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Best Pizza

Market Street Pizza

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Young Kwak photo
Market Street Pizza's pies are so beloved it recently added a second location.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Aaron Fiorini dreams of pizza. A Spokane native with Italian heritage, Fiorini grew up cooking and says he became "infatuated" with pizza. As a child, he often dined at Five Mile Heights Pizza Parlor, a once-beloved spot in North Spokane. Though that restaurant has long since closed, much of its legacy lives on in Market Street Pizza.

"Pretty much everything we've built over here all came from my childhood love of the classic pizzerias that had all the arcade games," Fiorini says.

Even Fiorini's love story with his wife and now business partner, Angel, stems from pizza. The two both grew up in the Hillyard neighborhood and reconnected shortly after high school when Fiorini ordered pizza, and Angel happened to be the delivery person.

"I guess you could say it was love at first slice," he says with a smile. "My wife is the backbone of the business. She's the one that does the day-to-day — the payroll, the taxes and the logistical nightmare of running a restaurant."

Fiorini describes himself as the "dreamer." He created the menu for Market Street Pizza using his own recipes. Through careful research of other pizzerias and hand selection of all his ingredients, Fiorini created a niche for Market Street's pizzas.

"I practiced pizza every day," he says. "I looked into who makes the best pizza. I'm goal-focused on doing an Italian-American pizza, what everybody considers New York-style. Then, I started learning the regions of pizza. I started learning I actually didn't want New York pizza. I like a more charred pizza, and not too thin crust."

Market Street Pizza opened in November 2019, just a few months before the pandemic's onset. Once mask and social-distancing mandates set in, Fiorini says the business was "thoroughly, absolutely [and] totally" affected.

Fiorini describes having to let staff go, give away his food stock and close the business for a month. Once he returned to the restaurant, he was on the verge of losing the building completely. That's when the Fiorinis did some brainstorming and decided to do deliveries, including pizza, lasagnas, loaves of bread and even cocktails.

"We're lucky enough to have food that was deliverable," he says. "It saved us."

Through the dedication and hard work of their crew, Market Street Pizza emerged from the pandemic, perhaps stronger than ever. They continue serving customers at their flagship Hillyard location, and now, after months of preparation, are sharing the Market Street Pizza experience with Spokane Valley at a new location near Sprague and Bowdish.

"We've already created a brand. You know what you're getting when you go into a Market Street Pizza," Fiorini says. "It's relaxed, it's blue collar, but you can come here and get a great martini."

2nd PLACE: The Flying Goat
3rd PLACE: Versalia Pizza
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