If you’re familiar with fantasy sports (some of our editors were very much not), you know how a fantasy draft works. Well, we wanted to take the concept and try to celebrate (and debate over) some of our favourite places and things in Vancouver.
And what better way to start it off than with pizza, something everyone loves?
We put our editors’ names into a random draft simulator (snake style, obviously) and off we went. Here are the results and the reasoning behind each pick.
Hidden Gems Vancouver
1. Neal McLennan, food editor: Corduroy Pie Co.
With the number one overall pick, I’m going to take Corduroy.
I just think it’s the best quality pizza. And with good takeout pizza, most places the cheese pizza starts at like $19 (there's a lot of $24 pizzas out there, but a margarita at Corduroy is a sweet $15). Corduroy keeps it real—it's not too expensive and has an awesome beer selection too (heavy on the Superflux in the best way). The only downside is that it’s always busy, but I can live with that. I might even get it tonight now, just talking about it.
2. Alyssa Hirose, assistant editor: Uncle Fatih’s
I KNOW, I KNOW. But I’m willing to fight about it.
You don’t have to wait two hours to get it, it’s consistent—no matter what location you go to, you’re getting the exact same thing—and it's open until 1 a.m. in the morning.
It's so close to my house I just have to think about it, and then it’s there. And if we’re going to talk about affordable? Come on.
3. Nathan Caddell, associate editor: Pizzeria Farina
Back to respectability we go… I would have taken Farina number one. Yes, the prices are up there, but it's—for my money at least—the highest quality pizza in the city. Plus, back in normal times, it and Boxcar were an unbeatable combo. But it’s still awesome for takeout.
Famoso on Twitter
4. Anicka Quin, editorial director: Famoso Neapolitan Pizza
I'm gluten-free, so that’s going to colour my picks here. But I genuinely believed that there was nothing beyond “just edible” as far as gluten-free crust goes, until I had Famoso.
A friend had ordered gluten-free for me and—this is the highest compliment a gluten-free pizza can receive—I thought they had screwed up. They put it in the wood-fired stove, it blisters, it’s hand-formed, it looks and tastes like a real pizza. My favourite from them has Brussels sprouts, blue cheese, honey and walnuts on it, and it’s delicious.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread on Twitter
1. Anicka: Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.
Also a very good gluten-free crust. I tend to get the flatbread. Again, interesting toppings that are well done, the crust is well done and tastes like something I don’t have to suffer through for the sake of eating pizza with my friends.
2. Nathan: Via Tevere Pizzeria
Another one of my absolute favourites. High-quality pizza, an awesome family style setting and it only takes like three minutes from order to the table. Yes, it’s often quite busy, but it’s worth it and it won’t break your wallet either.
3. Alyssa: Me-n-Eds Pizza
I’m bending the rules a bit, because Me-n-Eds is in Burnaby, but it’s good. I used to go there with my Dad after soccer games and get The Godfather. Very memorable.
4. Neal: AJ’s Brooklyn Pizza Joint
I really like it. It’s a different type of pizza—you could have Corduroy earlier in the week and then have this and feel like you’re having two different meals. And it has that old school vibe, really nice people.
1. Neal: Bufala
There was nothing going on in Kerrisdale until Bufala showed up. And now it’s one of the great pathways in the world. Jokes aside, it’s as solid as it gets.
2. Alyssa: Mercante
It’s on the campus at UBC and is by far the best pizza there, and I have really good memories of going there as a hungry, poor student in my youth (aka: two years ago).
3. Nathan: Pizza Carano
The underrated gem of Fraser Street. It doesn’t get a lot of press, but Carano has been putting out great pies since it opened a few years ago. I don’t usually adventure too much with flavours on ‘za, but its Spicy Coconut Kale is one of the best pizzas I’ve had in the city.
4. Anicka: Nook Restaurant
It’s been a bit since I’ve had it, but it’s so great, especially the Pizza Blanco. I used to frequent the West End one, but it hasn’t opened for dine-in since COVID.
1. Anicka: Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Again, I haven’t been in a bit (god I miss gluten) but Nicli’s great rep is well earned. And thankfully they now give you scissors to get at it. (Plus, fun fact, my niece and nephew call me Aunticka, so I have some affection for the name.)
2. Nathan: Pizzeria Barbarella
I used to live right near Barbarella and it was just really well executed pizza. Great for takeout or eating in with a well crafted beer list and a friendly interior. My friend calls Mount Pleasant “Pizza Town” for the plethora of choices one has, but I think Barbarella really shines, even in a crowded market.
3. Alyssa: The Parlour
Been with my family a bunch of times—they have great drinks and I love The Dirty.
4. Neal: George’s Pizza
I love it. A greasy, Greek pizza that weighs nine pounds, two of which appear to be salt. Just give it to me.
Neal: Don’t Argue
Sadly gone, but I really liked it. Haven’t been to the place that’s there now (Pizzeria Grano), but it has big shoes to fill.
New place just off Main that’s doing some really interesting things.
Nathan: Straight Outta Brooklyn
Probably my favourite pizza by the slice. Really like it and the size is worth the price.
Alyssa: Di Beppe
An underrated spot.
Nathan: Nat’s New York Pizzeria
Classic Kits. And hey, Ryan Reynolds loves it so how can you go wrong? Although looking at him these days, I don’t think he’s eating much pizza. Maybe we can get his recommendation on micro-biotic shakes.
Neal – Corduroy Pie Co., AJ’s Brookln Pizzeria, Bufala, George’s Pizza
Alyssa – Uncle Fatih’s, Me-n-Eds, Mercante, Parlour
Nathan – Pizzeria Farina, Via Tevere, Pizza Carano, Barbarella
Anicka – Famoso, Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Nook, Nicli Antica
Who made the best calls? And what did we miss? Vote below or share your thoughts on our Instagram page.