181 Dovercourt Rd
Pizzeria Badiali cooks up New York-style pizza with help from some classic Italian ingredients, serving it by the slice or 16-inch pie from the corner of Dovercourt and Argyle.
The storefront has been home to cafes for more than a decade. First as Luna Cafe and then The Good Neighbour before finding its apparent calling as the slice shop it is today.
Inside the shop, a counter wraps around an open kitchen where customers can watch the pizzas taking form. Laid-back, yet buzzing during a daily lunch and dinner rush, it captures the feel of a classic neighborhood pizzeria.
Toronto chef Ryan Baddeley opened the shop with Nick Halligan and Owen Walker, co-owners of El Rey. The three friends met in 2013 while working at Bar Isabel.
Baddeley, who has worked in a variety of fine dining spots across the city including Osteria Rialto, Bar Raval, and Nota Bene, says the decision to open a pizzeria came after a simple hobby turned into a pizza-making obsession.
That, combined with a few visits to the classic by-the-slice shops around Brooklyn, made opening something similar in his own neighborhood of six years seem obvious.
The pizza here is made with homemade sauce from California-style tomatoes, three-day-aged dough from Italian flour, and a blend of pecorino and grana Padano when it comes to the cheese.
Slices, ranging from $4.75 to $6 depending on the type and coming on a no-frills paper plate, are cut from jumbo 19-inch pies while whole pies are 16 inches.
The pepperoni (slice: $6, pie: $26) is a mainstay behind the counter. It comes covered in American pepperoni for the classic flavor and features a third cheese: whole milk mozzarella. Creamy garlic with pepperoncini or hot honey dip can be added on the side.
There are also a few pies that diverge from the more classic options like the burrata marinara (slice: $6.50, pie: $28).
It’s got shaved garlic, fresh basil and herbs, and scoops of creamy burrata on top of a crispy layering of pecorino and Padano and rimmed by a blistering thin crust.
A few salads round out the menu including one with Genoa salami on a bed of arugula, radicchio, romaine, and artichoke ($14). The generous contents of the bowl make it big enough for a meal on its own or perfect for sharing on the side of a pizza.
The Ceasar Supreme ($12) stands apart from your typical Ceasar with focaccia croutons, white anchovies, and shaved Padano.
A bottle of Brio – they have lemon, blood orange, and bitter orange flavors – is just the thing you want to be sipping on between bites on the patio.
The low-key side patio is where most customers head after grabbing a slice of pie inside, and after your meal, Tutto Gelato is conveniently located next door.