Milwaukee is a charming, friendly, and budding metropolis on the western shore of Lake Michigan with wonderful parks, trails, and beaches. There’s also plenty of great Milwaukee pizza to try if you’re looking for a bite to eat!
With that in mind, I set out to find the best pizza in Milwaukee, as it’s one of the best examples of cheesy pub fare.
Milwaukee Pizza Shops
I have compiled an eclectic list of slice shops, pizzerias, and pizza pubs for you to capitalize on Milwaukee’s culinary claims to fame.
Balistreri’s Italian American Ristorante
812 N 68th St, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
Phone: (414) 475-1414
Family-owned and operated, Balistreri’s Italian American Ristorante is a charming, romantic eatery in the Wauwatosa suburb of Milwaukee.
With 50 years of serving excellent home-cooked Italian meals and award-winning thin-crust pizza, Balistreri’s is a favorite family-oriented spot for comforting Italian and American dishes.
They have daily specials like Friday Fish Fry, along with a full menu of pasta, sandwiches, and homemade ice cream floats for dessert. Their super thin-crusted pizza has perfectly light and crunchy crusts.
The specialty pies are typical Italian American creations like the Hawaiian or the works. The most adventurous pie is the anchovy pie.
5025 W Forest Home Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53219
Phone: (414) 543-4606
Another historic Milwaukee pizza joint, Maria’s Pizza opened its doors in 1957 in Greenfield before relocating to the current Lyons Park location inside an old 50s era limestone and wood house.
Maria and her three children opened the business, using Maria’s Italian heritage and passion for cooking to inform the proprietary thin-crust pizza that’s a Milwaukee favorite.
The quirky, old-school Italian American interior is a festive and inviting atmosphere to enjoy Maria’s signature pies. Small pizzas are circular and feed two people, while large pizzas are giant rectangles, and both come with a perfectly crisp crust.
I enjoyed the classic pepperoni supreme with cheese, sausage, mushroom, onions, black olives, green peppers, and onions.
3246 S 27th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215
Phone: (414) 645-2400
Located in Southgate, a few blocks from Kinnickinnic River Parkway, Ned’s Pizza is a long-standing and beloved pizza restaurant that opened in 1969.
Ned’s Pizza has had the same staff and owners since it opened that make you feel like part of the family when you dine in.
Ned’s Pizza is thin-crust pizza, using local Wisconsin-made mozzarella cheese and a unique red sauce using California tomatoes and a mysterious tangy flavor.
Dough and sauce is made fresh daily, using the same recipes that the staff has been preparing for the past 50 years. They have classic topping combos as well as a few interesting specialty pies that add even more tang and spice to the mix.
My favorite was the Triple P with pepperoni, pepperoncini, and pickles with a unique spice mixture sprinkled on top.
Zaffiro’s Pizza & Bar
1724 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 289-8776
Opened in 1954 by first-generation Italian American Bobby Zaffiro in Yankee Hill, Zaffiro’s Pizza and Bar is a true Italian American success story and a family effort since day one.
Bobby manned the bar while his brother John made the pizzas and pasta, using their mother’s recipes. Bobby and John’s legacy lives on through Bobby’s son Michael and his wife, who continue serving cocktails, craft beers, and award-winning pizza in a historic, old-school atmosphere.
The thin-crust pizza at Zaffiro’s consistently wins local diner’s choice awards, and the vast menu has Italian-style sandwiches, pasta, and fish fry baskets. What’s more, their delicious pizzas are surprisingly affordable.
My favorite is the Italian Veggie Supreme with mozzarella, onion, tomatoes, green peppers, green and black olives, mushrooms, artichokes, and roasted garlic with a house-made Italian dressing drizzle.
San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana
838 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: (414) 276-2876
San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana is an elegant yet inviting Neapolitan pizzeria and kitchen in the heart of Milwaukee’s Old World Third Street.
The sleek and modern dining room has an authentic imported Italian wood-fired Stefano Ferrara oven with a beautiful, tiled mural covering its dome-shaped exterior.
Chef Gino Fazzari adheres to strict VPN guidelines, baking Neapolitan pizzas at super-hot temperatures for a mere 70-90 seconds to create the characteristic bubbly char.
The authenticity and flavor of San Giorgio’s pies have gained accolades from the Milwaukee business journal, BizTimes, and Fox News Milwaukee.
My favorite pizza was the Genovese with a basil pesto base, Fiore di latte mozzarella, Grana Padano, Genoa salami, cherry tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil drizzle.
Santino’s Little Italy
352 E Stewart St, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone: (414) 897-7367
Located a quick walk from the Kinnickinnic River Bridge, Santino’s Little Italy is a cozy, romantic Italian eatery and wine bar with candle-lit tables, red booth seating, and rustic-chic décor.
Santino’s uses locally sourced ingredients as well as Italian imports to create an authentic menu of antipasti, salumi and cheese boards, salads, and authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas.
They have great Happy Hours with cheap house wine pours, draft beer, cocktails, and sangria every day between 4 and 6 pm. The classic Neapolitan pizza comes with traditional specialty pies, all elaborated with San Marzano tomato sauce and Italian imported meats and cheeses.
I recommend the Capricciosa with Italian ham, artichokes, black olives, mushrooms, and fresh mozzarella.
Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant
2995 S Clement Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone: (414) 431-1014
Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant is a classic Italian Trattoria in the picturesque Bay View neighborhood with a quaint old-world interior and charming street-side seating under vibrant hanging flowerpots.
Owned and operated by Italian natives Cesare and Antonia Tenuta, Tenuta’s uses locally sourced ingredients and extensive knowledge of regional Italian cuisine to provide customers with the most authentic Italian meal and atmosphere.
Tenuta’s has a full cocktail bar with an extensive wine list and artisanal beer on tap and bottled. The menu is a multi-course Italian meal with house-made antipasti, salads, pizzas, pasta, and entrees.
The pizza is Neapolitan-style with a thicker, bubblier outer edge. I recommend the Calabrese pizza with sausage, arugula, giardiniera, fresh mozzarella, and creamy vodka sauce.
3158 S Howell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone: (414) 384-8040
If you’re not in the know, you’ll likely miss this hidden gem of a pizza spot located in the back of a Bay View bar called The Bubbler.
Its intimate dining space opens out onto a lovely patio, making it a great spot for summer dining before heading to the bar in front.
Vinchi’s specializes in thin-crust pies with cracker-thin, super crispy crusts smothered in decadent portions of cheese.
Vinchi’s also has great Italian sandwiches with char-broiled steak and pork chops. Their Italian sausage is perfectly seasoned, so the Vinchi’s Special pizza with sausage mushroom and onions is the best choice.
Anodyne Coffee Company
2920 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone: (414) 489-0765
Anodyne Coffee Company is an independent artisanal coffee roaster, café, and coffee shop in a sunny, cozy spot in the Fernwood neighborhood.
They’re proudly locally owned, sourcing all their beans from rainforest-friendly, fair trade certified, organic coffee farms around the world.
They use locally sourced ingredients to make authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas that have become as coveted as their coffee. Moreover, every Thursday through Saturday, there’s live music at Anodyne Coffee, making them a great spot to enjoy pizza serenaded by jazz, acoustic, and local folk artists.
It was hard to pick a favorite pizza at Anodyne as they are all expertly crafted with the finest ingredients.
If I had to choose, I’d recommend the Quattro Stagione with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, marinated artichokes, fire-roasted mushrooms, and kalamata olives.
FIXTURE PIZZA PUB
623 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Phone: (414) 736-8709
Fixture Pizza Pub is a family-friendly, hip gastropub in a cool, industrial-chic urban space with exposed brick walls, old wood floors, and black and white photographs of old Milwaukee.
Located in Fernwood, Fixture Pizza Pub specializes in deep-dish pan pizza with hearty, multi-layered toppings, cheese, and sauces to soak up an equally robust selection of craft beer and cocktails.
Their pub menu has all the American favorites, from wings to sandwiches, along with some seriously delicious house-made potato chips.
They have thin-crust pizzas, but the deep dish is the pie to get. I went for the Great Lakes Distillery pie with extra red sauce, cream cheese, and pepperoni.
5601 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208
Phone: (414) 943-3278
Teetering between Wick Field and Quarry Heights, Wy’east Pizza is a gourmet Neapolitan-style pizzeria in a modest yet modern dining room with an open kitchen revealing a massive Italian-imported, tiled, and dome-shaped wood-fired oven.
The owners are well-known bakers who apply their passion to make special pizza dough using hand-stretching and long-fermentation techniques.
The gourmet selection of pies is a seasonally rotating menu of specialties along with tried-and-true Neapolitan classics like Margherita. The pizzas are perfect in their simplicity, using the highest-quality ingredients.
I loved the special Salmon Creek pie with garlic cream sauce, smoked salmon, fermented onion and lemon, and a blend of smoked fontina, mozzarella, and pecorino romano.
Alphonso’s The Original
1119 S 108th St, West Allis, WI 53214
Phone: (414) 755-0341
Located in the western suburb of West Allis, Alphonso’s The Original is a family-friendly, counter-service pizza joint with a lot of character and a great backstory.
Owners Tim and Corey’s long-time friend and Italian immigrant Alphonso took them on joy rides as kids and spoiled them with home-cooked Italian specialties.
He left the two his prized family recipes as part of his will when he passed in 2006, spawning the creation of Alphonso’s The Original.
Using Alphonso’s recipes, the pizza is a thin crust round cut into square slices with your choice of toppings. They’re most famous for their giant half-foot-long breaded mozzarella sticks, which are the best I’ve ever had.
842 N Old World 3rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: (414) 273-3236
Calderone Club is a casual, bustling old-school Italian restaurant in the Kilbourn Town neighborhood with checkered tablecloths and an award-winning authentic Italian menu that’s won TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and OnMilwaukee’s Best of Dining.
They make the best versions of classic Italian homemade recipes like fried eggplant parmesan, veal piccata, and meatballs, along with award-winning Milwaukee-style thin-crust pies.
The restaurant’s Chef Gino has a wealth of knowledge, including a Neapolitan thin-crust pizza
recipe that dates back to 1945. I recommend the classic Neapolitan favorite, the Margherita with San Marzano tomato sauce, for di latte mozzarella, Parmigiano, fresh basil, and olive oil drizzle.
Milwaukee Pizza Shops
- Balistreri’s Italian American Ristorante
- Maria’s Pizza
- Ned’s Pizza
- Zaffiro’s Pizza & Bar
- San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana
- Santino’s Little Italy
- Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant
- Vinchi’s Pizza
- Anodyne Coffee Company
- FIXTURE PIZZA PUB
- Wy’east Pizza
- Alphonso’s The Original
- Calderone Club
Whether you want an upscale Neapolitan eatery or a lively pizza pub, you’ll find the best pizza in Milwaukee on my list of pubs, restaurants, cafes, and counter-service pizza joints.
Most of them offer plenty of locally crafted beers along with locally sourced cheese to honor Milwaukee’s prized culinary contributions.
There’s a wealth of attractions that depict Milwaukee’s colorful past and world-famous cultural contributions. If you’re interested in history, the Milwaukee Public Museum has a life-sized model of old Milwaukee and another of an authentic European Village.
Milwaukee is also home to Harley Davidson, the world-famous motorcycle maker that opened its factory doors in 1903. Today the Harley Davidson Museum has hundreds of iconic models the company has created over the past century.
In addition, Milwaukee is perhaps most renowned for its beer and cheese. Its numerous breweries fuel a vibrant gastropub scene, where you can sample the finest brews and cheese-filled pub fare.
Enjoy all of Milwaukee’s delicacies, including the best Milwaukee pizza on your next visit!