National Pizza Month: Check out the Google reviewed pizzerias of Crestview, Destin, FWB, 30A
There is no pizza shortage in the Florida Panhandle.
October is National Pizza Month. And from Crestview to Destin to Fort Walton Beach to Scenic Highway 30A, there are plenty of Google-reviewed tasty spots to snag a pie – and all of them have a different take on the dish.
For instance, the secret sauce at Vitaliano Pizza Pasta & More is the sauce, more specifically, the timing of when it’s spread across a pizza, explained owners Giuseppe and Daniela Vitagliano.
“Many pizza makers - here and in Italy, too - first, they put the tomato sauce at the bottom, then the mozzarella, add the stuff,” Giuseppe said. “(In) Tramonti? No; first we put the mozzarella, then the tomato at the end. If you put the tomato (sauce) on the bottom - and maybe you have six (to) 10 pizzas all together to put in the pizza oven - the bottom will become wet – too (soggy). If you put it on the top, the tomato will cook well.”
Giuseppe references Tramonti, a small town in Italy that he suspects is packed with more pizza makers per square foot than any city in the world. His father was born there.
Giuseppe has practically been making pizza since birth. His father opened a restaurant in 1962, and their family still runs it in Italy.
The couple moved to the U.S. in 2012.
“It was a dream for me,” Giuseppe said. “To do something by myself – new country, new culture, language, everything new.”
They first opened two restaurants in California, then decided to switch it up (plus, they like the beach better in Northwest Florida). They opened up their Crestview location in May of 2018.
“I put my finger on the map and said, ‘OK, Emerald Coast is good,’” Giuseppe said.
They are both glad they chose Crestview.
“The community here in Crestview is amazing,” Giuseppe said. “Very, very good people.”
“They supported us, even when we did only take-out,” Daniela added.
Vitaliano offers a 13-inch traditional Naples-style pizza that he makes in a pizza oven he imported from Verona, a city in northern Italy. Giuseppe admits he has had to “Americanize” the recipe a bit because of access to ingredients. COVID-19 has only made that more difficult; they can no longer offer Italian wines and beers.
Their most popular pizzas are meat lovers, which has sausage, pepperoni and chicken; margherita, which has tomato, mozzarella and basil; and, of course, pepperoni. When they first moved to the U.S., the two didn’t realize when Americans ordered pepperoni, they meant spicy salami; in Italy, pepperoni is a type of green bell pepper, they said with a laugh.
Another new request for the Italian natives was to add chicken on pizza or use alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce.
“Alfredo is not Italian; What is alfredo?” Daniela chuckled. “Now we have Alfredo sauce on our menu, but we call it our daughter’s name, Gaia sauce.”
Other popular pizzas are the Vitaliano, made with burrata, cherry tomatoes, arugula and shaved parmesan; the Greg, made with tomato, mozzarella, fontina, ham, mushrooms and two eggs; and Diavola, made with tomato, mozzarella, spicy Italian salami.
Check out some of the other pizzerias in the area and how they rank on Google reviews.
CRESTVIEW (average rating of stars 4.4; total reviews: 2,117)
Hideaway Pizza, 326 N. Main St. (4.5 stars/817 reviews)
New York’s Famous Pizza & Pasta, 2511 S. Ferdon Boulevard (4.0 stars/464 reviews)
Vitaliano Pizza Pasta & More, 398 E. Hickory Ave. (4.6 stars/648 reviews)
The Heights Restaurant and Bar, 482 Wilson St. N. (4.5 stars/188 reviews)
DESTIN (average rating of stars 4.5; total reviews: 19,287)
Merlins Pizza, 1251 Airport Road (4.6 stars/2,345 reviews)
Vinny McGuire’s, 29 Harbor Boulevard (4.7 stars/717 reviews)
Pazzo Italiano Destin, 34904 Emerald Coast Parkway #114 (4.6 stars/1,133 reviews)
Mimmo’s Ristorante Italiano, 979 U.S. Highway 98 E., Suite 5 (4.5 stars/1,345 reviews)
McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin, 33 U.S. Highway 98 E. (4.7 stars/13,262 reviews)
Roberto’s Pizzeria Sports Bar & Grill, 110 Cannery Lane (3.7 stars/485 reviews)
FORT WALTON BEACH (average rating of stars 4.4; total reviews: 4,231)
Helen Back Pizza, 1826 Lewis Turner Boulevard (4.4 stars/250 reviews)
Clemenza’s at Uptown, 75 Eglin Parkway NE No. 126 (4.3 stars/661 reviews)
Fokker’s Pub, 215 Miracle Strip Parkway SE (4.3 stars/1,064 reviews)
Fubar Pizza Bar, 114 Amberjack Drive on Okaloosa Island (3.9 stars/832 reviews)
Wiley’s New York Style Pizza, 433 Page Bacon Road in Mary Esther (4.5 stars/418 reviews)
Ali’s Bistro, 171 Brooks St. SE (4.5 stars/418 reviews)
Papa Joe’s Hideaway, 104 Perry Ave. SE (4.5 stars/510 reviews)
Downtown Music Hall, 215 Miracle Strip Parkway SE (4.9 stars/78 reviews)
FREEPORT (average rating of stars 4.5; total reviews: 226)
LC’s Pizza & Subs, 901 Highway 20 (4.7 stars/165 reviews)
Pizza Co 850, 16735 U.S. Highway 331 (4.3 stars/61 reviews)
MILTON (average rating of stars 4.5; total reviews: 2,142)
Boomerang Pizza Kitchen, 5227 Willing St. (4.5 stars/1,005 reviews)
Blackwater Bistro, 5147 Elmira St. (4.4 stars/1,137 reviews)
SOUTH WALTON (average rating of stars 4.3; total reviews: 6,386)
Fat Clemenzas, 12273 U.S. Highway 98 (4.6 stars/790 reviews)
Pascalli Kitchen, 1688 Scenic Gulf Drive Unit C (4.9 stars/197 reviews)
Pizza by the Sea at Market Shops of Sandestin, 9375 U.S. Highway 98 W. (4.1 stars/189 reviews)
40th St. Pizza, 11394 U.S. Highway 98 (4.0 stars/245 reviews)
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 780 Grand Boulevard Suite 100 (4.1 stars/1,001 reviews)
Romeo’s Pizza, 10004 U.S. Highway 98 W. (4.1 stars/225 reviews)
Fat Daddy’s Pizza, 4942 U.S. Highway 98 W. (4.5 stars/397 reviews)
Pazzo Italiano, 111 N. County Highway 393 Suite 301 (4.5 stars/192 reviews)
Pizza by the Sea at Gulf Place, 95 Laura Hamilton Boulevard (4.1 stars/460 reviews)
Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar + Trattoria, 2236 E. County Highway 30A (4.1 stars/374 reviews)
Brozinni’s Pizzeria, 4101 E. County Highway 30A (4.3 stars/378 reviews)
Pizza by the Sea at WaterColor Crossings, 88 Watercolor Way (4.1 stars/426 reviews)
Angelina’s Pizzeria & Pasta, 4005 E. County Highway 30A (4.4 stars/642 reviews)
Bruno’s Pizza, 6652 E. County Highway 30A (4.5 stars/742 reviews)
Farm & Fire, 24200 U.S. Highway 331 S. (4.5 stars/128 reviews)