After growing up on the East Coast and moving to Seattle in my 30s, my “sense” of what a decent slice of pizza probably leaned heavily towards the foldable, dab some oil off with a napkin, cooked just right pepperoni slice from one of the zillion corner pizza spots I was privy to. Having spent 3+ years in Seattle now, that’s definitely evolved and brought a better appreciation for pizzas of all shapes, sizes and styles.
Something I quickly found when arriving in Seattle was a predilection to consider pizza “good” if it cost $13-18 and had good ingredients. It’s still the case, and most restaurants are fairly deserving of being considered pretty solid in this area. That said, I’ve been absolutely shocked when the only “high end,” craft pizza, so to say, that people have had is from Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie. Hell, I gave it four stars in a Yelp review back in 2010 (and would still bring friends and family there) but after exploring no less than 7-10 well-crafted spots that have pizza in town, Serious Pie should definitely be visited, but it’s not the dominant player that people might perceive it as given the play it gets. (Also: location, location, location)
For me, not much of that similar “style” beats Alibi Room, all things considered – price, quality of ingredients, location, and so forth. Their Andouille sausage and peppers ($14.50, or about $7 on happy hour) would beat Serious Pie’s fennel sausage, peppers and provolone 10 out of 10 times in my experience. Aside from the fact that the HH / lunch portion is about the same size as the “full price” Serious Pie edition, there’s just something different about it, down to the tomato sauce can your pie is set atop at the bar. Plus, it’s always surprising as getout to people that Alibi Room rocks a pretty good set of pizza pies.
Personal favorites aside, though, there’s a whole lot to enjoy about Seattle pizza, even if you’re just trying it all out to trash talk your friends on “your style” or what your particular neighborhood favorite does with the crust. Some people like to order in their Pagliacci, others dig Zeeks, but has anyone outside of Cap Hill made their way to Hot Mama’s? After a fellow resident at the building I’d moved into found this gem, I had my New York-ish style pizza haven, just a few blocks’ walk. If that, or the late-night stylings of A Pizza Mart don’t get your pre-hangover blood flowing, you can always get in line and hang for Delancey, which was a meal I really enjoyed. This could turn into a crazy listing of pizza places, and I most certainly didn’t set out to create any sort of comprehensive list, just wanted to share a quick POV on what’s been a curious bit of exploration.
Net-net, while people like to trash talk the [insert food] scene in Seattle for just about any option, my advice would be to keep your eyes open, and don’t just stick with the crowd – or, in cases like Delancey, avoid the rumors in an effort to be a contrarian.