Flush with the success of their first restaurant, The Couch Tomato Cafe, business partners and college buddies Craig Mosmen and Michael Cassano have expanded their plant-themed empire with The Tomato Bistro. Situated in the Manayunk district among an array of boutiques, salons, and nightclubs, the comfortable yet formal dining space surrounds diners with loft seating, cut-stone walls, hardwood floors, and modern lighting fixtures.
The Bistro’s dinner menu is filled with thin-crust, New York style gourmet pizza creations topped in San Marzano sauces and Grande mozzarella cheese. Produce is ordered and prepared daily and used to cover pizzas, fill salads served with homemade dressings and rolls, and add splashes of color to otherwise lackluster chef uniforms. Gourmet small plates encourage sharing, while an intentionally limited menu of specialty pizzas, salads, wraps, paninis, and homemade soups allows The Tomato Bistro’s cooks to maintain a high level of quality.
Contrary to what its name may suggest, South Side Pizza offers a lot more than cheesy pies. Don’t get it wrong, though—the restaurant lures in most of its patrons with gourmet pies, such as the Southphilly pizza topped with steak, onions, and green peppers. But the eclectic menu also includes entrees to satisfy all kinds of comfort-food cravings, including fried chicken wings, crab cakes, chicken gyros, and tuna hoagies. South Side Pizza is open seven days a week and makes most deliveries in less than 45 minutes, perfect for catering impromptu Wednesday-afternoon Ninja Turtles parties.
Established in 1972 and now run by the third generation of its founding family, Uncle Tomy's Pizzeria fills its menu with comfort food such as pizzas, hoagies, and freshly fried sides. After hand-tossing disks of pizza dough, cooks layer each crust with sauce, cheese, and 11 regular or 12 gourmet toppings—which include prosciutto, eggplant, and diced chef's hat. Oven-baked fries and homemade meatball sandwiches round out the menu alongside orders of buffalo wings.
Piesmiths at Apollo Pizza partner an array of sides and salads with made-to-order pizzas slathered with sauce, covered in cheese, and polka-dotted with a potpourri of toppings. Descend fork first in to a chicken-caesar or greek salad before eschewing silverware to grab sides—such as onion rings, jalapeño poppers, or bacon-and-cheese-topped mega fries—with hands or telepathic mind powers. A serving of 10 buffalo wings smothered in sauce round out pre-main-course noshings before a fully customizable pie arrives at tables laden with four toppings plucked from a cache of more than 15 accouterments, including roasted peppers, ricotta cheese, and sausage. Throughout the meal, diners can split 2 liters of Coca-Cola, sipping it from individual glasses or, in accordance with Italian tradition, chugging it straight from the bottle while dancing the tarantella.
Gianfranco’s has been feeding famished Philadelphians fresh fare from their extensive menu of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and more for more than a decade. The aroma of Gianfranco’s specialty pizza pies—like the caper, anchovy, and romano puttanesca pie ($11+) or the aromatic broccoli rabe and garlic white pie ($10.50)—will summon the book club even more effectively than shining its Book Signal. Gianfranco's namesake pie ($18.50) blends prosciutto, salami, mushrooms, and onions, while Hawaiian pizza ($16.99) puts a grass skirt on the crust with pineapple, ham, and your choice of red or white sauce (additional toppings of coconut husks, gaudy shirts, and leis cost $2.50 each). Gianfranco’s selection of warm and cold sandwiches, calzones, veggie wraps, gyros, and burgers will supply even the most ardent pizza-protester with a satisfying supper of stromboli ($12.80+) or a midday meatball sandwich ($6.75) covered in your choice of cheese.
The calzone constructivists at D.P. Dough comfort stomachs 'til the wee hours of the morning every night, using made-to-order dough stuffed with a multitude of tasty ingredients. Topping a menu of more than 40 'zones ($6.85 each), and carefully chaperoned by sides of marinara sauce, are a bevy of breaded-bird beauties like the Chicken Parma-Zone and the bleu-cheese-bedecked Buffer Zone. Gift a generous green thumb with veggie variables like the Time Zone, which is a garden of peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheeses. Outside the doughy dimension, the baked D.P. Dough Wings let taste buds takeoff with six ($4.50) to 24 ($16.05) wings sheathed in hot sauce, barbecue, or ranch seasoning.