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Restaurants

Danforth Pizza House

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on October 1, 2014 / review policy

danforth pizza houseDanforth Pizza House has been an institution on the Danforth near Donlands for 50 years. When longtime owner Angelo passed last year, family friends took over the business. Elizabeth Manikas and sons Vasili and Dimitri haven't changed anything since.

There is talk of, maybe, replacing the 50 year-old Bari gas oven - which has become increasingly temperamental - but otherwise, the room is preserved with many original features, including bright orange countertops and wooden stools.

danforth pizza houseAs for the recipes? Those are original too. Everything is still being done the old-school way. Dough is mixed by hand (the whole family will proudly show off their newly sculpted biceps if asked), cheese is grated daily, and slicing vegetables, like delicate tomatoes, is done by hand.

The clientele is a mix of neighbourhood locals and former locals who remember eating here growing up. "People come from Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering, Brampton," Elizabeth tells me. "They'll order two or three pies on the way to the GO station to bring home."

danforth pizza houseThis is a strictly take-out operation (tables are generally populated by those waiting) - there's no delivery, so they know the face of every order that comes through. It's not hard to see why they have such a strong following. The pizza is excellent.

They don't do slices. There are no wings, pastas, sandwiches or any other novelties to be had; whole pizzas are the sole focus. I order a small, with mushrooms, onions and tomato. Three toppings included is $11, but a plain cheese starts at $8 and goes up exponentially with size.

danforth pizza houseThe dough is sturdy and chewy and rises just slightly in the oven around the edges so that each pie is encircled by a ring of of puffy crust. The cheese isn't so much shredded as it is extruded through a machine into long curd-like snakes. In the oven, these melt and bubble as they spread out over the surface.

Toppings are applied under the cheese - except for tomatoes, which go on top to prevent the crust from getting soggy. It's the kind of thing I don't usually pay attention to, but I'm glad they do.

Danforth Pizza House TorontoDanforth Pizza House is open from 3pm, though the new owners are toying with the idea of opening for lunch. There are also plans to experiment with the some new toppings like bocconcini or spinach - but not to worry, the faithful classics aren't going anywhere.

Danforth Pizza House TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

12 Comments

Tanya / October 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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BlogTO has just updating the old review. A review from 2011 isn't very helpful, especially since there are new owners! I'm really glad to know that family friends of Angelo have taken over Danforth Pizza.
Tomato Potato / October 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm
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They look pretty cheap with the tomatoes.
Rich / October 2, 2014 at 01:35 pm
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The pies taste ok but they are super stingy on the toppings for the money.
Rich / October 2, 2014 at 03:56 pm
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"a plain cheese starts at $8 and goes up exponentially with size." You don't know what exponentially means.
scotiagirl / October 2, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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Danforth Pizza used to be the best and there was no one better than Angelo. Big shoes to fill and unfortunately, the new owners haven't done a great job. What used to be great pizza is just okay now. No compelling reason to return except for nostalgia.
exDanforthPiza replying to a comment from scotiagirl / October 3, 2014 at 01:04 am
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That is 100% correct. The topping are now quite stingy - not as much on each pizza as in the past. I used to order a larger, for around $25 but they aren't worth that much now. Some people still seem to like them for some reason, probably because they have Alzheimer's and forget how good they once were.
maria / October 4, 2014 at 03:43 pm
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There will NEVER be another Angelo italian pizza. I remember when I was 4 yrs old and picking up a pizza with my dad on the way home from my grandmothers house. When I moved out of the area I would pick up a pizza and drive an 1hr to get home.
There will never be another Angelo no matter how the new greek owners try, pls stay with what
you know OPA to souvlaki
chris / October 4, 2014 at 06:56 pm
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angelo was the best. the new owners have made some positive changes, the pizza is not the same.
joe / October 6, 2014 at 11:28 am
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Best pizza in the city by far! I have been going to the DPH for over twenty years and we are happy to see that the tradition of the Danforth Pizza House is continuing by a new family. Keep up the good work and excellent service!
connie / October 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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Award Winning Pies!!!
CS / October 6, 2014 at 04:11 pm
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Awesome pizza, amazing pizza. Best enjoyed while still piping hot.
Craig Jenkins replying to a comment from Rich / October 24, 2014 at 04:22 pm
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Actually you are assuming integer exponents, I expect.

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