When a city was first known as Pig's Eye Landing a change of name at some time in its history is not surprising. Named after a villainous tavern keeper who was one of the first settlers in the area, St Paul didn't become St Paul until around the mid-19th century when it was renamed by a priest who built his church there. The community of St Paul gradually grew along the banks of an oxbow in the Mississippi River as more and more fur traders used the landing there to send goods downriver. The wide waters of the Mississippi also brought paddle boats to the settlement, carrying pioneers searching for a place to relocate to, including a gentleman who became the founder of the Great Northern Railway. As the Great Northern Railway expanded its reach it brought tens of thousands of migrants to the area, many of whom were Europeans. Some of the migrants worked small farms while others stayed in St Paul where eventually their descendants would begin to prepare pizza to sell to the fast-growing population.
When the first migrants arrived in St Paul there weren't many cooking facilities available and so they stuck to the old ways and baked their pies in round pans. As the ovens they used were fired by wood, the metal helped prevent the bottom of the dough from getting scorched. It's a method of baking that has remained popular throughout the decades even though many pizzerias now use electrically powered ovens to cook with, and St Paul is known for pan-style pizza. There's really not much difference between a pan-style pizza and a thick crust one, other than it being baked in a pan. Expertise on the part of the pizzeria chef and the skilled wielding of a large spatula helps get the pie out of its container without it ending up in a cheesy tomato mess. Once free of its pan, the pie will look and taste exactly the same as a thick crust, although you may find it's sometimes cut into squares rather than wedges.
When you're chomping at the bit with hunger during your lunch break at work and need something quick, you need to order from a decent pizzeria that delivers quickly. Try the Eastside Pizzeria and you'll get the best delivery pizza in St Paul and one that arrives in record time. The Eastside Pizzeria is housed in a drab, one-story, gray building on Payne Avenue. In complete contrast, open the door and you'll be greeted with a blast of bright color that will almost make your eyes water. It will be your mouth watering when your pie arrives though, as the pizzas from Eastside are exceptionally tasty. Baked pan-style, the pies are slightly deeper than normal so you'll get a seriously succulent bite. Their Deli, Eastsider or Taco pizzas are the ones to go for if your hunger has reached maximum level.
If you want the best take-out pizza in St Paul, make sure you stop by a pizzeria called Buca di Beppo. The name may be strange and the outside of their premises on Gannon Road looks more like the entrance to a sports center than a restaurant, but names and looks can be deceiving. Walk into Buca di Beppo's to pick up a pizza and you'll find yourself in a traditional Italian trattoria complete with grapevines climbing over the walls and red check cloths on the tables. The only thing that could get more Italian than that is the food and the pies at Buca di Beppo are pretty authentic. Choosing your pizza there is straightforward as the menu is short, but they'll add any ingredient they have in the kitchen for you so it's almost a home from home experience. If you've no culinary imagination, try their Italian Deluxe.
Drive twenty miles directly east from St Paul and you'll be in a township called Hudson. Hudson is right on the Minnesota border with Wisconsin. While it is in Wisconsin, it falls into the jurisdiction of Douglas County which is in Minnesota, so you could say you'd been in two states on the same day. If that confuses you completely, don't worry. Go for a hike in the nearby Willow River State Park to clear your head, then for a pizza at Bricks on 2nd Street.
If there's a city in Minnesota that deserves its name then it has to be Little Canada. Little Canada was founded by a French Canadian, uses the red maple leaf as a city symbol, and is surrounded by fantastic lakes. Lake Owasso, Lake Vadnais, and Lake Gervais are all ideal for boating, fishing, and hiking expeditions, after which you can pick up a pie from Rocco's Pizza on Lake Shore Avenue.
Como is a great place to take the family for a day out without having to go too far from St Paul. Como is around five miles northwest of St Paul on the far side of its twin city, Minneapolis. There you can visit the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory to keep the kids busy and happy before treating them to a pie at Wrecktangle Pizza while giving them a spelling lesson.
Q: 🍕 What restaurant has the best Roman-style pizza in St Paul?
Q: 🍕 What restaurant has the best gluten-free pizza in St Paul?
Q: 🍕 What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in St Paul?
Q: 🍕 What restaurant has the best thin crust pizza in St Paul?