It really is a great moment for pizza al taglio in Bologna. With “pizza by the slice” I mean both “pizza alla pala ” and “pizza in teglia“: they are not quite the same thing in terms of the oven they’re cooked in, details on the shape and leavening time, but ther are also many similarities. For instance they’re both from Rome, both rectangular-ish forms of pizza with a very hidrated dough and both, you got it, sold and eaten by the slice. Yes, I said “from Rome“: if your regular, round pizza is indeed from Naples, the rectangular tray of pizza to be sold by the slice is definitely a street food delicacy originating and flourishing in Rome. Luckily though, over the past few years it has become very popular in Bologna as well: when I wrote my first piece on pizza al taglio in Bologna years ago, it was still a relatively new phenomenon. Now it is a very well established reality and one that seems to be here to stay and delight our palates, with new shops and bakeries opening and much more choice. Hence the need of an updated list. Here it is: the top five pizzerie al taglio in Bologna. Go enjoy each one of them.
(Yes, I tried them all: what I wouldn’t do for my readers).
The first and still the best. The guys at Pizzartist are responsible for bringing to Bologna all the pizza al taglio craze, and continue to do a great job. Since the opening in 2012, the two original founders got married, the shop doubled (there’s one in the Uni area and one in Bolognina) and Pizzartist also won the Bologna episode of a reality show called Pizza Hero. They still offer delicious, diverse, creative, cheap, crunchy slices of pizza alla pala that are just unmissable.
New in town, just opened on Via Guerrazzi, Stecca Para is more than promising: its slices of pizza in teglia are as thin as Pizzartist’s and the flavours are rich and well balanced. I had a slice of white pizza with cheese, zucchini flower and fresh buffalo mozzarella that also had a gentle aftertaste of lemon zest that made it quite perfect. I also tried their “supplì” (another iconic street food of Rome, kind of a smaller and more delicate version of sicilian arancini, usually served before pizza on roman pizzerie) that were great.
One of those rare cases where a careful marketing strategy (pop graphics, postcards with puns, branded shirts, endorsements to cultural events) meets actual quality. Since its opening in 2015, Forno Brisa became a real institution in Bologna, with the shops on Via Castiglione and Via San Felice being added to the original shop&lab on Via Galliera. Pizza is not their only specialty (they bake a really good if slightly expensive bread and some super nice cakes and biscuits, as well as beeing among the few bolognese shops offering filter coffee), but it’s definitely on the forefront of their offer. Less varieties than, say, Pizzartist or Stecca Para and a softer and thicker consistency, they only use high quality flours from little producers and sourdough.
Here’s another champion for delicious pizza alla pala. The guys at Pistamentuccia also have a restaurant (a roman restaurant of course) on Via Testoni and launched their pizza in teglia shop in Via Riva Reno about a year ago, with great success. Despite not being my typical area of wandering, whenever I’m around I make sure I get myself a slice. Lovely, original pizza which goes from the more traditional “rossa” (red) and “con patate” (with rosemary and thin slices of potatoes) to more creative solutions.
Since its launch in December 18 Novanta6 became a solid reference point on the San Vitale area for all those craving that slice of roman-style pizza in teglia. Tasty, long leavened slices of a pretty nourishing pizza that can already make you feel full and satisfied with a couple of them, which is nice. They also are listed (just like Forno Brisa) in the Too Good To Go app, for the evening low-cost selling of last slices’ boxes.