Portland’s Pizza Scene: A Tasty Adventure

A Slice for Every Taste

When I think of the best pizza in Portland, my mouth starts watering. Portland is a pizza lover’s dream, offering a mouthwatering variety of styles that can make even the pickiest pizza fan happy. The city has earned its reputation as one of the top pizza spots in the country, thanks to the influx of pizza experts, access to heritage grains, and a thriving local market (Eater Portland).

Here are some of the pizza styles you can find in Portland:

  • Detroit Squares: Thick, rectangular slices with crispy, cheesy edges and soft, airy dough.
  • Neapolitan-Style: Thin crusts, blistered in a wood-fired oven, with simple yet delicious toppings.
  • Chicago Tavern-Style: Thin, crispy crust cut into squares, unlike its deep-dish cousin.
  • New-Haven-Adjacent: Charred, chewy crust, perfect for those who love a good crunch.

Curious about how Portland stacks up against other pizza cities? Check out our guide on the best pizza in the world.

Toppings That Wow

Now, let’s talk about what really sets Portland’s pizza scene apart—the toppings. Portland pizzerias aren’t afraid to get creative, resulting in a mouthwatering array of unique and delicious options.

Take Hapa Pizza in Beaverton, for example. They offer toppings inspired by pan-Asian dishes, like a pizza inspired by Vietnamese pho soup topped with tender brisket, mozzarella, and bean sprouts. It’s a flavor explosion that will make you rethink everything you know about pizza.

Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns uses Pacific Northwestern grain and a rye sourdough starter for their pizzas, topped with fun house-made touches or seasonal treats. Imagine biting into a pizza that’s as fresh and vibrant as a summer garden.

Pizza Thief in Slabtown stands out with its New York-style pizza that retains the unfussy joy of a pepperoni slice while incorporating the tang of a sourdough crust. It’s the perfect blend of classic and contemporary that will leave you craving more.

For more pizza inspiration, take a look at our reviews of the best pizza in Chicago and the best pizza in Brooklyn. Whether you’re a fan of traditional toppings or adventurous combinations, Portland’s pizza scene has something for everyone.

Best Pizza Places in Portland

Portland’s pizza scene is a treasure trove of deliciousness, and I’ve had the pleasure of chomping my way through some of the city’s best pizzerias. Here are my top picks for the best pizza in Portland.

Hapa Pizza in Beaverton

Hapa Pizza in Beaverton is a delightful fusion of pan-Asian flavors and classic pizza goodness. Imagine a slice inspired by Vietnamese pho soup, topped with tender brisket, mozzarella, and bean sprouts (Eater Portland). This place is perfect for those who love a little twist in their traditional pizza.

ToppingDescription
Vietnamese PhoBrisket, mozzarella, bean sprouts
Teriyaki ChickenChicken, teriyaki sauce, green onions
KimchiKimchi, pork belly, mozzarella

Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns

Gracie’s Apizza in St. Johns is a haven for those who appreciate a good sourdough crust. Using Pacific Northwestern grain and a rye sourdough starter, their pizzas are topped with fun house-made touches or seasonal treats. The combination of a tangy crust and fresh toppings is a match made in pizza heaven.

Pizza TypeDescription
MargheritaFresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil
Seasonal VeggieRotating seasonal vegetables, mozzarella, olive oil
House-Made SausageSausage, caramelized onions, mozzarella

Pizza Thief in Slabtown

Pizza Thief in Slabtown is where New York-style pizza meets Portland’s quirky charm. Their pepperoni slice is unfussy but packs a punch with a tangy sourdough crust (Eater Portland). It’s the perfect spot for those who crave a slice of the Big Apple with a West Coast twist.

Pizza TypeDescription
Classic PepperoniPepperoni, mozzarella, tomato sauce
Sourdough SpecialSourdough crust, mozzarella, tomato sauce
White PieRicotta, mozzarella, garlic, olive oil

For more amazing pizza spots across the country, check out our guides to the best pizza in Chicago, the best pizza in Brooklyn, and the best pizza in Boston. Whether you’re a fan of classic toppings or adventurous flavors, Portland has something for every pizza lover.

Gluten-Free Pizza Options

If you’re on a quest for the best pizza in Portland and gluten is your nemesis, fear not! I’ve scoured the city and found some stellar gluten-free pizza joints that will make your taste buds dance.

Pizzeria Bros

When it comes to gluten-free pizza, Pizzeria Bros is a real contender. They offer delicious gluten-free pizza that caters to individuals with gluten allergies (Yelp). Their crust is crispy yet chewy, providing a satisfying base for their array of toppings. It’s a must-visit for anyone seeking a gluten-free slice.

ItemRating
Gluten-Free Margherita⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gluten-Free Pepperoni⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gluten-Free Veggie⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pizza Bouquet

Another gem in Portland’s gluten-free pizza scene is Pizza Bouquet. Customers rave about their gluten-free pizzas, calling them some of the best they’ve had in a long time. The crust is well-balanced, not too thick, not too thin, and it holds up well under a mountain of toppings.

ItemRating
Gluten-Free BBQ Chicken⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gluten-Free Hawaiian⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gluten-Free Spinach & Feta⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

NO.900

NO.900 is a haven for gluten-free pizza lovers. Their rice dough gluten-free pizza is a hit, satisfying customers’ needs for a delicious and safe dining option. The dough has a unique texture that pairs wonderfully with their gourmet toppings.

ItemRating
Gluten-Free Sausage & Mushroom⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gluten-Free Pesto & Tomato⭐⭐⭐⭐
Gluten-Free Four Cheese⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For those navigating the gluten-free world, these spots are a godsend. And if you’re ever on a pizza pilgrimage, don’t forget to check out the best pizza in Chicago, best pizza in Brooklyn, and other top pizza spots around the country.

Popular Pizza Chains Reviewed

When you’re craving a quick and easy pizza fix in Portland, sometimes only the big chains will do. Here’s my take on some of the most popular pizza chains: Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Little Caesars. Get ready, pizza lovers, because this journey is filled with cheesy goodness and a touch of sass.

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s is the reigning champ when it comes to popular delivery pizza chains. Their sauce hits all the right notes with a balanced sweetness, saltiness, and a hint of herbs. There’s even a slight heat that gives it that extra zing. The crust is a buttery garlic, herb-loaded delight that reminds me of a good crusty loaf of bread, and it’s dusted with semolina for that classic NY pizzeria feel.

FeatureRating
Sauce Flavor9/10
Crust Quality8/10
Cheese Stretchiness7/10

For more on the best pizzas around, check out best pizza in Brooklyn and best pizza in Chicago.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has its highs and lows. The cheese is gooey, stretchy, and full of flavor—probably the best cheese you’ll find among the big chains. However, the crust suffers from an extreme sweetness that can be a bit of a letdown. The sauce is also quite sweet but has a slight herb flavor that adds some dimension.

FeatureRating
Sauce Flavor7/10
Crust Quality6/10
Cheese Stretchiness9/10

Curious about how other cities stack up? Peek at the best pizza in Miami and best pizza in Las Vegas.

Little Caesars

Little Caesars is the wild card. Their thin crust pizza is cracker-thin and super crunchy, but the intense artificial butter flavor might make you feel like you’re munching on a club cracker. The cheese browns at the edges, giving it a Cheez-It vibe. The sauce? Mostly unremarkable, with faint hints of dried basil.

FeatureRating
Sauce Flavor5/10
Crust Quality5/10
Cheese Stretchiness6/10

Want to explore more pizza options? Swing by our reviews of the best pizza in Austin and best pizza in Seattle.

Sometimes, despite the lure of local gems like Pizza Kat on West Burnside, you just need the convenience of a chain. Whether it’s the robust flavors of Domino’s, the gooey cheese of Pizza Hut, or the crunchy bite of Little Caesars, Portland’s got you covered.

Local Gems and Neighborhood Favorites

When it comes to finding the best pizza in Portland, you can’t overlook the local favorites that have won the hearts (and stomachs) of many. Here are some must-try spots that promise to deliver a slice of heaven.

Pizza Kat on West Burnside

Pizza Kat on West Burnside is the kind of place that makes you want to move into the neighborhood just to be closer to their pies. Known for its naturally leavened crust, this spot serves up both meaty and vegan options that are sure to delight. Try the wild mushroom pie if you’re feeling adventurous, or go for the meatball-topped Alley Cat if you’re in the mood for something hearty.

Specialty PizzasDescription
Wild Mushroom PieA fungi-lover’s dream with a variety of wild mushrooms.
Alley CatTopped with savory meatballs and a blend of cheeses.

Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza is a bit of a misnomer because it’s actually a Canadian chain, but who cares when their pizzas are this good? They’re praised for their quality and unique options like the Great White North, Tropical Chicken, and the Spicy Perogy. It’s like a flavor party in your mouth, and everyone’s invited (Quora).

Specialty PizzasDescription
Great White NorthLoaded with Canadian bacon and mozzarella.
Tropical ChickenA sweet and savory combo of chicken and pineapple.
Spicy PerogyTopped with bacon, green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.

Hot Box Pizza

Hot Box Pizza, on the other hand, has been the subject of some less-than-flattering reviews. Comments range from their pizza being inedible to the dough being miserable and the cheese tasting bad. It’s a bit like that one friend who always promises to change but never does. Proceed with caution.

Specialty PizzasDescription
Mystery MeatA gamble every time.
Cheese DisasterFor those who like their cheese with a side of regret.

For more pizza recommendations in other cities, check out our guides to the best pizza in Chicago, best pizza in Brooklyn, and the best pizza in Boston.

Community Opinions on Pizza Chains

Pepsi’s Impact on Pizza Hut

Ever wondered why your favorite childhood Pizza Hut no longer tastes the same? Well, you can blame it on Pepsi. When Pepsi acquired Pizza Hut in the late 1970s, it marked the beginning of a slow but steady decline in quality. Pepsi, despite its expertise in soft drinks, seemed to lack the vision and pride of Pizza Hut’s original founders. As a result, the once-beloved pizza chain began to lose its charm. Here’s a look at the impact:

YearEventOutcome
Late 1970sPepsi acquires Pizza HutInitial excitement
1980sQuality starts to declineCustomers notice differences
1990sMenu changesMixed reviews from fans
2000sCompetition heats upStruggles to keep up

Quality Decline in Fast-Food Chains

It’s not just Pizza Hut that’s seen better days. Many fast-food giants like Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken are also experiencing a decline in quality. Large corporations owning these brands often prioritize cost-cutting measures over maintaining quality, leading to a less satisfying dining experience. Here’s a quick rundown of the quality dip in some popular chains:

ChainCommon Complaints
Pizza HutInconsistent quality, lackluster toppings
Taco BellSmaller portion sizes, less flavorful
KFCGreasy chicken, subpar sides

Papa John’s Consistency and Taste

In a sea of declining quality, Papa John’s shines as a beacon of consistency and flavor. Many pizza lovers, including myself, find that Papa John’s offers a reliable and tasty option. The toppings are generous, and the taste remains consistently good, making it a fan favorite. So, if you’re on the hunt for the best pizza in Portland, Papa John’s might just be your best bet.

FeaturePapa John’s
ToppingsGenerous and fresh
TasteConsistently delicious
Customer SatisfactionHigh

When you’re craving a slice, knowing the community’s opinions can help you make an informed choice. For more pizza adventures, check out reviews on the best pizza in Chicago, best pizza in Brooklyn, or even the best pizza in the world. Happy eating!