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Top ten pizzas

Ten perfect South Sound pizzas

Cloverleaf bacon cheeseburger. Photos by Dutch Randall

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Everyone has one of those days when they just can't find the energy to make dinner at home. And an easy go-to always comes around to pizza ... it's fast, it's convenient, and it always hits the spot. However, there is no excuse for South Sounders to settle for cardboard freezer pizza, because there are so many fantastic options just minutes from where ever you are. All across the South Sound, if you know just where to look, you can find a fantastic pizza.

THE CLOVER LEAF PIZZA (6430 6th Ave. Tacoma, 253.565.1111)

The Clover Leaf on 6th Ave has been serving up tempting pizza choices since opening their doors in 1950.  With so many choices, it can be challenging to decide on just one pizza.  Nevertheless, you should skip the stress of trying to choose and go directly to the Bacon Cheeseburger pizza with special sauce, a blend of cheeses, burger, bacon, tomatoes, fresh onions, and even pickles.  The only thing missing is the sesame seed bun!  

AH BADABING PIZZA (5240 South Tacoma Way, 253.582.2170)

Ah Badabings' Carnivore pizza is heaped with pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, and ground beef. This is the pizza to get when you're truly ready to enjoy all that a pizza has to offer ... plus it's available in sizes 12 inches to 30 inches if you are with a larger party, or just really hungry.  Another reason to give Ah Badabings a try on payday is the military discount they offer.  You can't go wrong with a hearty pizza and a hearty discount to go with it.

Katie Downs' Sicilian

KATIE DOWNS (3211 Ruston Way, 253.756.0771)

No pizza tour is complete without a visit to Katie Downs Waterfront Tavern and Eatery.  The most popular pizza over the years has been the Sicilian for a reason.  The in house red sauce, spicy Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni and onions are nestled in the distinctive thick crust that has become a favorite in Tacoma for over 30 years.  Add a wide selection of Northwest beers, and Katie Downs will quickly be a new favorite.

DIRTY DAVE'S PIZZA (3939 Martin Way E., Olympia, 360.456.1560)

Dirty Dave's Pizza in Olympia not only has great pizza, it also has a great quirky atmosphere that is perfect for any family outing.  And at Dirty Dave's, the quirky doesn't end with the atmosphere, it serves up a 3-D pizza that takes a little extra time to prepare, but it worth every minute extra.  Dave's 3-D pizza is its own version of a pan pizza with your choice of 3 toppings and more than a pound of cheese.

Pacific Pizza's Chicken Supreme

PACIFIC PIZZA (9131 Veterans Dr. SW, Lakewood, 253.589.1111)

Though Pacific Pizza in Lakewood does not offer dine in service, the mom and pop quality pizza is worth the pick up or delivery.  One pizza unique to Pacific Pizza is the chicken supreme where the chicken is partnered with a white sauce, onions, artichoke hearts, bacon and extra cheese.  One pizza may not be enough once you get started on any of these pizzas.

The Hub's Rustica pizza.

THE HUB (203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma 253.683.4606 or 1208 26th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.853.1585)

I am not generally a fan of the standard vegetarian pizza offered  at most pizza joints, but The Hub, already well known for its pizzas, has several choices that are packed with flavor  and don't feel as if you are giving anything up.  My favorite Hub pizza just happens to be meatless ... very rare for me. The Rustica starts with marinara sauce and mozzarella, then topped with artichoke hearts, black olives, whole roasted garlic cloves and finished off with fresh basil.  The Rustica is packed with both flavor and texture that won't leave you wondering "where's the beef?"

Puget Sound Pizza's Meatball

PUGET SOUND PIZZA (317 S. 7th St., 253.383.4777)

Puget Sound Pizza has quickly become a Tacoma Downtown staple for locals that find themselves off the beaten path from Pacific Ave.  The hand rolled crust and fresh ingredients will keep them as a favorite destination for years to come.  With a variety of pizza combinations to choose from, you don't want to skip over the meatball pizza with its rich marinara sauce, house made meatballs, whole roasted garlic, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil and a balsamic reduction.  And if that's not enough to bring you down, perhaps the full bar complete with happy hour Tuesday through Thursday will do the trick.

FARRELLI'S (Lacey, Dupont, Sumner, Tacoma, Parkland, and Fredrickson)

As a supporter of community mom and pop shops for dining, I'm always hesitant to applaud the efforts of a chain, however, for a simple, basic, pepperoni pizza, Farrelli's just can't be beat.  The thin crust is always prepared just right, and if your favorite topping isn't pepperoni, then rest assured that any topping you choose will be equally satisfying.  A friendly staff and a fully stocked bar is also a nice addition.

PIZZA CASA (12924 Pacific Hwy. SW, Lakewood, 253.588.8135)

Anyone living and breathing in the South Sound has been biting their tongue wondering why I haven't mentioned Lakewood's Pizza Casa!  Well, rest assured people, Pizza Casa, established in 1958 and still thrives for a reason.  That reason is a dang good pizza!  Moreover, Pizza Casa is still family owned ... same family, just a second generation.  The pizza that stands alone here is the 10 item combo, yes, I said 10; Canadian bacon, onions, green peppers, beef, Italian sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, olives, salami, and cheese.  You will feel just like part of the family at each visit to Pizza Casa.

THE OLD SCHOOL PIZZERIA (108 Franklin St., Olympia, 360.786.9640)

Last but not least is The Old School Pizzeria in Olympia. In addition to the tempting choices of pizza offered here, it's affordable and fast, and if you have a family in tow ... you know just how important affordable and fast is!  Though the BBQ chicken is only available on Fridays, it is worth the wait during the long week.  An absolutely heavenly BBQ sauce topped with chicken, red onions and mozzarella, but with an Old School twist of fresh cilantro which makes this pizza stand out above other similar pizzerias.

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