Santa Fe Favorites

Best Pizza

Date January 3, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Publication SantaFe.com

Categories Community

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Upper Crust (329 Old Santa Fe Trail)

I don’t know many pizzerias that offer whole wheat crust with chorizo (spicy Spanish pork sausage), green chili, pine nuts and a number of other northern New Mexico toppings, as well as more traditional pies. The Upper Crust menu has been inventive, and its quality flawlessly consistent, since it first opened for business in 1979. Its downtown location draws tourists as well as locals. Sandwiches and calzones are also available.

Free delivery, dine in, take out. Hours: 11am – midnight. MC, VISA, DISCOVER, and LOCAL CHECKS. 505-982-0000.

Il Vicino (321 W. San Francisco Street)

Inside a former hacienda from the late 1700’s, II Vincino has some of the best thin crust, wood oven pizza in town. My favorites include the classic Margherita (marinara sauce, mozzarella, fresh basil) and the irresistible Bianca (Spicy oil, mozzarella, capocollo ham, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese, gorgonzola, fresh tomatoes, and rosemary). Salads, sandwiches, calzones, and pastas are also served.

Dine in, take out. Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11am to 11pm, Friday – Saturday 11am to midnight. AMEX, MC, VISA, DICOVER, DINERS. 505-986-8700.

Pizza Espiritu (1722 Saint Michael’s Drive)

Opened in 1997 by Tom Berkes (chef and co-owner) and singer Madi Sato, and originally located on Canyon Road, signature pies here include the Espiritu (deep dish with Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, slices of sweet red onion, red bell pepper, fresh garlic, oregano and basil, mozzarella, provolone, and Romano cheese) and the Greek (thin crust, brushed lightly with olive oil and house tomato sauce, loaded with kalamata olives, red onion, spinach, feta, and mozzarella). If none of the pies on the menu grab your imagination, you can always design your own. Sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastas are also featured.

Dine in, take out, catering, delivery. Hours: Monday - Friday 11am to 9pm, Saturday 5pm to 9pm. AMEX, MC, VISA, DISCOVER, DINERS, CHECKS. 505-424-8000.

Piccolino (2890 Agua Fria Street)

A throw back to the 50's style Chicago pizzeria, you can build your own 10 to 16 inch pie or choose one from the menu. My favorites are the Combo Pizza (pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers) and the Fernie Special (mozzarella over pesto with chicken). Salads, pastas, and seafood are also featured.

Dine in, take out (drive through window). Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:30 am to 9:00pm. ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS. 505-471-1480.

Café Café (500 Sandoval Street)

Cool art deco décor, friendly and knowledgeable service, and yummy thin crust pizza are some of the ingredients that have made this new Italian grill an overnight success. According to the owners, everything on the pie, from the cheese to the crust, is house made. If the pies taste similar to those of the former Paramount Pizza, it’s because the co-owner of Café Café came from Paramount (the other owner is from Tulip). My favorite pie is the Meatball (house tomato sauce, sliced meatballs, mozzarella, and fresh oregano), followed by the Spinach (house tomato sauce, fresh spinach, red onion, calamata olives, and goat cheese). You can choose from 8 to 16 inches pies, and have the option of building your own. A variety of pastas and salads are on the menu as well.

Dine in, take out. Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am to 10pm. ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS. 505-466-1391.

Rooftop Pizzeria (60 East San Francisco Street…on the Plaza)

Featuring two premium house-made pizza doughs, the “artisan crust” and locally inspired “blue corn crust”, the gourmet pie here is unlike anything else in town. One bite of the BLT (apple-smoked bacon, ripe tomato, mozzarella, provolone and bleu cheese, topped with avocado and lettuce with red sauce) and the smoked duck (green pepper corns, spinach, basil, roast garlic, and four cheeses) will have you coming back. Pies vary in size but a small has six good-sized pieces and is plenty to share with a friend. Pastas and salads are also featured.

Dine in, take out. Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11am to 10pm, Friday & Saturday 11am to 11pm. ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS. 505-984-0008.

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