Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
heavenly slice
Photo by Ivan Torres / Unsplash

At times I just want to inject my opinion of personal favorite pizza places around Tampa. I've done this for sandwiches twice in 2019 and 2022 as well as fast food in 2020. This time just a look at my top 5 favorite pizza shops in Tampa.


Forest Hill Brick Oven Pizza

https://www.foresthillbrickovenpizza.com

In 5th place is the Forest Hill Brick Oven Pizza conveniently located not far from where I work. I discovered this place through Uber Eats, but when I saw the delivery distance under 2 miles I had to find the brick and mortar location.

The pizza reminds me of a classic local location where you can find all the expected types of pizza, but with a real fresh taste at a great price. So if I find myself in a situation where I'm craving a chain pizza, I'll enjoy a far better experience going with Forest Hill Brick Oven.

They even have breakfast sandwiches now which aren't bad at all. I just kept them at five, because I don't think I can find anything unique that establishes them as a key differentiator in the industry. You could say the ultra fresh ingredients are key, but I've come to expect that with the places I like.


Napoli Pizza

https://www.napolipizzaoftampa.com

In 4th place is Napoli's Pizza which is also conveniently located not by my work, but my home. They appear to be using the same software as Forest Hill's based on the look/feel of the website. Slice must be a key player in the smaller pizza business game.

Napoli's is a tiny little place with the same father/son on each time I visit. There is nothing flashy about the menu or location, but there appears to be a solid amount of pride when making the food. Which I really appreciate these days, as it becoming too often you visit some place and it appears the staff wants no part in the creation of your order. Granted that may be a larger discussion of how we treat our service workers, but just having a place that never seems toxic and makes a great product is a breath of fresh air.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Blaze Pizza

https://www.blazepizza.com

Blaze is top three for having the most unique coolest pizza place I've been in awhile. It targets the vegan population, but is built like a Chipotle for pizza. So many toppings, options and more for a tiny little 10" pizza that you can customize to your heart's content.

So while my first visit was a very generic pepperoni my next visit was a spicy red sauce with chicken and garlic. After that point I just continue to mix and match different sauces and toppings to create either a horrific combination of flavors or something amazing.

Custom pizza at Blaze

Now looking at this above pizza - it doesn't look that good visually, but boy I did love this pizza. It was spicy red sauce, chicken, jalapenos and red peppers with a buffalo sauce drizzle.

The taste of a stone oven is even better when compared to some of the more industrial metal oven setups.


New York New York

https://nynypizzeria.com

New York New York lands at number two for just consistently being exactly what I want to eat. It may be a buffalo chicken pizza or a regular pepperoni pizza - it delivers.

The locations are nearby whether I'm drinking, at home or work. I can count on every location to deliver what I'm expecting consistency wise - this is sadly not true with other chain establishments as you roll the dice on the experience each time. You buy pizza by the slice, which I don't think any other place offers on the list.

The wings are great, the Greek salad is even better. You can find a classic pizza joint that fills all voids for a regular pizza/wing/salad meal.


Anthony's

https://acfp.com/

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza is my top pizza in Tampa for just the excellent quality and flavor they produce. Coal fired pizza with that warm blackened crust on the bottom just destroys any pizza cooked in metal. Now I know that Blaze also employs this same technique to a degree, but Anthony's has been doing this for 20 years.

The price reflects this quality by being more than the competition, but delivers beyond all. I've got two favorites here and both are unique - either the eggplant pizza or the salad pizza.

The salad pizza isn't exactly a menu item you'll find on Uber Eats, but its described in person as a regular cheese pizza with a salad on top. Not sure why I tried this once, but its amazing. Something about the flavor of a oil based salad mixed with the pizza brings out some amazing flavors.

The picture above doesn't really give it justice, because this is our interpretation of ordering a salad and pizza individually and combining them.


I don't eat pizza as much as I did, but chances are I'm eating from one of these places if I am.

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