The best pizza in St. Paul tends to take on a traditional approach compared to its flashy, globally-influenced sister, Minneapolis where pizza is modern and experimental.
Instead, in St. Paul you’ll find new pizzerias elevating the classic and nostalgic Italian-American institutions bringing a good solid slice to the city. New York-style thin-crust, old-school American tavern pizzas and Sicilian pan pies are all on display in St. Paul’s best pizza places. Given the city’s proximity to Chicago, it’s no surprise that Chicago-style deep dish also makes frequent menu appearances.
While I can’t say St. Paul is typically my go-to locale for pizza in the Twin Cities, it isn’t without some good options (as a lifelong Cossetta’s patron, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t). Dig your teeth into the best pizza in St. Paul below.
I’ve only had the chance to review Cossetta’s, Davanni’s, Pizza Lucé, and Punch Pizza personally. The rest of these pizza places in St. Paul have strong customer reviews and come at the recommendation of friends, family, and other locals.
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961 Rice St, St Paul, MN 55117
Mama’s Pizza is a Saint Paul pizza classic. Opened in 1964, this long-running pizza joint is now a takeout-only establishment due to staffing shortages.
This Italian-American restaurant serves up old-school tavern-style pizza with a heavy, thick crust and heaping amounts of melted cheese. Slices are cut into squares rather than wedges.
You won’t find anything of those out there new school toppings here. Mama’s Pizza’s build-your-own approach offers all of the standard toppings like pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and olives. The restaurant’s signature pies, such as the Veggie Combo and Meat Combo, are also among standard pizzeria fare.
In addition to pizza, Mama’s Pizza offers Italian sandwiches, pasta like ravioli and spaghetti, and American dinners and sandwiches such as hamburgers, deep-fried fish, and jumbo shrimp. View the entire Mama’s Pizza menu here.
232 Cleveland Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104
This 70s-inspired pizzeria aims to bring East Coast pizza culture to the Twin Cities. Led by the team behind Estelle, Mario’s has already been hailed by some of the best pizza in St. Paul despite only opening its doors recently.
Ex-East Coasters claim Mario’s is one of the best things to happen to the Twin Cities. The modest pizza shop is one of the closest eateries Minnesota has to the East Coast’s brick-laden, down-to-earth pizzerias, and hoagie shops.
Pies are Sicilian pan pizzas (similar to Detroit-style pizza), and at just around $20, are reasonably priced for a fluffy pizza crust topped with artisanal ingredients.
There’s more to love about Mario’s than the pizza. Chef Evan Vranian his way through New York sandwich shops in the pursuit of finding an Italian white sesame seed bread that’s just right for the restaurant’s crispy sandwiches, which have helped put Mario’s on the map.
If there’s one menu item diners recommend, it’s the garlic cheese bread donuts. Cheesy, indulgent dough is surrounded by a crispy shell and dipped in ranch, reinventing the garlic breadstick found at classic pizza places. Other familiar pizza pairings are also on the menu, like buffalo chicken wings and a house salad.
211 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
“Surprise, surprise” is my boyfriend’s only response when I tell him that I need a Cossetta’s visit on my next trip back to Minnesota.
Call it Cossetta, Cossetta’s Italian Market and Pizzeria, Cossetta’s Alimentari, or anything in-between, I’ve been going to this Italian pizza institution in St. Paul for as long as I can remember, and won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Although the restaurant’s mostaccioli is my absolute favorite (I’ve tried and failed to replicate it at home), Cossetta’s is a favorite pizza place in the Twin Cities for classic Italian slices.
The flagship Italian restaurant of St. Paul isn’t just counter-serve pizza and pasta—Cossetta’s large space is complete with an Italian market selling fresh pasta, cheese, and other Italian groceries; along with Louis Ristorante and Bar, an elevated sit-down restaurant; and Frank’s Levee Tavern, a laid back pub for drinks before catching a Wild game or concert at nearby Xcel Energy Center.
Pizza is no-frills and traditional—it’s Italian comfort food for local crowds. The truffle oil and hot honey of more modern pizza places in the Twin Cities is a far cry from the pepperoni, cheese, sausage, and veggie slices at Cossetta’s. Pizza is sold by the pie or by the slice.
Don’t let the 300-person dining room fool you—Cossetta’s fills up quickly during peak hours, especially on game days. During warmer months, their large wraparound balcony is a favorite outdoor dining locale for locals.
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Big River Pizza
280 5th St E, St Paul, MN 55101
Conveniently located across the street from the St. Paul Farmers’ Market, Big River Pizza appropriately highlights organic, locally grown produce in its wood-fired pizzas.
The bright pizzeria is known for taking an elegant approach to favorite pizza through toppings like bacon jam, fennel sausage, and purple potatoes. While mozzarella cheese is on the menu, non-traditional pizza cheeses like gruyere, herb-whipped ricotta, and feta also make frequent appearances.
Pizzas are only offered in a 12” size, so come hungry. If you don’t want an entire pizza, Big River Pizza also offers pizza by the slice—a great option for the lunch crowd.
Italian Pie Shoppe
1670 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Serving both Chicago-style deep dish and New York-style thin-crust pizza, Italian Pie Shoppe has become synonymous with nostalgia for local diners that have been frequenting the popular pizza parlor for years.
Illuminated by a red neon sign, Italian Pie Shoppe sticks to straightforward Italian-American favorites, like Margherita pizza, baked spaghetti, lasagna, and Caesar salad.
I’d be lying if I said that Italian Pizza Shoppe is truly the best pizza in St. Paul (personally, I’m skeptical about having both thin-crust and deep-dish options), but I’ve been told that leaving off this homestyle local darling would be a grave mistake.
1183 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
Although it hails from Downtown Minneapolis originally (I won’t tell if you won’t), Pizza Lucé is some of the best pizza in St. Paul.
The local franchise’s St. Paul location on Selby Avenue is no different than their (many) others, servicing both familiar pizza pies and interesting new creations, like their Baked Potato Pizza complete with a side of sour cream. Buttery, garlicky mashed potatoes are slathered on top of pizza crust, and topped with broccoli, fresh diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and chopped bacon.
This late-night pizza joint also serves salads, hoagies, Italian-American appetizers, and even a special set of pizzas for weekend brunch. Breakfast favorites are given the pizza treatment such as the Everything Bagel Pizza, and Tots and Gravy Pizza.
Pizza Lucé is friendly towards common dietary restrictions like being vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Instead of just offering a few vegetarian or vegan options, Pizza Lucé often offers substitution options for non-veg dishes so vegans and vegetarians aren’t missing out on its core offering. A gluten-free version of the menu is also available.
For more on Pizza Lucé, read my guide to late-night food in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
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Grand Avenue: 769 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Highland Park: 704 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116
Ten additional locations across the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
It’s only appropriate that local family-owned pizza chain, Punch Neopolitan Pizza, has a couple of locations in St. Paul: Punch Pizza Grand Avenue and Punch Pizza Highland Park.
I’ve spoken on this wood-fired fast-casual pizza joint in my guide to the best pizza in Minneapolis and my roundup of top restaurants in Eden Prairie, so I’ll spare you another in-depth description of this beloved pizza chain.
What you should know about Punch is that it’s an all-around winner. Authentic Neopolitan pies, extremely fair pricing, and fair treatment of staff are all essential to Punch’s success.
Guests can choose to build their own pizza, or customize one of Punch Pizza’s carefully crafted signature pies (I go for the Adriatico, with the addition of artichokes). Punch’s Pulcinella, salad-stuffed focaccia, is a favorite for those in the know.
The casual approach to quality pizza makes Punch a no-brainer for families, the lunch crowd, and those looking for a good takeout spot in the Twin Cities.
Mucci’s Italian St. Paul
786 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
Diners across the Twin Cities flock to Mucci’s Italian for their pizza, but it’s probably not for reasons you think.
The inventive Italian restaurant fries its pizza dough before putting on marinara sauce and topping it, making for a crispy, crunch crust. This type of pizza is known as pizza montanara and hails from Sicily.
Toppings are well-considered blends of old and new. For example, the Maia is a gastronomic blend of gooey fontina cheese, brightened up by picked apricot, pistachio, and chive.
Diners in Saint Paul also frequent Mucci’s for their fluffy donuts, bucatini, and signature “hangover kale” plate. Pasta is just as popular as pizza here (if you’re dining with a companion, order one of each and share).
Davanni’s Pizza and Hot Hoagies
Saint Paul (St. Thomas): 41 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
East Saint Paul: 310 White Bear Ave, St Paul, MN 55106
Several additional locations across the Twin Cities.
Like Pizza Lucé and Punch, Davanni’s is right up there with the Twin Cities pizza chain staples.
While some pizza places in Saint Paul work to foster the spirit of the 70s, Davanni’s pays no mind. This pizza chain is the real 70s deal, opening its first location in 1975.
The decades-old pizza joint serves up deep-dish pizza, traditional crust pizza, thin-crust pizza, calzones, pasta, salads, and as the name suggests, hot hoagies. Multiple pizza sizes are available, Order a personal pizza if you’re dining solo, or go large enough to feed the whole family.
During graduation party season, I’d almost put money on getting an invitation with Davanni’s catering, The chain is a popular choice for corporate and event catering due to its abundance of locations, affordability, and ability to scale.
These days, ordering from Davanni’s is a choice of convenience. The franchise operates like a national pizza chain with much stronger quality than your average Papa John’s or Domino’s order.
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3150 Century Ave N, Mahtomedi, MN 55115
At Minnesota’s most competitive culinary fair, trying to take over diners’ stomach real estate from competitor vendors is a little like trying to open a restaurant in New York City—it requires something splashy.
Long before Rick’s Pizza made its State Fair splash with pickle pizza, QC Pizza put its humble pizzeria in Mahtomedi on the map with the Kinda Big Dill pizza, attracting crowds from all over the Cities and garnering the pizza parlor national attention.
Since, pickle pizza has become a Minnesota phenomenon, prompting pizza restaurants across the city to put their own spin on the new classic.
QC Pizza’s pickle pie is inspired by “Minnesota sushi,” a pickle spear covered in cream cheese, and wrapped in ham (for the record, I’ve never encountered this, but it does sound egregiously Minnesotan enough to be believable). The Kinda Big Dill pizza interprets this snack by lathering housemade garlic dill sauce on a pizza topped with 48-hour smoked butcher-cut Canadian bacon, crisp dill pickle chips, and the shop’s house mozzarella cheese.
Located in Mahtomedi, QC Pizza isn’t directly in St. Paul but is just a short drive north of the city. If the Kinda Big Dill pizza alone isn’t enough to entice you to make the drive, try some of the pizzeria’s other unusual creations like the Armadillo Egg Pizza, Chicken Wild Rice pizza, or Curd-A-Roni pizza (yes, pizza topped with cheese curds).
Zamboni’s Pizza Pub
184 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Conveniently located across from the Xcel Energy Center, Zamboni’s Pizza Pub exists for the purpose of feeding Minnesota’s passionate hockey crowd.
There’s no closer spot to grab a quality slice before or after heading into a Wild game or concert. Skip the frozen pizza inside the Xcel, you definitely won’t find anywhere inside the stadium serving up the crispy, thin-crust pizza filled with fresh toppings that Zamboni’s does.
Other popular menu items at Zamboni’s include their Toasted Ravioli and the Garlic Bomb Sandwich.
Allow plenty of time if you’re visiting before an event. Zamboni’s makes all their pizzas and plates fresh to order. With busy crowds, you may have a little bit of a wait.
Discover more amazing places to eat in the Twin Cities by clicking here.
Eva Phan is the founder of Eva Darling, a travel and style website aiming to empower women to see the world solo while sharing on-trend, luxury feminine style inspiration. Featured in publications including Forbes, Thrillist, and Yahoo News, Eva has combined her education from Parsons School of Design with her incurable case of the travel bug to create a global destination that encourages others to romanticize their everyday.