Inspired by a recent tour through Brooklyn with Scott’s Pizza Tours that blew my pizza loving mind and armed me with the question “is there a pizza style that might be endemic to Seattle?,” I convinced Kerri and a few special guests to head over to the Northlake Pizza Tavern on a Monday night. This spot has been open since 1964 (though I’m not sure if that included pizza at the very beginning, but maybe it did), so where better to get a taste of Seattle pizza history than this unassuming spot under the Ship Canal Bridge. Bonus: we were there on trivia night.
The trivia was louder and more random than we’re used to, but luckily, we were mostly there to review pizza. We’d always been a little hesitant to try Northlake Tavern, due to it’s intimidating exterior – no windows to check out what’s happening inside. And the pizzas we had seen online seemed…interesting. We had no idea what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised once we dug into our half pepperoni, half Hawaiian pie.
Eating this pizza, it finally felt like we had found “Seattle pizza.” The original owner got the recipe for his pizza from an Italian friend in NYC, but after some experimentation with the ingredients, what came out was a totally unique style of pizza, that presumably can only be found at Northlake. The crust was reminiscent of deep dish, without actually being deep, and toppings were bountiful and fresh.
Kerri was absolutely surprised by this pizza. She actually drives by Northlake Tavern every day on her commute, so has been curious about it for a while. She found the pizza hard to describe, calling it an interesting cross between traditional American and Chicago deep dish, but not a deep dish. She was impressed and is looking into delivery options.
I was also really surprised with this pizza. The photos looked a little peculiar that I’d seen before but the taste was really good. I feel like this is the pizza place that Zeeks wants to be. The crust was my favorite part, and though I was a little overwhelmed by the cheese, it was great comfort food.
Overall, the reaction to Northlake Tavern was that of exceeded expectations. Special guest Adrian simply said “homemade,” which we’re not sure is good or bad, but we’re guessing good. The truth is, no one walked in there expecting the “best pizza in the northwest, since 1953” to actually be good. But we sure do love to be proven wrong, particularly when it comes to pizza. As a result, we happily gave this pizza a 4 out of 5.