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D'Amore's Famous Pizza
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 778-0300
www.damoresfamouspizza.com
(In Miracle Mile Shops near self-park entrance)

D'Amore's Famous Pizza in Planet Hollywood

I've had a place called D'Amore's Pizza Connection on my list of potential places for a long time however I'm thinking this place is not related to the D'Amore's Famous Pizza I'm discussing here. Not sure. The place I did go to was D'Amore's Famous Pizza in Planet Hollywood. I heard about the recently opened location in Planet Hollywood on twitter.

Finally happened to be in Planet Hollywood this weekend so I decided to give it a try. Walking in the place has a chain restaurant vibe. My first impression is that this is like Sbarro's. Young adults working following the franchise system but I question whether there is craftsmanship in that. A few chain places do manage to do this well, notably Grimaldi's.

Get a few slices of pepperoni and pepperoni and mushroom.

Slice of mushroom and pepperoni pizza from D'Amore's

Slices of pepperoni pizza from D'Amore's

First thing I notice is that the pizza is really thin. This may be some of thinnest pizza I've had. Thin is good. +1. The slices also have a nice flop to them. +2. Biting into my first slice however I'm struck by the ordinary-ness of this pizza. The best way I can describe is it's bland. The crust is good I'll give them that.

Flop of slice of pizza from D'Amore's

Bottom of pizza crust from D'Amore's Famous Pizza

As I read their takeout menu I notice that they highlight the low calorie/low fat nature of their pizza as compared to other pizza places. Uggh is this diet pizza? For example, they show the fat content of D'Amore's to be 3.8g per slice as compared to Pizza Hut's 46g per slice. Newsflash I'm not eating pizza to be healthy. There's nothing wrong with being healthy, I encourage it, but when I'm eating pizza I'm in full enjoyment mode not watching calories mode. Like low fat ice cream or diet soda it doesn't make sense to me.

Given the disparity in fat and calories between D'Amore's and other chains I guess the pizza is pretty good considering. However for best pizza in Las Vegas this does not make the cut.

Cugino's Italian Deli & Pizza
4550 S Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 895-7561
www.cuginositalian.com
(Maryland Pkwy & Harmon Blvd. Across from UNLV in same plaza as Chipotle)

Cugino's Italtian Deli & Pizza

I've heard people praising Cugino's so I decided to check it out (although there is another Cugino's on the West side on Vegas Dr, not sure if they're related). Cugino's is different from all the other pizza places I've been to in Vegas in that it is a Deli as well as a pizza place. Cugino's is situated across from UNLV and as such I imagine it must do pretty good business although it wasn't particularly crowded when I went. Walking in the place smells like.. cheese. Not necessarily delicious cheese from cooking pizza, but cheese from the huge slabs in the deli. The place has the feel of a small cluttered mom and pop convenience store. My first instinct it to walk out and come back another time because based on the appearance, the smell, and the lack of customers I'm wondering how good the pizza will be. I decide to check it out. Order a large cheese and pepperoni.

The pizza is ready fast in about 15 minutes or so. The pizza smells good. Opening the box it looks good too:

Large Cheese & Pepperoni Pizza from Cugino's

The slice flop:

Slice of cheese from Cugino's Pizza flopping

Biting into my first slice, my first impression is the pizza is good but not amazing. The crust is different from the last several places I've eaten at. Dom DeMarco's, Biaggio's, Familia Pizzeria and the Cosmopolitan all have a chewy crust (sometimes too chewy), while Cugino's crust almost has a crunch to it. Not like a cracker or anything but just a soft crunch. It stands out in my mind and I like it. The flavor is good and as with Familia Pizzeria I'm borderline on this one. It's good pizza and if you live in the area you should go there. I wouldn't say it's the best pizza in Vegas though. Bottom line I would say it's worth checking out.

I'm not adding it to the official list now although I might later. I want the site to be about the absolute best pizza in Las Vegas but at the same time I want to call people's attention to these good local pizza shops, like Cugino's. Also I want the list to be geographically spread out so that no matter where you live in Vegas you can find some good pie not too far away. So I'm brainstorming some different ideas of how to best achieve these two goals and hopefully will come up with something soon.

Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria & Bar
9785 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 570-7000
www.domdemarcos.com
(Charleston Blvd and Hualapai Way. SE corner. Next to PetSmart.)

Heard about this place a couple months back and was excited for it to open. If finally opened on December 2, 2011. Dom DeMarco's was opened by Dom DeMarco Jr. the son of Dom DeMarco of the famous New York pizzeria Di Fara Pizza. Di Fara's is often said to be some of the best pizza in New York so I was excited to try this.

Ordered a large cheese and large pepperoni for takeout. At $18 for a large cheese and more for toppings it's kinda pricey but I figure if it's as good as the hype then it will be worth it. When I get to the restaurant first thing I notice is that it's bigger and nicer and more formal than I expected. You see the pictures of Di Fara's in New York and it's this little hole in the wall place. Was expecting this to be just a simple pizza joint. But no it's a sit down restaurant with hostesses and plasma TV's and a separate bar area. You could come here for dinner the same as you would go to trendy restaurant. The place is packed.

I peek at the pizza before heading home and it looks good. Looking at the pizza in my car, there is so little sauce on the cheese pizza I almost think I got a white pizza by mistake. The pizza looks like a cross between New York style and Neapolitan. Here's the cheese pizza:

Photo of cheese pizza from Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria

The other thing I notice is the little bits of basil sprinkled on the pizza. I eat a slice of cheese and the pizza is very good. Unlike what I thought in the car there is sauce on the cheese pizza but it's very little probably the least I've ever had on a pizza. The taste of the actual cheese itself on the pizza is amazing. Really good flavor slightly sweet. The crust is a little chewier than I'd like but still very good. The pizza tastes like no other in Vegas it just has a distinct flavor. I personally could do without the bits of basil although it does add a different dimension to the pizza.

The pepperoni is also really good. And unlike the pizzeria at the Cosmopolitan which has disappointing pepperoni's on it (although still great pizza), the pepperoni's at DeMarco's are delicious, small, and savory.

The pepperoni:

Photo of pepperoni pizza from Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria

The New York pizza slice flop:

Photo of slice of pizza from Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria flopping.

The bottom of the crust:

Photo of bottom of pizza crust from Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria

This is definitely some of the best pizza in Vegas and we're adding it to the official best pizza in Vegas list. Dom DeMarco's has a unique and delicious taste. The pizza game just stepped up in Vegas. Check out Dom DeMarco's.

I saw a tweet today that Dom DeMarco's is now open. Haven't seen anything official on their website press section or from their own twitter account @domdemarcos and I can't find any news on it on the web. But as with many things twitter seems to be one of the fastest sources of information. I aim to find out for sure.

UPDATE

Ok yes I can confirm Dom DeMarco's is now open! Open till 11pm weeknights and midnight on weekends. Will this be some of the best pizza in Las Vegas? I'm excited to check this place out and find out. Here's their info:

Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria & Bar
9785 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89117
702-570-7000
www.domdemarcos.com

Biaggio's Pizzeria
4235 S Fort Apache Rd Ste 160
Las Vegas, NV 89147
(702) 207-4992
www.biaggiospizzeria.com
(Fort Apache Rd and Flamingo Rd. SW corner. Off I-215 exit in Home Depot shopping plaza.)

Biaggio's has some buzz around so I figured I'd give this one a try this past weekend. First thing I notice is their website is always slow as hell for some reason so they should get that checked out. Walking into the place it's very clean. Almost too clean. Doesn't have that feel of neighborhood pizza joint. There are several booths, plasma TV's, and a glass Deli counter showcasing desserts and various entree's. That's not to say the place is swank or something; the vibe to me is sterile. Still better clean than dirty. Anyway I could care less what the place looks like if the pie is good.

Get a large pepperoni pizza to go. The pizza's more expensive here than most places: a large pepperoni (16") is $17. Some of that probably goes to their custom boxes:

Photo of pizza box from Biaggio'sPizzeria

The pizza looks and smells good.

Photo of pepperoni pizza from Biaggio'sPizzeria

The slices have the critical New York pizza flop:

Slice of pepperoni pizza with new york pizza flop from Biaggio's Pizzeria

Diving in the pizza is good. Quite good. The cheese on the pizza is good, better than Familia Pizzeria. The crust is a little overly chewy for my taste but still good. I enjoyed the pizza here and I think if you're in the area you should give Biaggio's a try. The pizza here is not as good as the pizza at the Cosmopolitan but I think it still qualifies as some of the best pizza in Las Vegas.

Familia Pizzeria
8090 S Durango Dr Ste 116
Las Vegas, NV 89113
(702) 896-4606
www.familiapizzerialv.com
(Durango Dr and Windmill Ln)

Heard about this place and decided to check it out. It's hiding behind a bar so it's easy to miss if you're driving by. Ordered a large 18" pepperoni which came out to about $16. Driving home the pizza smelled good in the car.

Got home and opened the pizza it looked appetizing.

Photo of pepperoni pizza from Familia Pizzeria

I take out a slice and it has that all important New York pizza flop:

Photo of slice of pepperoni pizza from Familia Pizzeria with New York Flop

The pizza is good very tasty. The crust is really good. It has a little bit of char on the bottom just how I like it. Everything about this is good except the cheese is not my favorite. Don't get me wrong it's good but it doesn't blend into the pizza and I can taste the cheese separate from the pizza as opposed to blending into a slice of heaven.

I'm borderline on this pizza being qualified for best pizza. In particular I have Villa pizza on the list for best pizza but not this place, so I may need to reevaluate. Might need to do a head to head with Villa. I'd say its about equivalent to Joe's NY Pizza slightly better. If you live in the area you should definitely check it out.

Uncle Joe's Pizza
505 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 385-2162
(Fremont St and Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip". Next to the Fremont Street Experience)

Let me cut to the chase. If you are downtown and want pizza go to Uncle Joe's Pizza.

Now the questions remains should you go out of your way to go there? Uncle Joe's is located just a few store fronts down from the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont St. The place is small and narrow and always has customers in it. Ordered a large pepperoni which only cost $9.99 plus tax which is a pretty good deal for food in a touristy area, downtown or not, or any area for that matter.

The pie comes out after about 20 minutes.

Photo of pepperoni pizza from Uncle Joe's Pizza

The pizza is greasy and good. It's not the best pizza in Vegas but it has a good taste to it. I'm not a napkin soaker but if I were one I would use it on this pie. The pepperoni's are full of flavor I like them better than the bland pepperoni at the Cosmopolitan Pizzeria (which, however, has much better pizza for the record). For my taste the crust is underdone. The bottom of the pie is completely golden with no darker brown char that is typical on good pizza. Overall I'd say it's almost on par with Joe's New York Pizza (note: not the same as Uncle Joe's Pizza), maybe not quite as good. Bottom line I wouldn't go out of my way to get pizza from here like I would with the Cosmopolitan.

Pizzeria at The Cosmopolitan (aka Secret Pizza Place aka Hidden Pizza Place)
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 651-2432
(Las Vegas Blvd "The Strip" and Harmon Ave. At The Cosmopolitan Hotel in City Center. 3rd floor above Marquee nightclub.)

Secret Pizza Entrance

I think I came across this place on Yelp and it had almost like 300 positive reviews and I'm asking myself why the hell I haven't heard of this place. Decide to check it out last night. Well parking is a bitch at the Cosmopolitan; after waiting in traffic for 20 minutes just to turn into the Cosmopolitan the self-park was completely full and literally blocked off and the valet was only accepting hotel guest with room keys. Do I come back another night? No, now I was determined to try this pizza. Parked at the Vdara and hoofed it over to the Cosmo.

The place is a little hidden. Basically go like you're headed to Marquee nightclub. From the valet entrance near registration you walk straight back to the other end of the casino near the Chandelier bar (the bar that looks like a big ass chandelier). Go up the escalator, now your on the second floor by Marquee, go up one more escalator to the third floor. Now your at the third floor and there are a couple of restaurants up there. From the top of the escalator head straight and slightly to the left. Between two restaurants there is a long hallway with no sign. You can see a couple of arcade games/pinball machines at the end of the hallway and the hallway is lined with a ton of framed photos. Go down the hallway and you're there. Apparently the place has no name, my receipt just said "Pizzeria".

Cosmopolitan Pizzeria Counter

The pizza behind the counter looks pretty good. Ordered a slice of cheese, two slices of pepperoni, and a slice of pepperoni with peperoncini. The slices start a $3.50 for a slice of cheese and additional toppings are 0.50 each. Service was pretty fast and they warm the slices for you. You can also order a whole pie which cost around $24 and takes about 30 minutes.

Dive into my cheese slice and it's really good. The slices are thin and they have that New York pizza flop. The pepperoni is good too. The actual pepperoni it self is not my favorite kind it's big and not quite as greasy and savory as I'd like but still good. The dough is a tiny bit chewy but I think with a fresh pie it would be better. I'm in heaven. This is absolutely some of the best pizza you can get it a hotel on the strip, much better than Sirroco's in New York New York. It's official, this place qualifies as some of the best pizza in Las Vegas. Go there.

Just found out Dom DeMarco's Pizzeria & Bar is coming to Las Vegas in Fall 2011. DeMarco's will be located on West Charleston and Hualapai. Relatively close to Rocco's. I wonder if that was intentional or if that just happens to be a good area to open a pizza place.

The shop is being opened by Dom DeMarco Jr. the son of famous Brooklyn pizza guy Dom DeMarco who runs Di Fara Pizza in New York. Pretty excited about this looks like we may have a new contender for best pizza in Las Vegas.

9785 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89117
702-570-7000
www.domdemarcos.com

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
10840 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 853-2300
http://www.bjsrestaurants.com/
(Charleston Blvd and I-215. Across from the Red Rock Hotel & Casino)

Although I've been loosely curious about the pizza here I wasn't really ever expecting to find outstanding pizza in a chain place like this. It's a typical family restaurant like Chili's or Cheesecake factory with the angle that it's a brewhouse, so it has kind of a bar/sports bar feel while still being family oriented. The crowd runs the gamut as you see families with kids here, people on dates, and co-workers getting a drink after work.

BJ's originated in California and has grown to 108 locations as of 2011 and as such has the corporate systematization you'd expect from this type of operation. The kind of pizza they do here is deep dish. I order a medium "BJ's Favorite" pizza which comes with meatballs, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, white onions and seasoned tomatoes. They're advertising whole wheat crust so I figured I'd give it a whirl. The pizza comes out in a deep dish pan and they put it on an elevated pedestal as pizza restaurants are wont to do.

The crust is buttery and the edges are dark brown as the grease has carmelized with the bread. The pizza is thick and mostly what makes it thick is the crust. The crust is like a light spongy bread. Height-wise it's about a 50/50 split with crust and toppings. The pizza is good, not amazing. It tastes about like what you'd expect if you made pizza at home a loaded a bunch of ingredients on to it (assuming you can make ok pizza). I wouldn't go out of my way to get pizza here again. Not best pizza in Vegas quality. It's sort of been there done that. I guess to be fair I should try it without the whole wheat crust sometime so I might give it one more shot, although, when describing the whole wheat crust, our waiter said he couldn't really tell much of a difference between the regular white crust and the whole wheat.

If you want deep dish in Vegas try Amore Pizza and Pasta.

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