kick” taste. The candle has moved with the times as they have a variety of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. Also, if you’re a pizza lover who’s into the sauce, they have a variety of drizzles such as Pineapple-Chipotle and Roasted Red Pepper.

Where is it? 133 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
More info: theromancandle.com

Zayna’s Pizza

Why it made the list: Zayna’s is a go-to spot if you’re looking for quick and cheap pizza for delivery on a late night. If it’s not the tangy sauce that tempts you to order their pizza, it might be the fact you can also order a pack of smokes to be delivered.

Where is it? 714 E. Brady St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 3 a.m.
More info: zaynaspizza.com

Gianelli’s

Why it made the list: Gianelli’s makes its pizza dough fresh every single morning and you can tell by the taste of their cornmeal pizza crust. If you’re a bacon lover then you’ll be happy to find that their bacon is not just “bits,” but rather pieces of thick-cut bacon.

Where is it? Bonanza Shopping Center, 8701 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53225
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
More info: gianellis.com

Tenuta’s

Why it made the list: Tenuta’s makes some of the best deep-dish pizza and the best part is their version is really light on grease. They also have a variety of delicious meats such as mortadella.

Where is it? 2995 S. Clement Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
More info: tenutasitalian.com 

37 thoughts on “Guide: Milwaukee’s 30 Best Pizzas”

  1. Bman says:

    Lalli’s

  2. Benny Nota says:

    Ned’s? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    American cheese and ketchup on salted cardboard.

  3. Jerry says:

    You have listed every pizza place in Milwaukee as the “Best”. That’s bullshit. Your list should be “Top 10” maximum.

  4. Marion Heinz says:

    Guess the people in the western suburbs don’t eat good pizza.

  5. Ryan says:

    If this is this is the First Annual on Pizza I certainly won’t be reading the second. What a worthless, pointless listing! Seriously, why businesses ‘made it on the list” read like short synopsis’ of locations & environments. Sorry, I thought it was “Milwaukee’s First Annual Best Pizza Guide” so what was it about the PIZZA offerings that earned mention ?????? Expect more from Urban Milwaukee .. very disappointing.

  6. Mark says:

    Hard to imagine Divino Wine and Dine on Murray at North and Farwell being left off this list. It’s owned by the same friendly family who ran its predecessor on the same site, Palermo Villa. Same great pizza as the Villa, with lots of cheese, rich and flavorful sauce, and a nice, chewy crust. They’re MKE square cut unless you ask otherwise, and they’re happy to make the crust a little more crunchy if you prefer.

  7. Patricia B. Shirley says:

    Chuck’s Femily Restaurant in Thiensville has the best Chicago-style deep dish pizza in this area. It was originally Numero Uno on Oakland before it moved to Thiensville. Try it.

  8. Jon Prill says:

    Divino – formerly Palermo Villa – is absolutely the BEST PIZZA in MKE. Overlooking them is unforgivable.

  9. Greg Wolfe says:

    Where’s Ann’s in Hales Corners. Every other pizza list shows Ann’s except yours…Got to give them a try.

  10. kenneth says:

    I agree Divino is the best!

  11. Toni f Underhill says:

    Yup Divino’s. But I do like Ned’s too. Sorry guys. Scotty’s on southside that has awesome pizza.

  12. Angel says:

    Cataro’s in West Allis should be on this list. There is so much more than downtown or East side.

  13. James says:

    Balistreri’s on 68th.

  14. Michael Forrest says:

    Marco’s on Lisbon holds the crown for our family.

  15. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Balusterris.

  16. Pee Bee Gadfly says:

    Lazy article with no real research… open the Yellow Pages and randomly select 30 pizza places and hope they buy an ad, right?

  17. Jim Frieseke says:

    Barbieres is hands down the best pizza in town. Marcos is a close second. I wouldn’t feed Ned’s to my dog.

  18. GPKWH says:

    Marcos on Lisbon, yes! Pizza is alive and well on the Northwest side of Milwaukee.

  19. Marti Donnell says:

    Ballisterri’s, DeMarini’s should be here.
    Gianelli’s?? Their pizza is overpriced crap!!

  20. Diane says:

    I kept reading looking for Cranky Al’s on the list. Major omission in my opinion.

  21. Dennis Grzezinski says:

    Divino’s and Balistreri’s on 68th Street should each have been on the list!

  22. Virginia says:

    It would help if there was any explanation about criteria and the selection process. The order appears to be random, by why start with the month-old Monster Pizza?

  23. Tony Maronni says:

    I know it’s not Milwaukee, but does that really matter when the BEST pizza is Tony Maronni’s out in Sussex. Crispy cracker crust, tangy sauce and Grande’ mozzarella cheese. Simply the best. Old school pizzeria at it’s finest.

  24. CarpieDude says:

    Pizza Vino on Capital and Calhoun in Brookfield has awesome pizza. Check them out!

  25. John H says:

    Just had Pizza Man for the third and last time. When the new location(s) opened up, something for the original recipe was amiss. It just wasn’t very good for 3 consecutive visits.

  26. Chris Hartman says:

    North Lake Inn
    ABSOLUTELY THE BEST ITALIAN FOR THE LAST 20+ YEARS!!@

  27. MT says:

    Ricardo’s Pizza on Broad street in the Village of Greendale has been making delicious pizza since 1970. Hands down best pizza! They should be in this list!

  28. Jeff K. says:

    What about Barbierre’s on Bluemound Road? What about Mama Mia’s?

    It’s all much better than many on this list. This list is a popularity contest, not a true best of.

  29. Erin Hensel says:

    Barbierre’s!!! Ate there growing up, family moved to Green Bay and continued Ron stop there. I’ve now lived in Utah for almost 20 years, still go, still crave it, and still compare everything to Barbierre’s!

  30. Gina Micheli says:

    Ferrite’s on Port Washington and Donges Bay is by far the best pizza I’ve ever had anywhere in the country. Lisa’s is very good and Tomaso’s in Cedarburg. The rest cannot compare.

  31. Show some love for my family’s pizzeria, Di Stefano’s Pizza Palace on 46th & Forest Home Ave! My late Father, from Sicily, opened up in1972 with my Mother (current owner)! Family owned and operated, Italian food made with love♡

  32. Meghan says:

    Happy Tap??? Hello!!! Where the eff is that? Crap list.

  33. cb says:

    Strange list as you wanted to include everything, left off some really good ones, and made all pizza seem equal in a listing like this. need a list with the best sauce, best type of crust, best sausage, most unusual,….

  34. martin scholz says:

    Glad i don’t live in milw . any more ! hups was tops . screw the rest

  35. Janice says:

    Crossroads pizza on St Martin’s Road in Franklin is outstanding. Readers should give it a try. Agree with the earlier comment about Pizza Man. Tried their pizza at their new Drexel Square restaurant. It was bland and way overpriced.

  36. David says:

    Yikes, adding to the chorus, how do you miss Divino’s?

  37. Helga says:

    Personally, I think these lists are always sabatoged by someone merely needing to make another “best” list…just a list…just like the Shepherd Express, “bad” lists (some of these were good), but they let you know what’s out there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *