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If il focolaio isn't the best in Montreal then you better show me

Il focolaio: The last of the wood-fired pizzas

Montreal has a small bastion of restaurants and pizzerias that still brew pizzas in traditional wood-fired ovens. Il focolaio is one of them, among the last of a dying breed, courtesy of city regulations spreading the control, albeit polluting, cooking method, a secret pleasure ridiculously difficult to refute how divine a pizza crust can be on the outside -crispy, doughy on the Indoor when properly baked within the confines of a wood fire.

Il focolaio: 69 Best Pizzas Montreal

Il focolaio has also served the distinction of 69 different types of pizza. Think about it. You could eat here every week a year and still can't get through the whole list.

Il focolaio pizza selection is the best in town with something for everyone, including vegetarians craving for a vegetarian pizza outside of the usual suspects, like Il focolaio's "rocket" made with almond pesto, fresh arugula, balsamic glaze, fresh tomatoes , Garlic, oregano, basil and soft Swiss cheese.

Or you could keep it simple with tomato sauce / mozzarella / basil margherita - which is by the way outstanding at Il Focolaio - or go wild with exotic add-ons such as black truffles and fine herbs - tofu. Also, regular crusts can be replaced with vegan gluten-free and lactose-free organic cheeses available. Just ask.

Il focolaio Crust: Thin, but not so thin

A quick note on the crust: it goes the line between thick and thin, on thin edges, although pizza fans prefer the deep plate variety with a little tough batter to sink their teeth into. So the crust is thin, no doubt about it, but it isn't to thin, just a little bit thinner than what you get in Naples, the birthplace of pizza.

But if you really need more crust, ask for your pizza to be converted into a calzone, which is made with extra batter and fortified with Italian herbs, olive oil, and parmesan.

Panini, salads, and desserts are also sold on site.

On the subject. Place. In downtown Montreal south of Ste. Catherine Street, Il focolaio is four blocks away from Place des Festival, Montreal's outdoor festival hub. And it's across the street from a number of interconnected downtown Montreal shopping malls. It's a great place to go during summer festival season when you're hungry, like something delicious à la Montreal, but don't want tourist-trap prices frequently found within the outdoor festival hubs (with notable exceptions found). And hey, the terrace is cozy.


Let's get one thing straight. You don't go to Il focolaio for the "scene". Interior decoration highlights consist of tables. Chairs. Disposable placemats.

There's no top 40 house anthem booming from every corner of the room, an ambience fit surgically enhanced wait staff wear bodycon dresses two sizes too small. No extremely uber cool bloggers riddled with undisclosed conflicts of interest rave poetically about the best slice ever made on the planet by the most amazing man of this part of the Milky Way.

And none of the Koch Personal Food Channel super mega-stars. I'm not even sure if any of them have a sleeve. Or, biblically, beards. But you know what it is here? KICK ASS PIZZA. And hey, the terrace is nice.

Quantity? Dress code?

No claims. Come as you Are. Families welcomed and welcomed.


Given what competitors charge for comparable products, the prices are fair. It's about $ 13 to $ 16 for a pizza that comes in a size about 10 inches in diameter (Source: my old Il focolaio pizza box). It's not cheap, but it's reasonable and competitive for the quality you get. These really are among the best pizzas in Montreal, easily in the top 3. Alcohol prices are reasonable too.

Buy the takeout / delivery special four and get the cheapest for free The special does not apply at noon on Thursday and Friday from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm Always check when ordering that the special applies.

Il focolaio business hours

Open Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10.30 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. (Note that Il focolaio is closed in January and Sunday February).

Il focolaio contact information

1223 rue du Square-Phillip, corner of Ste. Catherine
Montreal, Quebec, H3B 3E9
Phone: (514) 879-1045

Menu items, prices and opening times can be changed without prior notice.

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Il focolaio wood stove

All Il focolaio's pizzas and calzoni are baked in a wood oven.

Il focolaio Calzoni

All 69 pizzas Il focolaio can be turned in calzoni on request, a choice option for crust lovers who want more batter with their tips. Calzoni is made with more than crust pizzas and enhanced with Italian herbs, olive oil, and parmesan.

Il focolaio desserts

In addition to pizza and calzoni Il focolaio also serves wood-fired grilled panini, salads and traditional Italian desserts such as tartufo, cannolo, tiramisu and almond cake.

Arrival to Il focolaio

Il focolaio is in central Montreal, just a short walk to most of Montreal's downtown shopping malls and Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal's entertainment districts to hundreds of free shows, paid performances, and major festivals. And across the street, Phillip Platz, a downtown square with a booth selling a whole range of maple products.