First Look: Nomad Pizza in Philadelphia


[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Night Market Philadelphia, organized by The Food Trust, is a roving gathering of the city's best food trucks and stands that sets up every few months in unique locations. June's special, Philly Beer Week Night Market, brought a sneak peak of Nomad Pizza, a wood-fired pizza oven truck with plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in Philly in the fall.

Adam checked out their Hopewell, New Jersey opening back in '09 via Paulie Gee and confirmed that they were serving up some solid Neapolitan pies out of both the truck and storefront location.

When we rolled up to the Nomad truck, parked in a University City parking lot, the weather was ominous, with June skies threatening a downpour at any moment. But the pizza line, snaking back at least 40 people deep, was undeterred. And Nomad's revamped REO Speedwagon was running full steam ahead, turning out pies in a matter of minutes with a crew of six working at top speed, stretching dough, topping pies, and getting them in and out of the oven at lightning speed.


Inevitably, big drops of rain began to fall. The pizza line dissipated somewhat, and after seeing more than a few pies emerge from the oven perfectly charred and topped we decided that it was worth getting a little wet for this pizza.

Margherita in hand, we made a mad dash for pizza-eating shelter (at this point the rain was coming down in solid sheets). Somehow the pizza made it through the inclement weather without succumbing to sogginess; steaming hot, and ready to be devoured.


I'm not sure if it was the drama of the whole situation, but this pie was mind-blowing. The crust was the definition of leopard-spotted, with just enough charred dough bubbles to trap the flavor of the wood fire. Fresh, sweet San Marzanos, gooey, mild blobs of mozzarella (complete with their own baby leopard spots), a handful of basil, and a drizzle of olive oil finished this awesome pizza; by far the best Neapolitan I've had in Philly.

Nomad plans on opening their Philly storefront in September at 611 South 7th Street (map), but for now you can visit their Jersey location or check out their pizza truck schedule of events for your South Jersey Neapolitan fix.