Ceccoli’s Pizza – Wilkes Barre, PA

This review was on its way to becoming a novel, not once, but twice. The first time because it involved a family member; the second time because I was going to go back to 1942 and work my way through the Wyoming Valley until we arrived at 13 Woodward St, Wilkes-Barre PA in the current day. I didn’t do that; you’re welcome. But allow me to dedicate the next paragraph to an abbreviated backdrop.

Ceccoli's PizzaVictory Pig Pizza was the original pan-fried pizza in the Wyoming Valley, and arguably the most well-known. In no particular order, both Pizza L’Oven and Pizza Perfect spawned from Victory Pig, whether it was from previous employees or relatives, I’m not sure. What I do know, or so I believe, is that a couple of the Ceccoli brothers parted ways with Victory Pig, and they didn’t leave empty-handed. Enter Pizza II (Pizza 2). Something happened, and the two locations of Pizza II disappeared, which brings us to 13 Woodward St., a.k.a. Ceccoli’s Pizza in Parsons (Wilkes-Barre) PA.

Ceccoli's Pizza - close upAs previously noted, Ceccoli’s pizza is constructed with a pan-fried dough. The bottom of Ceccoli’s pizza is very crispy, perhaps a tad crunchy, in a good way. The underside boasts a deep bronze coloring laced with sporadic dimples and craters of paleness. Maybe I’m off my rocker, but I believe that the pale field adds a level of distraction to whatCeccoli's Pizza - rear edge otherwise might be too much of a good thing in regards to texture. The body of the pizza has an average bread-like sponginess to it. Have you ever had a near death experience where you see the bright white light off in the distance before returning to consciousness? Neither have I, but I imagine it would feel a lot like eating the handles of this pizza! I failed to get a picture showing the complete back (or sides where applicable), but you could see on the brim of each handle that there is a charred black ridgeline. That blackness is burnt cheddar cheese and it runs further down the back than my pictures show, and it’s magical! It’s a cornucopia of flavor. It’s what I daydream about. True story.Ceccoli's Pizza - underside

The cheese… On this style of pizza there’s usually a cheddar cheese to be found and having seen the piles of sliced brick cheese in the kitchen of Ceccoli’s I’d say that that’s what it is, however, if I didn’t see that sliced brick in the kitchen I would have guessed it was a blend of cheeses. Either way, it’s absolutely perfect on this pizza, Ceccoli's chicken wingsboth in terms of taste and ratio to the sauce and crust.

The sauce on this pizza seems to come from a can of straight crushed tomatoes. Its consistency is aligned with my liking; not runny, not pasty, and not overly chunky. Where other places that make this style of pizza usually used finely diced onions, Ceccolis uses chopped onions; they’re chopped small, but they were noticeably noticeable to me. I love onions and believe that they are a must on this style of pizza, but if you don’t like onions I’d be sure to order this pizza without them.

I’m not going to compare Ceccoli’s Pizza against Victory Pig or Pizza Perfect, yet, because I still need to review Pizza L’Oven to round out the competitors in the category, but I will say that it’s really, really good! If you haven’t yet had Ceccoli’s pizza then I recommend you do so ASAP. If you’ve had it before, what do you think?

Oh, those wings… they’re pretty good too!

11 Comments On “Ceccoli’s Pizza – Wilkes Barre, PA”

  1. Didn’t Ceccolis used to own FiFi’s in Brookside?

    • Hi Susan. I never had Fifi’s when it was around, so I can’t speak to any familiarity between their styles of pizza, but in all of the Ceccoli’s / Victory Pig / Pizza Perfect / Pizza L’Oven research that I’ve done I’ve never heard anything of Fifi’s. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but that’s all I have to go on for now.

    • My best friend’s family owned Fifi’s on N. Washington Street in Brookside. She is a cousin of the Ceccoli family who owns Victory Pig and the Ceccoli family who owns Cecolli’s in Parsons (two different families). Both Fifi and her husband, the owners of Fifi’s, died, and the family gave up the business. Fifi and her sister owned the original recipe.

      • Wow, Jan… Thank you very much for that insight! I had never heard of FiFi’s, but now I’m wishing that it were still around! Does anyone know of any other pizzerias that might have spawned off from the Ceccoli family, employees, friends, etc.?

      • I can tell you, growing up in the heights, almost every friday was fif’s night in our home. We all loved the pizza, best I ever had! I am in Philly now, and am looking for something as good. Haven’t found anything to come close yet. Soo miss the pizza from the valley.

      • I knew Fifi an her husband there good people, I worked there for her serving pizza an waiting on people. I lived in Wilkbarre in the 70’s I am Native American an Fifi used to tease me an tell me I was a day go like her. She took me as one of her daughters. I wasn’t aware of her an her husbands passing. She used to mail me pizza people here in North Dakota where I’m from never ever tasted her pizza. It was awesome an her white pizza was also awesome!!! It would be nice to have this pizza again it’s out of this world.

  2. If you like Ceccoli’s, you’ll love Magda’s Pizza Works on George Ave. Right up the street from Ceccoli’s. We used to eat Ceccoli’s and now its Magda’s all the way!

    • Uh-oh. Better than Ceccoli’s? You just guaranteed yourself a review of Magda’s :) I look forward to trying it, thanks for the recommendation.

    • Sorry pizza works pizza is very greasy. I got there pizza there a couple weeks ago and I think they used old cheese. When I went too throw out the box the same night after we ate, the box was so greay that it went threw the whole box and left a mark on the counter where we placed it. So this will be the last time I will get Pizza Works. So this place will NEVER replace Ceccoli’s. I wish Ceccoli’s was open that day I baught pizza works pizza

  3. Teberio’s Pizza and Pub. 59 E Thomas Street Wilkes Barre. 2 minutes from Ceccolis. A must try. By the way , I love Ceccolis. I sell a very similar pizza. Just not as fried. I grew up eating all the “fried” pizza in the valley , and wanted to make it less greasy. 11 years later and 2 locations I created the perfect crust.

    • Hey Mike, thanks for commenting! You piqued my curiosity; now the next time I’m in NEPA I’m gonna have to check out your wares! I’m looking forward to it!!

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