If I’m thinking about pizza around the US, the places I think of most would be New York (really Brooklyn), Chicago and Connecticut.
Around five or six years back, I heard about an area in Pennsylvania dubbing themself the Pizza Capital of the World! I had to find out for myself about the area by taking a trip to Old Forge, PA.
I had meant to write about our experience in Old Forge when we visited (around three years back), but I never got around to it. Luckily I took notes on the shops we visited!
Old Forge pizza is a pretty unique style. You can order by the slice, which is called a cut or by the pie, which is called a tray. The pies are baked in a pan and are similar in appearance to a Sicilian pizza. The cheese is what really sets this pizza apart. It’s not the most appealing looking and resembles American cheese.
Over the course of two days, we made stops at five Old Forge pizzerias and another around twenty minutes away in Moscow, PA.
Here are some details about our visit to the area.
Stop 1: Salerno’s CafeOur first stop was Salerno’s Cafe. The shop felt like a bar with a dining room in the back. I was really looking forward to our first taste of Old Forge pizza.
The slice on the left is a stuffed white, on the right is their regular pizza.
The slice was very light and airy, it had decent tangy sauce and the cheese, which is a blend tasted like American. Overall, we enjoyed but it wouldn’t exactly be what I’d call pizza.
The stuffed white had crust over the top with seasoning on it and was a bit salty. The cheese stayed gooey inside probably due to the top layer. Lucas said, “I could eat this everyday.” I’d consider this a cross between a calzone and a grilled cheese.
Stop 2: Ravello’s Cafe & PizzaNext, we headed over to Main Street where a good amount of the shops are located.
Revello’s is a pretty big restaurant with very friendly service and one of the top rated shops in Old Forge. The Red cut (top and left) had a crunchy crust, gooey cheese (American cheese blend) and sweet sauce which was our favorite part.
I didn’t love the White pizza (far right) which again was something like a calzone. I wished the crust was baked longer, maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more.
(Kim tried a Broccoli White but I didn’t take notes about it.)Old Forge is proud to be the self-proclaimed Pizza Capital of the World.They have some cool signs around Main Street with their pizza claim being advertised.
Stop 3: Arcaro & GenellDiagonally across the street from Revello’s is Arcaro & Genell.
The restaurant is proud to mention on their menu that the pizza is rated Top 10 in USA Today. I don’t know about that claim and definitely wouldn’t agree but I would consider it one of our favorites in the area.The Red pizza wasn’t overly crispy or heavy, it had tangy sauce and a good blend of cheese. These cuts seemed the most like traditional pizza. It was probably our favorite slice of the trip.The White pizza has a double crust which was crispy with some seasoning on top. The cheese was flavorful and didn’t seem to taste as much like American cheese. Again, I’d consider this slice more like a calzone than pizza.
Stop 4: Cafe RinaldiAcross the street and a minute or two walk away from stop 3 was Cafe Rinaldi.
This one was very busy and seemed like a fancy Italian restaurant. I ordered a couple of cuts to go at the bar area and had to wait a while for them to be made.While the food inside smelled great, the pizza definitely wasn’t. This was basically crunchy, bland bread.
This was the least favorite place we tried in the Pizza Capital of the World.
Stop 5: Mary Lou’sMary Lou’s was a few minutes away from the other main Old Forge by car. If you’re walking, it’s around 15 minutes away.
I went into the take out area to order a cut while Kim and the kids waited in the car.I only ordered one cut at Mary Lou’s but I wish I was hungrier for more. The cut had crunchy, airy crust, very tasty sauce and a good cheese blend which didn’t really taste like American cheese.
This would rank as my second favorite place during our visit.
Stop 6: Victory Pig Pizza I read good things about Victory Pig Pizza, located a little over 8 miles away in Moscow, PA. The shop is known for its pizza and barbecue. Due to this weird combination, we had to give it a try.The pizza at Victory Pig is a bit different due to it being deep fried. The crust was soft and chewy with a good crunch. The sauce is very oniony which we liked and it made the cheese barely noticeable (which is probably not a bad thing).
This difference in style made for a good end to our Old Forge Pizza Tour.
Overall, I really enjoyed our visit to the Pizza Capital of the World.
I definitely wouldn’t consider any of these shops to have the best pizza I’ve ever tried but I can totally respect how they have a unique, regional style.
Visiting this area is a lot of fun and I’d definitely like to visit again to try more of the other ship in Old Forge and in the surrounding areas.
Have you visited the Pizza Capital of the World? If so, what did you think of the pizza?