Hello Pizza is a slice of heaven

The new Edina pizzeria boasts excellent toppings, flavorful sauce, and an A+ crust

Hello Pizza is a slice of heaven
Owner Ann Kim with the Hello Rita, her take on the classic margherita with garlic, basil, and oregano

Don't miss the rest of the delicious photos from Hello Pizza!

Many months before Hello Pizza opened its doors in Edina, owner Ann Kim, known as the duchess of dough behind Pizzeria Lola in Armatage (arguably the reigning champ of the local artisan pizza game), launched a simple and effective marketing campaign featuring the longing stare and soft-focus Jheri curl of Lionel Richie. In the empty windows of the former Franklin Bakery storefront, huge letters spelled out "HELLO," prompting passersby to finish the implied thought/parody song lyric: "Is it pizza you're looking for?" The answer is yes. Constantly. Luckily, we have a lot of good options locally, and that's not just our opinion. In the past year both Food & Wine magazine and Market Watch have praised the Twin Cities for our "quirky" pizza culture, specifically citing Punch Pizza and Kim's Pizzeria Lola as standouts. With the arrival of Hello, a high-volume, high-quality, by-the-slice, on-the-fly, family-friendly pizzeria, I predict that next year's various Top 10 lists will rank the Twin Cities a few notches higher, thanks in no small part to Kim's latest venture.

Aside from the blown-up image of Richie's face (which remains plastered on the kitchen door), the decor in this sunny and efficient space is spare, slick, and softly colored, articulating the classy cafeteria feel that Hello seems to be going for. Menu boards behind the counter show the handful of Italian-inspired combos available by the slice and the more creative daily specials, which have recently included a pie with artichokes, spinach, and piquillo peppers and a spicy number with chicken, smoky barbecue sauce, and jalapeños. (Follow Hello's delightful Instagram feed for tantalizing images of these specials and screen caps of scenes from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Glossy strips of photo-booth pics (tickets for the booth are $3 at the register) hang from picture wire strung against the back wall, archiving the good times had by many a pizza-eater and kids sugar-crazed from the soft-serve. Above the door frame on the way to the bathroom is a New York City subway placard from the 116th Street stop, a nod to Kim's alma mater, Columbia University. I'm not sure what her major was at college, but Kim's time in New York was obviously well spent, because she's producing Ivy League pizza. Along with Black Sheep, it's solidly top-tier in a world where, let's say, Pizza Nea is Carnegie Mellon, Pizza Lucé is any one of the Big Ten schools, Toppers is Arizona State, and Domino's is a junior college in Tampa. That's not to say Hello is snobby pizza (or that you can't get a perfectly good education in Florida), it just has good credentials: excellent portions on the toppings (most of which are organic, some local, and a few, like the fantastic fennel sausage, house-made), light but flavorful sauce, and most importantly, an A+ crust.

Location Info

Map

Hello Pizza

3904 Sunnyside Road
Minneapolis, MN 55424

Category: Restaurant > Pizza

Region: Edina

Details

Hello Pizza
3904 Sunnyside Rd., Edina
952.303.4514; hellopizza.com
menu items $3.25-$9; whole pizzas $16 and up

Now, a creative person in any field — music, fine art, food — will tell you that the minute you specify a style you're going for, whether you're a lyrical abstract painter or a guitar player in a Neoclassical dark-wave band, you open yourself up to a world of pedantic criticism. But people seem to be particularly harsh and haughty when it comes to pizza. So when it was revealed that Hello would serve New York-style pizza, by the slice, distinct from Pizzeria Lola's wood-fired artisan whole pies, you could practically hear the needlers warming up their wagging fingers and making it their mission to let everyone know that this is not "true New York-style pizza." Well, I am not one of those people.

Don't miss the rest of the delicious photos from Hello Pizza!

Frankly, I don't really care whether Hello's pizza is the most accurate representation of New York-style pizza, which, for the record, is defined only by possessing a hand-tossed crust that is ideally chewy and crispy and by generally being served as a large, wide, foldable slice. Is Hello the Platonic ideal of the pepperoni slice you can get on Flatbush Avenue? Does it have the correct degree of verisimilitude to that one piece of pizza you had at that one cool hole-in-the-wall in Hell's Kitchen? I don't have any idea. I've had just as much mediocre pizza in NYC as I have anywhere else in America, and when I did have an outstanding slice I don't know that it was even "true" New York-style pizza; I just know I was in New York when I ate it and it was pizza and it was great. I understand that making outstanding pizza involves a lot of care, measurement, and exact science, but eating it does not. One bite into Hello's pizza and you'll be convinced of this. The crust — blistered, a little salty, and tender — has definite crispness. Not crackery crispness, but more of the baguette-like crusty quality that comes from good water, which apparently we have. As the crust breaks down and mingles with the light sauce, it reveals an inner chewiness and a slightly sweet flavor. Fold it, roll it, or be absurd and knife-and-fork it — this is lovely pizza through and through.

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2 comments
Chasmosaur
Chasmosaur

I'm with @unclemikey I'm originally from NYC, and currently live in Western Wisconsin. I'm finding excuses to visit Hello Pizza when I'm in the Cities for whatever reason, even if I'm nowhere near the neighborhood.  Because it is a heavenly slice of pizza.

While maybe these aren't the super-floppy/foldable slices you can get in NYC, it is really, really, really, really, really close.  The only difference I find is there is a touch of body to the crust and there's less ooey-gooey cheese, but I'm totally cool with that. And in many ways, it's better.

Because the toppings are well proportioned, and it's not a super greasy slice of pie.  I think I could eat an entire Hello Rita by myself if pressed it's so well done. And because the toppings and sauce are well done, you can really enjoy the crust, which is thin-crust heaven.

unclemikey
unclemikey

I'm originally from New Jersey. I have spent all 17 years I've lived in the Twin Cities looking for and hoping for a pizza like the ones I get when I visit my old home town. Until Hello Pizza opened, the only contender was Pino's Pizza in the St. Paul skyway, and they're only open for lunch.

Suffice it to say, I've been to Hello Pizza at least once a week since they opened, and holding it to ONLY once a week has been an act of will power.

 
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