MN’s Best Pizza Joints According to Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy
From worst to best, here are all 18 Minnesota pizzerias visited and ranked by Barstool Sports' Dave Portnoy.
Five years ago, Dave Portnoy -- founder of sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports -- got into an argument with a friend over what food they could each eat every day for the rest of their lives. Portnoy insisted he could eat pizza every day. To prove his point, he began eating pizza daily and sharing his reviews in videos online. The concept was simple -- one bite (he tends to break that rule), followed by immediate, unbiased feedback -- and the videos grew in popularity. He has since launched a pizza review internet show called One Bite with Davey Pageviews, an accompanying app and most recently his own line of frozen pizzas.
As part of his shtick, Portnoy visits pizza places whenever and wherever he travels, posting his reviews online. In many cases, the restaurants he visits see a big boost in traffic and sales afterwards (assuming he gives an above-average review). With a thriving sports culture, it's no surprise that Portnoy has spent some time in the Twin Cities and visited his fair share of local pizza joints. A select few earned the pizza guru's high praise, many he called good-but-not-great and one or two downright bombed (though perhaps at no fault of their own).
From worst to best, let's take a look at all the Minnesota pizzerias Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports has reviewed:
18. Cheetah Pizza (Edina)
It's almost unfair to even include Edina's Cheetah Pizza on Portnoy's list. As someone who prides himself in "unbiased" reviews, he dropped the ball on this one. Portnoy makes no effort to hide the fact that he's upset -- his football team the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles the day before. "I don't feel good," he complains. "Everyone knows how I make my living -- it's by watching the Pats, rooting for the Pats, bragging about the Pats. I don't know if you watched a little game called the Super Bowl -- we lost." He takes several lackluster bites of pizza before tossing it back into the styrofoam container. "A bunch of s***."
17. Fat Lorenzo's (Minneapolis)
This video review features former Miss Rhode Island, fashion influencer and TV personality Olivia Culpo. After chatting pizza for a bit (Culpo's dad owns a brick oven pizza place, and her family has a pizza pan that's been passed down two generations), they each bite in to "huge, deep, thick, falling-apart" slices of pizza. Neither are impressed. Culpo gives it a 5.8 before dropping her rating to "4 to 5." Portnoy gives it a 4.1, saying "This looks like something you could put into a snowball," as he folds it up into a doughy bundle in his fist.
16. Pizza Luce (Minneapolis)
One of his visits during Super Bowl 52 in 2018, Portnoy visited Pizza Luce in Minneapolis at the recommendation of many. Overall, he's underwhelmed. "I like Minnesota," he starts. "People who say Pizza Luce is good pizza, shame on them. This isn't good pizza. This pizza is, like, a 5.3. This isn't good pizza. Don't make me turn on you, Minnesota. Keep your pizza creds high."
15. Hello Pizza (Edina)
Edina's Hello Pizza earns a just-above-average rating despite initial criticisms from Portnoy. "Yeah, I had a feeling..." he says as he opens the pizza box. "Hut, hut. Hut, hut. This is football pizza. Blue 42, that's what this is." He goes on to criticize the pizza's smell and flop before admitting he's feeling pizza'd out. He notes the pizza's tangy sauce. "I don't know if it's good tang, bad tang, left tang, right tang. It's very basic pizza." Nonetheless, he gives Hello Pizza a 6.2 rating.
14. Broadway Pizza (Minneapolis)
"I don't like to judge people," Portnoy begins in his review of Broadway Pizza. "But that was straight Mexican," he says of his experience inside the restaurant. "I love Mexican culture. I watched [Coco] twice. But traditionally Italians make pizza." Unsure what to think of the multi-cultural pizza experience, he bites in. "Gets floppy quick," he notes. "Not bad, not great."
13. Dulano's Pizza (Minneapolis)
In this review, Portnoy is joined by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. "No pressure," Portnoy tells Mayfield as they bite in, "but the owner came over, he's like 'Hey, thanks for coming in. Hope you guys give my pizza -- my livelihood -- a good score.'" While Mayfield goes on to give Dulano's a solid 4.5 out of 5, Portnoy gives it a 6.3 out of 10. "This pizza place nobody recommended. I don't know why. It's just as good as 90% of the stuff we've had." So, 6.3 is actually a pretty good score.
12. Frank & Andreas Pizza (Minneapolis)
While in town for Super Bowl 52, Portnoy with special guest former Dallas Cowboy Emmet Smith stop by Frank & Andreas Pizza and Philly Cheesesteaks in Dinkytown. After Smith gives it a solid 8 rating, Portnoy gives it a 6.3. "It's a good slice, it's not a great slice. That's a professional score from a New York guy."
11. Broder's Cucina Italiana (Minneapolis)
An Italian market, deli and restaurant, Broder's is no stranger to celebrities. Portnoy gives a nod to celebrity restaurateur and food critic Guy Fieri who's also visited before. Portnoy begins by noting how slow the service was -- "It was the slowest service I've ever seen in my life. I mean, slow motion for one slice. I didn't know it was going to take five hours." He also notes how happy everybody was -- what he perceived to be "Minnesota Nice" -- and how delicious all the food looked. Biting in, his first observation is the grease. "It actually tastes like a New York slice." He rates it above-average at 6.6. "It's a decent slice. You better have nothing else on your schedule to go there, though."
10. Cossetta (St. Paul)
"This place is a mob scene," Portnoy says of Cossetta. "You know what it reminds me of in there? Italy. It's not just pizza -- they got everything." He goes on to give a mostly accurate history of the Twin Cities before biting into his slice of pizza. "It's a heavy slice," he notes first. "It's a Minnesota-mush bobsled slice." (We're not sure what that means, either, but apparently it's a good thing). "Very cheesy, feels like something I could get at a Minnesota Wild game" he continues before going on a brief rant about how he wishes the hockey team would change back to the North Stars." He settles on a 6.8 rating overall.
9. Punch Pizza (St. Paul)
Perhaps the only thing more impressive to Portnoy in this video than Punch Pizza's Neapolitan Pizza is the Christmas lights still up in February in St. Paul. "House after house after house after house after house...they're never taking their Christmas lights down! I've never seen anything like it!" Finally getting to the pizza, he's not blown away. "Neapolitan-style pizza, it all tastes the same. It's all, like, a 6.8. If you had one Neapolitan style, you've had them all."
8. Football Pizza (Minneapolis)
Football Pizza in Minneapolis was another one of Portnoy's Super Bowl week visits. He reads off the pizzeria's multiple awards before opening the box to find a surprise. "Oh, it's thin! Not what I would think when I think of football pizza." He takes several bites before reaffirming, "Yeah, it's football pizza. It's not great football pizza, but...6.8. Not great, I'll keep eating it."
7. Pizzeria Lola (Minneapolis)
While in Minnesota in 2019 for a Kyle Rudolph golf tournament, Portnoy visited Young Joni's sister pizza joint Pizzeria Lola. He doesn't actually have much to say about the pizza, spending most of the video instead showing off the 1977 Ford F150 Ranger he bought earlier that day.
6. Red's Savoy (Minneapolis)
This review features a guest appearance from Minnesota Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck. The pair stand outside of Red's Savoy in Minneapolis, arguing over whether pizza is better day of or second day (Fleck insists day after is the better). They go on to discuss the benefits of the pizza's small square slices (as opposed to traditional triangles) before offering up their reviews. Fleck gives it an 8.7, which Portnoy insists is "ridiculously high," giving it a 7.1 instead.
5. Red Wagon Pizza (Minneapolis)
Portnoy's first observation of Red Wagon Pizza (which follows several previous stops in the day) is that pizza pies in Minnesota are much smaller than those found elsewhere. That said, he's impressed by what he tastes. "Good. Good pizza," he says, nodding. "It's solid. Sauce leaves a little to be desired...it's basic." Basic, but good enough to be the fifth best he's had in Minnesota. "Minnesota, by the way, underrated pizza," he adds. "There's a lot of good pizza joints in Minnesota."
4. Mama's Pizza (St. Paul)
After again giving a brief (and not entirely accurate) history of Minnesota's Twin Cities, Portnoy first compliments the pizza box. "Oh, I like the box -- 'My heart belongs to Mama's,'" he says, reading it. After letting the pizza cool for just a bit, he takes a bite and seems immediately impressed. "I like how it's crisp. This is almost like more the Cossetta's style, and it's really cheesy, but there's no fluff." He takes several more bites."Really good. It's all personal taste thing. I'm more of the coal fire [Black Sheep] style, but if you like this style I could see why you'd be here."
3. Young Joni (Minneapolis)
Portnoy's review of Young Joni is off to a good start even before he tries the pizza as he compliments the restaurant's vibe. "I like it," he says, chewing his first bite. "This is by far the second best pizza in Minneapolis. Better than Black Sheep? No. Very good, would I ever complain about this? Not at all, I like it a lot."
2. Black Sheep Pizza (Minneapolis)
Inarguably Portnoy's favorite pizza in Minnesota, Black Sheep Pizza has become the standard by which he compares every other pizza he tries. "I want to be a messenger of good will," he says, "cause then we're going to be back here February 4th next year...Super Bowl...show me the best pizza so when all my brethren from Boston, Massachusetts and New England come to watch Tom Brady win number six, we can share the best pizza." Opening the box, he praises the pizza's structure ("No Great Lake flop there") and dripping cheese ("like a glacier"). "These people," Portnoy says of Minnesotans, "they get a bad reputation as simpletons, as Norsemen, as people who maybe couldn't make it in other cities so they come and they hide in the cold...No, this pizza plays in any city in this country."
1. Surly Brewing (St. Paul)
The only pizza to stand on par with Black Sheep's is Surly Brewing's, although Portnoy is reluctant to admit that it's better than Black Sheep's. "I f***ing love this place from the outside," he praises the enormous St. Paul taproom. He goes on to note the clever pizza names (such as Spicoli, McFly and Walter White) taken from movie and TV characters before biting in. "Very good," he admits. "I mean, it is very good. The atmosphere, A+. Black Sheep is my king of Minnesota...I know I love Black Sheep so I don't want to go higher than this, but I could eat the s*** out of this. I am going to eat the s*** out of this."
There you have it -- all 18 pizzerias in Minnesota visited by Barstool Sport's pizza guru Dave Portnoy. Have you been to any of these? What do you think of his reviews?