Restaurant Guide 2013: Apizza Scholls

4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-1286,

[THE BEST PIZZA] Apizza Scholls makes platter-sized discs of dough topped with bright sauce, gooey cheese and an understated dash of toppings then fired in a super-hot electric oven until slightly charred. Sounds simple, right? Shouldn't every pizza place have pies this good? The star here is the New Haven-style Neo-Neapolitan crust, the product of obsessive genius Brian Spangler, an alchemy of flour and water made over the course of two days, which ends up crisp, tender and chewy all at once. Though it makes some of the best pizza on the West Coast, Scholls lacks any pretension. Donkey Kong and Galaga blink at the end of the bar, and you can mix and match toppings to customize your masterpiece using that sublime crust as a canvas, an option frustratingly rare in most of the city's hoity-toitier wood-oven establishments. Portland plays hosts to a number of great pizzerias—and I suppose personal preference could have you leaning toward Ken's—but objectively, Apizza Scholls is the best pizza in Portland, and arguably for 1,000 miles around Portland.

Ideal Meal: Caprese salad, a half Bacon Bianca and half Tre Colori pie, Manny's Pale Ale. Finally, the It's-It, a San Francisco classic chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwich that's simple and shockingly great.

Best Deal: The plain tomato pie, the cheapest entree at $19, has a boring name but is a feast in its own right. 

Pro Tip: Apizza Scholls offers takeout. You have to wait onsite, and you can't order over the phone, but you can pick up your pizza and take it home to give it a proper burial (in your tummy).

5-9:30 pm daily. $$.


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