Inside the ovens at Crazy Tomato, pizza crusts bubble up around an adventurous selection of toppings, including chopped steak, fries, roast beef, and feta cheese. Cheese-stuffed stromboli issue jets of steam across the pies and toasting sandwiches, which cooks scoop up to pack with dine-in, takeout, and delivery orders. Against the applause-like sound of crackling oil, fryers spill forth 1-pound servings of fries made exclusively from freshly cut potatoes shaped like Renaissance-era kings.
Yesterday’s dough doesn’t make the cut at Villa Roma Pizza. As they have since 1965, the staff at this eatery make dough for their pizzas and rolls fresh daily. They complement these Italian staples with a lengthy menu of favorites, such as lasagna, stromboli, meatball subs, and veal parmesan.
The friendly crew at The Wild Tomato Pizzeria slings flavorful pizzas, sandwiches, and salads made with natural ingredients, including vegetables grown in-house and whole-wheat dough. Cheesy disks come in specialty neopolitan and Chicago deep-dish form, from the Roma, with provolone, romano, and oregano ($8–$13.50), to the fungal disco favorite, Mushroom-O-Rama ($10–$16.50). Discover wonders of the oven in the fryer-free kitchen with crispy baked chicken wings ($8 for 12) or provolone- and marinara-topped baked meatballs ($5), before sampling sandwiches such as the vegetable, mozzarella, homemade pesto, and carnivore-pranking Veggie Weggie (half, $5.50; whole, $7.50). Wheat-allergy allies reside in the marinated chicken over gluten-free penne ($10), and the gluten-free crusted Spicy Amber pizza, covered in italian sausage and—like the Mona Lisa—painted with spicy red-pepper oil ($13).
Eddie and Enrico, proprietors of Ciao Pizzeria, invite customers to sink their teeth into their Italian-inspired food. New york–style pizzas can be ordered by the slice and topped with standard pepperoni and mushrooms. Pies also feature unique toppings such as taco seasoning and salsa, or buffalo chicken and blue cheese. Customers can sate themselves with hot and cold subs, as well as housemade Italian entrees such as fettuccine alfredo and eggplant parmesan.
Mangia! Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria serves a vast menu of Italian classics including pizza, pasta, seafood, and veal dishes. Begin with a cup of Italian wedding soup ($2.99), then conclude appetite consummation with a plate full of pillowy gnocchi ($11.99) under a warm alfredo-sauce blanket. A selection of seafood specialties arrives in nests of your favorite noodle, such as penne paired with salmon ($15.99). The White Delight pizza ($13.99 for 16"), allows guests to plunge fangs into a brick-oven-baked pie cloaked in chopped garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, broccoli, spinach, and tomato, a tastier way to repel smitten vampires than pelting them with veal steaks (the veal marsala is $15.49). After entrees disappear, silence your body's last remaining craving with a creamy homemade cannoli ($2.99).
When talking about his commitment to his store, Andrew Maggitti recalls the only day he didn’t open his shop himself¬—the day his son was born. But the new dad was back at it that very evening, overseeing the shop's daily bread kneading and sauce bottling to keep the goods flowing for his loyal customers. An award-winning executive chef and caterer, Andrew has cooked in restaurants across the country, but he seized the opportunity to showcase his passion for Old-World Italian cuisine when an old farmhouse in the area went up for sale.
Inspired by his Italian grandmother’s recipes, Andrew now rolls out meatballs and simmers from-scratch tomato sauce, helping the kitchens of locals to look and smell just like the ones he grew up in. Like the iconic delis of Baltimore’s Little Italy, he wraps capocollo subs in thick butcher’s paper and offers a small dining nook where customers can share his hot deli fare and whisper nutrition facts to one another. But it is the human bonds that come with being a part of his customer's lives, Andrew says, that ultimately connect his deli to its Old-World traditions. “Whether it’s me or my wife,” Andrew says, “you’ll always see a recognizable, smiling face when you walk in.”