: Shawn Linehan

Not Your Typical Pizza

Oregon pizza chefs put creative spins on the classics.
September 29, 2022

Move over, pepperoni, Oregon’s pizza makers like to celebrate the wild, the weird and the unusual toppings as much as they love the tried-and-true classic. Think Chinese barbecue pork, taco chips, sauerkraut, seaweed and cherries. National Pizza With the Works (Except Anchovies) Day arrives on November 12, and pizzerias and restaurants around the state are ready to tantalize your taste buds with creations that make pineapple seem perfectly normal. 

True, the “official” day is meant to celebrate pizzas piled high with all of your classic, not-fish ingredients like sausage, olives and mushrooms — but those are so milquetoast. Here’s a roundup of some of the most unusual pizzas you can order, many of which are available any time of the year.

Zoomed in shot of pizza topped with bacon and green onions.
(Courtesy of Hapa Pizza)

Pies with a Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean Twist

Swing by the Beaverton Farmers Market on Saturdays to find Hapa Pizza, a food cart that’s getting its own brick-and-mortar shop in winter 2022. The specialties here are Asian-inspired Neapolitan pizzas — a fusion of cultures just like the family behind the business. Try the pizza with Chinese barbecue pork, bok choy, green onions, honey drizzle and Kewpie mayo, or the pho pie with stewed brisket, pho sauce, bean sprouts and more. 

Over in Heppner, Two Old Hags Pizza does a Korean pie with chicken gochujang and pineapple as well as a deeply American one: a bacon-cheeseburger pizza with mustard sauce and pickles. LoLo’s Boss Pizza in Troutdale keeps it simple with chicken and basil on its Sand Island pizza but adds some pizzazz with a Thai peanut sauce. Newly opened Wild Child Pizza in Portland, meanwhile, takes wild flavors and textures and combines them with their unique sourdough Detroit-inspired pizza crust. Think umami-packed Asian flavors like okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake) and bonito flakes (smoked and fermented skipjack tuna), as well as American comfort foods like Nashville hot chicken and tater tots.

Taco Pizza Fiesta in The Dalles

Spooky’s first opened more than 55 years ago and has since become the place to go for good, homey fare in The Dalles.  Enjoy the Mexican-fusion stylings of the Taco pizza, a fiesta of spiced beef, diced tomatoes and taco chips served over a spicy refried-bean sauce. Or try the Irish pizza (if only Reubens were Irish), which comes with sauerkraut, pastrami and a homemade Reuben sauce.

Shot of pizza topped with seafood ingredients.
(Courtesy of Pizza Capo)

Seafood Pizza in McMinnville and Eugene

Clam pizzas may sound odd, but the New England tradition goes back to the 1960s with the addition of littleneck clams to a white (sauceless) pie in New Haven, Conn. In Oregon Pizza Capo in McMinnville offers their version: clams and garlic on a pillowy bed of smoked mozzarella, mascarpone and green sauce made of chopped parsley, lemon zest and more garlic. The chefs are serious pizza dudes with Napoletana pizza certifications. They know their Oregon wines, too, so why not? 

Hey, Neighbor! Pizza House in Eugene also has a top-notch clam pie, but consider the Gamberetto — topped with Gulf shrimp, crushed tomato and kalamata olives — or one of their many creative seasonal pizzas with fresh produce like corn or jalapenos.

Seaweed Pizza in Astoria

Oregon’s pretty blessed when it comes to finding fresh, local, great ingredients, and the cooks at the Fort George Brewery in Astoria have created pretty much the perfect coastal pie. Head upstairs to the pizzeria and order the Palmaria, a pizza with wild mushrooms, crispy seaweed, fat slices of bacon and a Thai miso glaze. The only thing missing might be a light drizzle of rain. Pair it with one of the dozens of new beers the brewery unveils on the regular.

Person holding entire pizza topped with cherries.
(Courtesy of Solstice)

Grapes and Cherry Pies in Portland and Hood River

If you’ve seen the popular Netflix series “Chef’s Table,” you may have seen Sarah Minnick, Portland’s celebrated “pizzaiola” and mastermind behind Lovely’s Fifty Fifty. Minnick is known for her farm-to-table creations, including pizzas with fresh flowers and fruit, with top-quality produce like nectarines or grapes picked at their prime. The seasonal menu changes daily and never disappoints. 

If you’re craving a sweet-savory combo in Hood River, swing by Solstice Wood Fire Pizza Waterfront Cafe for the Country Girl Cherry, which comes with locally grown cherries, house-made chorizo sausage and goat cheese.

About The

Tim Neville
Tim Neville is a writer based in Bend where he writes about the outdoors, travel and the business of both. His work has been included in Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing and Best Food Writing, and earned various awards from the Society of American Travel Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists. Tim has reported from all seven continents and spends his free time skiing, running and spending time with his family.

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