If you missed out on St. Louis Magazine’s recent Pizza edition, you may not know that La Pizza was recently declared THE best pizza St. Louis has to offer, beating out Obama’s beloved Pi and some local favorites who serve up the always controversial provel pizza pies.
While one might have expected a St. Louis style pizza to come out on top, La Pizza serves up hand tossed New York style pizza with large foldable slices and a thin crust that is just a bit more substantial than St. Louis’ own cracker crusts.
Open 7 days a week, from 11 am – 9 pm, this place is definitely one to keep on your lunch lists. Unlike many pizza places in town, La Pizza is willing to not only serve you whole pizzas but also customized slices with the usual variety of toppings (plus a few unique toppings like capicola).
Each slice is $2.50 (50¢ toppings) – which I feel is pretty standard for a slice. If you’re looking for whole pizzas, a 14″ pizza will run you $11 ($1 toppings), a 16″ is $13.50 ($1.50 toppings) and an 18″ is $15.50 ($2 toppings).
Come in for lunch and they offer a lunch special that includes a one topping slice of pizza, salad, and drink for $5.95. Remember, these aren’t your usual St. Louis style slices – these slices are a pretty generous size and make for a good sized lunch.
In addition to pizza, La Pizza also serves calzones and strombolis ($5.50 – $6), salads ($5 – $7) and heroes ($5 – $7).
So did we think this was St. Louis’ Best Pizza Place? Check it out after the jump!
Having moved to St. Louis from New York City, the promise of New York style pizza definitely gets my hopes up. The promise of New York style pizza that is the BEST pizza in St. Louis only raises my expectations even higher.
We started with the garlic cheese bread. It was a generous serving of toasted bread covered in mozzarella cheese with a definite fresh garlic taste (apparently infused into their olive oil), all served with a side of marinara sauce. Nothing mind blowing about the dish, but I’m an olive oil + bread kind of girl over bread + butter so I really enjoyed the garlic olive oil base. My dining companion ordered the lunch special while I stuck with a plain slice of cheese pizza.
Upon first glance, I was not impressed with this slice. When I think New York pizza, I think of the classics: Grimaldi’s, Di Fara, Patsy’s, John’s on Bleeker, Lombardi’s and well… 99 Cent Pizza because I’m cheap. Click on any of those links to find pictures of amazing looking pizzas from some of New York City’s best, and then see how different they look from La Pizza’s pizza (pictured below) because there is a definite difference.
One of the most important elements of New York City pizza is the crust. I thought the crust was very good – easily foldable, chewy with a hint of crisp, and a forgivable amount of tip sag – all signs of good NYC style pizza. The sauce was sweet and a little sparse (which I actually approve of), the pizza wasn’t at all greasy and since I was eating it plain, I added some red pepper to give it a nice kick. Where they lost me, however, was in the cheese.
Just looking at it… it doesn’t have that New York style look. New York pizza tends to have two looks – the completely covered, all perfectly melted together mozzarella pizza slice or the slice covered with large blotches of mozzarella that give the pie a fresh and sophisticated feel.
This pizza doesn’t really fit either category. While the addition of toppings helps to hide the spattering of cheese, when looking at the plain slice, it’s obvious they use shredded mozzarella, and there isn’t a whole lot of it. This pizza could easily be kicked up a few notches in terms of presentation and style if they would just cube the mozzarella so that it melts in those large familiar patches.
Still, while the first few bites didn’t wow me (probably because that area of my slice lacked cheese), the slice definitely got better as I hit the middle, and all in all, it was a good slice of pie. I would probably suggest adding a topping to your slice so the lack of cheese isn’t quite as apparent. I don’t think this pizza would rank as my personal #1, but it’s definitely more affordable than some of my favorites, and you get a lot of pizza for your money.
We arrived late so there wasn’t a big sit down crowd but we overheard plenty of talk during our meal from customers picking up pizza. A lot of the people who walked in were talking about the magazine rankings, and it was pretty obvious that the folks at La Pizza were super proud, that being declared #1 had definitely helped their sales, and there was just an all around genuine feel to their attitudes that made you feel really happy for them.
They also have a large 18″ X 18″ Sicilian Style pizza on the menu for only $20 (requires 24 hours advanced notice to prepare) and while I love New York Style Pizza, my absolute favorite New York pizza is a Sicilian style slice from L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn. We’re talking huge, fluffy slices of melt in your mouth pizza squares (Sorry, Imo’s, you really aren’t the square beyond compare). La Pizza may be getting a phone call from me for a rather large order at the next opportunity so I can try their Sicilian!