Best Game Day Pizza Joints Downtown
Tonight is the big night. The home opener: Browns vs. Bengals. The Battle of Ohio. And, although in-stadium attendance is limited to 6,000 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the need for game day pizza has never been as urgent. Whether you are attending this evening's game at Company A Stadium (formerly known as First Energy Stadium) or watching from the downtown bars, you are going to need a slice of za at some point.
After taste-testing all of downtown's go-to pizza joints, here are the five that you'll need for home games this season.
Related: If you missed it, here are the Best Game Day Wing Spots Around Cleveland.
Next Day Slice - Vincenza's Pizza & Pasta
603 Prospect Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44115
-Review: Vincenza's is an all-time Cleveland classic that knows how to make New York style pizza like no one else. Their pizza has thin and crispy crust with the perfect crunch, not too oily or saucy, yet just the right amount pepperoni. Available by the slice. Possibly the best slice in town.
-Why It's the go-to Next Day Slice: You need Vincenza's the morning AFTER the Browns ruin your evening for three reasons. First, you need this masterpiece when you are sober and can appreciate it. Second, you need a slice a perfection to remind you that, no matter how bad the boys played last night, there is still hope in this world. And most importantly/unfortunately, Vincenza's is only open on weekdays until 6:30PM. No late night or Sunday fundays.
The "Down by 32" Slice - Masthead Brewing Co.
1261 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114
-Review: Masthead might specialize in beer, but their pizza is likely their best product (and that's no knock on their brews). Only available in 12" pies, these Neapolitan pizzas have massive pepperonis and a nice doughy crust.
-Why It's the "Down by 32" Slice: When the Brownies are getting crushed, you are going to need several beers as soon as possible. As the only brewery on the list, Masthead (who makes some strong crafts) is the place to go. While their "Best Case Scenario" IPA (8.3% ABV) might not perfectly describe what you're feeling, throw in a full pie and at least you are making the best of a bad Browns situation.
"I Could Coach Better Than These Guys" Slice - Citizen Pie
2057 E 4th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
-Review: When you think of a "slice" of pizza, you probably do not envision a big rectangle. Well, that is exactly the type of slice that Citizen Pie makes, but it is an absolute winner. While not loaded with too much sauce or cheese, it is jam-packed with pepperoni. The crust is thick but delicious with a solid crunch. Available by the slice.
-Why It's the "I Could Coach Better Than These Guys" Slice: At least once (often several times) per game, every true Browns fan thinks, "MY LORD, I could coach better than these guys" out of frustration after yet another bone-headed fake punt play call. Citizen Pie has your back. Its brand is built around "revolution" and "pizza for the people." With their rectangle slices, they are not afraid to think a little different. Maybe it is time to overthrow the coaching staff and install some fans to call the shots...Regardless, no matter how many horrific play calls you've witnessed, a slice LOADED with pepp is always a strong play.
"Winner Winner Pizza Dinner" Slice - Pizza (216)
401 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114
-Review: Pizza (216) is another New York style joint that nears perfection on every important factor. The crust? Not too thick, not too thin, but just right with a crisp bite. The sauce? The best sauce on this list with an authentic Italian taste. The pepp? They take care of you (see picture to the left).
-Why It's the "Winner Winner Pizza Dinner" Slice: Every once in a while, the Browns pull off the unthinkable and you just need to reward yourself for all the pain you've endured. Pizza (216) is the place to savor the moment. It is a nice restaurant on Euclid where you can sit down, relax, and treat yourself to a high-quality pie.
Postgame Slice - Guys Pizza
538 East W Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114
-Review: Guys is the only delivery chain on this list, but these "guys" are local legends who also offer walk-in pizza by the slice. Though the crust can be tough sometimes, the rest of the pizza is fantastic. A unique sauce flavor with plenty of cheese and pepperonis.
-Why It's the go-to Postgame Slice: Win or lose, postgame pizza is a necessity. Guys is the only spot on the list that is open late (usually 1AM) to fulfill your needs around the clock. And, just as importantly, if you fall asleep only 3-5 slices through your pie, Guys pizza is just as good cold the next morning (we have tested this hypothesis on too many occasions to count).