For the last six years or so, The Daily Meal has put together a ranked guide to the top 101 pizzerias in the United States, mostly relying on input from their staffers and a group of regional food writers and other experts.
This year, two decade-old Portland pizzerias made the cut. And if you’re going to include only two — I could make arguments for at least a half dozen more — they probably made the right picks.
Two pizzerias might not seem like a lot, but when you consider how East Coast-focused the list is, it’s not that bad. More than half of the picks come from just three states, each with deep pizza roots concentrated in a handful of cities: New York (mostly New York City), Illinois (Chicago) and Connecticut (New Haven).
At No. 58 is Ken’s Artisan Pizza, which recently ranked at No. 1 in our recent survey the city’s 27 best wood-fired pizzerias. That’s impressive consistency from a restaurant that helped turn Portland from a pizza morass to our current cornucopia.
At No. 18 is Apizza Scholls, the beloved pizzeria from dough master Brian Spangler, arguably the best pizzeria north of Seattle. Like Ken’s, Apizza Scholls has been around for over a decade, first opening in the Washington County crossroads of Scholls before landing in its longtime home Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland.
Back in 2012, I ate at every pizzeria I could find in the Portland metro area, visiting wood-fired spots in Oregon City and red-sauce joints in Beaverton, hoping to find the city’s best. In the end, the choice was easy. Apizza Scholls was clearly Portland’s best pizzeria then, and despite an impressive crop of new challengers (Handsome Pizza, Pizzeria Otto and Pizza Jerk) it still is today.
A look at the cooks and bakers, artists and nerds who transformed the Portland area into a major stop on the pizza map.
— Michael Russell