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The United States of Pizza: Idaho
Here at Slice, we're eager to find the best pizza in every nook of these United States. This week, we've got recommendations for slices and pies in Idaho. Since Idaho's nickname is the Gem State, we weren't surprised to find quite a few possible pizza gems. Here's our list, but, please, let us know your Idaho favorites in the comments!
Where to Eat Pizza in Boise
Flying Pie Pizzaria
This pizzeria has been chosen as Boise Weekly's favorite for several years running. They say that "there's no such thing as a bad pie from 'the Pie,'" even when it includes unusual toppings like lime, mesquite-grilled chicken, linguica, black bean sauce, or barbecue sauce. In August they serve a fresh habanero pie: apparently it's so spicy you have to sign a waiver to take one out of the store. 6508 West Fairview Avenue, Boise ID 83704; 208-376-3454 and 4320 West State Street, Boise ID; 208-345-8585; flyingpie.com
A few Serious Eaters/Slice'rs recommended Casanova's pies. Owner Dan Guild hails from New Haven, Connecticut, so it's not a shocker that he offers a clam pie made in his wood-fired brick oven. The Idaho Press-Tribune praises Casanova for its crust, which is pleasingly "crisp yet chewy and almost blackened in places." 1204 South Vista Avenue, Boise ID 83705; 208-331-3535 casanovapizzeria.com
Guido's Original New York Style Pizzeria
We've also heard good things about Guido's huge slices. Serious Eater smoky07 particularly loves the white pie: "Paper thin, no tomato, just olive oil, cheese, basil and sun dried tomatoes." Boise Weekly declared Guido's "consistent and consistently good." 235 North 5th Street, Boise ID 83702; 208-345-9011; guidosdowntown.com
Flatbread Community Oven
Flatbread Community Oven, which has location in southeast Boise; downtown Boise; Meridian, Idaho; and Bend, Oregon; is VPN-certified but offers a number of unusual pizzas (barbecue chicken with blue cheese, anyone?) in addition to a more classic Neapolitan-style pies. It's a family-friendly spot that lets kids make their own pizzas. Yelper Jake O. is a big fan of the menu's traditional pies:
The authentic pizza, like the quattro formaggi and margherita, are simple and delicious. The dough is extremely thin and the sauce is very light, with little seasoning. The extreme oven temperature leaves some wonderful burnt spots on the bottom (which taste delicious) while the higher water content sauce melds with the top to create a chewy, slippery top. Insanely good. The more Americanized pizzas are good. Too heavy on the toppings to be authentic but still good. The pepperoni (which doesn't exist in Italy by that name) tastes great, as does the sausage.
Southeast Boise: The Marketplace at Bown Crossing, 3139 South Bown Way, Boise ID 83706; 208-343-4177. Downtown Boise: 615 West Main Street, Boise ID 83702; 208-287-4757. Meridian: Generations Plaza, 830 North Main Street; Meridian ID 83642; 208-288-0969 flatbreadpizza.com
The Front Door
If you like a craft brew to sip with your pizza, The Front Door is worth checking out. The bar features 14 interesting beers on tap (plus a cask), in a range of styles from New Belgium's La Folie to North Coast's delicious Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. According to the Idaho Statesman, the pies rival the best pizza in Boise: They're "honest, handcrafted pizzas with thin, chewy crusts and bright, balanced flavors." 105 S 6th Street, Boise ID 83702; 208-287-9201
This mini-chain of Neapolitan-style pizzerias has several branches in Colorado. Co-owner Pam Proto grew up eating pizza at Pepe's in New Haven, Connecticut. Pizzas range from a simple Margherita to "The Traffic Jam," topped with sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and whole milk mozzarella. For pineapple lovers, there's "The Low Rider," smeared with honey tomato chipotle sauce and topped with mozzarella, bacon, fresh pineapple, and cilantro. Just don't tell Frank Pepe. 345 South 8th Street, Boise ID 83702; 208-331-1400 protospizza.com
Tony's Pizzeria Teatro
The Yelpers are raving about Tony's. "This place is up there as the best pizza place in the West," says J.M. Others describe the pies as fresh, yeasty, with nice char, and high-quality toppings. Jennifer Gelband of the Boise Weekly raved about the calzones, as well. Outside seating is a popular choice in the summer. 103 Capitol Boulevard, Boise ID 83702; 208-343-1052
Red Feather Lounge
This spot's breakfast pizza is touted as a brunch bomb/hangover cure, but there are wood-fired pizzas at dinner, too, including one topped with Yukon Gold potatoes, garlic oil, and goat cheese. 246 North 8th Street, Boise ID 83702; 208-429-6340 justeatlocal.com/redfeather
Serious Eater igotabeefpastry warns that Pie Hole's pizza "was made for drunk people." Luckily for those people, the place is open late. Amy Atkins of the Boise Weekly praises the Pie Hole's greasy potato and bacon pie, though:
It's a simple recipe: thin slices of potato and a generous sprinkling of bacon atop a layer of mozz' under which lies a tangy white alfredo sauce. The potatoes are baked soft and the bacon lives in that sweet spot between crispy and chewy. And a giant slice (they're all giant) will only run you $2.50 with tax.
Sounds like the perfect late-night guilty pleasure. Multiple locations in Boise, Meridian, and Pocatello; pieholeusa.com
Of course, there's more to Idaho than Boise. So I scoured the interwebs for some non-Boise recs, starting with our own Serious Eats/Slice community. SE'r DoggiesLoves2Eat was quick to help me out:
Sadly I lived in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, for eight months (sad face), and I can tell you I was VERY thorough in my pizza searching, being a Philly girl. Ciao Mambo in Hayden, Idaho had the best East Coast (NY/Philly style) pizza around by a MILE. Their sauce is a little odd but everything else is great. Then there is a bar called Capone's with locations in Coeur D'Alene and Post Falls that has excellent pizza that isn't really in one distinctive style, but probably closest to bar pizza.
Spot Pizza, Marsing
Spot's pies feature a crust infused with garlic and butter (though there's also a gluten-free option). Toppings include tomatoes and peppers straight from the owners' nearby farm. 12 Sandbar Avenue, Marsing ID 83639; 208-896-5055
Pettelino's, Idaho Falls
Over on city-data.com's Idaho forum, user breer23 recommends Pettelino's on Yellowstone Street: "We've had the thin crust (best so far) and pan (good, but not as good as the thin crust) pizzas, and they also serve...wait for it...Chicago style deep-dish pizza!" I couldn't find much more information on this spot: Idahoans, have you tried Pettelino's?
Lucy's New York-Style Pizzeria, Idaho Falls
Helpful citydata.com poster breer23 also recommends Lucy's: "Very thin crust where the toppings sit, but puffy on the outer crust. Sauce/cheese combo was just right." 725 East Anderson Street, Idaho Falls ID 83401; 208-524-2800
Brick Oven, Pocatello
Owner Glen Guiltner lived in New York City for 12 years before moving to Pocatello. His New York–style pizzas, topped with Polly-O mozzarella, are cooked in a gas-assist wood oven with a dome that reaches up to 1,000°F. Some Yelpers complain that the toppings are a bit sparse, but the crust scores some points. 147 Jefferson Avenue, Pocatello ID 83201; 208-478-8888
Keystone Pizza, Caldwell
Former dairy farmer Roelof Speelman runs Keystone, a family friendly spot in Caldwell. Jesse Nance of the Idaho Press wrote that the pies have a "near-perfect crunchiness and not-too-greasy toppings." 207 South 9th Avenue, Caldwell ID 83605; 208-454-3044
And as always, this is just the start! If we've missed your favorite Idaho pizza spot, chime in in the comments below. We really appreciate your intel!