Fresh dough, homemade sauce, and of course cheese combine to make a basic pizza. In Great Falls | Montana’s Basecamp for Art & Adventure, you can feast on a diverse selection of pizza, from the legends that built Montana’s pizza capital, to the new kids on the block that are shifting perceptions and creating upscale versions of this classic dish.

Real pizza starts with real food, and that has been the foundation upon which Howard’s Pizza, a Great Falls icon, became a legend in the community and recently won the Greatest of Great Falls award for best pizza. Howard’s was founded in 1959 and for almost 60 years, they have been serving hungry patrons generous portions from their 4 locations throughout Great Falls. What Howard’s is really known for is the built-in oven attached to their delivery truck so you get the hottest pie possible. My husband’s favorite, much like everyone’s favorite, is the Howard’s special, a colossal combination of meat, and a few veggies for posterity!

For almost 15 years, Rikki’s Pizza & Pasta has created their menu in a unique and eclectic way. Using quality meats, fresh vegetables, and signature sauces, you can dine in a casual and comfortable setting, or from the comfort of your home with their new take-out location. A popular favorite is the Wild Mushroom and Artichoke (above) with fresh portobello and shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and artichoke cheese sauce on hand-stretched dough. What I love about Rikki’s is the generous helping of cheese on a seasoned crust, and their menu offers a full selection of cocktails, wine, and Montana microbrews. In the warmer months, you can enjoy outdoor dining on the patio and what’s better than enjoying a great food as the summer sun creates a Montana sunset?

MacKenzie River Pizza is a Montana legend. Founded in 1994, MacKenzie River Pizza has built its business on delicious food as they continually innovate their menu. MacKenzie River recently won the Greatest of Great Falls award for best appetizer. Fresh bread, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, and marinara sauce combine to make Lodgepoles, a perfect way to begin your pizza adventure. My favorite is the veggie (above); as much as I love the traditional tomatos, onions, peppers, etc., I love the unique toppings on this veggie; broccoli, roasted garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms make for an exciting option that I always look forward to!

Mighty Mo Brewing Company serves fantastic beer, and some are surprised to learn they offer a full menu that includes pizza! Among my group of friends, Wednesday has become ‘pizza night’ where we meet for a pint, have a few appetizers, and enjoy a pie (or two) in the vibrant downtown setting. One of the fan favorites is the sausage and pepperoni. The crust is thin so when it is baked, becomes slightly toasted (which I love!) and the cheese melts into the toppings in a perfect combination. When the weather warms up, Mighty Mo will again install their pedlet so diners can enjoy a pint and pizza as they take in the sights and sounds of downtown Great Falls.

Fire Artisan Pizza, located in downtown Great Falls boasts hand-tossed dough and pizzas fired in a beautiful wood-burning oven. The result is a crisp crust, buttery-soft center, and pockets of gooey, wonderful cheese. If you’re like me and love slightly-burned bread, such as a bagel or English muffin, you’ll love the texture of the crust. Everything, from the dough to creamy garlic salad dressing, is made in-house from scratch. Fire Artisan is proud to offer a wonderful wine list and a rotating list of Montana microbrews. The Viola (above) is a divine combination of garlic thyme oil, mozzarella, spinach, crimini mushrooms, red onion, roasted garlic, parmesan, and chicken. 

Celebrating a legacy that began in earnest 60 years ago and embracing new menus, Great Falls offers a pizza experience like no other. As Montana’s pizza capital, we are proud of this slice of our history!