10 Places for Creative Pizza in Columbus

By Mariah West

For nearly 30 years, foodies and local restaurants from around the city have gathered for the annual Slice of Columbus pizza festival, a celebration of all things cheesy that will return this Wednesday, September 13. In honor of the festivities, we wanted to give a nod to some of our own favorite pizzerias, particularly those that specialize in creative signature pies. Behold, the unique, unexpected, and undeniably delicious world of Columbus craft pizza, and ten places to try it.

 

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Harvest Pizzeria

With a dedication to organic & local ingredients, Harvest Pizzeria’s pies bring only the freshest flavors to their locations in German Village, Dublin, and Clintonville. All produce, dairy, and meat used on Harvest’s pies are sourced from Ohio farms, with the final product coming from a wood-gas hybrid oven.

The menu offers a lot for vegetarians, with signature pies like classic Vegetable, Mushroom, Almond Pesto, and Roasted Garlic pies, all prepared without meat. It also includes plenty of options for the carnivores out there; with favorites like the fully-loaded “Monaco,” which features salame Toscano, capicollo, pepperoni, bacon, and fennel sausage, the “Ohio Double Bacon,” the “Meatball,” and the “Spicy Yuma” with chorizo, jalapeno, corn, roasted red pepper, and chipotle tomato sauce.
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Mikey’s Late Night Slice

Other than the street meat carts that emerge after dark, Columbus is severely lacking in after-the-bar food options. This fact is what spawned the establishment of Mikey’s Late Night Slice, an effort that has truly filled the pizza-shaped hole in the city’s drunk munchie options. With locations all connected or adjacent to bars in the Short North Clintonville, and Downtown, Late Night has earned its stripes as a local pizza staple with its signature “Unicorn Sauce” (once known as the “Slut Sauce”), its “Cheezus Crust” cheese pizza sandwiches, and its eclectic Pizzas of the Week.

Although Mikey’s’ weekly featured pies are always changing and ever unpredictable, you can count on them to be especially creative. Past favorites have included collaborative pizzas like a Hot Chicken Takeover pie, a pork belly & shoulder and sausage-topped Ray Ray’s Hog Pit pizza, and an egg, bacon, maple, & streusel pie with breakfast blogger Doctor Breakfast. Other unique featured pies have included a Mac & Cheese ‘za, the “Bay Harbor Butcher” Cuban sandwich pizza, the “Punk Wok” Asian-inspired slice, and many more.
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Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza

Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza is about the music just as much as its Old World Neopolitan-style pizza, hosting live jazz, blues. & rock musicians almost every night of the week at its Worthington location. The local favorite also boasts cocktails & beer, and some of the best ‘za in town, using a high-temperature coal-fired oven to prepare their pies, which are made with sourdough crust, fresh house-made mozzarella, and sauces sourced from local farmers’ markets.

Signature pies include seasonal picks, classics like the “Pizza Blanco” white pizza, the “Cassanova” meat lover’s pizza, and the “Funky Funghi” mushroom & gorgonzola pie, plus more creative varieties like the “Bahn Mi,” which is topped with braised pork, pickled carrot & radish, and jalapeno, or the “Greenwich Village,” which pairs Italian sausage with roasted peppers & carmelized onions. Other varieties include toppings like smoked bacon & asparagus, coal-fired chicken breast & roasted peppers, and prosciutto with garlic & arugula.
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Yellow Brick Pizza

Downstairs from vintage pinball mecca Arcade Super Awesome is the Olde Towne East neighborhood eatery Yellow Brick Pizza. In addition to late hours, a large patio space, and nearly 100 craft beers, this laid-back joint offers a healthy menu of calzones, sides like wings and 6 flavors of tater tots, and of course, a variety of gourmet pizzas.

Alongside classics like the “Big Island” Hawaiian and “Flying Pig” meat lover’s pizzas are creative signatures like a “Chicken Parmesan” pie, and the “Elliot Smith,” which pairs thyme, green pear, and honey with bacon & cheese. Yellow Brick also specializes in spiciness, bringing the heat with pies like “The Jerk Chicken,” the “Spicy BBQ” and “Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder” pies, and the hot sauce-topped “Dante’s Inferno” and “Red Hot” varieities.
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Bono Pizza

Although not as well-known as some of the names on this list, the hole-in-the-wall Bono Pizza between campus & Upper Arlington sure packs a punch with its menu of 20 signature wood-fired pies.

In addition to classics like the Margherita, the “San Rolando” sausage, and a Five Cheese pie, the eatery includes many more unique combinations of ingredients. Specialties include the crowd favorite “Cherry Bomb,” which features Thai hot sauce & habanero peppers, the Southern France-inspired “TonnoBonno,” topped with a mustard base, imported cheese, capers, sour cream, tuna, and green & white onions, and the vegetarian-friendly “Hulk,” featuring house-made pesto, green onions, spinach, green peppers, green olives, zucchini, capers, artichoke hearts, and arugula.
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Paulie Gee’s

The Short North’s Paulie Gee’s is another lesser-known pizzeria that deserves a nod for its ingenuity. It offers one of the area’s largest menus of specialty pizza, with 20 different gourmet options of their wood-fired Neapolitan pies.

Apart from its selection of vegetarian pizzas, Paulie’s offers pies that are heavily centered on quality meats, with varieties like the Ray Ray’s BBQ collab, the “Hog Pit Brisket,” “The Katzingers,” which pairs pastrami and post-oven sauerkraut, the “Hellfire Porkpie White,” topped with hot sopressata & fennel sausage, and the “Mo Cheeks,” which features Berkshire guanciale, an Italian cured meat made from pork cheek. Also worthy of note are the maple syrup and bacon-topped “Monte Cristo,” and the “Cherry Jones,” which features dried Bing cherries and orange blossom honey.
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Pies & Pints

Pies & Pints is truly the beer lover’s pizza place, with over 150 varieties of craft brew at both locations in Short North and Easton. With endless options on tap, there’s bound to be a perfect beverage pairing with all 17 of the restaurant’s wildly unusual signature pizzas.

Pies & Pints gets inspiration for its pizzas from around the globe, with Italian classics like Margherita and a “Mozzarella Caprese” pie, a “Mediterranean Shrimp” pizza, a Thai variety with curry sauce, lime, and toasted coconut, and the “Cuban Pork” pie topped with pulled pork, jalapenos, pineapple, and carmelized onions. Also worthy of note are the unexpected “Grape & Gorgonzola,” “Sriracha Shrimp,” “Black Bean,” and “Chipotle Chicken” pies.
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Figlio Wood-Fired Pizza

Founded in 1991 by two OSU law school grads, Figlio has won the hearts of Columbus foodies with its authentic Italian pasta dishes and artisan wood-fired pizzas. It boasts two locations, one smaller eatery in Grandview and a larger space on the river in Upper Arlington equipped with a spacious patio.

The Figlio pizza menu offers 14 creative signature pies, including the traditional Five Cheese, Truffled Mushroom, and Margherita, as well as many unexpected varieties. Figlio’s more unique flavor combos include the “Sweet Corn & Chorizo” and “Pear and Brie” pies, and pizzas that feature ingredient pairings like Chicken & Avocado, Pistachios with Vermont Goat Cheese, and a Bourbon Barbeque Chicken, gouda, and pineapple variety.
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Dewey’s Pizza

Dewey’s has been a Midwestern favorite for years, with Central Ohio locations in Worthington, Dublin, and Grandview. Although we love Dewey’s for its simple build-your-own pies, its unique signature menu also deserves recognition.

Dewey’s’ specialties includes a plethora of creative twists on classic pizzas like the “Southwest BBQ Chicken,” which pairs smoked cheese with Amish chicken, black bean corn salsa, roasted peppers, and BBQ sauce, and “Socrates’ Revenge,” a Greek-inspired pie with olive oil, minced garlic, spinach, olives, onion, tomato, and fontina & feta cheeses. Other eclectic favorites include the chicken, bacon, & ranch-topped “Dr. Dre,” the “Meatball,” and the “Porky Fig,” which features a fig jam base, prosciutto, three cheeses, and carmellized red onions.
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Hounddog’s Three Degree Pizza

Hounddog’s Three Degree Pizza is another late-night favorite in the Clintonville area, connected to the Ravari Room bar and offering eats til 2am at their funky, mural-clad establishment. The location offers 24 beers on tap, sides like lasagna bites, nachos, wings, and sauerkraut, buffalo chicken, and spinach artichoke balls, as well as larger-than-life creative pizzas.

Favorites at Hounddog’s include the “Backyard Dog” veggie pie, the “Bacon Cheeseburger” and “Senor Dog Taco” pizzas, and the super spicy “Hot Mama,” which includes smoked and sliced hot Cajun links, ham, bacon, sauerkraut, and Hounddog’s’ signature “Howlin Hot” sauce.
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