Foodies and historians may look back at the summer and fall of 2015 as a transition time for pizza in Cleveland. The city has plenty of men and women on the hunt for the perfect pie, much like the perfect bottle of beer or piece of barbeque. This summer, the summer of pizza, began with the Cleveland Pizza Fest at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds and will end with the opening of three new pizza joints. Here are five pizzerias, some new and some that are expanding, that should be on the radar of every pie-lover in Cleveland.
1. Pizza (216) - September 2015
Relatively unknown to most at the festival, this place finished second even while losing out on a day of voting. Partners Johnny Lis and Brad Wiescinski will open the brick-and-mortar pizza palace of the same name this fall in the Old Arcade across from the Corner Alley. Pizza (216) will open its doors around the same time as a beloved chef attempts to take his slice of the pizza market.
401 Euclid Ave.
2. Citizen Pie - September 2015
Vytauras Sasnauskas, Chef V to his friends, has been slinging pies at Americano Bistro's weekly happy hours and setting up shop on the back patio of Velvet Tango Room in the past. Now, this fall, he will open Citizen Pie, a small pizza cafe in Collinwood dishing out Neapolitan-style pizza. Chef V's secret weapon: an Italian wood-fired brick oven. George Goodman, owner and chef of In Forno Pizza, uses a similar wood-fired oven but with one major difference: mobility.
15710 Waterloo Rd.
3. In Forno Pizza - September 2015
Patrons of Wade Oval Wednesdays, Crocker Park Farmer's Market and Friday Night wine tastings at the Olde Wine Cellar in Olmstead Falls will recognize Goodman and his mobile In Forno Pizza pizzeria. Now, Goodman plans to lay his roots and open a traditional brick-and-mortar location this fall.
35840 Chester Rd, Avon
4. Crust - Now open 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
Tremont's Crust has been offering affordably-priced pizza and other Italian treats over the past two and a half years from a tiny shop. Now, Crust has a second, lunch only location in Midtown to help serve more diners. This expansion helps deal with the success of newcomer Tomori's Pizza.
3000 St. Clair Ave.
5. Tomori's Pizza - Now open 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. - 12 a.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday
Chef and owner Dean Tomori describes his pizza style as "a cross between Sicilian and New York." These pies feature toppings from edge-to-edge and aren't necessarily cheap as each one will cost you between $11 to $14 but have been hugely popular since the grand opening.
15621 Madison Ave., Lakewood