Best Pizza in Madison: Nine Spots to Explore
Looking for a great slice of pizza in Madison? We have you covered.
Looking for a great slice of pizza in Madison? We have you covered. Click here for nine spots to satisfy your pizza cravings.
Are you looking for hot from the oven pizza on a cool fall day? We kneaded through some of the best pizza in Madison for you, so whether you prefer a pie with fancy toppings or a crispy cornicione — a fancy term for crust — we have a list of places that will hit the spot, any way you slice it.
Did you know Wisconsin is the largest producer of cheese in the United States? Well the food tour guides at Madison Eats are here to celebrate all of that cheesy goodness by highlighting one of the best cheese-related food inventions: pizza. We name a few local pizzerias and restaurants serving your favorite savory pies with all the fixings, so look below for nine saucy spots to try (in no particular order):
1. Pizza Brutta
Take a walk in the trendy, art-filled Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood, and you will find a cozy sit-down eatery serving Neapolitan-style pizza sourced from regional ingredients. Pizza Brutta serves 10.5-inch diameter pies. The size is perfect for you to order 2 or 3 assorted pizzas to sample and share with friends!
At Pizza Brutta, the pies start with a thin crust and a choice between a rosso (red sauce) or a bianco (white sauce). To complete your order, you can pick your toppings, including vegetarian options. The hot pies are pulled from a wood-fired oven, and they have a lovely char that gives off an aroma that will awaken your senses in the absolute best way. Try the Nostrano (basil, sausage, roasted red peppers) with red sauce or go for the Pesto (pesto, grape tomatoes, parmesan, mozzarella) with a white sauce. The Market Pizza Bianca is also tasty (basil, garlic, parmesan, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella).
If you are in the Shorewood Hills area of Madison, check out Novanta on University Avenue (They also have a second location in Middleton). The homey ambience and the friendly staff are delightful. There are wood-burning ovens that heat to a whopping 900°F, which allow the pies to bake in 90 seconds! Novanta also tops their pizzas with their own locally made mozzarella cheese.
The pies are 12-inches in diameter, and you can choose between two bases: tomato or olive oil.
The Salsiccia (mozzarella, roasted peppers, olives, mushrooms, basil) is one of their most popular products, but check out the Pulcinella (smoked mozzarella, oregano, garlic, basil) for an herby treat or the Lombarda (pear, gorgonzola, arugula) for a perfect pairing of salty, sweet, and spicy. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a ball of fresh mozzarella for the ride home.
3. Luigi’s Pizza
After a day of shopping in the Midvale area, sit down for a casual lunch or dinner at Luigi’s Pizza. The pizzeria is nestled in the Midvale Plaza Shopping Center. Feel free to stop in for a bite to eat or pick up a pie or two for carry-out. Luigi’s offers thin-style pizza with a cornmeal crust. They also offer gluten free and vegan options.
You can choose a pie from the prepared menu, or you can build your own pie by selecting from an array of sauces (red, white, olive oil, pesto, and truffle!), melty cheeses, and unusual toppings. A small pie is 12-inches in diameter and a large pie is 16-inches in diameter, so you can choose the right size for your needs. The Margherita (red sauce, mozzarella, basil) is a classic, but how about a suggestion for something different? Try the Bacon and Brussels (white sauce, fontina cheese, bacon, and shaved brussels sprouts, and topped with a balsamic drizzle) for a tasty treat.
4. Clyde’s PIes
Want to support a small business? Kwame Latimer, founder of Clyde’s Pies, turned his bread making skills into a pizza-making venture, all while in the middle of a pandemic. The business operates out of South Madison near the Bay Creek and Capitol View Heights neighborhoods on Fisher Street, just a short distance away from Monona Bay and Lake Wingra.
Clyde’s Pies are 12-inches in diameter. If you are in the mood for something a little spicy, try the Buffalo Chicken (seasoned chicken, house buffalo sauce, and three cheeses: mozzarella, habanero jack, and asiago). If you want a little bit of everything, go for the Supreme (sausage, pepperoni, house sauce, mushrooms, olives, banana peppers, green peppers, onions, spinach, and of course three types of cheese: mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan).
Clyde’s Pies is only open for business on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. To order, you can call or text Clyde’s Pies at 608-300-5757 or you can order pizza on Seamless.
5. Ian’s Pizza
Pizza by the slice! Ian’s serves hot, foldable pizza with Wisconsin cheese, a crunchy crust, and inspired toppings. The slices are great for the plate if you want to sit and eat, but you can also take your favorite slice to go and eat while you meander the city streets and take in the sights. Ian’s has several locations throughout the United States, but there are three locations in Madison, which is where this business originated.
Ian Gurfield, who founded Ian’s, has always had community in mind, and donates pizza and slices to various organizations in need. He also has mentored his staff to open their own businesses!
You can order whole pies in 12-inch, 16-inch, and 20-inch diameter sizes, but Ian’s boasts “pizza by the slice” for a reason. Stop by any location and select their flagship slice, the Mac n’ Cheese (Wisconsin made mozzarella, house-made crème fraiche, elbow macaroni pasta, and local cheddar). Your tastebuds might also appreciate one of their other signature slices, including Smokey and the Bandit (BBQ sauce, BBQ chicken, mozzarella, cheddar, bacon, and ranch dressing) or the Cheesy Potato and Ranch (Diced potato, mozzarella, asiago, butter, and ranch dressing). Vegetarian and vegan options are available for whole pies on request. The pizza slices are hearty, so you will leave happy and full.
6. Grampa’s Pizzeria
This artisan pizzeria is located on Willy Street in the heart of a great foodie neighborhood. Founded by Chef Gil Altschul, Grampa’s focuses on woodfired pizza, salads and small plates in a cozy and friendly spot. Aside from great pizza (be sure to try the Barberini with ricotta, garlic, calabrian chiles, tomato sauce, watercress, honey or the Brassacel for fall, with brussels, bacon, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, garlic, grana), they also serve up small plates, delicious seasonal salads and dessert. The sticky ginger cake is not to be missed! Tuesday night is date night, where you and your date can get a salad, a pizza, dessert and wine to share for $55.
7. Salvatore’s Tomato Pies
Chef Patrick DePula brought the New Jersey-style tomato pie first to Sun Prairie in 2011, and has since opened three more locations throughout the Madison area, including the Salvatore’s Tomato Pies on East Johnson Street. Chef Patrick is often seen at the farmer’s market picking out fresh ingredients for his seasonal specials, and has fan favorites on the menu. Of course you must try the original tomato pie, where the sauce is put on top of the crust and cheese – a reverse pizza if you will! The chewy crust is the perfect foundations for any of the pizzas – how about Da Beets with roasted beet pesto, kale, goat cheese, and red wine reduction? The housemade burrata is also not to be missed and well as the homemade desserts.
Lucille opened its doors just a few years ago after renovating a historic bank, located in the heart of downtown Madison. It is located just a stone’s throw away from the Wisconsin State Capitol building and the Majestic Theatre, which is Madison’s premiere concert hall. The restaurant offers glam vibes with casual fare and stellar cocktails. On the right day, you can stop in and listen to live music while you enjoy your meal. Lucille’s menu offers “wood-fired pizza and Wisco-Detroit cheddar-crusted black steel pan pizza” at their pan-Latin eatery.
The wood-fired pizza is available in 10-inch (personal pizza) and 14-inch diameters, and the steel pan pizza is made in an 8×12-inch pan. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-sensitive options are available. Go for gold and try a wood-fired Umami (black garlic cream, Manchego, roasted mushrooms, kale, caramelized onion, balsamic glaze, and scallions) or look to a goddess for guidance and select the steel pan Aphrodite (garlic oil, mozzarella, feta cheese, spinach, red onion, tomatoes, lamb sausage, and tzatziki).
9. Bar Corallini
If you are strolling down the historic Atwood neighborhood, pop over to Bar Corallini, an Italian restaurant serving seafood, pasta, pizza, and a variety of other Italian dishes, all inspired by the chef/owner’s hometown in southern Italy. The ambience at Bar Corallini is romantic and modern with a friendly neighborhood feel, so it is perfect for a date night out or for a dinner affair that has a less casual vibe. After you dine, take a short stroll to the Barrymore Theatre and catch a live music show.
At Bar Corallini, you will find a small selection of hand-crafted, Neapolitan-style pies. The pies are pulled from a gorgeous wood-fired oven that was shipped to the restaurant from Italy. The pizza is thin with a slight chew to the crust. For a delight on your tongue, try the Pepperoni and Pickled Pepper (pepperoni, tomato sauce, mozzarella, pickled jalapeños, and honey), or if you would like something with a more Mediterranean flare, try the Pomodoro Secco (sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto, sott’olio mushrooms, Prosciutto di Parma, and basil).
Are you ready to tuck into a piece of pizza? We thought so! A delicious pizza pie is in your future. Get out there and share your pizza pies with Madison Eats on Instagram, and sign up for a local food tour to have a one-of-a-kind food adventure. Thanks for reading — and thanks for eating!
Published on Oct 06 2022
Categories: Madison WI, pizza
Tags: eat like a local, madison wi, madison wisconsin, pizza, visit wisconsin