Apizza Scholls




From its dough revolution to accolades, Apizza Scholls serves slices of perfection. Get the inside slice on its origin story, menu, and more.

Portland is awash in culinary gems, and if you've ever dreamt of pizza nirvana, Apizza Scholls is your spiritual home. Nestled in the heart of Hawthorne, this pizzeria has become a Portland icon for a reason.

The moment you cross that threshold, you're entering a sacred temple where the holy trinity of crust, sauce, and cheese is worshiped with unmatched fervor. For those of you who've tasted pizza from New York to Chicago and even ventured into the Neapolitan realms, you're about to embark on a new journey.

It's the best pizza place in Portland if you ask us. But what’s the secret? Let's dish.

The Origin Story

Brian and Kim Spangler are pretty much the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of the Portland pizza world.

Their journey has made Apizza Scholls a name to remember — not just in Portland but across the United States.

A chance encounter with the magic of bread-baking set the wheels in motion. Who could have predicted that a hobbyist’s fascination with dough could lay the groundwork for one of the best restaurants in Portland?

These Bay Area bakers turned PDX legends started humbly with "Pizza Sundays" — a little side hustle that soon set hearts and taste buds aflutter. The rest, as they say, is history. And history is only worthwhile when it’s saucy, so there’s nothing we like biting into better than the history of a pizza joint.

It was not long before this weekend indulgence of Pizza Sundays became the talk of the town — the waiting lines grew longer, and the chatter about Apizza Scholls reached fever pitch. The buzz was undeniable. The masses wanted more, and they got it.

While the world may glorify over-the-top embellishments, Brian Spangler understood that a focus on quality ingredients and timeless methods would outlast any fleeting trend. Using an electric oven, a rarity in a world obsessed with wood-fired everything, the Spanglers turned an unconventional approach into a signature style.

From their original digs at Apizza Amore to their current oasis on 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd, every detail of their transition has been a chapter in a book we never want to end. The allure of Apizza Scholls isn't just about Brian Spangler's artisan pizza creations. It's rooted in the story of an American dream built from flour, water, and the zest for elevating the humble pizza pie.

From Scholls Public House to Apizza Scholls

Originating as Scholls Public House, this quaint spot captured the essence of a laid-back, old-world pizzeria. But destiny had grander plans. An exceptional review from The Oregonian was like the fairy godmother's wand, transforming the space and its potential overnight.

Suddenly, the demand soared, and Scholls Public House became too small a vessel to contain Portlanders' massive love for their favorite pizzeria. The result was a move to a more spacious and fashionable spot in the heart of Hawthorne Boulevard.

In their current location, the decor resonates with the restaurant's philosophy — authentic, modern, and unmistakably Portland. The space reflects the journey from a tiny public house to a culinary icon. Even the electric oven made the journey, maintaining the soul of the original while adopting a more modern aesthetic.

With the luminous seal of approval from one of Oregon’s most reputable newspapers, Apizza Scholls transformed from a cozy neighborhood secret to a destination, proving that sometimes, a fabulous review can change your whole slice of life.

Critical Acclaim

This pizzeria truly is a full-blown American sensation. Apizza Scholls has appeared on all the lists you want to be on. Imagine being named one of Portland Monthly's Best Restaurants — talk about validation.

Even the late, great Anthony Bourdain, the culinary adventurer himself, featured this Portland pizzeria on his show No Reservations. When the man who's tasted everything chooses your pie, you know it's a cut above the rest.

Being lauded by such reputable voices in the food world positions Apizza Scholls as a defining landmark in the culinary landscape of the USA, a shining star in the doughy galaxy of great pizza places. This is not local chatter, honey; this is nationwide acclaim.

Community Over Expansion

Brian and Kim had the chance to turn Apizza Scholls into an empire, yet chose to remain a cherished local haunt. There’s something to be said for restraint in a world awash with franchising dreams and the allure of quick profits. While many others might have jumped at the chance to expand, the Spanglers stayed true to their Portland roots.

They serve the community that fueled their rise to fame, keeping the quality of each slice as high as their culinary ambitions. No watering down the essence for the sake of mass production — the Spanglers know where their heart is, and it beats in sync with the community that first embraced them.

This pizzeria is as genuine as they come, embodying what it means to be authentically Portland. In a foodie world full of sell-outs, their commitment to their Portland patrons is as authentic as their pizza.

The Dough Revolution

In the great world of crusts, not all are created equal. Apizza Scholls is in a league of its own, thanks to a dough recipe with French flair.

Yes, we’re talking baguettes! A hint of yeast, a spell of time, and a radical unrefrigerated method give life to this masterpiece. French inspiration in an Italian dish? C'est magnifique!

In Portland’s pizza milieu, Apizza Scholls sets itself apart by creating a crust that merges the best of two worlds — the crispy allure of a New York-style pizza and the tender chewiness of thicker pie. They have ushered in a dough revolution by merging French bread-making techniques with Italian pizzazz.

Time is a key ingredient here, which is always a good sign. The dough is left to rest for at least eighteen hours, allowing the yeast to work its magic. This meticulous method leads to a crust with both crunch and depth.

As we’ve already touched on, the other key element is the fact that they use an electric oven to bake these scrumptious discs to perfection. In a world obsessed with wood-fired this and coal-fired that, the Spanglers dare to break the mold. A bite into this crust reveals a play of textures — a delicate, airy interior shielded by a satisfyingly crispy exterior.

The "Upside Down" Approach

Apizza Scholls flips the script, darlings! Mozzarella hits the crust first, then comes a divine layer of San Marzano tomato sauce. The result? A flavor and texture combo that you’ll want to whisper sweet nothings to before you take your next bite.

The upside-down approach gives you a first taste of mozzarella’s creamy glory, followed by a robust hug from the San Marzano tomato sauce. If most pizzerias are offering summer flings, consider this a long-term relationship. While other pizza places tout their cheese-laden creations, Apizza Scholls focuses on balanced flavor profiles.

The red sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes and is hailed as a flavor powerhouse, complete with the right amount of tart and sweet. Layered on top of the mozzarella, it acts as a taste amplifier, rounding out every bite with a full-bodied flourish.

Toppings and Customization

You know that phrase, "less is more"? Apizza Scholls wrote the book on it. There is no need to cram every topping under the sun onto one pizza. The selection here is curated, not crowded, offering options like house-cured meats and Mike’s Hot Honey for that spicy-sweet kick.

Unique touches like these bring the Apizza experience to an artisanal level, making each bite a revelation of flavor and texture. With such deliberately chosen toppings, who needs truffle oil to gild the lily?

You won't find unnecessary culinary theatrics here — just great pizza that stands confident in its simplicity and quality.

Menu Highlights

Looking for the best pie to start your journey through Apizza Scholls’ menu? Then start with the New York Red, a mouthwatering tribute to the East Coast’s finest slices. This beauty balances tomato sauce and a sumptuous layer of cheese that can easily make Brooklyn natives feel homesick.

If your tastebuds lean towards the Neapolitan side of life, venture into the Apizza Margherita. Trust, darling, the basil-tomato-mozzarella trinity will have you humming Italian arias.

But don’t you dare overlook the Caesar salad. It's a bowlful of ancient Roman luxury, packed with crunch and tossed in a tangy dressing.

And if you've saved room for dessert, the ice cream sandwich offers a sugary finale that could make Brooklyn's finest sweet spots green with envy. Apizza Scholls brings America's vast culinary map into one menu — truly the best of all worlds.

Ciao for Now

Apizza Scholls combines the charm, flavors, and community spirit to elevate it to bucket-list status for any foodie traipsing through Portland. With every bite of Apizza Scholls’ tartufo or white pie adorned with ricotta and red onions, you'll be as in love as we are. But as with all divas, fabulous pizza waits for no one.

So why are you still reading? Get yourself to Apizza Scholls because you're too fabulous to settle for anything less.


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