The Five Best Thin-Crust Pizzas in St. Louis

Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this Gut Check series, we are chewing our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. To see hundreds more winners and finalists and download the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis mobile app, visit our Best of St. Louis homepage.

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Jennifer Silverberg
The Best Thin-Crust Pizza in St. Louis
​Want to start an argument in St. Louis? Declare any particular pizzeria the best. Heck, you don't even have to pick a specific restaurant, just a style: Neapolitan, New York, St. Louis.

So selecting the five strongest contenders, let alone the winner, for this category was quite the task. Somehow, I managed. Somehow, we managed. Here are the finalists for "Best Pizza (Thin Crust)" in St. Louis for 2011:

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Jennifer Silverberg
A pie goes into the oven at Peel.
​5.Peel Wood Fired Pizza (921 South Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-659-8561)

As its name implies, this Edwardsville restaurant employs a wood-burning oven to cook delicious, thin-crust pies. These pizzas can be basic (Margherita, pepperoni) or intriguingly odd (the "Hot Brown," modeled after the classic turkey sandwich), but for a taste of Peel at its best, try the elegant "Prosciutto" pizza, which has a base of roasted-garlic olive oil topped with prosciutto, fingerling potatoes, roasted garlic and Fontina and Parmesan cheeses.

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Kayci Merritte
A pizza at La Pizza
4. La Pizza (8137 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-1230)

A pizza to send expat East Coasters into a drooling reverie: thin but still chewy crust; gobs of molten whole-milk mozzarella blistered and browned; a gently seasoned sauce. A single slice of La Pizza is a filling meal, but I don't know anyone who stops after just a single slice.  The toppings aren't fancy -- capicola might be the most exotic one -- but you don't need fancy for a pizza this classic.

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Ian Froeb
A pizza with sausage and mushrooms from Pizza-a-Go-Go
3. Pizza-a-Go-Go (6703 Scanlan Avenue; 314-781-1234)

"That place...is a restaurant?" This is often the reaction when someone lays eyes for the first time on the squat little building that houses Pizza-a-Go-Go. This St. Louis institution, nearing its 50th birthday, whittles the restaurant-going experience to the bare essentials: Here are the tables, here is your pizza. And what a pizza -- simply gorgeous, great crust and sauce, with plenty of cheese and your favorite toppings.



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