According to our unscientific research, ‘roni cups are the fourth most popular food trend on Instagram, behind only drool-worthy cheese pulls, $18 plates of avocado toast, and unicorn-colored nonsense.
You can thank New York and L.A. for those last two. For curled pepperoni with perfectly crisped edges and basins of paprika-laced oil, credit goes to Buffalo.
For a long time, outsiders knew little about Western New York’s food scene beyond wings. Now, the word is out. Buffalo boasts some of America’s finest food, including (but not limited to) beef on weck and its own unique take on pizza.
Looking for the best pizza that Buffalo has to offer? Here’s where to start:
Since 1957, La Nova has served up some of Western New York’s favorite pies, topped generously with lots and lots of cheese. Meanwhile, they’re equally famous for their BBQ wings. They’re distributed to restaurants, caterers, and football stadiums all across the country, but you can get them fresh and straight from the source at La Nova’s Amherst and Buffalo outposts.
Jay’s Artisan Pizzeria
Our personal policy is that we’re only willing to wait in long lines for two things: Rolling Stones tickets and exceptional pizza. Luckily, Jay’s has the latter. Beets, feta, speck, and nduja are just some of the toppings that you might find listed on their chalkboard menu. Their NEO-politan pies are decidedly different from the usual and, frankly, worth it.
Zetti’s offers the Buffalo area a taste of authentic New York-style pizza without the six-hour trek to NYC. The Buffalo chicken pie is a popular pick but every thin-crust offering – with cheese spanning every morsel up right up to the cornicione – is worthy of your attention. For those colder Buffalo days, they’ve got bone-warming Italian soups, too; a take on Bologna’s famed tortellini en brodo and egg-drop-swirled stracciatella, just to name a couple.
Two words: Breakfast Pizza. More words: This West Side hotspot has garnered well-deserved hype for its use of locally sourced ingredients and an eclectic menu that seamlessly weaves its way across multiple cuisines. Great for dinner and, arguably, even better for brunch.
This pizzeria lives up to its name with majestic jumbo slices that cannot be contained by a pedestrian 9-inch paper plate. A great value, for sure, but you’ll want the full pies. Their specialties include a sauerkraut-slathered Reuben pizza and The Stinger, a buffalo chicken pie made meatier by way of chopped steak. In keeping with that big Buffalo spirit, they’ve also got tons of TVs, perfect for watching the Bills and Sabres.
The white chef hats at Good Guys do it all. Absurdly cheesy pizzas outlined by a thick golden-brown crust? Yup. Juicy chicken fingers as starters that can, and should, double as your topping? Yeah. Sandwiches piled high with salami, capicola, and all the fixins? You get the idea.
In West Seneca, Ferro’s stays true to the formula for New York-style pizza, though theirs is cheesier than what you’d find in the five boroughs. That’s a good thing. Ferro’s may be famous for the thin-crust, but they also offer a strong rendition of NYC’s second-favorite slice with a solid Sicilian square.
Bocce Club Pizza
Since rolling into Buffalo in 1946, Bocce Club has built a reputation that spans beyond WNY. With intentionally charred edges that could never hope to keep its ample toppings on board, these pizzas continue to be among the most popular in Buffalo.
About 15 minutes north of Buffalo proper, Olisi’s churns out foldable and sizable slices, plus mozzarella sticks that are roughly the size of sausages. The green plastic trays and piebald floor tiles make for old-school and familiar surroundings for any pizza lover; the menu featuring fried fish and gyros projected on the flat-screen reminds you that it’s not your father’s pizzeria.
The personal pies – made to order with a cornucopia of fresh veggie options – are thin, light, and airy. If we had to guess, we’d say that’s by design, because you’ll want to leave room for baked strawberry-stuffed brie, prosciutto & soppressata paninis, and a diner-sized dessert counter full of homemade cannolis, bavarian cream puffs, and more.
Thanks for the suggestion, but we’ll take two. One Pie Pizza Co. only makes a limited number of their “1/2 Sheet” pizzas every day from 3pm-8pm….or until they sell out. With their addictively sweet thick red sauce and hand-cut pepperoni, your best bet is to scoop up those pizzas while they’re available. With a Roman al taglio inspired ethos and a Detroit-esque approach to toppings (see: The 2 Pep Conversion, topped with extra mozz and double pepperoni), they’re a Buffalo classic, despite opening their doors in 2015.
Bob & John’s La Hacienda
We have something important to tell you. Are you sitting down? Are you wearing pants with an elastic waist? Alright, here it goes: Bob & John’s La Hacienda – with locations near the U of B campus – is Buffalo-famous for its pizza buffet and all-you-can-eat pasta.
Never stingy with the toppings, Lombardough’s 18-inch pizzas are perfect for Bills gameday. And the offseason. And weeknights, too. Among their most popular pies – their Taco Pizza (adorned with your choice of mild, medium, or hot sauce) and the Joey The Hit Man Pizza, topped with sausage, salami, coppa, onions, green peppers, and multiple cheeses, for good measure.
With house-cured charcuterie, raviolis in Sunday Sauce, and oysters brushed with garlic parmesan compound butter, you could be forgiven for forgetting about pizzas. Don’t. Their pies, such as the house specialty topped with stuffed banana peppers, deserve a spot on your table.
With a toppings list that includes tofu and pastrami-smoked salmon, D’Avolio’s is decidedly different than your average pizzeria. There’s a definite focus on health here, but they do the classics just as well.
The “Keep it Cheesy” mural was painted by Buffalo artist and food enthusiast Elyssa Harper (@fivefootharp on Instagram).