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Open your pie hole

Ten places to stuff your face with pizza
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  August 26, 2009

Pizza is at the top of most students' survival-kit necessities (along with beer, sleep, and coffee). Luckily, whether your tastes lean in the standard dough-sauce-cheese direction, or run toward the artisan variety, there's a pizza option for you in Portland. We've collected our top 10 favorites here (in no particular order), and make suggestions about when to visit each one.

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Portland Pie Co.
51 York St | 207.772.1231 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Portland Pie is known for its flavored dough that comes laden with toppings. Local favorites include the Mount Katahdin (pesto, spinach, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes) and the Nor'easter (bleu cheese and spicy buffalo chicken). In addition to the sit-down establishment on York Street, there are outposts in Scarborough and Westbrook.

BEST FOR Lunch or dinner with the family.

Flatbread Company
72 Commercial St | 207.772.8777 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Flatbread, with its waterfront location and cozy interior — sturdy wood tables with views of the signature wood-fired clay oven — is Portland's darling. The pizzas boast various permutations of homemade tomato sauce, nitrate-free meats, and local veggies and cheeses, and they pair well with the well-curated list of wines and beers on tap.

BEST FOR A night out with a group of friends.

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Bonobo Pizza
46 Pine St | 207.347.8267 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT The pies at this artisan pizza restaurant in the West End are all approximately 13 inches, and come with decadent combinations of high-end ingredients. Try a Gruyere, with prosciutto, potatoes, spinach and leeks, gruyere and Parmesan, and roast garlic butter; or go meatless with the Smoky — roasted squash and onions, gorgonzola and Parmesan, leeks, and cream.

BEST FOR A low-key date.

Bill's Pizza
177 Commercial St | 207.774.6166

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Greasy Greek-style, open late night. A utilitarian dining experience that is, most importantly, available in the heart of the Old Port until 2 am.

BEST FOR Soaking up that fifth whiskey-and-Coke.

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Joe's New York Pizza
420 Fore St | 207.699.5559 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Joe's, which opened its local franchise earlier this year, says it makes a "traditional New York style pizza" — which means a thin crust made from bread flour, and wide, fold-able slices. We're not sure about its regional authenticity, but we can attest to fold-ability as well as generosity when it comes to toppings. There are usually at least five variations available by the slice.

BEST FOR A lunchtime slice.

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Leonardo's Pizza
415 Forest Ave | 207.775.4444 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Leonardo's toes the line between traditional and gourmet pizza. It's a delivery/carry-out operation, with chicken wings and cheesy breadsticks, that steps outside the pizza-parlor box with choices like Roasted Chicken BBQ (smothered in smoky-sweet barbecue sauce, balanced with red onions) and Asian Thai Vegetarian (with peanut sauce substituting for traditional red sauce).

BEST FOR Delivery fuel for a study-session marathon.

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40 Washington Ave | 207.772.0360 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT The dough here serves mostly as a vehicle for the toppings, which run from pulled pork and lamb to avocado, capers, and basil sauce. On their pizza list, as with the rest of their menu, Silly's caters to meat-lovers and meatless eaters alike.

BEST FOR Adventurous vegetarians, or vegans who miss their 'za.

Otto Pizza
576 Congress St | 207.773.7099

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This new pizza parlor is tiny, but its size belies its big flavors. The thin, crispy crust holds bold toppings — mashed potatoes and bacon on one, basil, mango, and peppers on another — that change according to what's available. Best part is, it's open until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

BEST FOR Show-goers seeking a pre- or post-show slice.

Anthony's Italian Kitchen
151 Middle St | 207.774.8668 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This local stalwart, situated between two other Portland landmarks, Videoport and Bull Moose Music, is a favorite among downtown office workers and community thespians both. The pizza is saucy, with thick crust and fairly traditional toppings. It's always served with a smile.

BEST FOR Mingling with lawyers, police officers, and performers.

Pizza Time
46 Veranda Street | 207.774.2222 | 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT A straightforward pizza joint, with fried chicken and "pizza bread slices." Delivers until midnight on Thursdays, and 1 am on Friday and Saturday.

BEST FOR Late-night delivery.

Deirdre Fulton could eat pizza for every meal. She can be reached at 

  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Culture and Lifestyle, Food and Cooking, Pizza Time,  More more >
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