Best Brick Oven Pizzas In The Cleveland Area

August 22, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Brick-oven pizzas are a claim to fame. New York City thinks it has the best, while authentic restaurants in Italy may beg to differ. Fortunately, Clevelanders can chuckle to themselves because they have a secret. Brick-oven pizzas in Cleveland have been around for decades, have won multiple awards and accolades as recently as last year and are across the map, from the east side to the west. A brick-oven pizza is a masterpiece; a combination crust of chewy and crispy, melted cheese that strings to perfection and toppings as far as the eye can see. Find your closest brick-oven pizza and make tonight pizza night.
geracis Best Brick Oven Pizzas In The Cleveland Area

(credit: geracisrestaurant.net)

Geraci’s
2266 Warrensville Center Road
University Heights, OH 44118
(216) 382-5333
geracisrestaurant.net

The current and original owners of Geraci’s, Fran and Michael Geraci, have immense pride in their restaurant with good reason. For more than 50 years, Geraci’s has made authentic Italian meals in University Heights so tempting that it has actually made television history, appearing in “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network. The menu is crowded with appetizers, salads, pastas and various carnivorous dishes, but there is nothing more tempting than an original brick-oven pizza from this spot. The Traditional Pizza is a best seller. A thin or regular crust is hand tossed, covered with your choice of tempting ingredients and cooked until bubbling hot. Toppings can include Italian favorites like Italian Genoa salami or capicola. But hands down, the house favorite is the three-item combination of the Sicilian Red; a pizza with Geraci’s sauce and romano cheese, all topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni and capicola.

Related: Best Cold Treats In The Cleveland Area

buccis Best Brick Oven Pizzas In The Cleveland Area

(credit: buccis.net)

Bucci’s Brick Oven
13373 Smith Road
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
(440) 888-9800
buccis.net/brickoven

To find Bucci’s Brick Oven pizzas, you have to head into Middleburg Heights. Every other Bucci’s touts its own reputation and style. In Rocky River it offers steak and seafood and in Berea, fine dining is Bucci’s style, but in Middleburg Heights you have an authentic, homestyle wood-burning oven that creates pizzas worth multiple trips back. The menu hosts two classic pizzas; the Bianca and the Margherita. The Bianca is nothing more than the delicious ingredients of extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and mozzarella cheese, while the Margherita adds fresh sauce to mozzarella cheese and basil. After that, the pizza menu is up to you. Add your toppings from the gourmet section and pick from artichoke hearts, feta cheese or prosciutto ham. Or go for classic toppings like pepperoni, bell peppers or mushrooms.

crostatas Best Brick Oven Pizzas In The Cleveland Area

(credit: crostatas.com)

Crostatas Rustic Pizza
558 Bishop Road
Highland Heights, OH 44143
(440) 449-7800
crostatas.com

The taste of Crostatas’ pizza and sauce is so authentic that you may actually close your eyes and feel transported to the Old Country. If you can get past the pasta, zuppa and antipasti on the menu, you’ll find the pizze; a list of hand-tossed pizzas created into masterpieces. The Quattro Formaggio is a vegetarian lover’s dream topped with mozzarella, Grana Padano, ricotta and gorganzola cheeses. The Quattro Stagoni is a fresh and delicious alternative to a “simple” cheese pizza with salsiccia, artichokes, mushrooms and roasted peppers. But if you’re looking for something special, try the Alba; a pizza created with San Marzano tomatoes, capicola, arugula, fresh egg, Grana Padana and extra virgin olive oil. Get your Italian escape with every visit to Crostatas.

valentinospizza Best Brick Oven Pizzas In The Cleveland Area

(credit: Valentino’s Pizza/Facebook)

Valentino’s Pizza & Take-Out
2197 Murray Hill Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
(216) 795-0463
valentinospizzacleveland.com

Little Italy on Cleveland’s east side is a classic area; the main street is lined with deep-rooted, rustic Italian eateries and newer, more modern restaurants. If you need a brick-oven pizza with a superb price, pick Valentino’s Pizza. A brick oven in a family-run restaurant, Valentino’s makes the best even better. Toppings are meat based and the large pies max out at only $17. If you’re looking for what makes Valentino’s so good, order the White Pizza with garlic cream sauce and artichoke slices. If those toppings seem too slight, go with the Valentino’s Deluxe. This pie comes packed with just about everything: anchovies, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, kalamata olives and hot peppers.

barcento Best Brick Oven Pizzas In The Cleveland Area

(credit: barcento.com)

Bar Cento
1948 W 25th St
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 274-1010
barcento.com

There’s a reason Bar Cento was voted Best Pizza in Ohio by the Food Network; the brick oven. At Bar Cento, the brick oven makes pizzas into masterpieces and even works its magic on some entrees. Pizzas here range from traditional to modern, although you can create your own, too. If you’re feeling traditional, try the Olive pizza; olive tapenade, oven-dried tomatoes and mozzarella. If modern is more your style, than the Pork Sugo pizza with braised Ohio pork, caramelized onions, mozzarella, provolone and green tomato salsa verde should do the trick. Whatever you’re looking for in a pizza, Bar Cento has it.

Related: Best Bar Food In Cleveland

Marissa Burke is a happily adventurous wife, mother and runner. Living in Lakewood, Ohio she searches neighboring communities for exciting food and drinks that are good and good for you on the Cleveland area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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