The Ultimate Guide to Pizza in St. Pete/Clearwater

Pizza devotees wax poetic about thin crust vs. deep dish, Chicago vs. New York style. Whatever your preference, enjoy finding your new fave among the top pizza joints in St. Pete/Clearwater.

Small pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil

Sample crisp Roman-style pizza or the NY-apolitan hybrid at Jay Luigi in St. Pete.

It used to be that having a choice of pizza meant cheese or pepperoni. Nowadays, fresh, gourmet and sometimes unusual ingredients are combined in different styles and baked in a variety of ways. From longtime mom-and-pop businesses to innovative newcomers, great pizza joints can be found all over the area.



Fabrica Pizza, St. Pete

Fabrica Pizza owner holding pizzas in each hand.

Fabrica Pizza attracted international attention when it was listed as the 15th best pizzeria in the U.S. by the Naples-based website Its 12-inch, Neapolitan-style pies are hand-stretched and available in flavors both classic, such as margherita, and innovative, such as chorizo. They’re also available frozen to be baked later at home. 

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Madison Avenue Pizza, Dunedin

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Madison Avenue Pizza in Dunedin is home to the only table-top-covering, 32-inch pizza in the area. This casual, diner-style pizzeria uses only fresh ingredients, and its specialty, no surprise, is New York-style pizza. Varieties include an Angry Margherita and an Angry Pepperoni, both of which feature hot peppers and Calabrian chili oil in addition to other premium toppings.

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Gianni’s NY Pizza, St. Pete

Get the breath mints ready – Gianni’s has garlic knots that don’t spare the garlic. Its pizza, which was ranked in the top 10 in Florida by Big 7 Travel, comes in a unique, thick-crust, square version of New York-style pizza as well as personal, medium and large pies. Choose the South Philly, with sliced sirloin steak, caramelized onions, mozzarella and American cheese, or the Cosa Nostra, with Italian sausage, fire-roasted peppers, ricotta, pecorino cheese and fresh basil. 

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Jay Luigi, St. Pete

A square, thick-crust pizza with charred pepperoni

At Jay Luigi, choose NY-apolitan pizza topped with all-natural pepperoni. 

A casual but stylish restaurant in Old Northeast, Jay Luigi is unusual for serving the crisp, cracker-like crust of Roman-style pizza as well as a hybrid style it calls NY-apolitan. Both are made with dough that rises with the help of wild yeast. Pizza offerings lean toward the vegetarian and can come on a gluten-free crust, but also include house-made sausage, soppressata or Ezzo brand all-natural pepperoni.

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Pizza Box, St. Pete

Close-up of a pizza with fresh basil and a creamy sauce drizzled on top

Enjoy the subtle smoky flavor and sourdough crust at Pizza Box.

One way to think outside the (pizza) box is to change the way the pies are cooked. The method that fires up passions at this husband-and-wife-owned restaurant on Central Avenue is an oven that burns oak and cherry wood, infusing its food with a sweet, smoky flavor. The hand-thrown dough at Pizza Box is created with a century-old sourdough starter and topped with fresh local ingredients.

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The Nona Slice House, Safety Harbor

Square pizza in a pan on a red-checked tablecloth

Choose from three pizza varieties at The Nona Slice House in quaint Safety Harbor.

Instead of the traditional dinner and a show, The Nona Slice House offers great pizza and a show. At some point most evenings, owner and head pizzaiolo Jamie Culliton performs, twirling the pizza dough high in the air, often to live music. Culliton even won gold in freestyle acrobatics at the 2016 World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy. Pizza varieties are Olde World, (crunchy), Detroit (hand-tossed, chewy) and New York (thick crust, tall and square).

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Vito and Michael’s Pizzeria, St. Pete Beach

Behind a simple storefront on Blind Pass Road is a restaurant that has been serving great pizza and other Italian food at budget prices for more than 30 years. All of Vito and Michael’s pizzas are hand-spun. Varieties include the Parizzi vegetable, a thick crust covered with sautéed broccoli, spinach, eggplant, fresh mushrooms, pesto, plum tomatoes and a special cheese blend; and the Garbage, with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, green peppers, onions and mushrooms.

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Cappy's Pizzeria, St. Pete

A man serves a large pizza to a group outside of Cappy's Pizza in St. Pete

Cappy's in St. Pete, which specializes in deep-dish pizza, has received several "Best of the Bay" awards over the past 20 years.

In a charming old house that creaks with nostalgia and has a string of white lights draped over the front porch seating area, the straightforward, retro-inspired Cappy’s Pizzeria can’t be beat. At this link in a small local chain, you’ll find both East Coast and Midwest varieties. The New York-style pie is thin and chewy with a sweet tomato sauce. The Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza has a thick crust dusted with cornmeal and spicier tomato sauce. To wash it down, grab a beer from the self-serve cooler and a frosty mug from the freezer.

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Paul’s Chicago Pizza, St. Pete and Clearwater

Paul’s brings Chicago to Florida, with thin-crust pizzas made famous there as well as Italian beef (a Windy City delicacy) served on bread baked by a well-known Chicago bakery. Paul’s Clearwater restaurant offers stuffed pizzas. A favorite at both locations is the house pizza, topped with sausage, mushrooms, onion, black olives, tomato, fresh garlic, green pepper and pepperoni.

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Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria, St. Pete

Pedestrians walk through sidewalk restaurant tables and umbrellas

Located on Central Ave. in St. Pete's EDGE district, Bavaro's Pizza serves pizza prepared the traditional Italian way.

Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria imports its recipes, techniques and most of its ingredients straight from Italy to St. Pete’s Central Avenue. Bavaro’s prepares pizza in the traditional way that originated In Naples, Italy, more than 100 years ago: Its finely milled flour is mixed into dough, then shaped by hand and baked at 900 degrees for 90 seconds in wood-fired brick ovens. Bavaro’s also offers wood-fired bruschetta, homemade pastas and classic desserts.

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Ferg’s Pizza ATM, St. Pete

Outside Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill sits a large red box that serves up 12-inch cheese or pepperoni pizzas piping hot 24 hours a day just four minutes after a hungry customer places an order and pays $10 using its touchscreen. The pizzas are prepared by Ferg’s kitchen staff and loaded into the machine daily. The machine bakes the pies and spits them out in a cardboard to-go box. It’s popular after Ferg’s kitchen closes at 9 p.m. 

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Joey Brooklyn’s Famous Pizza Kitchen, St. Pete

Set in the heart of St. Pete’s bar, entertainment and restaurant district, Joey Brooklyn’s stays open until 3 a.m. daily to satisfy late-night appetites. Serving crispy-chewy New York-style pies, this popular restaurant has outgrown its space, so lines tend to form out the door. To help the hungry but indecisive, late-night options are kept to two: cheese or pepperoni. 

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Noble Crust, St. Pete

A pizza from Noble Crust with a lemon wedge on top

The pizza at Noble Crust features locally grown, seasonal ingredients.

This Italian-Southern (U.S.) pizza-pasta-etc. restaurant makes that unusual fusion seem utterly natural. Its pizza recipes hew toward the traditional, with the exception of two that include eggs – one sunny side up and one scrambled. With a menu that features locally grown, seasonal ingredients, Noble Crust presents a fresh take on traditional Italian fare. Its pizza was ranked 21st in the state by Big 7 Travel.

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The Violet Stone, St. Pete

While many pizzerias boast of long family traditions, the Violet Stone is new, taking an experimental, scientific approach to its food. During the pandemic, Dan Fekete worked from home, cooking for his wife and their infant daughter, Violet, and beginning his search for the perfect pizza recipe. The Violet Stone was born in late 2022 as a food truck with a wood-fired oven. Now its food is available, take-out only, from a storefront in St. Pete. It uses high-hydration dough, resulting in a crust that is simultaneously fluffy and crispy, chewy and crunchy. The couple created 50 recipes to arrive at the ideal sauce and uses fresh, house-made mozzarella.

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Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza, Clearwater

A pepperoni pizza from Cristino's Coal Oven Pizza

Cristino's Coal Oven Pizza showcases Italian roots in the technique used to make pizzas, old-world style, in a coal oven.

A cozy trattoria with a patio seating option and a warm vibe, Cristino’s Coal Oven Pizza is the local champion of a pizza-baking technique that uses high, dry heat and slightly longer cooking times, resulting in a crispy and charred outside and a chewy center. Cristino’s menu, which starts with five basic pizza varieties to which toppings are added, also includes pasta, paninis, panzerotti (which are like smaller calzones) and gelato.

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Frabotta’s Beach Kitchen, Madeira Beach

The standout features of the family-owned Frabotta's Beach Kitchen are its location across the street from the Gulf and its square, thick-crust Detroit-style pizza. The restaurant also makes hand-tossed round pizzas. Premium pizzas include the Diana, covered with pesto sauce, goat cheese, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, spinach and caramelized onions, and the Nicolina white pizza with mozzarella, prosciutto ham, shaved parmesan, arugula and balsamic glaze.

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Jack Pallino’s, Dunedin

This downtown Dunedin pizzeria and sports bar provides something for everyone: a long indoor bar for sports fans, a cozy indoor dining room and a large outdoor patio. Neapolitan-style pies are baked in the restaurant’s brick oven and given creative names and ingredients. Try the Three Little Pigs with pepperoni, soppressata and prosciutto; or the Friendly Fella with goat cheese, cremini mushrooms, pesto, garlic and mozzarella.

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Roundabout Pizza, Clearwater Beach

Roundabout Pizza is notable for several things, including its location – on the traffic circle where the causeway meets Clearwater Beach – and its owner – Baystar Restaurant Group, a local restaurant company of many cuisines and concepts. The company name inspired a unique pizza that’s folded into a star shape, with the points resembling stromboli. Its round pies include the Shrimp Louie, with basil ricotta pesto and spicy shrimp, and the Quattro Formaggi, with fresh ricotta, gorgonzola, parmesan and fresh mozzarella.

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Ozona Pizza, Palm Harbor

Set in Palm Harbor, north of Dunedin, Ozona Pizza is small, but its menu is immense, with many gluten-free, vegan, dairy-and-gluten free and even keto-friendly options. And who doesn’t love a place that has more than 20 flavors of garlic knots? Pizzas range from Gourmet Margherita and Mediterranean to Chicken Caesar and even include an apple cinnamon pie dessert pizza.

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Umberto’s of Long Island, Dunedin

Umberto’s began as the southern outpost of the Corteo family of proud restaurateurs. Their patriarch immigrated to the U.S. from a farm near Naples after World War II and in 1965 opened the original location in Hyde Park, Long Island. A son, Joe Corteo, opened the Dunedin Umberto’s in the early 1970s. After more than 50 years, Umberto’s still hand-tosses its dough, making it and its sauce fresh daily and baking its pizzas in a brick oven. Whether New York thin or Sicilian thick, the pies are coated liberally with your favorite toppings.

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Nicko’s Pizza and Subs, St. Pete

For Erin and Nick Faraone, Nicko’s Pizza and Subs is an homage to Nick’s father, who had a restaurant on Indian Rocks Beach for more than 40 years. Patrons at Nicko’s can enjoy one of its specialties, such as the Macho Man (pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, meatball and mozzarella) or the Buffalo Chicken (roasted chicken, homemade ranch dressing, gorgonzola crumbles, hot buffalo sauce, mozzarella and garlic butter sauce). Gluten-free crust is available.

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Momma Joan’s Kitchen, Largo

Likely the newest pizza purveyor in St. Pete/Clearwater, Momma Joan’s celebrated its grand opening in a strip shopping center on July 1, 2023. Sample a variety of hand-made pies or opt for its own unique version: a deep rectangle that one customer described as the result of a New York pie marrying a Chicago pie and others say is South Philly-style. The homemade sauce is sweet, and the crust is crispy-chewy. 

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Tommy’s Hideaway Wood Fired Pizza & Pub, Gulfport

Two married restaurateurs, one of them a 30-year veteran of major chains, opened this restaurant in a charming row of shops on Beach Boulevard. Their Neapolitan-style pizzas are baked in a wood-fired brick oven with high heat and a quick cooking time. Try the Burrata Pizza, Larisa’s Famous White Clam Pizza, Nana’s Meatball Ricotta Pizza or Carni Pizza with pepperoni, meatballs and sausage.

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Tony & Nello’s Southern Italian Cuisine & Grille, Tierra Verde

A family-run Italian restaurant with large portions and an extensive menu that includes Neapolitan-style and New York-style pizzas, Tony & Nello’s has called Tierra Verde home for nearly 40 years. The Cammarota family and its love of good food originated in a small seaside district of Naples, Italy. Look for uncommon toppings such as anchovies, salami, artichoke hearts, breaded eggplant, breaded chicken, portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp and prosciutto.

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Charlie & Millie’s Pizza Restaurant, Seminole

This family-owned business has been pleasing local diners with its thin-crust pizza at the same small building on Seminole Boulevard since 1954. Its menu is simple, with toppings including Canadian bacon, black olives, green olives, tomatoes, pineapple, pepperoncini, jalapenos, anchovies and oregano. The Alka-Seltzer Special comes with sausage, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives, green olives and anchovies.

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Fortunato’s Italian Pizzeria, Seminole

This home to hand-tossed, stone-baked, thin-crust pizza as well as deep-dish Sicilian-style pizza has been serving hungry patrons in Seminole for nearly 35 years. Its recipe for success continues to be good food with quality, fresh ingredients in a no-frills restaurant at a good price. In addition to classic pies, Fortunato’s offers specialty pizzas such as the Pizza Bianca, with ricotta, mozzarella, fresh garlic and olive oil, and the Mediterranean, featuring sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese and kalamata olives.

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About Our Writer:

Terry Galvin's ties to St. Pete tourism run deep and decades-long. His grandfather was a photographer who would roam the streets of St. Pete with a big camera around his neck, taking black-and-white photos of tourists, printing them overnight with “St. Petersburg, Florida” in the margin, and delivering them next morning to their hotels. His grandparents also managed the Alexander Hotel in the 500 block of Central Avenue in the 1960s. Terry grew up on the water in Largo, where he learned to love sailing. He has worked as a writer, designer and editor for the Virgin Islands Daily News and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. A resident of Sarasota with his wife and son, Terry enjoys sailing, rowing and bicycling.