OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for ordering a gigantic pizza to share with friends or family. But sometimes you’re flying solo when your pizza craving hits and you can’t take down an entire pie alone. Or you’re on the go and need something more portable than a giant box. Or maybe everyone wants to try different toppings and flavors.
Needless to say, it’s nice to have the option of ordering pizza by the slice.
Thankfully, Omaha has a number of standout joints that fit this exact need. To be clear, you can order entire pizzas at all five of these locations. But when you desire a slice or two (or three — no judgment here), these are your top options.
It’s a true joy to watch David Losole make pizza. One of only a few certified Pizzaiolos in the state, the owner of Virtuoso Pizzeria has made countless pizzas. Yet if you witness him artfully stretch the dough, carefully coat every ounce of the pie in pepperonis, and lovingly spin and shift each pizza around the oven, you’d believe every pie was his first.
And it shows in the final product, starting with the magnificent crust; it’s thin and airy, but definitely present. Virtuoso’s slices are foldable without being soggy, and the stone-baking process leaves some tasty charring. Virtuoso’s slices are simple — you can get cheese, pepperoni, or the daily special — but they allow the brilliant crust, creamy Wisconsin-based cheese, and sweet, acidic sauce to shine.
Because Virtuoso cuts 20” pies into six slices and serves them, the portions are massive, and one is often enough to tackle an appetite. Plus, an outdoor pick-up window allows you to have your slice within seconds without even entering the restaurant.
Owner Matt Vrzal is adamant in his belief that you can learn everything about a pizza joint by ordering a cheese pizza. This humble slice, unencumbered by proteins, veggies, or drizzles, allows the three most important aspects of pizza to shine: sauce, cheese, and crust.
“You cannot hide in a cheese,” Vrzal said on the Restaurant Hoppen podcast. “There’s nowhere to run. I can’t dress something up with a bunch of toppings and say, ‘Well, I hope he doesn’t notice this…’ ”
It’s no surprise, then, that Piezon’s NY-style slices excel in all three categories. The crust is thin yet firm, as the cooking process produces a nice crisp throughout. The sauce adds a nice sweet tang, and the cheese is present but not at all greasy. Piezon’s ability to consistently perfect the bedrocks of pizza construction set it apart from its peers.
And if you want more than cheese, sink your teeth into the Oh Mio Dio. With pepperoni, spicy shredded chicken, and cooling cream cheese dollops, it’s hands down one of the best slices in Omaha.
New York pizzerias like to claim that there’s something in the city’s water that helps create the iconic crispy yet foldable crusts that define its pizzas. Noli’s owner Joel Marsh is a believer; that’s why he brought a gallon of New York’s water to Omaha, had it analyzed at a water center for elements such as mineral content, and purchased a filtration system to most accurately mimic New York City’s water.
All the effort is worth it. The specialized water produces a stronger, tougher dough that, after a quick date with one of Noli’s 900-degree ovens, becomes a firm, chewy base upon which to build a pizza. The wood-fired cooking process produces brilliant charred spots and bubbles for bitterness and texture, respectively. Pair that crust with a tangy, vibrant red sauce and gooey, salty pops of mozzarella cheese and you’ll have an excellent slice, whether you customize or choose from one of Noli’s signature offerings.
When that craving for a simple, greasy, quintessential NY-style slice hits, Frank’s Pizzeria is one of your best options. As owner Matt Halligan told the Restaurant Hoppen podcast, “We are the pizza emoji.”
Frank’s pizzas are cooked in deck ovens, resulting in a crust that is firm on the edge, yet thin and pliable enough to be folded and eaten on the go. The slices are large (two to three slices is enough to quell most appetites), and every millimeter is covered with gooey buffalo mozzarella cheese. A tangy, zesty tomato sauce rounds out the experience.
Lighthouse Pizza & Fries
Two things immediately stand out about the slices at Lighthouse Pizza & Fries: size and customization. At around nine inches in diameter, these are the largest slices you’ll find in Omaha, massive enough to eclipse one’s face. And with two crusts (original or honey wheat), eight meats (bacon, Canadian bacon, hamburger, pepperoni, roast chicken, sausage, spicy chicken, chorizo) and 15 vegetables, six drizzles, and three different cheese crumbles, the customization options are practically endless.
But Lighthouse also offers signature slices with crazy yet balanced flavor combinations, from the Mac & Cheese to the Thai Chicken and Ed & Sal (bacon and parmesan garlic fries). But the best of the best is The Sparky, which pairs the sweet heat of Sparky’s sauce with huge pepperoni discs, sprinkles of Italian sausage, and little cream cheese asteroids to create an unforgettable slice.
These may be my personal favorites spots to grab a slice, but I want to hear your takes, too. Let me know about your favorite pizza spots by sending a message to @dan_hoppen on Instagram or @danhoppen on Twitter. I’m committed to experiencing all of Omaha’s best pizza, and I don’t want to miss out on any hidden gems!