Portland by the Slice
Portland takes its pizza seriously — expect loud and vociferous opinions if you query locals about their favorite pizza joint.
Escape From New York
Portland’s pizza renaissance began in the early 1980s with Escape From New York (622 NW 23rd Ave., 503/227-5423, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. daily), which brought in Gotham-style pizzas with foldable crust, copious cheese, and high-quality toppings and sold them by the slice — it was a revelation to Portlanders used to franchise pizza. If you’re up in Northwest Portland, this is still mighty fine pizza.
Another long-time Portland favorite is Hotlips Pizza (1909 SW 6th Ave., 503/224-0311, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–8 p.m. Sun.), near Portland State University. The crust and sauce are both outstanding, and Hotlips sources nearly all its ingredients from its own network of local organic farmers and ranchers. Other convenient Hotlips outlets are in the Pearl District (NW 10th Ave. and Irving St., 503/595-2342) and at SE Hawthorne Street and 22nd Avenue (503/234-9999).
Mississippi Pizza Pub
Up on North Mississippi Avenue, the Mississippi Pizza Pub (3552 N. Mississippi Ave., 503/288-3231) offers wondrous thin-crust pizza in a funky DIY storefront that’s totally Portland.
The staff at Apizza Scholls (4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503/233-1286, 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 4 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Sun.) have earned the reputation as the “pizza Nazis” for their formidable resistance to allowing patrons to choose their own toppings or to make enough pizza dough to stay open through their posted hours. But the cracker-like crusts and pleasant deck seating in summer keep the crowds lined up.
Ken’s Artisan Pizza
You’ll also face long lines at another Portland favorite, Ken’s Artisan Pizza (304 SE 28th Ave., 503/517-9951, 5–10 p.m. Tues.–Sat.). The wood-fired pizzas have nearly perfect chewy crusts, and the toppings are top-notch.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel