As with almost any mid-sized city in America, Stamford, Connecticut has several pizzerias which locals will adamantly claim to be the area’s best. Each group will vehemently defend their particular favorite, often counting in its favor the exact qualities that another group will offer as evidence against the choice.
Depending on your preference for pizza style, though, there are a handful of establishments that most residents will agree at least belong on the short list of “Stamford’s best.”
Hope Pizza – 230 Hope Street
After nearly 20 years of weekly visits, I have gathered enough evidence to safely declare Hope Pizza my own personal favorite. The family-owned Greek-style restaurant has expanded over the years – from a tiny spot with a dozen tables and a perpetual line out the back door to a larger, more comfortable dining room that still has a line out the back door on weekend evenings. As with most pizzas, it’s the crust that sets these pies apart from others. The hand-tossed dough occupies the pizza sweet spot – smack dab between chewy and crispy. Quality toppings, the right ratio of sauce, and mounds of cheese – plus the friendly family atmosphere and the large percentage of regular customers passing along the “pizza night” tradition to new generations – all make for my well-researched choice as the city’s best.
Colony Grill – 172 Myrtle Avenue
Hard by Stamford’s vibrant downtown, but on the south side of the elevated I-95 highway, Colony Grill serves the crispiest pizza you might ever try. The cracker-thin crust – thinner, even, than the renowned New Haven style pizza – is unique. Amazingly, not even the plentiful cheese and toppings and the restaurant’s signature hot oil topping can make this crust the least bit soggy. The oil and the overflowing cheese combine in the ovens to make a one-of-a-kind flavorful, dark cheese ring around the outside of the pies that has a crunch of its own, and the pepperoni slices are the largest around that you’ve even seen. Parking can be a challenge at Colony Grill, but to those who swear by crackling-crusted pizza, it’s worth the effort.
Pellicci’s – 96 Stillwater Avenue
In Stamford’s west end, tucked away on a street that connects to the Boston Post Road, is Pellicci’s. Long one of the city’s favorite Italian restaurants, specializing in pastas, seafood and veal, Pellicci’s also features some of the area’s more imaginative pizza dishes – all brick-oven baked. “The Amalfi” features shrimp, clams, bacon, garlic, basil and crushed red pepper. “The Settefrate” is topped with sausage, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, garlic and basil.
122 Pizza Bistro – 122 Broad Street
In the heart of downtown, 122 Bistro offers a selection of gourmet pizzas to the movie and theater crowd. Toppings for the thin-crust pies include combinations such as roasted garlic chicken and onions, arugula, lettuce and radicchio with a vinaigrette dressing, or buffalo chicken and bleu cheese.