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Vancouver is in the midst of a pizza boom, where one Neapolitan-style parlor after another is pitting its wood-fired pizza ovens and cracker-thin-crusted pies against the other local competition. Here are five local favorites for both traditional and trendier pizzas:
Nook. Neighbors don’t want you to know about Nook; it’s already hard enough to get a table at this piccolo West End pizzeria. But when they serve some of Vancouver’s best pizza, we can’t remain silent. The pizza options are classic and meat-centric: Italian sausage, salami, prosciutto with arugula. While vegetarian pies are available, the menu cautions, “All products may contain pork, tasty pork.” You’ve been warned.
The BiBo. A visit to this smart-looking Kitsilano pizzeria is like a quick trip to Italy, where the wine flows and the traditional Neapolitan style pies are prepared in a blazingly hot wood-fired oven. Don’t look for ham-and-pineapple or other quirky North American variations; the toppings here are all classic Italian ingredients like prosciutto, fresh basil, eggplant, and black olives.
Nicli Antica Pizzeria. If you’re a fan of puffy, oven-blistered crusts with sparse but fresh toppings, get thee to Gastown, where this stylish high-ceilinged room with exposed brick walls is the backdrop for these artistic pizzas. Several salads – simple greens, arugula with fennel and oranges, or tuna conserva with potato and white beans – make good pie companions, too.
Nat’s New York Pizzeria. Nat’s has been on the scene long before many of the trendier pie parlors opened their doors. Sure, the décor, at both the West End and Kitsilano locations, is Formica-basic (and New York jokes figure prominently), but you’re here for the pizza – period. Favorite varieties include the Fifth Avenue (spinach, onions, fresh tomatoes, and feta cheese), the pesto artichoke, and the simple spicy mushroom. Grab a slice and head for the beach.
Marcello’s. Located on Commercial Drive in the city’s former “Little Italy” district, Marcello’s is another old timer, where locals crowd in for the thin-crusted pizzas baked in the wood-burning oven. Homemade pastas are another popular choice here.