Middletown is one of three towns on Aquidneck Island in the state of Rhode Island. Although the island's existence was recorded by explorers as far back as the early 1500s, its colonization didn't begin until over a hundred years later. Middletown was the last settlement of three, the others being Newport to the south and Portsmouth to the north, to be developed but the location didn't prove to be as paradisaical as the first pioneers expected. Being located between the two other main communities on the island meant the settlers of the Middletown area were subjected to double taxation until they managed to achieve independence and Middletown was finally incorporated as a city. The city's growth was slow though and it wasn't until the late 20th century that Middletown began to prosper as a community and it became the island's central business district. That change made Middletown an attractive location for Italians to open up pizzerias and even though it took until the 1980s to happen, pizza was at last available to the city's residents.
Because pizza was such a late arrival to the culinary scene in Middletown you may well expect the pizzerias to offer the more popular types of pie like New York-style, but they don't. Middletown is known for Neapolitan-style pizzas which are an authentic Italian bake that's totally in a league of its own. If you compared Neapolitan-style pizzas with traditional Italian thick crusts you might decide they're pretty similar. They are, or at least in their general appearance they are, but there are a few subtle differences. Neapolitan-style pizzas have a larger, more bubbled-up crust than what you'll find on a thick crust. It helps maintain the central well which holds the sauce and mozzarella so the pie stays moist making it a much juicier bite. You can still get extra toppings added to your Neapolitan-style pie even though the original recipe only incorporates sauce and mozzarella.
While they might not have won any Oscars for their pies, Pizza Hollywood still makes the best delivery pizza in Middletown. This pizzeria on Aquidneck Avenue is centrally located so no matter where you are in Middleton, you'll get your pizza delivered at top speed. That's always a big bonus when you're hungry. Pizza Hollywood is housed in a show-stopping premises decorated in a two-tone combination of startling lime green and bright red which is luminous enough to encourage any drop-in customers to pop on a pair of sunshades. While their premises are bright and ultra-modern, Pizza Hollywood's pies are a traditional-style treat that will arrive in tip-top condition even after being transported in a box. They bake a range of mouthwatering specialty pizzas too so if you're not sure what to order try a spicy Buffalo Chicken or ring the changes on the cheese by choosing their Bleu Pie.
For a pizza with a taste of home, and incidentally the best take-out pizza in Middletown, drop in at Carmella's Pizzeria on West Main Road. Carmella's have been serving great pies for almost two decades and have even won several local awards for being the best pizza in town. You can rest assured whatever type of pie you get here, it's going to be better than good. When you walk through the door of Carmella's don't be surprised if you find the dining room decked out in a festive manner that coincides with the season. It could be Halloween or it could be Christmastime, but while the decorations change the quality of Carmella's pizzas doesn't. An Italian heart has gone into the creation of the topping combinations for each and every pizza on their menu. Don't skip trying the Pesto Shrimp or the Pesto Sweet Sausage. They're cooked fresh and worth waiting for.
If you're over on Aquidneck Island for a visit you shouldn't leave without visiting Newport. Newport city center is less than a ten-minute drive from Middletown so there are no excuses for not going to see historic Bowen's Wharf or taking a stroll along Easton's Beach. If you want some history, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Marble House, or The Breakers museums will keep you mentally occupied for a few hours until it's time for a pie at Nikolas Pizza on Memorial Boulevard.
Portsmouth is twice as far to drive to from Middleton as Newport is, but it's still not a trip that's going to be time-consuming. Start off by exploring the Green Animals Topiary Garden then go about as far north as you can get on the island and check out Island Park Beach or Grimmells Beach. If you like boats, add a walk around Safe Harbor Island Park and the yacht-filled marina there to your agenda before taking time out for a pizza at Martino's Pizzeria on East Main Road.
Take the RI-38 W from Middleton, cross over the Claiborne Pell Bridge and fifteen minutes after leaving Middletown you'll be in Jamestown. Jamestown occupies a very scenic spot in Rhode Island so take your camera to snap shots of the rocks at Horsehead-Marbella and from the cliffs at Moonrise Kingdom. When you're standing photographing Bull Point look out to sea and you'll be able to spot Clingstone, a Gothic-looking mansion perched on a rock. It'll give you food for thought while you chow down on a pizza at Ace's Pizza on Clarke Street.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best gluten-free pizza in Middletown?
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