Address: 842 Corydon Ave
Winnipeg is rich with choice when it comes to Italian cuisine. Red sauce joints can be found throughout the city—and concentrated on Corydon Avenue—yet this culinary category continues to thrive. How does Italy deliciously infiltrate the food scene of almost every community across the world? Three traits: authenticity, simplicity, and taste.
And there’s no shortage of any of these at Tommy’s Pizzeria.
The classic-meets-modern environment of this Corydon Avenue cookhouse radiates with a love for pizza-making, led by the owner, Thomas Schneider (“Tommy”), himself. From attending Tony Gemignani’s International School of Pizza to being named “Best Pizza Maker in Canada” at the Pizza World Championships in Parma, Italy, Tommy’s talent and love for the tradition have won him the hearts of local and international pizza-lovers.
Signature cocktails set the Mediterranean mood, as does a wine list ample with Italian vino. To start, indulge in pane fritto, fluffy balls of dough fried golden brown with parmigiano and garlic, and served with marinara sauce. Tried-and-true Caprese—with its soft bocconcini cheese, roma tomato slices, and balsamic-glazed arugula—is a perfect pairing to make guests feel like they’re streetside in Rome.
A blend of beef, brisket, fresh herbs, and an Italian cheese blend make for possibly the softest, most melt-in-your-mouth meatballs around, another classic executed flawlessly.
Classic wood-fired pizzas fly out of this kitchen, sold both by the box and by the slice. And while none of the 12 varieties will disappoint, the Tommy’s Special is a standout, with its spicy honey base, mozzarella, burrata, arugula, prosciutto, and lemon zest. Every bite is a perfect combination of sweet and savoury, chewy and crisp.
Veering from Italia authenticity to a New World innovation, the eatery offers Detroit-style pizzas Wednesday-Saturday. While most of Tommy’s menu resembles the traditional thin crust, wood-fired variety, Detroit pies—descended from the old-school square-shaped Sicilian—changes up the crust game in a big way. A focaccia-like crust is cooked with cheese layered underneath the classic red sauce, for maximum chewiness, then topped with additional cheese and cupped pepperoni.
Italians have a well-known phrase: “Dolce far niente,” which loosely translates to “the sweetness of doing less.” Perhaps that’s how the cuisine has become so relentless. Pizza perfectionists will debate whether it’s the dough or the sauce that makes the pie—and Tommy’s absolutely nails both.