The summer season ushers in long days filled with sunshine and lots of leisurely activities. It’s the time of year when we yearn to escape our own kitchens and sneak in a few more hours of hiking, swimming, or town hopping. After a long day, most of us prefer to unwind at a sidewalk café with an easy meal that’s prepared for us. A fresh summer salad and delicious pizza sounds ideal. Each restaurant and pizzeria in this lineup offers its own specialties. From the traditional cheese and tomato pie to the non-traditional, more exotic varieties, the greater Rhinebeck area has it all. From Gigi Trattoria’s Skizza™ – a light, crispy flatbread pizza topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients to Two Brothers Pizza 2’s Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza. After browsing this roster of pizza places, just select one and enjoy!
CJ’s Italian Restaurant
For well over three decades, this family-owned and operated restaurant has offered delicious pizza and other Italian specialties. The pies are made with dough that is created fresh (in house). The pies also feature low-fat cheese that hails from Wisconsin. Some faves include CJ’s Special, which boasts five toppings. You’re invited to play chef and get creative. Choose from a list of nearly 30 tasty toppings. They include everything from mushroom, pepperoni, and onion to pesto, sundried tomatoes, and feta. Gourmet toppings include shrimp, clams, barbecue chicken, and buffalo chicken. One of the top pie pick is the Woodstock, which features tomato, bacon, ranch, and basil. Healthy choices abound. CJ’s also offers gluten-free options. Whole wheat crust is also available upon request. 353 Old Post Rd., (845) 876-7711, cjsrhinebeck.com/menu.html.
Two Brothers Pizza 2
This Rhinebeck-based pizzeria boasts several non-traditional specialty pies. They include the Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza, which features ham, diced chicken, Swiss cheese, and mozzarella. It’s drizzled with a delicious bleu cheese dressing. Beyond tender chunks of steak, the unique Philly Cheesesteak pie boasts green peppers, onions, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella. Spice it up with the Mexican Pizza, which is topped with black olives, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and ground beef. Jalapenos give this pie its kick. Other specialty pies include the Hawaiian Style Pizza, which features pineapple, ham, and bacon; Veggie Pizza, made with onions, green peppers, mushroom, and eggplant; and the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, which is topped with diced chicken. It’s made with a delicious homemade buffalo sauce. One of its top sellers is its Grandma pie – a thin square pizza topped with tomato and basil.
Two Brothers also boasts two other locations in Saugerties and Cairo. Take your pick. 6565 Spring Brook Ave., (845) 876-3435, slicelife.com/restaurants/ny/
In the heart of Rhinebeck is Gigi Trattoria, which is helmed by Laura Pensiero – a chef and nutritionist who believes that seasonal local food is the basis for healthy flavorful eating. Gigi’s is renowned for its Skizza™ – a light, crispy flatbread pizza that’s topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Indulge in the Bianca Skizza™ with goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, rosemary-preserved figs, shaved pears, and zesty arugula. It’s also drizzled with white truffle oil. Those who yearn for the classics can opt for the Margherita Skizza™. Gluten-free options are available. Those interested in recreating Pensiero’s Mediterranean-style dishes can find some inspiration in Hudson Valley Mediterranean: The Gigi Good Food Cookbook by Harper Collins. Accolades include earning Oprah Magazine’s “Five Most Giving and Gifted Food Professionals” ranking. The Victoria A. Simons Locavore Award also honored Pensiero for promoting local agriculture. 6422 Montgomery St., (845) 876-1007, gigihudsonvalley.com
Chef Gianni Scappin opened the doors to Market St. in 2012. The contemporary Italian menu boasts seasonal, local ingredients and premium Italian products. Market St.’s signature Neopolitan-style pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning brick oven. They’re made with San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Opt for the less traditional, more exotic pies. They include the Robbiola, which features robiolina cheese, truffle oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt – or the refreshing Caprina. It’s made with a delectable fig-rosemary spread, Coach Farm goat cheese, fresh pear, arugula, and truffle oil. 19 W. Market St., (845) 876-7200, marketstrhinebeck.com.
In the charming courtyard off E. Market Street sits Pizzeria Posto, which traces its history back to 2012. Culinary talent Patrick Amedeo is the master behind the delicious pies. There are lots of great choices on the menu. Indulge in the Mama Mia, which features smoked mozzarella, wood-roasted onions, and fennel sausage. What’s absent is the tomato sauce. Other pies made sans tomato sauce include the Terra Bianca, which is handcrafted with fresh, soft mozzarella, Grana Padano cheese, fresh ricotta, and zesty arugula. There’s also the Ponte Vecchio. It’s made with fresh ricotta, fresh mozzarella, Grana Padano cheese, guanciale (cured meat), and baby spinach.
Those who yearn for the taste of tomatoes can indulge in the Margherita pie, which is made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. When available, diners may opt to substitute an imported mozzarella di bufala cheese. There’s also the Marinara, made with San Marzano tomatoes, oregano, and shaved garlic. 43 E. Market St., (845) 747-0311, postopizzeria.com.
Village Pizza & Restaurant
Everyone feels like family at this friendly, family-owned pizzeria that boasts a 50-year history. Some of the most popular pies include the Tomato and Basil, White Broccoli, and Chicken Bacon Ranch. Proprietor Al Mazzella and his family trace their roots back to Brooklyn. Caring for- and supporting the community is a priority for this local establishment. When Rhinebeck became an “Autistic Supportive Environment”several years ago, Village Pizza quickly signed on to support families with autistic children. It’s proud to offer priority service, which includes no wait times.
Village Pizza also supports America’s heroes. Its own family members are currently serving the New York City community as members of the NYFD. Police, firefighters, first responders, and military are entitled to a 10% discount. 19 E. Market St., (845) 876-9676, al-mazzella-7lw5.squarespace.
This rustic Italian eatery serves up a variety of wood-fired oven pizzas. The menu includes everything from traditional Neopolitan and Margherita pies to vodka Margherita, rucola e prosciutto crudo, pesto shrimp, truffle mushroom, and baby spinach and artichoke white pizza. Its flatbreads include rustica flatbread, chicken caprese flatbread, and veggie flatbread.
On Thursdays, foodies can choose any woodfired pizza and pair it with a Peroni beer, Sloop Juice Bomb cider or housemade sangria for $20. Gluten free? Savona’s offers up a cauliflower crust, which is available upon request (takeout only). 7249 S Broadway, (845) 758-6400, savonas.com.
Disclaimer: This is in no way a complete list of all of the restaurants who offer pizza on their menus in the greater Rhinebeck area. If we left an establishment out, our apologies, and please email us and we’ll put it on our list for future reference. firstname.lastname@example.org.