Recommended pizza spots in Toronto GTA

Old School Toronto pizza is the type found at Frank’s, Gerrard Pizza, Danforth Pizza House.

It isn’t especially popular right now.

My current favourite modern Pizza in Toronto is Badiali’s.

Ambassador serves Windsor-style. I live nearby and I haven’t been tempted yet.

I like Levant pizza for Levantine-inspired pizza.

I like Descendant’s Detroit -style, and I would say the Jaffna pizza at Descendant is a Toronto pizza because many Sri Lankan kitchen staff, cooks and chefs are the backbone of Toronto’s kitchens. Detroit style crust, but a Toronto multicultural stamp on the pizza.

Pay close attention to @Googs posts about pizza.

Toronto has a dozen or more regional styles (from other regions) available. I think this reflects our multiculturalism and diversity. Maybe the fact Toronto is a cultural mosaic with diverse populations is why Toronto does not have one regional Toronto style of pizza, as you might find in an American city that has a melting pot culture.


Thank you very much for the list as well as the insight! I will definitely check these out!!

One note though: I would categorize badiali as NYC style. The style has been around for over a century. They’re the only pizza place I’ve had so far that would not feel out of place at all in NYC. I mentioned that to them and they got excited. Might be what they were aiming for. They succeeded and it’s great!


Oh no!!! Google maps showing Gerrard Pizza is permanently closed!!! I was looking forward to trying them based on pictures!!

1 Like

I also lived in NYC for a while, but it was a long time ago. I remember going to Patsy’s, and a deep dish spot in the Village. I used to get a spinach mushroom slice at the Famous Original Ray’s near my apartment. I remember ordering John’s with friends around 2003.

I like Badiali’s pizza more than the NYC pizzas I ordered when I lived there, or when I’ve travelled back.

I haven’t tried any pizza places on my most recent trips to NYC (2015-2019), so I can’t compare any recent experiences.

Neapolitan style was a big deal in Toronto between 2008 and 2014. I remember waiting in line for Pizzeria Libretto, when they only had one location. I did try Don Antonio and Motorino in NYC around 2013. I can’t remember ordering pizza on my following 6 trips to NYC. I’m usually focused on other foods in NYC.

Frank’s Pizza House, another old school Toronto pizzeria

1 Like

You must be referring to Emmett’s in the village for Chicago style deep dish.

Keste has always been the restaurant of choice from visitors from Italy. I have heard from several Italians from Italy living there that Italians would refuse to eat elsewhere for some reason. Once i tried it (with a glass of gragnano), i understood why.

The other place my Italian friends told me that’s a bit more recent is Ribalta. They also make similar pizza and also offer Gragnano by the glass (I’m shocked Libretto doesn’t offer it).

As for NYC pizza, the top has been Di Fara out in the middle of nowhere in Brooklyn but sadly, Dom has passed away and it hasn’t been the same (especially after branching out). It was on a completely different level. It’s most likely because Dom has ruined me for NYC pizza that i don’t see Badiali in the same level as that. With Di Fara a shell of itself now, i can see Badiali possibly being better. But the style is NYC.

I’ve tried Motorino as well. Before i tried Keste i used to go there. Keste made sure i never went back. Lol.

I haven’t heard about Don Antonio but it seems it’s the same ownership as Keste.

I’ve always felt johns and original rays were overrated and borderline tourist traps (because of Di Fara). Badiali is definitely better than those two

1 Like

I saw Famous Original Ray’s as fuel, in my non-touristic neighborhood (Turtle Bay in the east 40s). Not a destination, just a Tuesday night slice that cost a couple bucks in the mid 90s.

I don’t remember the name of the place with the deep dish. It would have been around 1992 that I ordered it.

Emmett’s has been around since 2013. Might check it out some day.

1 Like

If it was 1992, i had left the US and was living in Seoul at the time.

Emmett’s was opened by a Chicago transplant. Gets raves from people from Chicago. They also do a Chicago thin crust (basically a bar pie like super point in Toronto)

Yes, that’s one of the things i really miss about NYC (i don’t miss much of it). It’s that for a few bucks you could get a quick, tasty meal out of a slice or two.

Dom was amazing. Glad i got to have a few memories with him. He’d accidentally burn a few pizzas, but man, the portion that wasn’t burned, or those times none of it was burnt, it was magic.

I agree there’s a lot of other things to try in NYC. If you haven’t tried Pisillo in the financial district, give it a shot. We also always felt the brindle room was always underrated (their burger slaps Minetta Tavern’s dry aged burger and the rest of the menu including the wine by the glass offering, i feel, is better).

If you haven’t tried real Texan bbq, nyc has the closest thing to it at Mighty Quinn in East Village. They smoke their brisket 21 hours at their East Village location. Don’t put sauce on it (their sauce, in my opinion, ain’t that great) but their brisket really sings. Most other places only smoke somewhere between 12 to 16 hours (not long enough and you can definitely taste the difference)

1 Like

I tried both ambassador and Frank’s yesterday.

Both seem to be in the NYC style. Ambassador credibly had differences and I’m starting to understand that Windsor style and appeal as its similar to NYC.

Frank’s, they changed how i view Toronto style and pizza in this city. Frank’s is definitely NYC style and after talking shop with Georgio (at Frank’s) and asking the question, “what is Toronto style pizza, specifically old school Toronto style?”, he mentioned old school Toronto style pizza IS NYC style pizza. The history behind it is that Italians came over via NYC. So they landed in NY, lived there a bit, then moved to Toronto and surrounding areas. So naturally, that old school NYC pizza style spread here.

He agreed that the thicker pizzas using rollers or machines all the way through on the dough makes it taste bready (I described it more like a foccacia than a pizza and how i wasn’t a fan of this since I noticed Sbarro makes pizza like this).

It’s my guess that hand stretching it like how a proper pizza is made takes more work so folks are skipping that critical step (I’ve seen some spots offer a “thin” crust, which in NYC means cracker crust like in Chicago but it seems thin in GTA is regular hand stretched dough instead of the bready type). I’ve also noticed a lot of electric ovens being used. I’m also not a fan of that coming from NY.

I was watching Georgio make pizza after pizza and it was crystal clear to me he puts a LOT of love in what he does and into each and every pizza he makes. He’s the Dom equivalent (from Di Fara in Brooklyn) of Toronto in my book. I will be driving out to him each time i crave pizza. I sat there staring at the crust after biting into it cause it had a LOT more flavor than other shops (he ferments his dough 48 hours unlike the same day dough I’ve had at most places I’ve visited).

Also, i can’t believe the prices he’s charging. I asked them if what i was charged was a mistake because it was far too low compared to what other folks were charging. He needs to raise his prices… I can’t imagine inflation has been kind to their bottom line which affects what he rightfully should be paid for with all that love he pours into each and every thing he makes. A slice at ambassador for example was 9 bucks or something. Slice at Frank’s? Between 0 to $3… I paid $3 but i feel it should’ve been between $4 ~ $5.

Slices at Frank’s are also the grandma slice. He used to do slices from round pies but he said since everyone else was doing it, he wanted to try something different. This was why i also got a small cheese pie to try out his pizza to compare with others. I personally much prefer his round pies. Man, are those fantastic!

I’m sad Gerrard’s is no longer around. I’m going to have to definitely check out Danforth Pizza House!

Currently, Frank’s is at my top spot ahead of Badiali.

With places like North of Brooklyn (not nearly as good as Frank’s) and others claiming to be NY style being more popular, i don’t understand the disconnect given that the better NYC style old school Toronto pizza has been around since 1965 at Frank’s.

I’m just glad i found them. Thank you for leading me to a slice of home!


There was a place called Vesuvio’s in the Junction which went out of business a couple years ago. Some of their former employees run this place on Roncesvalles that you might want to try.

Other places to try, if you haven’t yet:
Superpoint on Ossington
4th Man in the Fire
North of Brooklyn
Piccolo Piano on Harbord (has a nice back patio)

Conzo is probably more hype than substance, as is Sugo.


Oh man, i was near juniors yesterday! Will definitely try when I’m around there again.

I’ve tried super point. It tasted more like a bar pie to me?
I’ve also tried North of Brooklyn. Was not a fan. Dough wasn’t great. Tasted like they were coasting (and charging) on toppings.
I’ve tried Conzo. Was a very good pie. But not worth what they were charging. I much prefer Conzo over North of Brooklyn but the price point doesn’t warrant repeat visits. Frank seems he went the opposite direction to both these spots regarding price point

Will try the other two!
Piano piano is on my list (my neighbor recommended it. Said someone in her family owns it.)
4th man in the fire is also on my list to try.

Thanks again!!

1 Like

I tried za cafe for a late night delivery as was having guests over. With the promo I would say better than a chain offering for sure. Here is the pic for a margherita


Piano Piano has a different type of pizza than Piccolo Piano. :slight_smile:

Same ownership.

Piccolo Piano is at 89 Harbord.

Piano Piano has a sidewalk patio, and 3 locations, and less choices of pizza.
I only do take-out and patios, and Piano Piano on Harbord doesn’t offer take-out on weekends anymore. I haven’t been to Piano Piano for 18 months despite living a 10 minute walk away.


Is this Za related to the Za that was in the Annex from 2015-2018? I liked that Za.

Not sure they just showed up with a promo on a later night delivery with a promo on UberEATS so ordered from them.

1 Like

I agree that there is not necessarily a distinctive Toronto style of pizza. Instead we have imported several styles from other locales. There might be local variations in terms of toppings, e.g., Indian and Thai toppings at Magic Oven, then Indian and Jamaican toppings at Descendant.


Oh! My apologies. I was looking up Piccolo Piano on yelp and piano piano came up instead on Harbord so i assumed it was a typo (happens to me often enough). Looks like it’s not listed on yelp (i have put in a request to add them as i like bookmarking things there).

Will definitely check out Piccolo Piano as well! Seems they have a dish that’s from the Emilia-Romagna region based on Google pictures.

Thanks again!!

I’ve never heard of Thai toppings on a pizza before! I just looked up their menu. Has it changed and no longer offered at magic oven?

1 Like

I recall Thai Chicken Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen in US (I used to order the Peking Duck as well)
There is General Tso Pizza at Martino’s on Dupont (Also a Thai Chicken version for what I recall) I have yet to try them as walk by often.


Yes, Magic Oven pizza is gone. I’m not sure if they shifting to catering or if it is an entirely new company with the same name.

If you want to try a Thai-style pizza, try LaMoon Cafe on Gerrard East. They do fusion-y dishes that we’ve enjoyed. We had a green curry pizza that was quite fun and they are now offering a panang curry pizza.