It's true what they say: There's no such thing as bad pizza. From thin-crust Roman style to deep-dish Chicago pizza, and every folded, stretched and topped variety in between, there's just something universally lovable about a fresh-baked pie. And by “something,” we mean cheese. And bread. And sauce. But you don't have to travel all the way to Italy to get a slice of pizza that even your nonna would respect — in fact, the San Fernando Valley offers plenty. Here are some of our favorites.
First things first: Lido Pizza is the type of place that Tony Soprano would have loved. Beckoning hungry patrons from the street, the spot's large sign and corner lot might bring people in, but they end up staying for the darkly lit interior and authentic ambiance. It's clear from the outset that this spot also doubles as a local watering hole. When we visited, there was an elderly couple downing a carafe of wine at 11:30 a.m. Enough said. If the decor seems like something out of The Sopranos, so does the pizza. True to their Italian roots, they don't sell slices, but honestly, there's no way one slice of this pizza would be enough. With 58 years of service under its belt, Lido Pizza has clearly refined and perfected its dough and sauce recipes, and created an authentic atmosphere that draws locals back time and time again. 15232 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys; (818) 781-2551, chichispizza.com.
Danielle's Wood-Fired Pizza
Tucked within a strip mall in Valley Village, Danielle's Wood-Fired Pizza is unassuming, with its humble ordering counter and limited seating. But a lot goes down in this New York–style pizzeria, including everything from the classics — like the pepperoni, perfectly crisped at the edges — to the gourmet BBQ chicken, Hawaiian and alfredo pies. Like all New York–style slices, Danielle's thin-crust pizzas are meant to be doused in chili flakes and folded in half — just as long as you don't dab the grease with napkins. Rookie move, man. Whether you're ordering a whole pie or a slice warmed up in the wood-fired oven, you can't go wrong with Danielle's take on NYC pizza — seriously, if you think there's better thin-crust slices in L.A., fuhgettaboutit. 4822 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village; (818) 980-8555, daniellespizza.com.
Napoli's Pizza Kitchen
Like most hole-in-the-wall spots, the quality of the pies at Napoli's Pizza Kitchen is certainly not indicated by the restaurant's exterior. Next to a laundromat on Burbank Boulevard, there's not much to see when walking up to Napoli's — but you're not here for the decor, you're here for the pizza. And good thing, because that's what Napoli's does best. As in, this is some of the best pizza in L.A. Though some may be disappointed they can't order by the slice, trust us: You won't be disappointed in ordering a full pie. If you're flying solo, order the mini, a perfectly personal size easily downed by one person. While the tomato sauce certainly does Italy's vines justice, the success of Napoli's pies lies primarily in the crust. The ideal balance of crunchy and chewy, the crust's bite is achievable only by people who know what they're doing in the kitchen. In short, this place is the real deal, and worth a trip to Sherman Oaks. 14831 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys; (818) 909-0100, napolispizzakitchen.com.