If there were a pizza pilgrimage for lovers of “the Za,” a stop to the meccas New York and Chicago would be a must; however, those pilgrims’ judgment would come into question if South Philadelphia were not included on the journey. A South Philly pedestrian could stand on any corner in the city and find a good slice, but the favorite for locals south of City Hall has been City Pizza with its two locations at 2700 S. 16th St. and 100 Snyder Ave.
Assistant manager Dio Petril, son of City Pizza’s Marconi location owner Bob Petril, has a peculiar breakfast selection to make sure day-to-day quality stays at peak satisfaction as he went on to say, “There is nothing better than a plain cheese pie … I have a slice everyday just to see how it is that day. Does it taste right? What are the customers getting? You’re not doing it just because you’re hungry. You want to make sure that it tastes the same. Because the biggest part of this business is consistency.”
Though the City Pizza franchise sets out to master the simple things like a cheese pizza, the involved parties pride themselves on a collaborative effort that supports creative thinking. That creativity has overflowed onto their menu with different creations like the Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Pizza, the Breakfast Pizza, which comes with a dribble of maple syrup, and a Smothered Fries Pizza surely worth the clogged arteries. When explaining the thought process that goes into their specialty pizzas, Dio Petril said “Anything you can think of, you can make a pizza out of.”
With City Pizza’s varied approach on their namesake, it’s ironic their most popular pizza happened to be something as humble as their City Old Style Pizza, which calls back to pizza’s Mediterranean roots.
Runners up include Birra taking the second spot with Pizza Shack finishing in third. — J.F.