When you hear debates over which city has the best pizza, New York City, Chicago, Detroit and even Cleveland are usually at the top of most people’s list. But one city that rarely comes up in the whole best pizza debate is Philadelphia.
When someone tells you to head to Philly for a particular food, most of the time they’re talking cheesesteaks, hoagies, and water ice.
Now I know a lot of you guys are probably using profanity as you read this but I ask you bear with me.
Yes, I’m fully aware Philly has had a huge Italian population with many artisans expertly flinging dough in the air since the 1920’s.
And yes I’m also aware Philly originated the renowned tomato pie. But as someone who has a bunch of friends and family from Philly I’ve never heard them bragging about pizza. What can I tell you?
But thankfully my view completed changed when I decided to take a road trip down to the “City of Brotherly Love”. Now my original plan was to grab… you guessed it: some cheesesteaks.
Now, before I head to any city on a food run I make sure to do my research cause I’m not driving 100 miles to end up with a dud. So as I scoured the internet looking for the most top ranked cheesesteak, I noticed one spot in particular kept coming up. However, it wasn’t just their cheesesteaks racking up rave reviews. Surprisingly, folks were also gushing over their pizza. “Angelo’s!” they exclaimed, “You gotta go to Angelo’s!” Is what I read on most sites and forums I went on.
So I said “Angelo’s it is” and headed down the I-95 South to get some grub. Its current location on Ninth street opened its doors January 2019 after moving from Haddonfield, N.J. Owner Danny DiGiampietro decided to set up shop a few doors down from Sarcone’s Bakery owned by his wife’s family. This is also where Angelo’s gets the daily fresh baked bread for their sandwiches (genius).
I got to Angelo’s around 11:30 AM and the place was already busy. A bunch of customers were already waiting in the small ordering space by the register waiting for their names to be called.
Others waited outside at close attention. Now it was my turn to order. Like I said before I plan out all my details ahead of time so when the women at the cash register said next I was ready like George Costanza during his second visit to the “Soup Nazi”. One “Upside Down Jawn” with pepperoni and a “Cooper Sharp with”. Cooper sharp is the type of cheese and “with or without” refers to whether you want your cheesesteak with or without onions.
After paying for my order it was time to wait. I did what any food photographer does whilst waiting: I took some photos of the establishment. After about twenty-five grueling minutes I heard my name. Victory! But the games had just begun.
Right around the corner from Angelo’s Pizzeria there’s a nice park with a playground and baseball field. The perfect place to enjoy my goodies. But there is a process in enjoying this fare. Yup I planned that part out too.
I started with the pizza because I figured the cheesesteak would hold up longer plus I needed photos before the fresh basil leaves turned dark. A few snaps later and it was time for my first bite. I immediately knew I made the right choice with Angelo’s and by the second slice I was convinced it was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.
The crispy-airy dough, the sauce, the cheese. There was nothing I could complain about and trust me as a certified NYC pizza guy, I was looking for flaws. Next was the cheesesteak. And with my taste buds already reved up, that Cooper Sharp, put me in full melt down.
Thinly sliced high quality steak, creamy sharp cheese, sweet grilled onions on that freshly baked sesame bread from Sarcone’s. Another 10/10. I’m not gasing this place up either. It’s really that good. To be honest I’ve already started talking about my next trip to Philly and Angelo’s Pizzeria is at the top of the list.
So next time I find myself in a debate over pizza, I’ll happily make sure Philly gets thrown in the conversation.
736 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147