OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's no secret that Omaha has some great dishes on the menu.
"So we are standing in front of Piezon's Pizzeria this is in my opinion one of the hands-down best places for pizza in Omaha. Specifically, I love it because you can get pizza by the slice here," said Restaurant Hoppen Podcast Host Dan Hoppen.
Hoppen knows a thing or two about the local food culture.
He hosts the weekly podcast "Restaurant Hoppen" where he and guests discuss everything related to Omaha restaurants and owners.
But like many of us, Dan has a soft spot for this iconic Italian dish. And he has a lot of things to say about Omaha's pizza scene.
"Omaha is an underrated pizza town and you can really find so many different styles. You can get your classic, New York. You can get some deep dish. You can get Sicilian. You can even get Detroit style now, shoutout to Backlot Tap House. There are places that even serve 'Omaha style' pizza which I don't know if that's really a thing but they claim to have it so there you go," he said.
And what makes a good pizza according to Dan?
"I think, and this is something the owner of Piezon's Matt Vrzal has told me many times. The indicator of a good slice of pizza or a good pizza place I should say is that they do cheese pizza very well. Because anybody can take a pizza, pile a bunch of toppings on it and like mask the base flavors. But what really makes great pizza is great crust, quality cheese and a really good sauce. If you can nail those three elements then you start stacking ingredients on top of it and you can still make good pizzas. But I think that if you don't have those three base layers down pat and down really well, it's very hard to have an upper echelon pizza," said Hoppen.
So who has the best pie in Omaha?
"Virtuoso Pizzeria is definitely up there among my favorite places to eat in the entire city. They have these giant 20 inch New York-style pizzas they make and they cut them into six slices, so the slices are just enormous. They're huge, they're really foldable. They have this really nice chewy crust. They're just darn near perfect," he said.
"Noli's is another one. Noli's owner, Joel Marsh he travels to New York frequently and he loves New York-style pizza so much that he actually flew up there and got some of their water. There's that classic New York phrase that New York pizza is so much better because of the special water. He got some of that water, brought it back here, had it analyzed, and then had a machine built so he could recreate that water with the same PH levels here in Omaha. And that's what makes Noli's dough now. So I think, I mean you can just tell there's a lot of dedication and a lot of care that goes into him crafting those pizzas," Hoppen said.
Dan also mentions Franks Pizzeria and Lighthouse with its face eclipsing nine-inch slices.
Frank's Owner Matt Halligan describes his pies as "the pizza emoji".
"It's just solid and consistent. In and out every single time," said Hoppen.
With such stellar reviews, it's hard to pick just one spot. So you better get to eating.