Seven pizzas, each from a different Edmonton pizza business were evaluated on August 23rd, 2019 at the Kick Point Pizza Penthouse. There were eight participants. Each individual participant was a self-proclaimed pizza expert.
On July 31st, 2019, Laura invited us to an event that would change our lives.
Earlier that day a few people were discussing what makes pizza good pizza. Is it sauce? Cheese? Ratios? And where does nostalgia factor in?
Jen went to a meeting and came back an hour later and was shocked to hear the conversation was still raging on. Everyone claimed that the conversation had in fact just picked up again, but either way, it led us to this:
We’re located above the Boston Pizza on Jasper Ave in Edmonton, so every day can be a pizza party at Kick Point. We’ve eaten a lot of Boston Pizza. A lot. There have been many double pepperoni pizzas ordered and countless cactus cuts have been consumed. We don’t even have to go outside! We have a staircase that opens into the restaurant entrance.
But there is so much more pizza in Edmonton! So we had a pizza party and everyone on the team ordered a pizza from their favourite place to decide which pizza would win the title of “Best Pizza We Ate Today”.
We ordered pizza from:
- Tony’s Pizza
- Panini’s Italian Cucina
- Dallas Pizza
- Artisti Pizzeria
- Leva Café
Everyone had a scorecard for each pizza and rated it based on cheese, sauce, base, and toppings for a total of 20 possible points.
Pizza: Donair Pizza
Nickname: “The Downtown Lunch”
Overall Score: 14/20
LOVEPIZZA is a place we frequent for lunch because of its close proximity to our office. We went there for a team lunch on Pi Day when they offered margherita pizzas for $3.14. Such a perfect promo! The donair pizza was their feature pizza in August and came topped with sweet sauce, donair beef, mozzarella cheese, white onion, and fresh tomato.
“I was desperate for more sauce.” –Jen
“Love the sweet sauce and crusty-ish base.” –Firdous
“Donair pizza is always good.” –Brittany
Pizza: Pizza Bianca
Nickname: “The Garlic Lover”
Overall Score: 17/20
Tony’s is known for their New York Style pizza — super thin and crispy crust cut into large slices. Most of us have had Tony’s Pizza before, so we knew they’d score high. The pizza bianca we ordered comes with mushrooms, garlic, mozzarella, Parmigiano, pecorino cheese, basil, and olive oil. This pizza got two 20/20 scores!
“Tony’s Pizza is the best.” –Dana
“Love the smell of this pizza.” –Brittany
“Flavour = awesome.” –Emma
Panini’s Italian Cucina
Pizza: Prosciutto Arugula
Nickname: “The Classic”
Overall Score: 15/20
Panini’s Italian Cucina offers a variety of Italian fare in addition to pizza, but we’re just here to judge their pizza. Our chosen pizza came with tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic reduction. If you love prosciutto you’ll love this pizza — it’s as simple as that.
“Nice sauce — a little sweet but not too much.” –Laura
“Toppings were the winner of the day.” –Emma
“Prosciutto + arugula = win.” –Brittany
Pizza: Pepperoni & Pineapple w/ Fresh Tomatoes
Nickname: “The Small Town Pizza”
Overall Score: 17/20
Dallas Pizza is a favourite of Jen and Emma’s because it’s got that doughy crust, tons of cheese, thick pepperoni vibe going. Most of us agreed that this style reminded us of our own favourite small town pizza joints. Pepperoni and pineapple isn’t a combo most of us have had before and — with the exception of Dana — we loved it!
“Pineapple, gross.” –Dana (who doesn’t know any better and wouldn’t even try it despite purchasing pizza for everyone else to try that had both fish and blue cheese on it)
“Made my heart feel like Friday. Which it is.” –Jen
“Golden joy.” –Emma
“Yes, just yes!” –Liz
“Pineapple. Yes. Pepperoni. Yes. All the cheese. Yes.” –Sarah
Pizza: Pizza Ragazzi (capicollo, capers, mushrooms topped with mozzarella & bocconcini cheese)
Nickname: “This Is Not My Order”
Overall Score: 13/20
We are big fans of Ragazzi for their pizza and their pasta (Laura has regular dreams about the carbonara). They are consistent and awesome, but somehow we ended up with the wrong pizza. Jen opened the box at the office and exclaimed, “This is not my order!” We’re curious to see whether Ragazzi would have scored higher if we’d gotten what Jen had planned for us. She actually ordered The Deluxe (prosciutto, Italian sausage, lightly layered mushrooms, and fresh artichoke hearts).
“Too limpy of a pizza.” –Liz
“Really, really delicious cheese.” –Laura
“NOT WHAT I ORDERED.” –Jen
Pizza: 4 Formaggi / Anchovy
Nickname: “The True Italian”
Overall Score: 13/20
Brittany is a big Artisti fan, but she is not a fan of anchovies or blue cheese. So when Dana brought in pizzas featuring both those ingredients, Brittany felt Artisti got sabotaged. Unfortunately most of us were inclined to agree and didn’t enjoy these as much as we might’ve. You can teach a person to fish but you can’t teach them to like it.
“Look. I like anchovies in stuff. Not on stuff. End of story.” –Jen
“Not too salty, good distribution.” –Dana
“That cheese though!” –Liz
“The anchovies were a bit too salty for me.” –Laura
Update: Artisti Pizza is now closed.
Nickname: “Darren’s Favourite”
Overall Score: 18/20
This was our winner and it almost didn’t even make it to the party. Darren from Whitespark gave us a hot tip to check out Leva after we talked about our pizza plans in our newsletter. We are so glad he did. This pizza knocked it out of the park! Everyone loved it. Flavourful and melty mozzarella, crispy but chewy crust… this was everything a pizza should be.
Thanks, Darren… and sorry we didn’t invite you.
“Plain Jane and I like it.” –Sarah
“Really good cheese and delicious sauce!!” –Laura
“I can always eat this.” –Firdous
That was a lot of pizza! We were stuffed, to say the least. Despite being in a pizza coma, we managed to decide upon a few awards.
Best Pizza We Ate Today
We saved the best for last — LEVA Café was the winner with 18/20 points! (However, since we’re digital marketers we have to point out that they don’t have a great online presence and no website. They just have a Facebook page and they aren’t on Instagram, which we think is a great platform for any restaurant business!)
Second place was a tie between Dallas Pizza and Tony’s Pizza, but both win for different reasons. Dallas is great for that nostalgic small town pizza with a thick layer of cheese and generous toppings, while Tony’s is just a great overall slice.
Best Pizza Box
The award for best box goes to LOVEPIZZA. We love their sleek white boxes with their bold logo. Almost every other pizza place relies on a plain white box — they need to step up their branding game!
Best Online Presence
Best online presence was a tie between Artisti and LOVEPIZZA.
LOVEPIZZA kills it on social media, with an active Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram presence. They take advantage of their super instagrammable product by consistently posting delicious looking shots. They also responded to our tweet with a tasteful pun. 10/10, would @ mention again.
Artisti’s website is clean and easy to navigate. It’s also got some personality and warmth. It looks like how a good pizzeria should look.
Our Pizza Dreams Came True
Our first annual pizza party was a huge success! We had a ton of fun and many of us walked away with new places to hit up when pizza cravings hit.
You tell us: where should we try pizza from next time? Did we miss the best slice in Edmonton?
Next testing party, my suggestion is:
Favoloso Italian Cafe and Pizzeria
13240 118 Ave NW, Edmonton
I like their pizza 🙂