We may be known for our steaks, but Omaha has some serious pizza goodness going on. But who serves up the best pizza in Omaha? I rounded up some locals to share their favorite places to grab a slice to help you decide.
UPDATE: This post was first published in 2016, and was updated in September 2021 with new information. Also note that many pizza places may only be operating as a take-out joint during the pandemic. Call ahead.
If there’s only one type of food my whole family can agree on, it’s pizza. Every Friday is “Pizza Night,” and every so often, we’ll order pizza from a new-to-us place. That’s why I updated this post. We’ve tried A LOT of new pizza in the last four years, so it was time to add some names to the list.
I’ll start with my family’s favorite pizzas, and then add locals’ recommendations. Finally, if you love a good food competition, I share the Omaha Pizza Tourney, a 32-bracket elimination tournament based on readers’ votes. You probably won’t be surprised who won – they’re great!
My family’s favorite pizza shops
I’ll start things off. My all-time favorite is La Casa Pizzaria’s thin-crust margherita. I’m not even kidding, back in the day, after a long bike ride, I’ve nearly polished off a whole pizza myself. It’s that good.
The crust is ah-mazing too. The corner slices are the best because of the extra crust. If you balk at thin crust, you’ve never had La Casa thin crust.
The go-to pizza place for my family is Varsity/Roman Coin. For a while, it was the only place my kids chose for celebration dinners, like birthdays and First Communion. This is your standard pizza with just the right amount of crust and the right amount of toppings. Not too thick, not too thin.
Try the barbecue chicken pizza there. If you want to be indulgent, go with the Tommy Boy.
Update: The Dundee location to Varsity has closed in August 2021. The other locations remain open.
I’ve recently tried Copps Pizza Co., a favorite for Omaha foodies lately. It’s pretty good, and the barbecue chicken pizza tops Varsity’s. Why? It just might be the cream cheese sauce. And the bacon.
Now, my extended family is partial to Mangia Italiana. We’ve had Mangia take-out at family Christmas and we’ve had it at birthday parties.
Best wood-fired pizza you’ve got to try
In the last couple of years, wood-fire pizza has become the craze in Omaha (see example 1 and 2). If I had to choose two to recommend, I’d say Via Farina is a good choice, as is Dante Pizzeria Napoletana. Via Farina is just charming and chic and near one of my favorite theaters (The BlueBarn).
Dante is more of an all-around great Northern Italian restaurant and you might want to try one of their seasonal dishes over the pizza. *Might*
Must-try New York-style pizza
Some people love New York-style pizza. It’s not my go-to choice, but we do have some fantastic options if you’re an NY kinda pizza fan.
When I asked fans on different social platforms, Virtuoso Pizzeria in Benson was a resounding favorite from Twitter. And they pretty much told me it had to be added to the list. I’ve tried it, and I can confirm the Omaha Twitterverse isn’t steering you wrong here.
Frank’s Pizzeria in West Omaha is also a big winner with readers. My friend Jamie from The Kitchenarium says “For big groups or family gatherings, we like to pick up The Big Joe from Frank’s Pizzeria. We usually get the Meat Lover’s and for $60 we have fed 20+ people and had leftovers! It is delicious and a great economic choice.”
Omaha’s oldest pizzerias
A long-time player in Omaha’s food scene (actually, it’s THE longest-running restaurant), Orsi Italian Bakery & Pizzeria. It’s more of a take-out than dine-in kind of place. It’s thick, rectangular pizza that’s got a healthy amount of sauce on it.
She tells me they use different cheeses that just makes it better and the sauce has just the right flavor and isn’t chunky. As a bonus, it reheats well. She recommends the Hawaiian, but her husband goes for all-meat combos.
Bernie’s Original Pizza Parlor was once a big spot for pizza in Millard (AKA, West Omaha), opening in 1971. It has reopened by Bernie’s nephew, and using the same recipes, dishing out the thick-crusted pizza to new fans.
For more than 25 years, Mama’s Pizza has been dishing some really good pizza. They have three locations in Omaha, so there’s a good chance you’ve dined there if your child has ever played a team sport. The small arcade is a hit with kids, and keeps them distracted while the grown-ups sit and chat.
I tried it recently, and the crust is definitely unique among the pizza places on this list. I’m still partial to thin crust, but if love pizza that can hold all of its toppings without getting soggy or floppy, try this place.
More pizza recommendations from locals
Jamie for The Kitchenarium had another good recommendation, especially for anyone looking for gluten-free crust. “I think Pizzeria Davlo has the best gluten-free crust in town – Der Bamberg is what we order. Have to love sauerkraut on pizza!”
Pizzeria Davlo, by the way, is a Chicago-style pizzeria.
Going with a traditional Nebraska favorite, Lisa from The Walking Tourists suggested Valentino’s cheeseburger pizza (it’s cut into squares). It’s also one of the few local places that has a heart-shapped pizza on Valentine’s Day. There are seven locations in Omaha and Bellevue.
The Great Pizza Tournament of Omaha
In 2018, pizza got pretty competitive in Omaha with The Great Pizza Tournament. Things kicked off on the Oh My! Omaha Facebook page, with Twitter tweeps weighing in, also. See the brackets below.
We started off in head-to-head competition with 32 area restaurants. Sadly, quite a few restaurant in the tournament are no longer open.
Virtuoso vs. Night Flight
Noli’s vs. Big Fred’s
Pizza King vs. Papa Reno
Pitch vs. Sgt. Peffer’s
La Casa vs. Dudley’s
Don Carmelo’s vs. Brick Oven
Roman Coin vs. Pizza Counter
Pizzeria Davlo’s vs. Pudgy’s
Dante vs. Valentino’s
Lighthouse vs. Villagio
PizzaWest vs. Mama’s Pizza
Orsi’s vs. Ragazzi’s
Frank’s vs. Via Farina
Mangia Italiana vs. Piccaso’s
Zio’s vs. Tasty Pizza
Piezon’s vs. Johnny Sortino’s
After many weeks of competition, the winner was… Mangia Italiana.
Here’s how the brackets played out:
I highly recommend checking out the pizzerias in the tournament that you’ve never been to. You may find a new favorite!