Friday, January 13, 2012

Best Pizza in Vancouver

Vancouver is the home to a lot of cheap but mediocre pizza.  It is a staple for jazz musicians coming home from late night gigs and I have eaten more than my share over the years.

Pizzeria Barbarella has finally opened at 654 E. Broadway.  I took the family down there tonight and it is absolutely fantastic.  There is no doubt that this is the best pizza I have ever had and the best you can find in our fair city.  Jennifer and the kids agreed.  We have eaten a lot of pizza together and take our food very seriously.  My son, Isaac, and I in particular have eaten at dozens of different places in town and have heated discussions about pizza regularly.

The owner and chef is Terry Dean. I first met Terry more than 20 years ago when we were both fledgling jazz players, though Terry was way better than me and just about everybody else our age.  Terry was soon off to NYC and other places and, in addition to playing the tenor saxophone incredibly well, has done a lot of different things to make a living in the intervening years.  His tenor playing is still really amazing but has now taken a backseat to an intense passion for pizza making.  Terry makes a real New York/Italian style pizza with very thin and crispy, hand-stretched, crust cooked in a super hot (870 degree!) oven.  The toppings are simple and of the finest possible quality, including house-made meats (salami, sausage and pancetta),  fresh fior di late, oven-dried cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, etc.  Terry does all the cooking himself. with just a couple of kitchen helpers to move pizzas in and out of the oven.  They also have salads etc, but we were just there for the pizza. The house stereo played Sonny Rollins nice and loud. No top 40 at Barbarella!  My friend (and wonderful trumpeter) Kevin Elaschuk, showed up with his wife Lori just as we were leaving.  I'm sure this will become a major hangout for Vancouver jazz people.

What an amazing meal.  I wish Terry all the success he deserves and for which has worked so hard.  The place was quite full when we were in and I hope it will continue like that.

Don't wait - head down to Pizza Barbarella as soon as possible.


  1. Replies
    1. No. This is not the kind of place where pizza sits waiting for customers. Pizzas are about 12" or so - good size for one person's meal.