Columbia in Maryland is a community that, compared to many others, is still in its infancy. After being founded just over a hundred years ago, Columbia has grown rapidly but according to strict planning rather than just anyhow. Still not classed as a city, Columbia is a census-designated urbanization which was the brainchild of a shopping mall developer and encompasses ten individual villages.
Providing quality housing and a decent standard of living for its residents was what James W. Rouse aimed to achieve. This happened over a period of years as Columbia's facilities like schools, medical centers, community centers and a huge, centralized shopping mall were constructed and opened for use. Among the new businesses attracted to the cordial lifestyle of Columbia were Italian migrants from nearby cities like Baltimore and Washington. Once they'd settled in and opened up shop, pizzas were one of the first things on the menu.
Italians, pizzerias and pizza didn't appear in Columbia until around the mid-1950s after the community had reached the peak of its development. By that time an Americanized version of pizza was the one everyone wanted to eat. The pizza chefs were happy to follow the trend, so Columbia became known for New York-style pizza. It's not the only type of pizza in Columbia though so if you have a favorite you're more than likely to come across a pizzeria that serves it. New York-style pies are an adapted version of a traditional Neapolitan pizza which appeared on the culinary scene of the Big Apple at the beginning of the 20th century. Its distinctive characteristics are a super thin base and exaggerated size. Some New York-style pizzas can be twice as big as a regular thick crust and one big slice, or two if you have a good appetite, is usually sufficient to fill you up.
When you want a decent dinner, don't mess about. Order from Gateway Pizza on Little Patuxent Parkway to get the best delivery pizza in Columbia. They're a pizzeria geared to dispatching pies as fast as they can and always have a pile of boxes ready and waiting so there's no delay in sending a pizza out once it's cooked. They do in fact, keep such a stash of pizza boxes that if they piled them all one on top of the other they’d reach the ceiling if they didn't topple over first. While Gateway Pizza's premises are pretty basic as far as décor is concerned, their pizzas show a touch of creative flair and have great topping combinations that border on the gourmet. If you're a fan of seafood you'll appreciate their Alfredo Seafood pizza which has scallops, shrimps, crab cake, and Alfredo sauce.
The Trattoria e Pizzeria da Enrico on Guilford Road is a home-from-home pizzeria that makes the best take-out pizza in Columbia. Pop into Enrico's if you're down that way and you'll be welcomed at the door by the aromatic whiff of baking dough and melting cheese. Enrico's premises are totally unpretentious both inside and out. While the décor doesn't shout for attention, the pies they produce there do. The dough masters at Enrico's have learned the knack of molding their bases in a variety of forms to satisfy all their customers and not just the ones who like New York-style. At Enrico's you can get a Sicilian-style, a grandma-style, or a calzone if that's what takes your fancy. They'll even make gourmet-style white pies with a selection of toppings that could be anything and everything they find in the fridge.
After a ten-mile drive north from Columbia, you'll find yourself in Ellicott City. Its modern suburbs surround a historic main street that dates back to the 19th century and is where you'll find the oldest train station in North America. After you've seen that stop by Coal Fire – Ellicott City to pick a pizza and head over to the nearby Patapsco Valley State Park for a breath of fresh air and a picnic.
There's plenty of good reasons to make the twenty-mile trip from Columbia to Baltimore. Not least among them if you have kids is to make a visit to the prestigious Maryland Zoo. There's also the National Aquarium too. Or if you're not into fish and animals, then a tour around historic Fort Henry or the USS Constellation battleship might be better suited. Whatever you choose to do in Baltimore, don't miss having a pizza at HomeSylce on North Charles Street..
Thirty miles northwest of Columbia is the city of Gaithersburg which is bordered by the Rock Creek Regional Park and the Seneca Creek State Park. They're both superb places to pass the day after you've seen what Gaithersburg has to offer, which isn't much more than an outdoor waterpark, a community museum, and some artworks in a barn. You'll find you can get a decent pizza in Gaithersburg from the California Pizza Kitchen in Boardwalk Place.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Columbia?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best gluten-free pizza in Columbia?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best white pizza in Columbia?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best stromboli in Columbia?