Photos by Maria Deforrest, Angie Gray, Becca Mathias and Moonloop Photography
Whether you prefer a New York-style pizza or a Neapolitan classic, head to these shops across Delaware for the perfect ‘za.
On any given day, roughly 1 in 8 Americans eat pizza, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s easy to believe if you drive through Delaware, where a pizza shop or restaurant occupies many busy corners.
While many Delawareans lean toward New York–style pizzas, many other kinds are served across the state. Here are some of the best.
Neapolitan and Neo-Neapolitan
Authentic Neapolitan or Napoletana pizza is light, tender and finished with extra-virgin olive oil and basil, while Neo-Neapolitan cooks longer.
Try: Pizzeria Bardea, from the owners of Bardea Food & Drink and Bardea Steak, has a collection of 11-inch pizzas, including the Margherita with fresh mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and a cheese pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, white cheddar, provolone and a sprinkle of Gouda. (The pizzeria also sells Detroit pizzas.)
Legend has it that this version of Neo-Neapolitan-style pizza originated in Lombardi’s, an Italian restaurant in New York. The kitchen used a gas-fueled oven with a longer bake time, which reduced the moisture in the dough and sauce. As a result, the pies did well when reheated. Enter the age of pizza by the slice.
Try: Dom’s New York Style Pizzeria is hand-tossed, stone-baked and thin enough to fold.
In America, this pizza is usually a rectangle with a thick crust cooked in an oiled pan. The sauce is often sweeter, and some versions have no cheese.
Try: Café Sítaly has four Sicilian pizzas, including tomato without cheese.
This version started in Buddy’s Rendezvous, a former speakeasy that required a password. The owners—Gus and Anna Guerra—used a steel automotive drip pan with high sides to create a rectangular Sicilian pizza with thick, focaccia-like dough. The dish was so popular that Buddy’s Rendezvous became Buddy’s Pizza. Detroit pizza is distinguished by the Wisconsin cheese sprinkled between the pan and crust to create a telltale crunch.
Try: Nick’s Pizza, a pop-up shop operating in Kozy Korner in Wilmington, is headed for a brick-and-mortar location at 1903 Newport Gap Pike in Wilmington. To keep up with where and when you can buy Nick Vouras’ creations, follow Nick’s Pizza on Facebook and Instagram @Nickspizza302.
The deep-dish pizza dates to 1943, when Pizzeria Uno opened to attract the GIs who’d been in Italy. According to the Chicago History Museum, the characteristics include a copious amount of cheese, a thick, pastry-like crust, cornmeal to prevent the crust from burning and a long cook time.
Try: Armand’s by the Sea is one of the few Italian restaurants offering deep-dish pizza. Selections include plain with cheese and the “Chicago,” with pepperoni, sausage, fresh mushrooms, green peppers and white onions.
Bethany Beach; armandsbythesea.com