Brooklyn has Di Fara’s, Chicago has Pizzeria Uno, and Philly has Pizza Brain. While it’s not the best pizza in town, it’s pretty darn good. And as we’ve noted before: Philly knows pizza. Pizza Brain is a well-known spot among locals and tourists alike, because it is the world’s first pizza museum that happens to have an artisan pizzeria attached. Check out what makes Pizza Brain a Philly staple.
Image via Flickr
“Museum” may be a bit of a stretch when describing the collection of pizza paraphernalia in the two small rowhouse storefronts on Frankford Avenue, yet there’s enough memorabilia at the shop (over 550 pieces) to hold a Guinness World Record. Some walls are lined with dozens of albums, such as Pizzaman’s Hello Honky Tonks and Joanne Hamil’s Pizza Boogie, creating a funky mosaic of retro pizza images. Other sections are filled with pop culture images like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Simpsons. Plexiglass displays an eclectic collection of items, such as vintage Pizza Hut menus, figurines, and a even a pizza cutter shaped like the Starship Enterprise. Don’t forget to head out onto the patio to take in Hawk Krall’s sprawling mural of Philly-inspired pizza love.
Image via mypizzabrain
The pies at Pizza Brain are undefinable, indescribable, and just as kitschy as the decor. You’ve never met pizzas like these before. If you’re seeking Neapolitan or thin crust or wood fired, head some place else. If you’re up for oddball creations on a crispy, American sourdough base, this is the spot. Zany combinations like smoked bacon, brown sugar, red onion, and oven-roasted brussel sprouts compose the “Kira Tiersten.” But beyond the creativity on the pizza canvases, good ingredients and balanced flavors are at the heart of each pie.
Image via visitphilly
No frills is the motto at Pizza Brain, so seat yourself and bring bills for this cash-only favorite. Don’t expect tablecloths and fine dining, and instead prepare yourself for fun and quirkiness.
For simple pizzas, we recommend:
Slices of flavorful pepperoni are charred to perfection, and their smokiness pairs well with the cheesy flavors.
Sweet and savory dance together with dates and crisped prosciutto.
A blend of sweet béchamel, creamy fontina, and ricotta bring this basic white pie together.
For more adventurous flavors, we recommend:
House-made sausage crumbles infused with fennel and caraway, grilled escarole, and pesto
This French onion soup on a pie is built on béchamel, caramelized onions, fresh thyme, and gooey Gruyère