Adriatico’s New York Style Pizza
Flavor: You’re in big trouble if you live, work or go to school near Adriatico’s and get in the habit of eating there. And you will. The spicy garlicky sauce, oversized pepperonis and super-thick crust can’t be found anywhere else in the Tristate. Good luck finding calzones like theirs, too. It’s “madness” every Monday and Tuesday with specials that the kids can’t turn down.
Flair: Adriatico’s has late-night hours and a Bearcat pizza that has enough slices for half the fraternity. There’s no dining room, but they deliver. Winner of “Best Pizza (Non-Chain).”
3205 Jefferson Ave., Clifton, 513-281-4344. Open 7 days. $6-$18.
Balboa’s Grill and Pizzeria
Flavor: With fresh ingredients flown in from Philadelphia, you know Balboa’s takes its Original Philly Steak sandwich seriously. The New York-style pizza is the real deal, too. Try the Pizza Margherita, a simple yet delicious concoction topped with fresh basil leaves, olive oil and tomato slices. The diverse menu also includes a number of intriguing appetizer, soup, salad and pasta options.
Flair: Housed in a handsome brick building in the heart of picturesque O’Bryonville, Balboa’s is the perfect place for that after-work beer and pizza, a night out with the buddies (Tuesday is trivia night) or a meal with the family.
2038 Madison Road, O’Bryonville, 513-321-4711. Open 7 days. $6-$19.
Flavor: Cosmic specializes in New York-style thin-crust pizza, available with a variety of fresh, tasty toppings. While pizza is the main attraction, other options include Homemade Mac and Cheese, Beef BBQ Sandwich and steak hoagies.
Flair: Cosmic’s hands-on operators are serious about their pizza, and that passion comes through in everything they do.
7 Woodsdale Ave., Wyoming, 513-761-1234. Open Tuesday-Sunday. $5-$12.
Flavor: Great ingredients like real gorgonzola, pesto and prosciutto, as well as excellent service, make Dewey’s a popular place for pizza. Specialties like the Green Lantern — a CityBeat Critic’s Choice — and colorful salads and fine beers on tap also help.
Flair: A welcoming dining room with clean, colorful tables and geometrical wall designs that look like art. There’s also a glass window where you can spy on the folks tossing and creating your pizza. Winner of “Best Pizza (Chain)” and “Best Salads.”
Multiple locations. Open 7 days. $7-$20.
Hyde Park Pizzeria
Flavor: This locally owned and operated pizzeria features a variety of solid options, including unique takes like the Meatball pizza and the Taco pizza.
Flair: You’ll often find neighborhood regulars at this friendly Hyde Park eatery’s small space. Its dedicated owners also offer catering, carry-out and delivery for your culinary convenience.
3392 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-271-1616. Open 7 days.
Indigo Casual Gourmet Café
Flavor: You might be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the menu, but you’ll definitely find something to eat. Vegetarian-friendly, they offer a huge range of pizzas, pastas, salads and sandwiches. The whole-wheat crust White Pizza with garlic shallot oil, mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, feta and mozzarella will melt in your mouth. And the Down Home Chicken Calzone is comfort food extraordinaire.
Flair: A cheerful hippie vibe reigns at this pair of cafes that straddle the River, and the dining room allows patrons a glimpse into the kitchen as their entrées are prepared. Try the outdoor seating if it’s not too humid.
2637 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-9952; 2053 Dixie Hwy., Fort Mitchell, 859-331-4339. Open 7 days. $8-$22.
Lucy Blue Pizza
Flavor: When you are this good at one thing, you don’t need to clutter up the menu with a bunch of other fluff. Serving righteous pizza with chewy dough, full-flavored sauce and plenty of cheese, has landed this Cincinnati favorite on more than one “Best of the City” list for the past eight years. Pick your poison — Marguerite, Ranch, Pep and Sausage, BBQ Chicken, Greek, Mushroom, Veggie, Hawaiian, Veggie, BLT — they all rock. Oh yeah, and they have plain cheese, too.
Flair: Each location is different, with the Over-the-Rhine spot being the most intriguing: There’s something vaguely illicit about buying food out of a little opening in the side of a building at 2:30 a.m. The help is cheery, friendly and seemingly amused by the ever-changing nocturnal spectacle.
1128 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-241-8350; 3200 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, 513-321-2540; 611 Main St., Covington, 859-581-3555; 35 E. Seventh St., Downtown, 513-381-7777. Open 7 Days. $12-$15.
Mac’s Pizza Pub
Flavor: Every college town worth its salt has a local pizza joint and Mac’s is ours. With a menu that satisfies both vegetarians and meat eaters alike, Mac’s offers homemade appetizers, pizza, burgers and even pasta. We like the Fried Pickles, Mac’s Meatball Sub and the Macover: think of a deep-fried calzone filled with items of your choice.
Flair: You can find professionals and students at the back bar during happy hour and before Bearcat games, and families and couples eating dinner in the front. The back patio is a relaxing spot to enjoy their many microbrews.
205 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, 513-241-MACS. Open Monday-Saturday. $4.29-$24.75.
Newport Pizza Co.
Flavor: The pizzas are excellent, of course, and the vegetarian options are much better than average since Newport Pizza roasts most of their veggies to give them excellent flavor. Best thing on the menu, though, is the Antipasti Basket with salami, pepperoni, capicola ham, asiago and fresh mozzarella, manzanella olives, banana peppers, Roma tomato, fresh basil and a big fat head of roasted garlic. Outstanding!
Flair: There’s a bike crowd here — a bicycle crowd from Reser’s Outfitters down the block. Great, friendly, fit folks carbo-loading and quenching their thirst from the excellent beer selection after a quick spin to somewhere ungodly far away and back.
601 Monmouth St., Newport, 859-261-4900. Open 7 days. $6-$17.
Flavor: Wood-fired pizzas take a little longer to bake, but they are well worth it. Honey-tasting, flakey crust and scrumptious sandwiches along with pastas and salads make this more than a typical sit-down pizza joint. Perfect for dates and those who enjoy real garlic on their garlic bread.
Flair: Comfortable and welcoming with a warm wood-burning fireplace and plenty of window seating to people-watch if the date goes bad.
121 W. McMillan Ave., Clifton Heights, 513-861-0080; 7880 Remington Road, Montgomery, 513-794-0080. Open 7 days. $9-$15.
Flavor: Owned and run by one of Cincinnati’s original Italian-American restaurateur families, Sorrento’s has stood the test of time and the test of taste. Some say Sorrento’s has the best pizza in town. Homemade sausage, homemade dough and even the bread is baked in their oven daily.
Flair: Sorrento’s Pizzeria has been a proud Norwood landmark since 1956. Private party room, karaoke and the Sports Hall of Fame add to the fun.
5143 Montgomery Road, Norwood, 513-531-5070. Open 7 days. $4-$22.
Uno Chicago Grill
Flavor: This national chain features authentic Chicago-style pizza crafted via the motto, “Nothing fake, nothing too fancy, just great American food.” You can’t go wrong with the deep-dish or flatbread pizzas, but other options include burgers and sandwiches, pastas and salads and steaks and seafood. Also has several “healthy” options.
Flair: Consistent with its Chicago roots, this grill offers an inviting, laid-back atmosphere in which patrons can get down to some serious pizza-eatin’.
7500 Beechmont Ave., Anderson, 513-231-5357; 9246 Schultze Drive, West Chester, 513-942-6646. Open 7 days.