Pizza in Maplewood

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More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half-century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.

1688 White Bear Ave N
Maplewood,
MN
US

The cooks at Restaurante La Laguna craft housemade Mexican dishes each day. They fill 14-inch flour tortillas with meats, mozzarella cheese, and fresh salsa for their signature burritos, and they serve skirt-steak strips with onions, tomato, and jalapeños to create another specialty, bistec a la Mexicana.

441 Robert St S
Saint Paul,
MN
US

When a national chain delivered him a pale imitation of a pizza, Eddie Lane thought, “I can do better than this.” The winner of more than 37 Minnesota State Fair ribbons put his money where his mouth was, laboring away until he perfected Pizza Three's stone-cooked thin-crust pies. Eddie and his culinary team craft more than 10 specialty, veggie, and chicken pizzas ranging from classic pepperoni to a loaded-baked-potato pizza topped with garlic mashed potatoes and bacon. Their culinary innovation extends to dessert with the s'mores pizza, a chocolate-, graham-cracker-, and marshmallow-topped pie that evokes memories of sitting around campfires in the Coliseum. Chefs also fold pizzas into calzones, douse wings in award-winning barbecue sauce, and whip up pastas from some of Eddie's Blue Ribbon–winning recipes.

1556 Selby Avenue
Saint Paul,
MN
US

Paisano’s Pizza's sauce slingers create the menu's specialty thin-crust pizzas, Stromboli, and hoagies. Breadsticks escort 16-inch signature pizzas ($19.99) such as the mediterranean pie, whose artichoke hearts sidle up to olives and feta, and whose sun-dried tomatoes resolve to avoid the sun during their next trip to the beach. The tuscan disk unites canadian bacon and fresh basil, and the taco specialty brims with tortilla chips and seasoned beef under a layer of cheddar. Bright yellow and green walls wrap around group tables, where diners can bite into hoagies ($7.29) and look out wide windows. A high red counter with individual seating supports original, vegetarian, or pepperoni Stromboli ($6.99), and allows guests to bring along their laptops, books, or imaginations.

619 Selby Ave
Saint Paul,
MN
US

Few Americans know this, but if a pizzeria has the V.P.N. stamp of approval, they have membership in an elite organization founded by Neapolitan pizzaiolis—that’s right, pizza makers. As a legal entity, it can give special recognition to pizzerias that follow strict guidelines when it comes to building their ovens and preparing their pizzas. By knowing who the Vera Pizza Napoletana is, you can better understand why Punch Neapolitan Pizza could be the best pizza place in Saint Paul. In 1996, John Soranno opened Punch and fulfilled a childhood dream (and probably the unrealized dream of many of his neighbors, too). In 2002, he opened his second restaurant with his business partner, John Puckett. All of the Push locations adhere to the same rules dictated by the Vera Pizza Napolentana, so customers know that when they dine with the Punch family, they are getting an authentic taste of Italy!

769 Grand Ave
Saint Paul,
MN
US

For over 50 years, Carbone’s Pizzeria has been treating Twin City residents to delicious food that fills the stomach and warms the spirit. For two generations, Carbone’s Pizzeria has everything from scratch – their dough, their sauce, their Italian sausage topping, even their hand-rolled meatballs. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, Carbone’s can still supply a tasty treat to make your taste buds stand up and sing. Pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups, and appetizers complement the menu and provide appetizing alternatives – and excellent additions – to their signature dish. For the best pizza in St. Paul, Minnesota, visit Carbone’s Pizzeria where their motto is: “Pizza As You Like It!”

1698 Randolph Ave
Saint Paul,
MN
US