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From Al taglio to Za: Your guide to the best pizza in Montreal right now

From al taglio and Neapolitan to New York and Detroit, the best pizza in Montreal have every style covered

JP Karwacki
Written by
Audrey Carleton
Contributor
JP Karwacki
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UPDATE, December 2021: When it comes to seeking out comforts from the food you find, the best pizza in Montreal leaves everything else in the dust. Now that New York and Detroit-style pizzas have boomed in the last couple of year since this guide was first written, the scene for slices has never been better. Eat widely, tip generously, and enjoy.

While it’s no New York or Chicago (or Detroit or Rome), the best pizza in Montreal includes a plethora of great places ranging in price, style, and quality. Some of them figure heavily among the city’s best Italian restaurants, feature wine lists that make them contenders for the best wine bars, and they're great places to fuel up before experiencing Montreal's nightlife or just following a Saturday afternoon of drinking the best beer

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Montreal

Time Out Market Montreal
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Among all the second-wave Neapolitan-style pizza joints to hit the streets of Montréal, Moleskine is at the top of our list. Chef Frédéric St-Aubin’s one-two punch of both traditional and seasonal ingredients makes us do a double take at just how fresh, comforting and fun the dishes are. Fans of bona fide Italian pies will love their Marguerite, Américaine, and Salsiccia pizzas, made with delectable ingredients such as specialty sausage, stracciatella di bufala and fior di latte cheese, and, yes, tons of olive oil and tomato sauce.

Best pizza in Montreal

This Saint-Henri eatery from Ryan Gray and Emma Carderelli, owners of the prestigious Nora Gray, is perhaps the highest calibre spot in town now. Its menu, consisting of coffee, natural wines and complex pizza variations have received critical acclaim since its opening in February of 2018. The atmosphere here is casual—the space airy and bright—but the innovative combinations of flavours on these pizzas are anything but. Indulge in blue cheese and pear or mushroom and celery root pies at Elena, the perfect spot for an upscale evening out with down-to-earth eats.

Open next door to Café Gentile in Westmount, the quality of the pizza parlour's range of 16-inch pizzas sold by the slice and pie, and Sicilian Brooklyn square pizzas (limited quantity per day), put it in our top spots in town. From the crust and sauce to how much cheese should droop off a slice when picking it up, all of it has been meticulously researched. They've even printed off stickers that explain 'How to Bring Your Pizza Back to Life' to go with orders, designed to instruct customers on how to get their orders back to that straight-outta-the-oven quality if it's been delivered or took a long ride home. That's care and quality that's hard to find; while that gets reflected in the price, it's worth it.

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Authenticity is the name of the game at this Little Italy pizzeria. Brothers and co-owners Fabrizio and Massimo Covone have maintained this restaurant’s reputation for over a decade, and in that time, they’ve mastered the art of the wood-fired pie available with or without tomato sauce (bianche). Much of their popularity is also due to their appetizers and wine list, so those looking for a well-rounded dining experience would be well-served by coming here.

Hang Time Pizza is a tribute to the 1990s from chef Jordan Bikerkraut, whose Detroit-style pies at the NDG pop-up Fungool caught everyone's attention in 2020. At this standalone brick and mortar spot, bright colors are abundant, 90's hip-hop music is playing on a loop and basketball hoops are used as a pizza stand. Then there's the menu: The New York style here is a little thicker and more 'gourmet' than the others of this style in Montreal with more toppings, more cheese, and more chew with a soft dough in the center and a crispy crust; the same goes for the Detroit style of yore available here, which is fluffy, airy and has crispy, cheesy edges.

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Located where the highly lauded restaurant Moccione was previously located—the new pasta-forward place is now in a spot much larger than the original just one block away—the pizza place is by all accounts making Villeray a destination not only for fresh pasta, but a destination for Neapolitan-style pies as well. A Moretti pizza oven has been firing on all cylinders since opening in November 2021 in response to the warm welcome of Montrealers who have come to taste chef Cianciulli's new product inspired by Neapolitan pizza, light and easy to digest thanks to a long fermentation process, Moccione's offerings differentiate themselves with a generosity of toppings.

One of very few pizza-by-the-slice counters à la NYC in Montreal, this Saint-Henri joint from Tony Campanelli is a no-frills counter for quick bites. The pizza here is old school, thin crust slices that are served deli-style individually or as whole pies. While there are classic varieties like cheese, pepperoni, pesto and Hawaiian, there are a few new school options as well for the more adventurous eater like tomato and ricotta or brisket and pickles. The upside to all of this? You really can’t go wrong with any of them.

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This small, homey cafe in Little Italy is the best bet for a slice to go in the neighbourhood. San Gennaro serves several classic Roman-style variations like pomodoro, margherita and salami pizza. Whichever you order, you can’t go wrong with any of them. From the same owners as Bottega, this resto also serves Italian sweets like gelato, biscotti and cannoli for a happy ending to any meal.

Bouquet is one of the newer New York-style pizza joints to take Montreal; this by-the-slice counter in Little Italy helmed by Andre Theriault serves up slices with a thick, chewy crust for only $3.25 a piece. While they’ve marketed themselves as a simple take-away spot, their recipes are rather complex: From a Staten Island-style upside-down pizza with mozzarella on the bottom and topped by a garlicky pomodoro sauce, to other varieties like a soppressata, honey, goat cheese and red onion combination, be sure to order ahead to ensure the pie of your choice.

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Styled as a New York-style slice shop, Toby Bouchard's pizza joint is primed to steal the show (and in many ways it already has) in Verdun. Bouchard's pizza-making skills come from working at a pizzeria No. 900 food truck in 2018, and it shows through the pizza dough's elasticity. Expect mostly traditional pies like pepperoni, all-dressed, or one that emphasizes hot peppers, but they're doing specials like smoked meat with pickles that ought to keep you on your toes.

Coming from the successful upstart Falafel Yoni from Yoni Amir and Daniel Maislan of a few blocks away, Pizza Toni offers the classics: Marinara with arugula, margherita, and cheese and pepperoni, with a square margherita pizza, al taglio style. Slices and pies are within reasonable prices here, and the important thing to note is that its arrival—early in the pandemic—signalled a sea change in the city's pizza as Toni refines the previous offerings found in the city by serving quick and cheap off of paper plates, but with simply more quality.

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It’s not uncommon to spot a long line outside this Little Italy bring-your-own-wine pizzeria, which won the Consumer Choice Award for the Island of Montreal three years in a row and advertises itself as having the best pizza in the city. Their list of pies is indeed robust, with 41 variations of Neapolitan-style pizzas ranging from a marinara with shrimp and clams to a vegetarian with olives, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. But the antipasto, pasta, and dessert portions of their menu are equally long, meaning that whatever your craving, it’s hard to go wrong here.

This Mile End pizzeria from brothers Boris and Peter Popovic has been receiving critical acclaim from some of the city’s highest regarded food writers for years now. The wood-fired Neapolitan pies at Magpie are, quite frankly, to die for; its margherita has been called the best in the city more than once. Its ambiance is romantic, yet fun, making this spot an ideal candidate for a down-to-earth date.

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From owners Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione of its sister restaurants Impasto, Gema is the perfect pizza spot for locavores. This Little Italy gem uses entirely local and seasonal ingredients, like Quebec bufala mozzarella and homemade pepperoni, all served atop a thick and puffy crust. And as if this spot couldn’t get any more appealing, its wine list is vast, its wooden decor cool and trendy, and its ambiance welcoming.

A fan favourite among students residing in the Milton Park neighbourhood, Amelias is a cozy family-run operation that serves a range of Italian dishes in a warm brick café atmosphere. After a bankruptcy scare in 2015 that ultimately led its owners to rebrand and change the title from ‘Amelios’ to ‘Amelias’, the restaurant thankfully still serves up the same beloved pizza recipes, but now better than ever. Its signature slices include a vegetarian, Hawaiian, and a take on white pizza with multiple kinds of cheese that puts all others to shame.

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Co-owners Nathalie Côté, Sara Belley and chef Alessandro Bleve put this upscale restaurant on the map in September of 2016, and it immediately generated buzz for its hip, laid-back ambiance and delicate slices. Also on the menu are a number of light starters, like a kale salad with pancetta and a beet salad with caramelized orange zest, but c’mon: The pizza’s what’s king here. The Plateau pizzeria is also home to a charming terrasse, good for indulging and socializing on summer days.

Located by Square Phillips in the heart of downtown, Pizza Il Focolaio has garnered popularity among the public since its opening in 1984. Its menu is the most expansive in town with 77 different types of pizza—including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options—alongside an array of salads, calzones and subs. It’s a warm, friendly spot for a convenient sit-down slice, whichever one you fancy choosing.

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The Barocco Group's made generous, doughy waves in Montreal since Fugazzi fired up in both Pointe-Saint-Charles and up in the Mile End. The success comes from the pizza, but also from the vibe they manage to create, with visual smorgasbord interiors and service style they engender at all of the Barocco Group's operations in the city like the Atwater Cocktail Club or Foiegwa. Here, expect neo-Neapolitan style pizza with a thin, blackened crust with an elastic pull, as well as several fresh pasta dishes and other Italian classics worked in.

This city-wide chain from Dominic Bujold and Alexandre Brunet is known best for its melt-in-your-mouth Neapolitan style pies and cozy atmosphere. The crust at No.900 is puffy yet chewy, its flavors all unique takes on traditional red and white styles. Beyond its highly regarded service and thoughtful menu, No. 900 also offers an efficient take-out service, ideal for those in a hurry, yet unwilling to compromise on quality. They’re also one of the choices in town who deliver.

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A humble family spot, this pizzeria is home to what many know to be the best pizza on the West Island. This is the spot to visit for thick crust, extra cheesy slices, topped with any number of a long list of ingredients and available in six sizes, ranging from 8 to 18 inch pies. And if you’ve got a hankering for something else Italian, chances are this place has got it; their menu also includes a number of subs, pastas, fries and—you guessed it—calzones.

This down-to-earth pizzeria serves up a range of Italian dishes in generous portions, the most highly regarded of which being its Margherita pizza. These coal-fired, thin-crust slices are crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, and brimming with authenticity, simplicity, and deliciousness. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, no worries: Prato’s extensive pizza menu also features ingredients like prosciutto, peppers and sausage to go atop their pies. Pair these with any number of drinks from its long list of wines and craft beers for a full-bodied evening without regrets.

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Among the best pizza restaurants on the South Shore, Como Pizzeria is a family-friendly diner serving a wide variety of dishes, from greasy spoon staples like nachos and wings to classic Italian dishes like pastas and subs. As for their pizza, however, Como serves pies in five different sizes, from a tiny bambino to XL, all of which have over 18 different combinations of toppings. We’ve regularly got a soft spot for whatever’s new, including the Tropical Tornado with its Italian sausage, pineapple and mango. Bonkers, but bodacious.

Located in Montreal’s downtown core, this casual stop-in spot is the top spot for Roman-style pizza al taglio, similar to Neapolitan style but rectangular and with a thicker crust. Their varieties venture into bolder territories that are worth the visit: Our vote goes to varieties like their goat cheese, prosciutto cotto, mozzarella and Sicilian pistachios, or their pizze with whole kernel corn and cherry tomatoes. Finish any of these off with their gelato and you’ve got yourself an authentically Roman meal on your hands.

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Known for its old school Montreal-style pizza that’s defined by puffy, golden crusts and an excessive layering of tomato sauce, toppings and cheese, D’Agostino is a hidden gem in the Pointe-aux-Trembles area. Sicilian owner Agostino Lumia is happy to load on the toppings; this spot is perhaps known best for its twist on the all-dressed pie, which comes topped with heaps of crispy bacon, pepperoni, green bell peppers and white onions.

This mainstay in Verdun has been around since 1960, and owner John Xenos takes pride in continuing to serving top-notch ingredients over all these years. The menu consists mainly of classics, like vegetarian, meat-lovers’, and hawaiian pizzas, available to order on a thick or thin crust. Whatever’s ordered, the pies here come with toppings piled high enough that they might be confused for deep dish. Woodland also serves brochettes, steaks, and pastas, all of which can be delivered late into the night on weekends.

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Elio has been a beloved neighbourhood gem for residents of Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie since its inception in 1964. It’s a down-to-earth hub for Montreal-style pizzas and Italian fare and a safe haven for those with dietary restrictions (all of its vegetarian options are marked on the menu, and its crust can be done thin for those looking to cut down on calories). Plus, its patio is particularly pleasant in the summertime, making this a family-friendly destination with excellent food.

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