Celebre’s Philadelphia Pizza Restaurant Review
Celebre’s pizza restaurant is located at 1536 Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia, PA, 19145. Established in 1948, Celebre’s pizza is an extremely popular Philly pizzeria full of tradition and history.
A place like Celebre’s needs to be reviewed on Best Philadelphia Pizza Blog for many reasons including: popularity amongst locals, 61 years of selling pizza in Philadelphia, their signature pizzas, etc. I like Celebre’s pizza restaurant for several reasons. First, they serve alcohol. You can eat your pizza and wash it down with a nice cold beer. Pizza and beer are amongst the world’s best food combinations. There aren’t many pizza places in Philadelphia that have a liquor license. For example, Santucci Brothers Square Pizza was a treat because you can bring your own beer as many pizzerias don’t even allow this. But when beer is served in the same facility as your pizza…that is a good start.
I also like Celebre’s pizza restaurant because of its atmosphere. Celebre’s is an old style Italian pizza place that has made it through an era when people didn’t eat out. If they could be successful in the fifty then they are true survivors. The people who work there and own the place have deep South Philly Italian roots. These roots are reflected in the pizza recipe that they use as it has probably been passed down for generations.
I also like Celebre’s for their pizza. I do want to make a disclaimer for all New York pizza critics. Philly is a world of its own in America, just like New Orleans is different than the rest of the South (they call it a Banana Republic). Specifically, this conversation applies to South Philly. The terminology that may be common in the rest of the world for various pizzas types are not commonly used here. It doesn’t mean that the pizza is bad or that the pizza chefs in this neck of the woods don’t know pizza…it means that they know it the way their region of Philly knows it. What am I talking about? For example, Celebre’s, amongst many other local Philly pizzerias, doesn’t make a Margherita pizza and if you asked them for it (as a New Yorker would) you may be reciprocated with a dirty look. This doesn’t mean that Philly pizzerias don’t know pizza it is just that they are used to it their way and if you know the Philly attitude you will understand that this is good enough for them.
Celebre’s sells a pizza called the “Old Way” pizza. Fancy New York pizzerias would translate this pizza to a marinara pizza. There is mainly tomato sauce placed on top of a small amount of cheese. This pizza is phenomenal. I think that I am most impressed with the sauce that they made. Their tomato sauce is very chunky, thick, and spicy, which is my favorite style of Italian tomato sauce. A sauce without flavor is not sauce at all it is just tomato in a liquid form. Celebre’s uses a good amount of their sauce on top. The cheese was hidden underneath and probably would account for 20% of the pizza ingredients. That is the point of this pizza: to create more of a tomato pie the old Italian way. So you see they call it “Old Way” and modern food critics would call it marinara. Who is right and who is wrong? This is just a small example of how Philly works – they like to be unique. It doesn’t mean that they don’t know how to cook pizza. Celebre’s have been successful for 61 years so that must be doing something right.
The crust of this pizza was slightly darkened. I think that New Yorker pizza critics may like their crust for this reason. I only tried the Old Way pizza as it was one of their signature pies and more in line with my taste buds. They do serve a pizza called the “Pizzaz” though that they are famous for. Maybe I’ll come back to try that another time.
The total cost for a 16 inch pie was around $10, which is worth the money. Celebre’s is a good time and a place where you can experience a real local South Philadelphian Italian style old fashioned pizzeria. They use high quality pizza ovens in the back and have a very fun, energetic, and friendly staff. Celebre’s gets a green light vote in my book for Best Philadelphia Pizza!