best deep sea pizza in Seattle | Seattle Met
Pie Pepperoni Paint Job from Breezy Town.
You probably know this saying which compares pizza with, uh, adult relationships: even mediocre versions are still pretty good. But the deep dish reverses that paradigm: Apart from the most talented practitioners, thick-crusted pies can quickly turn into gut bombs of bland dough.
None of these pizza crimes appear on this list of Seattle’s best deep dishes, though you’ll find Chicago-style pies surrounded by crunchy cheese. For our purposes (and with apologies to purists), we’re counting Rome’s pizza al taglio-inspired loft squares. The nation’s recent obsession with the Detroit-inspired pie has certainly landed here, too. Now our inventory of the city’s best destinations for deep dishes.
The Chicago Cult
Windy Town Pie
Dave Lichterman is Seattle’s deep equivalent of that moment in Pleasantville when the black and white film bursts into color. The founder of Windy City left technology behind to apply his meticulous brain to a caliber of Chicago-style pizza this city had never seen: a Maillard reaction, sog-mitigating marvel. This guy was doing pre-orders and sidewalk transfers long before the pandemic. But now her pies anchor a low-key bar on Phinney Ridge, where 10 homemade topping combos liberally use sporting bell peppers, roasted garlic and candied bacon. (And a 12 inch pie really Is it that serve four voracious adults). Windy City just reopened for dinner, with slightly different requirements from county mandates: proof of vaccination for anyone 5 or older and reminders required for those who qualify.
Chicago West Pizza Company
West of Seattle/Delridge
The cornmeal-flecked Chicago pizza remains a rarity in this city; the best come from a commissioner’s kitchen in Delridge. Here, Shawn Millard hands out perfect rounds in the manuals to customers lucky enough to nab one of his 40 daily pies. Toppings like meatballs and ricotta, or Italian sausages with broccoli and roasted garlic hide beneath that placid marinara surface (you gotta love a pizzeria that lists the depth, as well as the diameter of its online pies). This spring, Millard will move into a real restaurant and increase its pizza production exponentially.
New York and Chicago pizzas share the same bill at a neighborhood parlor near the University Bridge that appears built for Little League afterparties. The main side of the menu includes 11 combos, ranging from a Ditka tribute topped with pineapple sausage to pepperoni. The pies arrive at the table in their round molds, with puffy ledges and a surface of thick tomato sauce. You can also order takeout or delivery via Caviar.
The California-based chain has a location on Ballard Avenue with the neighborhood’s standard aesthetic of old brick “been there forever,” plus covered outdoor tables to remind you, it’s definitely 2022. These are the kind of pies that put off deep-dish skeptics, given the big jerk of crust around the edges. But the online ordering interface is incredibly convenient (you can even specify if you want to pre-slice this pie) and slivers of fresh garlic and hot sauce keep the midsection of this pizza on point.
The Cult of Detroit
Pizza City Breezy
Windy City Pie used to be the best deep dish in town, until he created this destination for sourdough pies at the entrance to the Clock-Out Lounge. It’s all that good crunchy cheese, now with a saltier, slightly tangy crust, a style that hovers somewhere between Chicago and Detroit. The Pepperoni Paint Job, with its two layers of meat, is a great introduction, but the experimental specials, like the slices inspired by vegan reubens or quiche or everything bagels, are oddly wonderful.
The standard pizzas at this turbo-talented neighborhood restaurant are excellent. But the limited-edition square pies deserve pantheon status. Co-owner Jason Stoneburner spent most of his childhood in Detroit, emerging with an appreciation for the city’s square pizza pans and thick tomato sauce. But the nature of its chef also surfaces: Sunny Hill proofs the dough a bit longer to improve its texture and coats toppings like fennel sausage, soppressata and scallions. The Kitchen now sells nearly 50 a day, but online pre-orders are still selling out quickly. Ditto the large format version available on weekends. Please note: Sunny Hill technically has more seating on its terrace than inside.
West of Seattle
This pizzeria’s location — inside a tough little cottage tucked between a pair of mid-rises — isn’t even its most notable feature. No, these are Lee Kindell’s seven-by-nine-inch Detroit pies. The hand-mixed, high-hydration sourdough yields a crust that will blow your mind, but only in very limited quantities. The man blends his own cheese, sourcing real Wisconsin brick. Moto’s toppings are as insanely delicious as its location – kawali lechon with chimichurri, heaps of lemon-dill dungeness, clam chowder, or Harlem-style minced cheese sandwich toppings. Each month’s takeout slots reserve at speeds that make the hunt for a PCR test seem cold, so hover over Instagram and mark your calendars. (You can—and should—always pass for soft serve.)
One of Seattle’s naturally leavened pizzeria’s new-guard phenoms balances its seasonal toppings and signature crust with a deep alter ego. The kitchen made limited-edition “Sunday Squares” of Detroit-style pizzas that incited lineups on weekends. Now Cornelly bakes about a dozen deep pies every night. They are round and tall, filled with bubbles of flavor and air, as well as a crispy bottom. Attractive chunks of crispy cheese adorn the edges, rather than a full wall. It’s a sublimely “Seattle 2022” evolution of deep-dish. Unlike the old Sunday squares, you can order one online.
New Jersey via Rome
Dino Tomato Pie
Brandon Pettit can make cerebrally beautiful thin-crust pies across town in Delancey, but his Olive Way pizza bar (no miners, open until 2am) leans heavily on the chef’s Jersey roots: thick-crusted squares that riff on Sicily with a brilliant sauce, top-notch toppings and a high quotient of arctic char. Pettit’s pizza scholarship surfaces in these caramelized crusts, but Dino’s also makes thin pies, combining tavern vibes with high-quality cheese. Delivery is available through Grubhub.
Technically, specialty pizza squares in the dining room might not meet the height requirement to qualify as deep dishes. But…come to me, pizza police. Jason Stoneburner embraces the underrated genre of grandma-style pizza, a more rustic take on Sicilian pies. The steel-sided pans achieve an admirable crispness around the edges, and the batter aims for somewhere between nonna’s house and southern Italy. Squares of cheese or cupped pepperoni offer a single-serving alternative to more traditional pies on an extremely sensible menu of beer snacks. The covered patio is equally impressive.
It’s hard to find a prettier pizzeria than an Art Deco-era building with high ceilings, marble tables and a resplendent bar. Roman style pizza has the same appeal, well puffed, bubbling with enough air to taste like weightless bread. On top, salame and chili peppers, or maybe rosemary potato and pecorino showers. Pie rossa challenges a fundamental view of the world: maybe a great pizza doesn’t need cheese? Taglio offers most varieties by the slice, and chef James Lorimer’s pop-up Kilroy’s sprinkles New York-style pies amid their square brethren. (Online ordering is for Kilroy’s only; use the phone to request the Taglio pie to go.)
Renee Erickson has transplanted Rome’s boxy pizza culture to Seattle’s roundest landmark, namely a glamorous midcentury Jetsons haunt under the Amazon spheres. The menu centers on sturdy rectangular pies with understated fillings, equal parts classic (pepperoni, margherita) and seasonal (lemon leek, mozzarella and lime). Slice an entire pie with chic two-tone scissors or select individual squares from the glass display case by the door. Pizza anchors a full Ericksonian dinner menu of salads, small plates and secondi. The take-out menu even includes frozen pies to heat up at home.