Pizza is at the top of most students' survival-kit necessities (along with beer, sleep, and coffee). Luckily, whether your tastes lean in the standard dough-sauce-cheese direction, or run toward the artisan variety, there's a pizza option for you in Portland. We've collected our top 10 favorites here (in no particular order), and make suggestions about when to visit each one.
Portland Pie Co.
51 York St | 207.772.1231 | PortlandPie.com
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Portland Pie is known for its flavored dough that comes laden with toppings. Local favorites include the Mount Katahdin (pesto, spinach, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes) and the Nor'easter (bleu cheese and spicy buffalo chicken). In addition to the sit-down establishment on York Street, there are outposts in Scarborough and Westbrook.
BEST FOR Lunch or dinner with the family.
72 Commercial St | 207.772.8777 | FlatbreadCompany.com
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Flatbread, with its waterfront location and cozy interior — sturdy wood tables with views of the signature wood-fired clay oven — is Portland's darling. The pizzas boast various permutations of homemade tomato sauce, nitrate-free meats, and local veggies and cheeses, and they pair well with the well-curated list of wines and beers on tap.
BEST FOR A night out with a group of friends.
46 Pine St | 207.347.8267 | BonoboPizza.com
WHAT IT'S ABOUT The pies at this artisan pizza restaurant in the West End are all approximately 13 inches, and come with decadent combinations of high-end ingredients. Try a Gruyere, with prosciutto, potatoes, spinach and leeks, gruyere and Parmesan, and roast garlic butter; or go meatless with the Smoky — roasted squash and onions, gorgonzola and Parmesan, leeks, and cream.
BEST FOR A low-key date.
177 Commercial St | 207.774.6166
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Greasy Greek-style, open late night. A utilitarian dining experience that is, most importantly, available in the heart of the Old Port until 2 am.
BEST FOR Soaking up that fifth whiskey-and-Coke.
Joe's New York Pizza
420 Fore St | 207.699.5559 | JoesNYPizza.com
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Joe's, which opened its local franchise earlier this year, says it makes a "traditional New York style pizza" — which means a thin crust made from bread flour, and wide, fold-able slices. We're not sure about its regional authenticity, but we can attest to fold-ability as well as generosity when it comes to toppings. There are usually at least five variations available by the slice.
BEST FOR A lunchtime slice.
415 Forest Ave | 207.775.4444 | LeonardosOnline.com
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Leonardo's toes the line between traditional and gourmet pizza. It's a delivery/carry-out operation, with chicken wings and cheesy breadsticks, that steps outside the pizza-parlor box with choices like Roasted Chicken BBQ (smothered in smoky-sweet barbecue sauce, balanced with red onions) and Asian Thai Vegetarian (with peanut sauce substituting for traditional red sauce).
BEST FOR Delivery fuel for a study-session marathon.