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Best New Restaurants 2011

number 7 Queen Margherita Pizza

A 6,000–pound Neapolitan oven turns out soft-centred pies, and sparks the battle for city’s best crust

The exquisite Margherita pizza from Queen Margherita Pizza

Pizza geeks will argue into eternity about whether Queen Margherita, the new place across from the Queen East streetcar yard, does better Neapolitan-style pies than the ever-popular Pizzeria Libretto on Ossington Avenue. But why fight, when both are delicious? The pizzas here, baked in a wood-burning oven (of course) by a couple of pros from Salerno, are excellent: firm and smoky and blistered with lightly blackened crustules on the outside, slightly goopy in the centre (as Neapolitans would argue is only proper) with bright, fresh-from-the-garden-tasting tomato sauce and smart, basic toppings. The namesake Margherita pizza, as you might expect, is exquisite, though non-purists should also try the Rocco, loaded with red onion and fennel sausage. As for that raging battle between east and west, each one is like a favourite child to us. But screw it—we’re going to say Queen Margherita, if only by a hair.

1402 Queen St. E., page