There’s a ton of pizza in this city. And it’s all really, really good– so good that Portland was recently called “the greatest pizza city in America.” The choices can seem overwhelming, especially when it’s 5 o’clock on a Friday and you’ve got hungry little mouths to feed. We asked pizza’s best critics– kids!– for their favorite spots to grab a slice in Portland. Read on for all the sizzling details.
New or Improved
Having just opened in August, this pizzeria has already won the hearts of Portland families with its delicious thin-crust New York style pizza, selection of beer wine, relaxed lunch and dinner hours– and a large dog-friendly back patio. (Oly was the name of the owners’ first dog.) A portion of the outdoor area is covered and heated, so you and your crew can even take advantage of the extra space during the rainy season. Kids love: The cute cartoon dogs on the menu, the housemade chocolate chip cookies. Parents love: Local beer on tap, being able to bring the family dog along.
5425 E. Burnside
This newly-opened branch of the popular Bay Area franchise is family-friendly without sacrificing style and flavor. Priding themselves on sustainable food choices, the Star serves both deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza as well as thin crust pizza, salads, and sandwiches. Large semi-circle booths and communal tables in the huge dining room make for a casual vibe. Kids love: The cheesy monkey bread. Parents love: The great selection of Oregon wine and beer.
1309 NW Hoyt St
Photo: Atlas Pizza via yelp
A well-known Portland pizza establishment, with locations on N. Killingsworth and SE Division, Atlas Pizza just opened a new location on Foster this summer, with a great kids’ play area in the front. There are plenty of pinball machines for the bigger kids, so grown-ups can relax and enjoy their classic pies, salads, and beverages. Be on the lookout for P.I.E nights (stands for Portland Invests in Education), when 20% of profits go to a chosen public school, or the free monthly craft nights at every location. Kids love: The stuffed pizza “knots” to dip in marinara sauce. Parents love: The old-school rock vibes.
6529 SE Foster Rd.
Photo: Pizzeria Otto via yelp
A little further down Foster Rd., near the Mercado, check out the newest branch of Otto’s– a Neapolitan-style pizzeria with wood-fired pizza oven and a casual, welcoming environment. Order at the counter while your littles watch the pizzas going in and coming out of the large tiled oven. Happy hour lasts from 11-5 every day, and there are plenty of coloring books, high chairs, and toys to keep little ones happy. Kids love: The personal, kids-size pizzas! They get to pick their own toppings. Parents love: Sophisticated options for toppings, unusual salads.
7122 SE Foster Rd.
6708 Sandy Blvd.
Photo: Mississippi Pizza via yelp
Known for Kid-Friendliness
Superb pizza and live kids’ entertainment almost every weekday? We’re there. Order up a sausage-and-ricotta pie and pesto kale salad for the growns to share, and a slice of plain cheese for your picky eater, then sit back and let your kids join the dance party. After school happy hour with $3 slices from 3-5 pm. Kids love: The dance parties. Parents love: The extensive vegan options.
3552 N. Mississippi Ave
Hands-down one of the most kid-friendly pizza shops around, Handsome Pizza has a great kids’ area with plenty of toys, while their wood-fired oven churns out pies with innovative flavor combinations. There’s also a slice menu, with cheese and pepperoni available every day alongside a rotating seasonal slice. Kids love: The pizza margherita. Parents love: The Colin Couch, a pizza with hot sauce.
1603 NE Killingsworth St.
Red Sauce Pizza
Roomy and airy, this pizza spot has a cabinet of games and toys to keep kids busy, and friendly table service. Dogs are welcome on the patio. In addition to their sourdough pizzas with unusual toppings (like chorizo sausage, pickled peppers, and black olives), they’re also serving their Sicilian-style pan pizzas again, plus a variety of sourdough breads. Any pizza can be made vegan. Kids love: The upside-down pizza sign outside. Parents love: The truly warm welcome.
4641 NE Fremont St
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty
Don’t let the fancy shindigs fool you: this popular, innovative pizza place welcomes children, with plenty of great toys for kids. Plus, the wood-fired pizzas are quite literally works of art. Order a pie topped with locally-sourced, seasonal delicacies (spring nettles and goat cheese anyone?) and grab a kid-size pizza margherita for the little ones. Kids love: The house-made ice cream. Parents love: Their commitment to 100% farm-fresh organic produce, and flour made from organic, Oregon-grown grains. Wow.
4039 N. Mississippi Ave.
East Glisan Pizza Lounge
On one side of this popular, Detroit-style pizzeria, kids can watch pizzas being made and cut to order. In addition to an extensive menu of their pan pizzas, East Glisan Pizza Lounge also has a large vegan menu to keep things fresh, with six specialty pizzas and a variety of salads. Make your own pizza and grab an order of the garlic parm breadsticks. Yum. Kids love: Watching pizzas being made. Parents love: Seeing their kids actually eat the veggies on their pizza.
8001 NE Glisan St
There are two locations to choose from with this funky pizza spot, recently crowned one of the 50 Best New Restaurants in the Country. An old-school pizzeria, this neighborhood favorite serves up classics reimagined alongside cast-iron pizzas. At the Cully location, kids can play vintage arcade games (Pac-Man anyone?) or head outdoors if it’s nice to the kids’ play area. Kids love: The pepperoni pizza, soft-serve, and strawberry milk. Parents love: The adult slushies, the punk rock feel.
621 SE Morrison St
5028 NE 42nd Ave
Photo: Stark Street Pizza Co. courtesy Melissa Poulin
Off the Beaten Path
Stark Street Pizza Co.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for an old-fashioned pizza parlor, complete with taxidermy, faded Persian carpet, and a game always on, Stark Street Pizza is for you. This is a classic old-Portland operation that’s been slinging crispy-crust New York style pies on the East side since 1965. Order your pizza at the bar, take a pass through the salad bar, then set your kids loose on the pinball and claw-machines while your pizza bakes. A giant taxidermied bear watches on from a large glass case near the salad bar. Oh, and there’s a large selection of beer on tap. Need we say more?
9234 SE Stark St.
This unassuming neighborhood spot in Hollywood doubles as a bottle shop (featuring affordable, carefully-selected wines), with American-style pizza featuring local seasonal ingredients. Friendly service and short wait times, a small selection of toys for kids to bring to the table, and patio seating during the summer combine to make this an easy choice for families. If you’ve got non-pizza eaters in your mix, you should definitely try the top-notch gnocchi during monthly gnocchi nights, so plan ahead. Kids love: Picking toys to bring to dinner. Parents love: Short lines, great food.
5222 NE Sacramento
Slice Pizza in the Zipper
If you haven’t yet made it to the Zipper– the large multi-restaurant complex housed in a wedge-shaped building at the center of Sandy Blvd– let Slice Pizza be your introduction. Their no-nonsense pizza by the slice is excellent. A large indoor seating area connects Slice Pizza with all the other options, like Tight Tacos, Korean ramen at Sari, and beautiful salads at Argentinean restaurant Boca Grande. While the Zipper has been called “the food court for grown-ups,” it’s also an excellent choice for kids. Kids love: The generous slices of cheese pizza. Parents Love: child-welcoming seating where the kids be their noisy selves.
2701 NE Sandy Blvd