Maker Pizza (Toronto)

Have you ever wanted to complete an eating challenge? It all started when my husband read an article naming a nearby pizzeria the “best” pizza in Toronto. On a particularly sunny day in early June, we visited Maker Pizza for the first time, and that’s when a challenge was determined: to try all their pizzas by the end of the summer.

Maker Pizza is more of a grab-and-go establishment, although they do have a dine-in area, which expands outdoors when the weather is nice. Eating at the restaurant is key, as by the time the pizza travels home (for us a 7 min drive) that slight crispy bottom disappears. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great pizza, just not nearly as good as it tastes when it’s fresh from the oven. 

It all started with the Tea With Broccolini ($17) and with that first bite I knew I’d want to come back again and again. You can feel the difference of their crust: the bottom is dry, slightly uneven in texture, and as thin as a cracker. It’s a crust that can’t go to waste… a perfect combination of crunchiness and chewiness, the consistency fluffy but still dense.

As I bit through, I heard that satisfying crunch and my mouth erupted with flavours: a spicy kick from the chilies, garlicky greens, a mellow bitterness from the rapini, and the bright lemon zest finish. To cap everything off, there’s the delicious creamy egg yolk.  It’s also a white sauce pizza (so there’s no tomatoes), instead there’s plenty of fragrant olive oil that drizzles onto your hands – grab a nice wad of napkins and a couple of wet naps, you’ll need them. 

The Dr. Pepperoni ($18) is filled with the salty cured meat, to the point that some pieces overlap. Using smaller pepperoni slices is a genius idea as it creates more of the crispy edges and ensures the meat is cooked through. Of course, with all the meat, there’s a real salty oiliness to this pie so you really need to enjoy pepperoni to love this pizza.

A more toned down version is The Real Pep God ($17), where the pepperoni is balanced off with more cheese - double orders of the mozzarella so the cheese just pulls and pulls. Pools of sauce are dolloped over top and garnished with fresh garlic and chili flakes to add extra boosts of flavours.

Maker Pizza's tomato sauce is delicious. Replacing the usual tanginess for a really fresh tasting sauce – it’s almost like they just take plain canned tomatoes and crush them. In fact, everything about Maker's is fresh; you can see them prep the ingredients on site, chopping things down into smaller pieces. There’s no vacuum sealed pre-prepared plastic packages here.  

My favourite red sauce pizza is the Little Deuce Coupe ($18), where the ingredients aren’t overly strong so you can really enjoy the tomato sauce. It also seems lighter: the chicken in bite sized chunks and the buffalo mozzarella replaced with ricotta so even though there's a lot of cheese on the pizza, it doesn't seem too rich. It could use more of the red onion and basil, as the bites with both ingredients were great, while the others seemed plain.

Maker Pizza creates New York style pizza, where the crust is thin and the slices are cut large so it can be folded. For the Little Deuce Coupe, because it's a milder recipe, it actually tastes better unfolded, so the ingredients have more of a chance to meet the taste buds. Conversely, the Return of the Mac ($24) needs to be folded. Overflowing with fresh crunchy lettuce and onions and so much mac sauce it's impossible to eat flat.

It is also the sole pizza that's dine-in only, given the fresh lettuce wilts quickly and you need that fresh crunch to balance off the other saucy ingredients. The Return of the Mac is Maker’s version of the Big Mac, the pizza topped with ground beef, cheddar cheese, and diced pickles along with the lettuce and onion. While it's exciting to see, there's too much of the Thousand Island dressing and with the crust being much thinner than a bun, the toppings are too overwhelming. It’s a pizza where one slice is enough.

The closest thing to a dessert pizza is the Frank’s Best ($17) topped with dollops of caramelized onions, ricotta, sesame seed and honey. However, it's not completely sweet, the Parmesan, rosemary and goat cheese adding a savouriness to the pie. For long time readers of the blog, you'll know I rarely like sweet and savoury combinations, this was certainly a challenging pie for me. 

If you know their menu, you’ll notice this post is still missing some options: the Tropic Thunder and Porky’s, to name a couple. Some just didn’t appeal to us and little did we know they do add new items occasionally (has anyone tried the new So Mushroom yet)? In the end, we didn’t successfully finish the challenge, but we already feel like winners from discovering such a tasty pizza place in the neighbourhood.

Who are you going to grab to take the challenge?

Overall mark - 9 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1537 Avenue Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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