The best thick crust pizza joints in Toronto make formidable slabs built for heavy lifting and budget cravings. Where weaker flaccid crusts flop under toppings and expectations and flap in the wind, their chunky slices are built for function, filling stomachs in just one or two servings and rendering forks and folds superfluous in the timeless struggle to get pizza portions down your mouth hole. Ranging in regional repertoire, this is your guide to thick crust slices all across the city.
CAMARRA’S PIZZERIA RESTAURANT | 2899 DUFFERIN ST.
First established in Italy in 1922, the Camarra family eventually brought their business to Toronto, opening the city’s second-ever pizzeria in September 1958. More than fifty years later, they still serve the same traditional full-crusted pizzas they first built their name on, using only fresh and natural ingredients, including imported parmigiano.
DANFORTH PIZZA HOUSE | 920 DANFORTH AVE.
Another Toronto institution with more than five decades under its belt, Danforth Pizza House has built a legacy around doing one thing very well: thick, round, unassuming handmade disks, heavily blanketed with cheese and generous cuts of your chosen basic toppings.
DESCENDANT | 1168 QUEEN ST. E
After tossing up thick slices at Danforth Pizza House, chef Christopher Getchell set his sights on Leslieville and opened Descendant, Toronto’s premiere place for Detroit-style pizza. In keeping with the Motor City pies baked in blue steel automotive parts pans, Descendant’s pizzas are square-shaped Sicilian slabs built for deep-dish, passionately filled with inventive toppings (pepperoni’s the standard, but you’ll find marmalade and roti here, too), sauce on top.
FIGO | 295 ADELAIDE ST. W
Thick crust doesn’t lend itself to many fancy applications in Toronto, but borrowing inspiration from classic Italian cuisine and filtering it through a taste for the contemporary, chef Anna Chen’s (Buca Yorkville) Figo bakes crusts that can support some pretty impressive helpings of seasonal toppings. Case in point: the cremini-maitake mushroom pizza also features a potato base, caramelized onions, cacciocavalo, watercress, and truffle oil.
LEVETTO | 68 SUDBURY ST., 940 COLLEGE ST.
With a couple locations throughout downtown and more on the way, Levetto specializes in thick but airy-crusted oblong Romana pizzas that are piled higher with impressive topping combinations like Portobello and oyster mushrooms with mascarpone and roasted garlic crema.
NODO | 2885 DUNDAS ST. W
Skim through the menu at this trendy Junction restaurant and you’ll find elegant, contemporary takes on Italian staples – thankfully, that doesn’t translate to delicate wafer pies that collapse under pressure. The pizzas here are available both as personal pizzette and long, thick-stretches meant for sharing. That includes a dozen classic and white pies, as well as a couple of chef’s creations that put truffle cream, wild mushrooms, honey, pear, and even corn to good work.
OLYMPIC 76 PIZZA CAFE | 8 GLOUCESTER ST.
Trafficking in the take-out classics you grew up loving, Olympic 76 was established 40 years ago, and it hasn’t made much effort change. Trends have fallen on deaf ears here, so there’s never been a question about switching to the thin crust craze sweeping the city; just good, honest house favourites built on thick, chewy crusts, no substitutions.
PIZZATHICK | 1026 QUEEN ST. E
Leslieville’s PizzaThick might be the closest Torontonians can get to Chicago-style pizza, but they’ll have to thank the prairies, too. It’s a cheese encrusted, topping-leaden deep-dish experience housed in a biscuit-style hybrid crust hailing from Regina.
(Main photo: PizzaThick)