Lots To Like About Adriatico’s Pizza in Cincinnati

As a life long devotee of attending live music events, it’s helpful to know a few spots in whatever town one is visiting that stays open late, especially on weekdays, to nourish the fatigued and impaired. I look at it as self-preservation, particularly if a drive home comes next.

For a variety of reasons Cincinnati books more of the rambunctious alternative rock acts popular with the college set and yours truly than can be found in Lexington and Louisville. That has me in the car 90 minutes each way to catch a show. On the way up mini-cheese coneys from Skyline Chili are a solid pre-game favorite upon reaching the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. On the way home lately I’ve been giving Adriatico’s repeat business. It’s a late night pizzeria and sports bar, located on the edge of the University of Cincinnati campus that offers New York style pizza, dripping with cheese and heavy on the toppings.

The beer selection in a joint like this is serious business as one might expect in a heritage hops city like The ‘Nati. Check the selection board that is written out in colored chalk for daily availability. There is a broad assortment of I.P.A.s, pale ales, stouts, lagers and other beer-related consumables. Or take a run at one of their draft blends, such as Black & Blue Moon (Guinness & Blue Moon), Black Apple (Guinness & Original Sin Cider) or Black Barrel (Guinness & Kentucky Bourbon Ale).

Glasses come in 10 oz, 16 oz and 23 oz sizes or refill a growler to go. That my friends is 64 ounces of golden deliciousness for between $10-$20 on most offerings. I will advise, watch for potency my friends. It’s not by accident the alcohol percentage is listed for each. There are few offerings like Miller Lite that contain 4.2 percent alcohol. The majority are between 6 to 8 percent, with a few like Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA coming in at 9 percent.

I recommend starting out with an order of the Parmesan breadsticks. The dough is braided before baking, creating all sorts of nooks and crannies where garlic butter and Parmesan get embedded. About the time you stop unconsciously inhaling these fresh out of the oven teasers, the pizza will come swooping down as a waiter places an elevated stand on the table to land the pie upon.

You can’t go wrong with either the Sicilian or hand tossed (thin). Both are fantastic. This is exceptional drunk pizza, with all the cheese, oversized toppings and a garlic essence baked into the crust. It will heal what ails you. But order wisely, especially if first getting breadsticks, wings or loaded tots, because the Sicilian in particular can take down a monstrous appetite in a surprising couple of pieces. It’s delicious but densely constructed.

Pizzas can be ordered in 8″ personals, 12″ medium, or large, which if round is 16″ or 18″ x 13″ squared off. For a gathering of 10 to 12, give the Bearcat a try. This behemoth is in the HUGE category, 18″ x 24″ for Sicilian only. It starts at $33.99. Looking for a hearty bargain, try Adriatico’s ‘Inflation Fighter, get nine toppings for the price of five!

Next time late night edibility options become critical in Cincy, drop past Adriatico’s and see why Cincinnati Magazine voted it Best Pizza, and CityBeat kept it at the top of its favored non-chain pizzerias for 12 years running. They’re cooking up something right at Adriatico’s, and they’ve been doing it for more than 40 years.

Adriatico’s | 113 West McMillan Avenue | Cincinnati, OH | 513.281.4344

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