One of the most popular foods in the country, as well as the world, pizza may just be the perfect food. You can accommodate different diets and tastebuds with a huge choice of toppings, and order enough to feed a crowd or an intimate party of two. Better yet, get out of the kitchen completely and let others do the work for you—you won’t have to wash a single dish or lift a finger, except to enjoy every bite.
Pizza has been a culinary staple for centuries and is a relative of the traditional seasoned flatbread that’s long been a part of Mediterranean cuisine. Some people trace the word “pizza” to the Latin word pinsa, which means “flatbread,” but not everyone agrees on this. What most people do agree on is that pizza as we know it, with cheese, tomatoes and crust, originated in Naples in the 16th century, where peasants would buy flatbreads with various toppings from street vendors or informal restaurants and eat them for every meal.
According to legend, one of the world’s most famous pizzas, Pizza Margherita, was created to honor the queen consort, Princes Margherita of Savoy, in 1889 by pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito, who garnished the dish with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to represent the national colors of Italy.
When the Neapolitans, and millions of other Europeans, began immigrating to the U.S. for factory jobs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they brought their pizza recipes with them and began making their pies in Trenton, Boston, Chicago and St. Louis. In Manhattan, Lombardi’s began selling the dish in 1905, and it’s still serving its pies today.
Pizza became even more popular after World War II, when American soldiers returning home from Italy brought a craving for pizza with them, and the dish has since evolved in innovative ways, from the thick, cheesy Chicago style, to the New York thin crust, and even California gourmet pizzas topped with barbecued chicken, smoked salmon and more.
So when it’s time to escape the kitchen, you’ll find some inspired pizza fare in Santa Fe, including the Rooftop Pizzeria’s house specialty made with roast chicken, green chile, toasted pinon nuts, cotija and asadero and Alfredo sauce on a blue corn crust. This unique pizza features flavors of the Southwest and had a starring role on a segment of “Eat the Street,” Chuck Hughes’ show for The Food Network. It also was named the Land of Enchantment’s very best by Food Network Magazine.
Rooftop’s other creative offerings include lobster, shrimp and Applewood smoked bacon with mushroom, green onion, truffle oil and four cheeses; smoked duck with caper, spinach, basil and four cheeses with roast garlic spread; and wild and domestic mushrooms, roast garlic clove, truffle oil and four cheese with Alfredo sauce. Or, build your own gourmet pizza from a huge menu of toppings,
The pizza at Joe’s Dining is famous, since owner/chef Roland Richter got his start in Santa Fe opening Pizza Etc. in DeVargas Mall. He sold the pizza place a few years back to open Joe’s, but his delicious pies are on the menu still, including Giovanni, topped with Montrachet goat cheese, roasted red peppers and roasted whole garlic cloves; Greek, with Tucumcari feta cheese, calamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and oregano; and Deluxe, featuring pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and black olives. For non meat-eaters, there’s the Veggie, with mushroom, tomato, spinach, green peppers, zucchini, onion and garlic. Build your own with an array of toppings that include house-smoked salmon, New Mexico grass-finished ground buffalo and truffle oil.
Over at Pizza Etc., The Rodeo is a popular pie, topped with barbecued chicken on calabacitas with green chile, zucchini, onions with cheddar cheese. There’s also the Trecolori, with asparagus, roasted red peppers, pesto and feta cheese and the Trifolati, made with portobello, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Best of all, Pizza Etc. delivers, so you don’t even have to leave your house to find relief from your kitchen!
Backroad was an instant hit when it started serving its cornmeal dusted pies a few years ago and they are still going strong in their little spot off 2nd Street. Their pies start with a delicious crust, of course, then use the best ingredients to round it all out in a tasty, cheesy package. The crust is always crispy without being overcooked, the cheese perfectly melted and the ingredients just so. During COVID-19 all ordering is online and orders are left for you outside the door for contactless pick-up
Pizzeria da Lino
Just a few blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza, Pizzeria Da Lino offers authentic brick oven pizza from the freshest ingredients available. With a nice wine list, hand crafted beers brewed on site by Chili Line, pasta, salads and gelato, Pizzeria Da Lino has an atmosphere that is a little European and yet distinctly Santa Fe.
Upper Crust Pizza
Upper Crust has to be one of the oldest pizza places in town, having originally opened its doors in 1979 in an old jewelry store. Today they still bake tasty pies at the Old Santa Fe Trail location and have a second spot out in Eldorado. Both have delicious pies and both deliver.
This downtown spot is another long-standing favorite among Santa Feans. It helps that they have parking, but that’s not the only reason to enjoy their wood-fired pizzas that offer something a little different than other pizza joints in town. We’re partial to the Prosciutto e rucola, but there are so many good options to choose from.
This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead