The curious case of Pizzeria Badiali

This is a very Toronto-centric article so if you’re not from around here maybe this article doesn’t mean anything to you. But it means a lot to people as I’ve seen this conversation go crazy on social media.

This article is about Pizzeria Badiali, the most spoken about pizza place in downtown Toronto. It already had quite a following but after Dave Portnoy rated it at 8.3/10 people in the city and surrounding areas went feral for it, standing in line for time trying to get a slice of this hyped up spot. However, in this city where everybody has an opinion on food and what is “the best” there’s a lot of gatekeeping and haters that challenge opinions on food whenever possible. So here is me, trying to be as objective as possible talking about the most talked about slice in town.

OK so let’s put the biases out. I think objectively, out of all the slices I’ve had – it’s objectively the best. Maybe your month doesn’t work the same as mine, where I feel things with every surface in my mouth (. . . ladies 👀) but depth of flavour in sauce, chew and crisp in dough/crust – for the objectiveness of pizza and NY pizza in general, it’s great. Sauce and dough is something that is unique and the charm of each pizza place, toppings like meat are from other places and are not indicative of the chef’s skills, rather their taste. I’m a basic bitch and I love pizza and have planned my Saturdays on trying the most hyped pizzas in the city. OK now that’s out of the way, let’s speak on it more objectively.

There are a myriad of factors that take away form the experience of Badiali. Let’s start with the line. I have gone twice and have waited in line with a friend for 40 minutes and another time for 80 minutes on my own. For people who aren’t willing to wait, that’s too long – for anybody really. Casually waiting in line for anything that long might not be worth it, ANYTHING. So I think if you’re looking at it at an enjoyment of pizza in mouth by time spent waiting for it, of course it’s low. Why wait in line for a slice or two if you can get North of Brooklyn and get a whole pie instead. Or you can walk down to Superpoint and get a great slice there with no wait. I understand this argument completely. But if you could not wait for a slice at Badiali, I think that would make the pizza much more enjoyable.

Next factor is slice vs whole pie. You can definitely order ahead and get a whole pie. But for people who don’t live in the city, or live close to the city, it’s hard to justify walking over and getting a whole pie with no place to sit down and enjoy it. They do provide delivery but only up to 30 minutes from the location and you must order a $30 minimum, so it’s not accessible. If you’re just trying it out, it might not be feasible to do that. After all that, you’re going to want a slice but let’s be real, a slice isn’t the same vs a freshly made whole pie. Nothing tastes better when it’s sitting and reheated. So we have to add that to the contributing factors of why it’s considered overrated.

Lastly, you love eating but pizza isn’t your favourite. When I eat pizza, I know exactly what I’m looking for. I know exactly why that a pizza from the stylings of New York City is good. I know why I don’t like Neopolitan, I know exactly why I like Detroit style, and why I’m less enthused about Chicago deep dish. I’m not saying that you have bad taste, I’m saying that you might not hold pizza to that high regard which you would other food. I love food but I can’t taste shawarma like other people do, I don’t know what makes a good coffee – I’m still figuring that out. This is totally fine, I’m just saying that pizza may not be in your top billing for favourite food categories.

I know you think that I’m shilling but they don’t pay me, they don’t need to pay anyone for marketing, word of mouth is the best reference you can get for food. And I know that taste is subjective and even if after all these factors, you don’t think it’s amazing or that it lives up to the billing, then OK fine. I will never fight you or gatekeep food. I love food and I don’t want to take away from your experience of enjoying something that is so sacred to me and probably you. But just know that if someone tells you that it’s overrated, there are many objective reasons why that person is justified and I guess I’m just tired of seeing people get so emotional on why this great slice is overrated when in reality, I think it’s objectively, by the standards of NY pizza – great. Get the vodka slice though if you ever try it out.

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