Dining

Viva la Pizza!

Sure, you can get a regular circle with sauce and cheese – but there are so many other kinds of local pizza to try

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Rhodies love their pizza. Yes, there’s the Italian heritage. Yes, we’re a land of great restaurants and sharp foodies. There are so many mixes of dough, so many shapes and dimensions, that even diehard fans haven’t tried them all. Here’s a sampler of different Rhode Island offerings, and although we couldn’t possibly mention all the pizza joints that prepare each one, we’ve included a few notable venues.

 

GRILLED PIZZA
It sounds crazy to throw a pizza on a grill the same way you would a steak. But the owners of Al Forno gave it a shot in the 1980s, and fans can’t get enough of that scorch-marked crust. Someone probably tried this before, but Rhode Island made the technique popular, and now it’s all over the place. Outside of Providence, try the grilled pizzas at Meritage  in East Greenwich.

 

PIZZA STRIPS
Believe it or not, pizza strips really are a “Rhode Island thing,” and few have heard of it outside the Ocean State. You can find these munchable rectangles in every beach town, but a favorite is Colvitto’s Pizza & Bakery in Narragansett.

 

DEEP-DISH
The pride of Chicago hasn’t won over Rhode Islanders as much as other types of pizza, and most fans go to Uno’s. But the folks at N.K. Chicago Pizza in North Kingstown know just what a feast this dense and layered pizza can be.

 

NEAPOLITAN 
In the old country, a pizza requires specific tomatoes, cheese, and flour to be considered true “Neapolitan,” and many local pizzaioli are true to this tradition. Chefs dedicate their lives to creating the perfect margherita sauce and pillowy crust. One of the masters of Providence Neapolitan is Figidini. In South Kingstown, you simply must try Pasquale Pizzeria Napoletana.

 

BRICK-OVEN PIZZA 
The brick oven is one of the most hallowed traditions in Italian baking, and it’s taken the pizza world by storm. One of the local champions is Federal Hill Pizza in Warren and Providence, which combines a beloved dough with centuries-old technique.

 

GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA 
For folks with celiac disease and similar health concerns, a day without pizza is like a day without sunshine. But a gluten-free leader is Pizza J, which takes pride in its tasty alternative crust.

 

COAL-FIRED PIZZA 
The owners of Providence Coal-Fired Pizza single-handedly introduced this super-hot baking technique to Rhode Island, and now they have quite the following – in Providence, North Kingstown, and Westerly.

 

SICILIAN
Sicilian pizza has long been famous for its thick, bready crust, and some versions truly earn the name “pizza pie.” Sicilia’s is named after this culinary tradition, although you might also try their stuffed-crust versions. Caserta is nationally recognized for its Sicilian pizzas; as a bonus, try the “Wimpy Skippy” spinach pie.

 

GREEK
The Greek pizza is usually known for its Mediterranean ingredients, such as artichoke, feta cheese, and olive oil, and it’s closely associated with New England. There are lots of places to find it, but one of the greats is Nikolas Pizza in downtown Newport.

 

NEW YORK-STYLE
New Yorkers love their pizza portable, foldable, and just right. Napolitano’s Brooklyn Pizza was founded so that Rhodies could walk around with an authentic slice. For a haute cuisine interpretation of the street-level classic, try Fellini’s.

 

FLATBREAD PIZZA
Flatbread is an art unto itself, and turning it into a pizza can be a delicious, semi-leavened stand-in for the traditional wheel. The Flatbread Company has many locations across the country, but it started in nearby Massachusetts and is the primary destination for this type.