Survey 2011: Best Pizza in Portland

Ken’s Pizza

Amazing. Out of 1011 votes, we have a tie. A TIE. Twice. I counted twice, and then built a pivot table to double-check, because I thought maybe I’d had too much bourbon. As you can see, there is quite a drop to 3rd place.


  1. Ken’s Artisan Pizza 28% of the vote -304 Southeast 28th Ave. Portland, OR 97214 (503) 517-9951 Map


  1. Apizza Scholls 28% of the vote- 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97215. (503) 233-1286 Map
  2. Dove Vivi 5% of the vote- 2727 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR 97232. (503) 239-4444 Map.

In 2010, Ken’s slightly edged out Apizza, with Nostrana in 3rd. Good showing for Dove Vivi. This year Nostrana and Hot Lips tied for 4th. Goodness. I’m just going to be quiet. I’m adding 4th because I think it’s cool that they tied.

  • Nostrana – 1401 Southeast Morrison St. Portland, Oregon 97214 (503) 234-2427 Map.
  • Hot Lips -Many locations – see website.

My choice: either of the first place winners. They are slightly different styles, and both great. I’ve never been to Dove Vivi

You can see all of the “Best of Portland” results here.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. CO says

    man, 2 min. after I comment that the top 4 burgers was totally solid, and had no slouches, we get….hot lips. tied with Nostrana. That hurts my brain a touch and makes me think some trolls came over to vote for their decidedly non-foodie choice.

    for all pizza loving food nerds everywhere, I appologize Nostrana….you don’t deserve that company.

    • says

      I think Hot Lips pizza is decent for what it is. It is not trying to be perfect, Italian-style, pizzaiolo-style pizza. It’s just slightly elevated regular pizza that doesn’t come from a national chain or a sketchy hole-in-the-wall shop (not that there’s anything wrong with that, *cough*Escape From New York*cough*) and Hot Lips seems to use slightly better ingredients than most. Not to mention the fact that as a local chain they are naturally going to have more exposure than Apizza, Ken’s, Dove Vivi and Nostrana, since these are all technically one-spot shops.

      • CO says

        Dead on , Tim. It goes without saying that a chain, with it’s multiple locations is going to have a statistically better showing than a one location business. I guess my comment was meant to convey how many levels below Nostrana(which itself is a couple clicks below Ken’s, which is a click below Scholls…) Hot lips is. I mean no Hyperbole here, but Hot Lips and a high end frozen pizza baked on a stone at home are more comparable to each other than is Hot Lips to Nostrana.

  2. Christine says

    I can’t believe you haven’t been to Dove Vivi yet, dude – I remember a long time ago when you mentioned you should get over there. It’s a tasty treat!
    And boo to the person that said Hot Lips is a slouch. Since when is a local family owned business that sources local organic products and has a big focus on sustainability a slouch? Check out their sourcing page: They even have a whole page on the challenges that bees are having and their efforts to educate and help the situation. Their sustainability page has several interesting links. They’re doing it right and it’s yummy too- I’m happy to support them.

  3. Tony P says

    Hot lips is totally mediocre. Yes, they are local. Yes, they use good ingredients. Those things don’t make up for the boring sauce and the ok-ish crust. I’d rather have Pizza-a-go-go for an everyday pie. If you’re up north Pizza Fino in Kenton is great and has a killer bar and taplist.

  4. Cameron Alexander says

    Please try Dove Vivi Dude. I agree that it is almost in it’s own category, and when I get a craving for it, that is the only place that will do.

    • Food Dude says

      This is going to sound terrible, but the only reason I haven’t been, is I’m not a huge pizza person. Probably because I had a roommate who worked for a pizza restaurant many years ago. He brought it home every night. Ugh.

  5. Hunter says

    This is precisely why I dislike these surveys. Everyone feels compelled to explain why the survey is all wrong….

  6. David Brown says

    Perfect timing! I just moved to Portland. Top 2 priorities after finding a place to live were a new barber and a great pizza place. I’ve tried Escape from NY, Pizzicato and Hot Lips before reading your piece. I was told by a waitress at Papa Hayden that Apizza was the best. A friend said that Ken’s was the best. I finally tried Apizza last night. Loved it! Very fresh. The sausage, pepperoni, onions and peppers were all slightly different than my favorite place in Texas. Next on the list is Kens. Escape was OK. I tend to eat late, and their slices are sometimes dry and taste of the oven surface. Hot Lips was good, Pizzicato was the best of the 3. Apizza is now tops in my book, with Ken’s next on my list to try. Also, just to let you know, the best chicken fried steak I ever had is at Stepping Stones. Order it with Country Sausage gravy. I’ve had it 4 times. Consistently good.
    What’s next for you? Breakfast seems like a big deal around here.

  7. Food Dude says

    When you consider that Hot Lips is very well known and has stores throughout Portland, Nostrana made an impressive showing.

  8. RJ says

    I know that most people have very narrow views of what “real” pizza is – usually whatever they grew up eating is great, and everything else sucks – but I am a big fan of Dove Vivi. Very good pizza, extremely reasonable prices, and really nice servers.

  9. Steve Gramstad says

    All four of these spots have arguably the best pie in town, but there are a couple older spots that are under the radar. Try the Stromboli at Flying Pie on SE 72nd (with a choice of five crusts) and tell me you ain’t in Pittsburgh! Next slip into some history over by Providence Hospital to the American Dream Pizzeria and sup on the Combo, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Gotz two also rans: the original Old Town Pizza on 2nd & NW Davis (MLK not so much), and laugh if you will but Caro Amico’s on SW Barbur do a great job. Home delivery in PDX look to Bellagio’s. Hope this helps out! Mangia!

  10. pdxyogi says

    American Dream is truly disgusting. I always get a splitting headache and unpleasant taste that stays in my mouth for 36 hours. I guess enough hospital workers have bad taste. Without Providence they would’ve bit the dust 20 years ago.
    Bellagio’s? Are you kidding me?! Wouldn’t eat that crap if you paid me.

    • Steve Gramstad says

      Sorry American Dream didn’t work out for you and that Bellagio’s is below your standards. I’ve never heard of a pizza causing a headache, but unlike you I’m not from New york. Native downtown Portlander actually and a friend of mine actually started Hot Lips…so I’m doomed to Portlandia mediocrity. I’ll stand by the Stromboli at Flying Pie though, which I just had after visiting Aprizza and munching their Margarita. So if your pizza choice can’t get you over the hump, well, “put a bird on it”!

  11. peter says

    best by far is stark street pizza and amalfis , all the others have not been around long so they do not make good pizza, the two mentioned have been in buiness for many years

    • says

      So you are saying that any restaurant that hasn’t been in business for years doesn’t make good pizza? Is that because ovens get better with age or??? I know it can’t be the staff, as I know some old chefs who can’t cook worth a damn.

      • Steve Gramstad says

        This might get a chuckle or two, but DiNiccolas on Powell does a rather good pie and their ovens have been in service for two generations. Also you can also taste some of the best sauce in town as well.

        FYI, if you want to look like a local (which most trendy’s do nowadays), dress as if you’ve been dumpster diving, talk loud all during service, and for the piece de resistance go in 50 to 100 lbs. overweight!

  12. Becky says

    Nostrana is amazing but more expensive and more for date night and special occasions… Dove Vivi is hands down the best tasting pizza and their daily salad specials are always fantastic.

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