Best Pizza Places in St. Petersburg, FL 2024

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Best Pizza Places in St. Petersburg, FL 2024

Best Pizza Joints in St. Pete

In the past three years, I’ve learned more about pizza than ever, and I continue to study and make about 100 pizzas a year myself. Lori and I are also Certified Pizza Judges with the Pizza Cook-off Association, and we took a pizza making course in Naples, Italy.

We’ve also eaten at the top three NY Pizza places ranked by Bon Appétit Magazine in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

For many of the pizzas here, we topped them with pepperoni, mushrooms, jalapeños and bacon, but not all. Some of the places have more than one location. We list the local St. Pete location that we went to.

This is not an “apples to apples” list as far as pizza styles go. We’ve included styles of New York, Neapolitan, Roman Pizza al Taglio, Roman Pizza alla Pala, and Chicago Deep Dish. Some don’t fit into an exact category either. The oven styles, dough recipes, and cooking methods all vary as well.

In a pizza competition, this would be free-form, where competitors can make any style of pizza.

Before we get into the list, an important thing you should be aware of is that there are other publishers of “best of lists” that do not actually go to the establishments, or actually eat the food. (Sounds ridiculous, right?) They just download photos from the internet, or embed Instagram posts from someone else. Instant top 10 list produced without having to leave the house.

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That’s NOT how we do it.

We absolutely DO eat all of the food on all of our lists. (How can anyone recommend something they never experienced?)

Unfortunately, we’ve seen these junk lists a lot—from national and local publishers. We are also aware of a local publisher that offers paid placement in best-of-lists. There is no paid placement here.

WE PERSONALLY ATE ALL OF THESE PIZZAS, AND WENT TO ALL OF THESE PLACES, AND THESE ARE ALL ST. PETE FOODIES PHOTOS. (All photos by Kevin Godbee unless otherwise noted.)

The list includes locations in St. Petersburg, and St. Pete Beach.

Here are the Best Pizzas in St. Pete for 2024

These are listed in RANDOM order except for the first three.

1. The Violet Stone Pizza & Sandwiches
2134 9th Ave N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
(727) 202-8940 (Tap to call)
The Violet Stone Website

Violet Stone Diablo + Pepperoni
Violet Stone Diablo + Pepperoni

The Violet Stone started out as a food truck in August 2022, and opened their brick & mortar in February 2023. They make the best pizza on this list. I was there on March 6, 2024, which is the same day that pizza reviewer Dave Portnoy visited. (Luckily, I was there and gone before he arrived.)

He gave them one of his best scores which blew them up so big that they had to unplug their phone and turn off online ordering. You just had to go and wait in line. Things have calmed down a bit now, and you can order by phone or online again. Keep in mind that they are staying quite busy, and the parking isn’t so great, but it is definitely worth it. They offer takeout only.

In addition to the round 10″ and 16″ pizzas, they also offer Sicilian (rectangular pan) pizzas, sandwiches and hoagies.

They were using a wood-fired oven until recently, but had to switch to  “regular” deck gas oven to keep up with demand. Some people have complained on social media that their pizza is “burnt”. It is not. A charred cornicione (what most call the crust) is normal for some pizzas, and most people don’t eat that part anyway. Complain if you want. It just leaves more for the pizza fans that deserve it.

For the pizza nerds out there, here’s some more info:

I asked about the style of pizza because to me it is somewhat NY style, but not exactly. Technically, the dough ingredients are Neapolitan-like as there is no sugar or olive oil like a NY pizza has. It has flour, water, yeast and salt like a Neapolitan, but it is not Neapolitan either. Here’s a fun fact: The dough isn’t pizza dough. It’s bread dough.

“Bubbly and properly fermented. Not dense or cold out of the fridge.”

“It’s not a specific type of pizza. We use grande mozz and special parent flour. Our hydration percentage is very high so we can do intensive mixes. Typical NY pizza is 60%, and Neapolitan is roughly 70% hydration. We’re higher than both of these.”

They also use Bianca tomatoes, which are considered the best by many gourmet pizza makers.

Pictured above is The Diablo – fresh house made mozzarella, whole milk mozzarella, arrabbiata sauce, hot sausage, pickled onions, topped with basil & parmesan – I also added pepperoni.

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2. Pizza Box
923 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
(727) 623-0444 (Tap to call)
Pizza Box Website

Pizza Box Loverboy Pizza
Pizza Box Loverboy Pizza

Pizza Box, downtown on the 900 block of Central Avenue is wood-fired, and it is completely unique and different. I promise you that you’ve never had pizza like this. It’s like nothing else, and it is amazing. They celebrated their 8th anniversary this year.

One of my favorites is the Lover Boy Pizza – Housemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Housemade Meatballs, Herb Whipped Ricotta, Cherry Peppers, Caramelized Onions and Fresh Basil.

 

3. Nicko’s Pizza and Subs
1239 4th St S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 416-1200 (Tap to call)
Nicko’s Website

Nicko's Supreme
Nicko’s Supreme (Photo by Lori Brown)

Of all of the NY-style pizzas on this list, Nicko’s is the best replication. They nailed it. This one would be hard to discern from an actual NY pizza in a blind taste test. Lori said, “we ordered a whole Supreme Pizza topped with onion, mushroom, green pepper, pepperoni, sausage, ham, mozzarella and pizza sauce and all of their pizzas can be made gluten free in the 12″ size. It is topped with the freshest of ingredients and was just as delicious when we reheated our leftovers the next day. Anyone who says crust doesn’t make a pizza, is just wrong. However, the sauce and the cheese ratio was also perfection as well as the even disbursement of the tasty toppings.”

 

Noble Crust
8300 4th St North
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
(727) 329-6041 (Tap to call)
Noble Crust Website

Noble Crust The Works Pizza
Noble Crust The Works Pizza

Noble Crust has excellent food, all of it with their unique twists of Italian and American Southern-inspired cooking and ingredients.

The Works pizza – tomato sauce, mozzarella + fontina, pepperoni, crimini mushrooms, crushed olives, spicy Calabrian chili -honey.

 

Matteo Trattoria & Pizzeria St Pete
2363 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
(727) 851-9114 (Tap to call)
Matteo Website

Regina Margherita Pizza
Regina Margherita Pizza (Photo by Lori Brown)

Like Bavaro’s and Fabrica on this list, Matteo has the traditional wood fired oven from Naples, Italy and creates classic Neapolitan pizzas.

On the above pizza Lori said,”Regina Margherita Pizza – San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, bufala mozzarella cheese & EVOO. So fresh and delicious and that dough. Phenomenal Neapolitan pizza!”

 

Jay Luigi
3201 4th St N
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 390-8883 (Tap to call)
Jay Luigi Website

Stella-Romana-Pizza
Stella Romana Pizza (Photo by Lindsey Harris)

This is a Roman Pizza al Taglio style.

From Lindsey’s review:

We mulled over which pizza to choose… do we go simple? Or do we do one with several toppings? Do we go Romana-style? Or do we go NY-apolitan? We settled on the Stella Pizza Romana. Stella is their most simple of Romana-style pizzas with tomato sauce, house-made mozzarella, basil and grana padano. While the pizza was more on the simple side, it truly let you enjoy the authentic flavors. The pizza was served with a small plate holding fresh grated grana padano, red pepper flakes and fresh oregano. I sprinkled a little bit of each on my slices and it was the perfect addition to step the pizza up another notch.

While we were dining, we enjoyed a couple of visits to our table by one of the partners at Jay Luigi, Jay Brunetti, who explained the process of how they create their pizza. And while I can’t remember all the scientific details, I can tell you they use the best of ingredients and techniques… including importing wild yeast from Italy (dubbed “NIKI”), using 00 flour, creating a crispy, fluffy crust by using 80% water in their dough and whipping up house made mozzarella.

 

Gianni’s NY Pizza
936 58th St North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
(727) 381-3209 (Tap to call)
Gianni’s Website

Gianni's Pizza
Gianni’s Pizza

Gianni’s was originally recommended to us by former St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman, when he came to visit as a guest on our podcast. The former Mayor knows his pizza. Gianni’s won the 2021 Best Pizza in the People’s Choice St. Pete Foodies Awards. You could still pick out the actual NY pizza, but this one comes as close as as it gets in St. Pete, as well as Toby’s below, and Nicko’s coming the closest. Above is the Gianni’s Large with Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Bacon and Jalapeños.

 

Tobys Original Little Italy Pizza
3523 49th St North
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
(727) 522-2717 (Tap to call)
Toby’s Website

Toby's Little Italy Pizza
Toby’s Little Italy Pizza

Toby’s Large with Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Bacon and Jalapeños. Gianni’s and Toby’s were both recommended to us by former St. Petersburg Mayor, Rick Kriseman when he came to visit as a guest on our podcast. The former Mayor knows his pizza. They are both great, and very New York. Toby’s was previously removed from the list for use of canned mushrooms, which are on the above pizza. However, we were made aware that they now offer the option of fresh mushrooms. We also learned that some people actually request canned mushrooms by a former pizzeria owner.

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Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria
945 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
(727) 258-7517 (Tap to call)
Bavaro’s Website

Bavaros Diavola Neapolitan Pizza
Bavaros Diavola Neapolitan Pizza

Diavola Neapolitan Pizza – San Marzano Tomato, Fior De Latte, Mixed Peppers, Spicy Home-Made Sausage, Parmigiano Reggiano, Basil, Extra-Virgin Hot Olive Oil.

Like Fabrica, Bavaro’s is super-good Neapolitan Woodfired pizza, but instead of fast-casual, Bavaro’s has table service. Owner, Dan Bavaro says, “this is fork and knife pizza”, but I still eat it with my hands. (You can take the boy out of New Jersey, but you can’t take New Jersey out of the boy.)

 

Cappy’s Pizzeria
2900 1st Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
(727) 321-3020 (Tap to call)
Cappy’s Website

Cappy's Pizza
Cappy’s Pizza

The Cappy – Sausage, Ham, Pepperoni, Green Bell Pepper, Onions, Mushrooms.

Cappy’s is another one that executes NY style pizza excellently. In a blind taste test, you could still pick out the actual NY pizza, but they come quite close.

Cappy’s also has excellent Chicago Deep Dish.

Cappy's Deep Dish
Cappy’s Chicago-Style Deep Dish

 

Fabrica Pizza
101 7th St. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 290-9643 (Tap to call)
Fabrica Pizza Website

Fabrica Carni Pizza
Fabrica Carni Pizza (Photo: Lori Brown)

Fabrica Carni Pizza – San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, oven roasted peppers, Italian sausage, beef and pork meatballs, pepperoni, fresh garlic, oregano.

This is just super-good Neapolitan Woodfired pizza in a fast-casual atmosphere.

Tuttorosso Restaurant & Pizzeria
7863 Blind Pass Rd,
St Pete Beach, FL 33706
(727) 800-9864 (Tap to call)
Tuttorosso Website

Tuttorosso Margherita Pizza
Tuttorosso Margherita Pizza (Photo: Haley Haman)

From Haley’s review:

Once the aroma of hand tossed pizzas and pasta hits you, you’ll understand why Tuttorosso on St. Pete Beach is the go-to casual Italian restaurant and pizzeria that everyone raves about. Tuttorosso is family owned with a comforting menu packed with Italian classics like pizzas, calzones, pasta, salads, desserts and more, like a lot more, the menu is massive. Everything I had, came with good levels of warmth and sharpness and I can’t wait to continue going back to try more. Tuttorosso is very much a neighborhood spot with pizza boxes flying out the door just as often as people meander in for a table.

When you walk in, you’ll either see pizzas being tossed in the air and prepped for the oven or the giant case of Italian goodies like pizza by the slice, calzones, garlic knots, vegetables, and desserts. If you’re taking a seat and staying a while, you’ll walk into their casual dining area and peruse the menu while munching on focaccia bread and garlic knots. If you’re grabbing a takeout order, you’ll talk to the crew behind the display case and they’ll take care of your order.

 

Bonu’ Taverna Italiana
601 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 623-4505 (Tap to call)
Bonu’ Taverna Website

Bonu Taverna Regina Pinsa Pizza
Regina Pinsa (Photo: Haley Haman)

Bonu’ Taverna offers Roman-style pizzas like Jay Luigi, but a specific style named “Pinsa”. It is served in an oval shape with the dough formed only by hand. It is not tossed or stretched in the air like NY or Neapolitan pizzas. The pinsa dough has 80% hydration. Compared to Neapolitan pizza that has a hydration of 55.5-62.5% (According to The True Neapolitan Pizza Association’s (AVPN) International Regulation.) NY pizza dough hydration is usually 65-70%.

From Haley’s review:

There’s something unique about the pizza at Bonu Taverna. They call it Pinsa which I learned is a style of Roman baking and cooking where they hand press the pizza dough. Pinsa translates to “push the dough by hand” which makes sense. They have four pinsas to choose from and we went with a basic, Regina with fior di latte mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil. I’m a big believer in not overcomplicating recipes, and this is a fine example of how with just four fresh ingredients, you can have a glorious meal.

If there’s one thing to take away from my review at Bonu Taverna, let it be that they use simple and fresh ingredients to create magnificent Italian dishes. Everything exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to go back for more. Thank goodness I could walk here from my apartment to not only try to burn off some of the calories but also just crawl right into bed for a food coma nap.

Lori Brown, Abby Allen, Haley Haman and Lindsey Harris contributed to this article.

Please tell us your favorite pizza in the comments below.

Best Pizza Places in St. Petersburg, FL 2024

There's a ton of pizza places in St. Petersburg. Some are just ok, and others are really bad. Here are the best pizza joints in St. Petersburg, Florida!

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey & Mahika do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner. We do not include any large national or regional chains in our ratings and reviews. We focus on independent locally owned eateries exclusively.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies, ownership, etc. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.
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