Step up your frozen pizza game with these shippable options
It's delivery, but it's certainly not DiGiorno.
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Wherever you live, you probably already have access to good pizza. Maybe your go-to spot is known for its wood-fired oven pies, lovingly-crafted with the freshest mozzarella, imported Italian tomatoes, and a perfectly charred crust. Or maybe it’s a takeout joint where you can sit in a checkered vinyl banquette, eating a slice liberally sprinkled with dried oregano and crushed red pepper.
And while nothing beats your local pizzeria, after spending the last year tethered to your home, now feels like a good time to treat yourself to something new and exciting. The good news is, it’s never been easier to order world-class pizza online. From Chicago deep-dish to thick Detroit-style to Neapolitan pies actually made in Naples, there’s something for everyone.
1. Bonci Pizza
The last time I was in Rome, I dragged my husband and our 3-year-old daughter to Gabriele Bonci’s Trionfale district pizzeria straight from the airport, before we even checked into our hotel or laid eyes on one ancient artifact. I'd read about his pizza al taglio—or cut pizza—made with focaccia-like crust and piled with a seasonally-rotating roster of fresh and inventive ingredients. And though it lived up to the hype, I’m not exaggerating when I say that this shipped version was better. (In all fairness, we arrived late in the day on our 2015 visit to the shop, when the pizza had probably been sitting out for a bit.)
In contrast, the shipped version arrives frozen, with 16 rectangular slices, or enough to feed about 10 people. The signature sampler includes four varieties: meatball, soppressata, potato and mozzarella, and zucchini with ricotta, lemon, and black pepper. The potato is apparently a best-seller, which makes sense because I actually paused after the first bite to absorb how shockingly good it tastes.
For optimal reheating results, don’t freeze it. Pop it in the fridge (where it can stay for up to three days) and then bake at 375°F for six to eight minutes.
2. Talia di Napoli
I remember the first time I ate pizza in Italy. I was living in Bologna, and was shocked to learn everyone at the table was supposed to order their own pie. When it arrived, I understood why—the frisbee-sized pizza hung off the dinner plate, but was wafer thin and so wildly delicious I wouldn’t have been able to stop eating it if I wanted to.
If you’ve been longing for a trip to Italy to order your own personal dinner plate-sized pizza, the next best thing might be ordering a box of these Neapolitan pies. Talia di Napoli’s are made by master pizzaiolos using 24-hour fermented dough and local ingredients, including tomatoes grown near Pompeii, fresh mozzarella from a dairy farm at the base of Mount Vesuvius, and extra virgin olive oil from Puglia.
After they’re baked in a brick oven, the pizzas are flash frozen using a patented cryogenic chamber (!!) and then shipped to your door. They arrive in a large box, packed with dry ice and individually wrapped. Each 10-inch pie takes about 10 minutes to bake, and comes out impossibly perfect, with the signature Neapolitan charred, chewy, crispy crust, and simple-yet-stellar ingredients. There’s a good chance you’ll eat the entire pizza by yourself.
3. Emmy Squared
Emily Hyland’s Detroit-style pizza made a splash in Williamsburg, Brooklyn when she and executive chef Matthew Hyland opened in 2016. The style’s signature crisp, cheesy frico crust, along with plenty of creative toppings, attracted hoards of Midwestern transplants and new converts alike, and tables were subsequently hard to come by. Now, the rectangular, thick-crusted pies are easy to snag wherever you live, thanks to nationwide shipping.
The sampler pack comes with six different pizzas: Sausage & Pepper, with tomato vodka sauce, smoked pork sausage, peppadew pepper relish, and a drizzle of honey; the Roni Supreme with arrabbiata tomato sauce, smoky Gouda and mozzarella, and dotted with thick, crispy pepperoni; Le Big Matt Burger layered with a deconstructed version of the restaurant’s beloved burger; Eggplant Parm with wine-braised Japanese eggplant, tomatoes, Calabrian chiles, ricotta, and mozzarella; and Pancetta Blue, with a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, and blue cheeses topped with caramelized onion, garlic, and pancetta.
Defrost the pizza in the fridge before baking, and cut into six square slices to serve, just like they do at the restaurant.
Famed hipster hangout-turned-Beyonce and Jay-Z date night spot, this Bushwick, Brooklyn pizza place has a pretty far reach these days. Roberta’s now has outposts in Williamsburg and—excuse me—Los Angeles, and its Neapolitan pies are available, frozen and vacuum-packed, at Whole Foods Markets and on Fresh Direct. But if you don’t have access to any of those options, order a few pies online to get a taste of some of Brooklyn’s best pizza.
Roberta’s pies are baked in a wood-burning oven imported straight from Italy, and even after shipping to you, about six minutes in your normal oven at 450°F will produce a surprisingly similar result. Thick slices of house-made mozzarella blanket tangy vine-ripened tomato sauce, and with a perfectly-charred, chewy crust. Pair the pies with a bottle of natural wine. What’s good enough for Beyonce is good enough for everyone else.
5. Lou Malnati’s
Deep dish, Chicago-style pizza gets plenty of heat from haters and New York-style purists, but have you tasted one lately? If not, might we suggest ordering a four pack from the longstanding kings of deep dish, Lou Malnati’s.
Dense, buttery-crusted pizzas are layered with rich tomato sauce, and a thick blanket of mozz from the same dairy farm the family-owned company has been using for the last 40 years. The four-pack sampler comes with one each of cheese, pepperoni, spinach, and sausage. Don’t try to compare the two styles, because they’re apples and oranges. Or apples and tomatoes. Just enjoy a thick, cheesy slice.
Pizzas will arrive frozen on dry ice. To cook, remove each one from its aluminum pan, drizzle a little olive oil on the pan, and put the pizza back in before baking at 425°F, according to the accompanying instructions.
6. Pizzeria Bianco
In 2003, Arizona-based Chris Bianco was the first pizzaiolo to win a best chef James Beard Award for the perfect pies he made out of a Phoenix grocery store. Nowadays, you can get a taste of the revered chef’s iconic pizza at one of his restaurants, or with a sampler of his best sellers shipped to your door.
Each pack comes with a Margherita; a Wise Guy, topped with fennel sausage, smoked mozzarella, and roasted onions; a Rosa, with parm, local Arizona pistachios, and red onions; and a Sonny Boy, with Bianco’s own DiNapoli tomatoes, homemade mozzarella, Gaeta olives, and thin squares of soppressata that crackle when you bite into them. The package also comes with a small vial of Bianco’s Italian extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the hot pies before diving in.
To cook, set your oven to 500°F, or the hottest temp it goes, and bake for just a few minutes.
7. Antico Pizza Napoletana
Atlanta’s family-run pizza spot churns out beautifully uncomplicated brick-oven pies to Georgia Tech students and adoring locals who’ve since relocated, like our editor Madison Trapkin. Simple ingredients—San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, garlic, and fresh basil—add up to one incredibly memorable pizza.
A pack comes with four house Margheritas. The “DOP” stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin—the certification given to products that come from a certain region (think—Champagne, or Tequila.) On the pack of Antico’s pizzas, DOP refers to the fact that the ingredients are imported from Italy.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.