Today is National Pizza Day.
Not to be confused with World Pizza Day, which happened on Jan. 17. Or National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, which is Nov. 12. Or National Pizza Month, which is celebrated during October.
So, maybe it’s arbitrary. But we couldn’t pass up the chance to celebrate Oregon’s best pizzas, some of which might even be the world’s best pizzas.
Here’s a run-down of our favorite local pizza options, a quartet that The Oregonian’s food critic Michael Russell calls Portland’s “pizza Mount Rushmore.”
Ken’s Artisan Pizza
While the list that proclaimed Ken’s Artisan Pizza (304 S.E. 28th Ave.) the second-best pizza in the entire world might be a little sketchy, Ken’s is an undoubted Portland institution that serves up some fine pies.
Since that world’s best list came out, Ken’s has been proclaimed the No. 3 pizza in the United States by Italy’s Top 50 Pizza organization, a pretty legit honor. That same group later ranked Ken’s No. 19 worldwide.
If you go: Ken’s specializes in wood-fired, Neapolitan-inspired pies with super crispy crusts and simple seasonal ingredients. Don’t expect to find pineapple, but ranch is available on the side.
Scottie’s Pizza Parlor
Scottie’s Pizza Parlor (2128 S.E. Division St.) has been serving up classic New York-style thin-crust pizzas in Southeast Portland since 2015.
Scottie’s pizzas are available by the slice. If you want to venture outside the foldable NY-style pizzas, the 16-inch square “grandma style” pizza is the way to switch it up.
If you go: You can get a par-baked pizza to finish in the comfort of your own home, like an upmarket Papa Murphy’s experience.
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty (4039 N. Mississippi Ave.) serves up creative, seasonal pizzas in North Portland.
Food critic Michael Russell described the pizza at Lovely’s as “Ken’s Artisan Pizza after a hike through the Oregon forest,” referring to the fresh and unique local ingredients atop most of the pies. The pizzeria was one of Russell’s picks for 2016′s best Portland restaurants.
If you go: Ask for some flowers on your pie.
This iconic Portland spot just celebrated its 20th anniversary in January.
The East Coast-style pies at Apizza Scholls (4741 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.) are widely considered Portland’s best, and the crowd waiting for tables at this Southeast Portland pizzeria is a testament to its popularity.
If you go: Sometimes they, uh, run out. Of pizza. Order early (they only take orders via phone) if you want a pie to go. The restaurant starts taking phone orders at 4 p.m. daily.
There are plenty of newer entrants to the Portland pizza scene that are worth a visit, too. These places are newer but got rave reviews from our food critic.
The inventive pizza at No Saint (1603 N.E. Killingsworth St.) is offered alongside rustic salads, baked pastas and good wine. Highly recommended for date night — just in time for both National Pizza Day and Valentine’s Day.
Pan Con Queso
Pan Con Queso (628 S.E. Belmont St.) offers pizza with nontraditional toppings that fuse the founders’ Mexican and Pacific Islander heritages with a well-made pie. Pan Con Queso is housed in the Living Häus brewery space on Southeast Belmont.
Mucca Osteria (1026 S.W. Morrison St.), one of Portland’s most quietly beloved Italian restaurants, opened a pizzeria alongside its original location on Southwest Morrison Street to rave reviews.
At the end of the day, no matter where you choose to get your slice, Portland is a great pizza town. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
First appeared on www.oregonlive.com