We’ve got the dish on what pizza reigns supreme in Greater Des Moines, as voted by locals. From thin crust to deep dish, the cheese pull is strong with this one. Tomato, tomahto, there’s no topping this list!
7 Stone Pizzeria
Three words. Caramelized deep dish. Three more words. I love you. With apologies to our friends in the Second City, this is deep dish done right, without the gluttonous heartburn. The crunchy, airy, crust holds multiple toppings with ease, making it the perfect receptacle for the decidedly Iowan (and decidedly delicious) taco pizza. The wood-fired thin crust holds its own too. 7 stones out of 5.
Nonna’s Pizza and Pasta
If you go just by Yelp reviews, which is something we’d generally advise against, Nonna’s Pizza and Pasta in Ankeny has the highest rated New York-style pizza in the whole state. Ok, Yelp, you win this round. Nonna’s just opened in 2022 but is one of those places that feels like it’s been around forever. Maybe that’s because the giant slice of Vodka Pizza, with its creamy vodka sauce and Romano cheese, is like a warm food blanket that gives you all the feels.
Nothing soaks up the questionable decisions after a night of Ingersoll Avenue bar hopping quite like a slice of greasy za’ from Big Tomato. There’s a reason they’re open until 3 a.m., when the idea of a Chili Dog Pizza seems completely sane. But there are reasons to visit with clear eyes (and soon, full stomach), including their veggie pizza on honey wheat crust or their calzones as big as your head.
Extra Topping: There’s a convenient ordering window after all of your late-night escapades. Never mind the “Lousy Service” neon sign in the window.
This hole in the wall pizza joint in picturesque Indianola quietly slings some of the best pizza pies in Greater Des Moines, with a focus on fresh ingredients, unique offerings, and service with a smile. They’ve got C’s in spades: charm, character, cheese, and oh my, that thin crust. Traditional is all well and good, but those who know opt for specialties like The Rogalla (pepperoni and cream cheese) or The Jontie (Canadian bacon, green pepper, and onion, topped with lettuce and creamy Italian dressing).
Extra topping: Pete’s recently switched from cash only to accepting cards, so no need to hit up the ATM on the way to Indianola.
Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern
No need to head three hours south on Interstate 35 to get your fill of our Midwestern big brother. It's a much shorter road trip to Truman’s KC Pizza Tavern in the Historic East Village, where they serve up a healthy dose of Chiefs and Royals vibes alongside Boulevard beer and fan favorite pizzas like The French Dip (complete with a side of au jus) and The Mahomes (sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, ground beef, and bacon).
Extra topping: We know you’re wondering, and yes, they do have a Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce themed pizza called Chicken and Waffles (Traylor’s Version). It’s love at first bite.
If you drive though Iowa without stopping for a slice of Casey’s pizza, were you even here? The official pizza of road trips, youth sports tournaments, and too-busy-to-cook parents, Casey’s isn’t just “gas station pizza”; it’s a gooey slice of nostalgia that lives up to everything you remember it to be. It’s also the gold standard of breakfast pizza, with over 2.5 million sold each year, and earning the endorsement of celebs like Mila Kunis.
Dough Co. Pizza
With locations in both Ankeny and the Drake neighborhood, this fast-casual pizzeria slings New York-style thin crust by the slice or the whole pie. As you might have guessed by the name, it’s all about the dough here, which is made fresh every day. Choose from New York thin crust, Sicilian Square, or gluten free and vegan dough, and then top with all of the meats (Hog Wild) or none of the meats (four vegan options to choose from).
This reliable downtown Italian eatery has been the home to business lunches and date nights for more than 20 years and is also home to some of the best coal-fired pizzas this side of the Atlantic. There are over 15 specialty pizzas to choose from, but we prefer to keep things simple; few things start a weekend (or break up a week) better than their Margherita or Bianco pizza paired with a glass of Italian red.
Extra topping: Mondays are Pizza and Peroni Night, with half-price pizza and Peroni beers from 4 p.m. to close.
If you’re known for your thin crust pizza and onion rings, odds are you’re an old school east side establishment like Bianchi’s Hilltop, which has quietly been serving up some of the best pizza in the metro for more than 50 years. Leave any attitude at the door and repeat after me: less is more. No crazy toppings here, just dang good pizza and dang nice people. What more do you need?
Extra topping: We made reference to the onion rings, but we’d be remiss not to mention the Italian Egg Rolls, which show up in just about every glowing review of Hilltop.
Few things typify “Des Moines summer” like nabbing a coveted seat on the Eatery A Patio during their generous happy hour (2 – 6 p.m. daily, including weekends) and noshing on their wood-fired, Mediterranean-inspired pizzas and knocking back some half price beers and wine. We’re suckers for their soft egg and white sauce pizzas – try the No. 12 with truffle oil and mushroom or the No. 13 with potato and bacon. Wood-fired (and half price) pizzas hit the spot no matter the season.
Maggie’s Rumble Room
Maggie’s is like the effortlessly cool girl in high school that was nice to everyone, had impeccable style, and musical tastes advanced beyond her years. Located in the old Sambetti’s on 2nd Avenue, Maggie’s retro vibe, with motorcycle and music memorabilia adorning the walls, and cool kids soundtrack only serve to enhance their popular pizzas like White Lightning (sausage, pesto, ricotta, mozzarella, pepperoni, artichoke hearts). Pizza is a to-go food, but you need to saddle up to the bar to get the full effect at Maggie’s.
We’re living through the golden age of iconic food duos. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Bacon and eggs. Crab Rangoons and...pizza? What may have sounded dubious a decade ago has now become a Des Moines staple, with legions of fans that include celebrity chef Alton Brown, who highlighted it on the appropriately named “Best Thing I Ever Ate.” This Asian-fusion pizza and tiki bar (just go with it) has character for days, and we’ll tell anyone who will listen that their Pizza Roll appetizer is worth the price of admission alone.
Extra Topping: Order a round of kamikazes and they’ll bring them to the table along with fighter helmets for everyone. Mandatory photo op.
New York and Chicago have their back-and-forth pizza wars, and while we love them both, we’ll go to battle with Detroit-style any day. That’s what you’ll find at this Beaverdale gem, where the focaccia-like crust is baked in a rectangle shaped pan, so the cheese spreads to the edges of the pan, and you’ve got the juxtaposition of crunchy outside and soft inside. Pair that with a sleek space, cool soundtrack, and cold craft beer, and you’ve got yourself your new favorite go-to.
Gusto Pizza Bar
Gusto is like that reliable friend who actually agrees to help you to move. Pleasantly surprising, and you appreciate their dependability. There’s a little something for everyone here. Detroit pan style, Chicago deep dish, thin crust; you name it, they do it well. With an interesting beer list, sandwiches that might be just as good as the pizzas, and an underrated weekend brunch, Gusto really goes for the gusto, and we’re here for it.
Taste of New York Pizza
You get one guess as to what kind of pizza they serve at this popular Waukee and West Des Moines spot. Would it help if we told you there was a yellow cab in the logo? All of you big brains who answered New York-style, step forward and grab your giant, floppy slice of the Big Apple’s greatest culinary contribution. Boost your East Coast street cred with a slice of white, pepperoni, or “regular” pizza, or go whole hog with a giant, hand-tossed pie. Paris well with Seinfeld reruns.
Extra topping: Order online and get 5% off your order.
This is family-friendly, red checkered tablecloth pizza done right. Located in the heart of Uptown Ankeny, Leaning Tower is the kind of place you take your spouse, your grandparents, or your youth softball team, and it all feels comfortable. The Cheers of metro pizza places, their thin crust creations range from by the book to off the beaten path, but delightfully so. Try the Bubbie (Italian sausage, pepperoni, sauerkraut) or the Pickle Roll Up (corned beef, pickles, cream cheese sauce) and you’ll be on the trolley.
Bix & Co.
This new Historic Valley Junction hotspot has become one of the coolest sports bars in town to catch a game and serves some of the hottest pizzas in the metro. Their cracker thin, homemade crusts are charred to perfection, but also sturdy enough to hold strong on toppings-heavy stars like the Southsider – where pepperoni, Graziano sausage, jalapenos, banana peppers, and mozzarella have never tasted so light on their feet.
Extra topping: You haven’t had cheese curds like the ones at Bix. Their beer-battered curds have already achieved cult status in short order. You’re welcome.
A southside staple since 1977, Bordenaro’s is typically the favorite pizza joint of anyone of a certain age who grew up in Des Moines. This isn’t a case of blind nostalgia though. That cracker thin crust and slightly spicy sauce are the stuff of legend. The Bordy’s Special, Meatball, or Hot and Spicy (if you dare) form an unrivaled trio on the Des Moines pizza scene.