As soon as you enter Pizzata Pizzeria, a take–out joint just a couple blocks from Rittenhouse Square, its outstanding determination for the craft of pizza–making might not be readily apparent from their simple layout. A small bit of room with a mirror for one wall and a neon pink “Welcome Pizza Lovers” sign and disco ball on the other, the New York–style pizzeria didn’t bear its praise until I got closer to the register. Once I saw articles pinned up to the wall from Thrillist and Pizza Today, I started to understand the hype.

Photo: Andrew Yang

Pizzata Pizzeria is the creation of friends Davide Lubrano and Vinny Gallagher, both of whom have credentials in pizza–making. Lubrano was raised in Naples, Italy, by a family of pizzaiolos, eventually training at the Roman Pizza Academy in Miami. Gallagher trained himself in the art of pizza–making in his hometown of San Francisco. Later, he would go on to win the Neapolitan event at the 2019 Caputo Cup in Atlantic City, N.J. After meeting at Pizzadelphia in 2018, the two became friends. They collaborated in late 2020, a challenging experience due to the ongoing pandemic, to open up Pizzata. However, the grueling opening process paid off in spades with the pizzeria’s booming success. 

During Pizzata’s opening, Lubrano and Gallagher received their mid–pandemic help from other pizzerias and bakeries in the city. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of 20th Street Pizza, Pizza Shackamaxon, Angelo’s, and Mighty Bread. They helped get us open, get us through this. We all talk to each other in the pizza world,” Lubrano said in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine. Their appreciation for Philly shines through in their ingredients sourced from local bakeries and their merchandise—including a fan favorite shirt that reads “Crust the Process.”

Photo: Andrew Yang

Pizzata’s dishes start with naturally leavened dough, which is a testament to baked goods, the tradition of pizza–making, and their “gratitude to the inspiring pizza community and our Philadelphia neighbors for all their support,” per their website. Their unique take on dough is immediately apparent when digging into one of their pies, creating a crisp and satisfying sourdough base for the quality ingredients on top. 

Photo: Andrew Yang

After checking the menu for various red and white pies, many of which are based on classic recipes, it may be hard to determine which pizza sounds the best. Some unique toppings—hot honey, soppressata salami, burrata, Calabrian chili paste—find their way onto multiple options on the menu, making for a cohesive and exciting list for pizza lovers to choose from.

After hearing a few recommendations from the staff, I ordered the Calabrese, a red pie with mozzarella, pepperoni, long hots, the aforementioned Calabrian chili paste, burrata, and hot honey. When the pizza came out, I was immediately greeted with a savory aroma and a pie that looked even better. Trying the pizza was an even greater treat. Above the crisp and textured crust, the lightly sweet sauce and the accompanying ingredients combined for easily one of the best pizzas I’ve had in Philly.

Photo: Andrew Yang

Pizzata Pizzeria is quickly making a name for itself after two years of operation, and it’s easy to see why. From its successful and crafty founders who are passionate about their pies to delicious ingredients and authentic cooking, Pizzata is the perfect spot for great pizza in Center City, as well as inspiration for pizzaiolos here and beyond.

TL;DR: New York–style pick–up pizzeria with great dough and an even greater appreciation of pizza–making.

Location: 240 S. 22nd St.

Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (or until they sell out). Closed on Tuesdays.

Price: $$