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Do You Like It Hot And Thick? Tortugas Pizza 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday #48 or #55 on my count down of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.

Pizza is one of my all time favorite foods. I love a crispy New York style pizza and yet I also love a really fantastic Chicago style pizza.  With a surprisingly lighter, crispy and buttery dough that travels a few inches upward, topped with  my favorite toppings, real mozzarella, another layer of crust, crushed Italian tomatoes. Writing these words makes me lustful, I want to hop back into my car and visit Tortugas and fulfill my desire.

Once upon a time, I was a Mom that had a very talented daughter who was a dancer. Her school was located in Chicago and we frequent visitors to that great city. With nothing to do during dance classes,  I made my way around Chi-town like Ms. Pacman eating fantastic food and great pizza. I have visited most of the top rated Chicago style pizzerias. I have eaten at the original Pizzeria Uno, feasted at Gino’s, Giordano’s, Piquod’s, The Art of Pizza and my personal favorite Lou Malnati’s.

I know Chicago style pizza and let me tell you, the pizza at Tortugas is worth the drive from anywhere.  Carlos and Carol Vizcaino also know Chicago style pizza. This family made their way from Chicago to Birmingham, where Carol is originally from. They opened this neighborhood pizza restaurant in 1991 and “it was a hit from the beginning.”  Although they are a fan of Chicago sports,  I did not hold this against them. As a Green Bay Packer fan, I was thrilled to see a signed jersey from my favorite quarterback #15 and Alabama native Bart Starr.


I give this pizza 5 ***** MEGastars.   I LOVED this pie.   Everything about this pizza was Chicago style pizza nirvana.   This handcrafted crust was delicious on it’s own, , my toppings, cheese, more crust, topped with the sweet plum tomato sauce and seasonings and baked to perfection with love and Alabama pride. Wow just wow!  Thank you to the Vizcaino family from Meg.

Before I give a few MEGatips, I was saddened to read about folks grumbling about the price of these pizzas.  I want to share my two cents on this subject. Yes, the pizza costs a base price of $17.00 for a ten inch pie. This price point for the pizza seems very reasonable to me on so many levels.

  • Portion size-Go Big OR Go Home. It is said that the 10” pie serves 2-3 and the 12 “ serves 4-5. I am a hearty eater and I was only able to eat 1.25 slices.
  • This pizza is big, thick and hearty.   If you are a party of two, liken half of this pizza to eating half a pan of lasagna, good luck on that.
  • There is nothing skimpy about this pizza. It is a handcrafted pizza with lots of mozzarella cheese (price out good mozzarella lately?)  I have included a link showing the art and craft of this pizza. The art and craft of Tortugas
  • To compare,  this pizza would be like getting a few very large pizzas at any other pizza place. I brought home 4 slices and 2 people ate it for two more days. Tortugas also offers thin crust 10” that starts at $7.75. The menu also offers salads, subs and lasagna.


  1. This pizza will take 45 minutes to bake. Although Tortugas does not take reservations, they will start your pie.  However, this pizza is well worth the wait.
  2. Located in Hoover on Hwy 150 and not far from The Galleria mall. I mention this because it is important to note, there is a Tortugas Café also located in Hoover that sells deep dish pizza. It is my understanding that the two places were associated but are now separate.  Check the address before visiting Tortugas.
  3. On Friday and Saturday, you may order a few varieties of this Chicago style pizza by the slice until 2 p.m. But, I suggest going with a few friends or cooking the pizza leftover.
  4. They are closed on Sunday’s.
  5. The link to their website lists their much deserved  accolades and everything that you will need to know before you try this pie!Tortugas


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