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Our city’s version is modest but distinctive, defined by a cracker-thin crust and square-cut pieces. Leading purveyors:

Maria’s Pizza

The crust on these oblong pies hangs over the edge of the baking pans. Just more crust to love! Carryout is an option at this cash-only place, in business since 1957, but eating in the charmingly kitschy dining room is obligatory. At least once.
5025 W. Forest Home Ave.

Caradaro Club

Where cracker-crust history began. (A plaque on a Third Ward building recognizes the original spot, which opened in 1945.) Though not run by the founders, it still adheres to tradition. Order a pie with the works.
5010 W. Vliet St. and 1417 S. 70th St.

Zaffiro’s

This original location dates to 1954, and it’s the bomb for saltine-thin crust pieces that hold up to a toppings-palooza.
1724 N. Farwell Ave.

Balistreri’s

Founder Jim Balistreri cut his teeth at the old Caradaro Club in the Third Ward. The pies here are particularly cheesy, with an exceptional pepperoni special.
6501 W. Bluemound Rd. and 812 N. 68th St., Wauwatosa

Calderone Club

Owner Gino Fazzari’s father was part of pizza history with a link to Caradaro Club. His dad opened a joint (since closed) on Bartlett Avenue in 1979. Gino follows his pop’s thin-crust lead, adding fancier toppings like prosciutto and arugula.
842 N. Old World Third St.


‘Eat Like a Wisconsinite’ appears in the March 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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