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Buffalo’s Pizza War

A few weeks ago queenseyes told us that the recently revamped Fortunato’s Supper Club had closed its doors. Over a day or two, the comment string attached to that post developed a secondary conversation about pizzerias.
In Buffalo, we hear people argue about pizza all of the time, almost as much as they do about the Bills or any project associated with tax breaks, but it actually doesn’t happen very often here, on the site. One merely needs to whisper the word “supermarket” and the boards explode, but we rarely see a pizza debate like we did on the Fortunato’s post. Here’s a very small sampling of the comments.

sbrof said:
“There are more pizza shops on T-street than all of the elmwood village and allentown combined. Man I would pay double their price to have Ricotta’s deliver to Allentown. NOTHING compares to their pizza, what other pizza shop can open up at 3pm, close at 11pm and do enough business to support themselves… It is all about quality.”

icecreamsub said:
“Milano’s on Englewood is always my first choice.” and “The Economist has done numerous studies on the pizza wars in Buffalo…it is a very volatile industry in WNY.”

crc said:
“You can’t beat Bocce club (or Milanos – same recipe). Bob and John’s isn’t bad in a pinch, but overpriced for the quality. Imperial in South Buffalo rocks as well.”

Joshua said:
“Lomato’s had the best pizza in the City period. Bocce club is good but it’s not in the City. You probably never even had Lomatos pizza. In fact I just stopped into buy a pizza at Mustachios (the former Lomato’s) and the owner said that he sold the business. Bob and John’s pizza really sucks. Mustachios is a far cry to Lomato’s quality.”

Buffalo empires have been built upon our devotion to the stuff and our reputation for good, cheap pizza proceeds us. It’s no wonder that people feel passionately about their favorite pie. The stumbling block that I’ve most often seen develop in conversations about this topic is that a pizza is the sum of its parts, and most of the pizzerias in Buffalo, in my opinion, have one or two of the parts right but not enough of them to make the sum worth talking about. There are a lot of good crusts out there, a handful of good sauces, but who does both–and tops it with a really good quality cheese resulting in a well-made and well-baked pizza time and time again?
Also, it’s important that we level the playing field– we’ll leave out white pizzas, toppings, seasoned crusts and establishments that have the distinct advantage of a brick oven. When casting your vote, please don’t take into consideration the price of the pizza or the restaurant’s other offerings, including wings or bleu cheese.

The criteria, for the sake of today’s conversation, are as follows:

1. The pizzeria is located in the Buffalo or at least provides delivery to the city.
2. The pizza up for debate is the classic pizza consisting of crust, red sauce, and cheese.
3. The pizzeria must have a good product consistently.

So, who has the best pizza, Buffalo Rising readers?

Written by Bill Zimmermann

Bill Zimmermann

Bill runs Seven Seas Sailing school, and is a staunch waterfront activist. He is also heavily involved with preserving, maintaining, and promoting the South Buffalo Lighthouse. When Bill first started writing for Buffalo Rising, he wrote an article a day for 365 days - each article coincided with a significant historic event that happened in Buffalo on that same day.

View All Articles by Bill Zimmermann
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