Is there a neighborhood-pizzeria empire brewing in Philly? If there is, it appears to be built on a “simple-is-best” philosophy.

In January, the owners of Pizza Shackamaxon—a pizzeria in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia—opened their second pizzeria, Pizza Richmond. Pizza Richmond just earned a rave review from James Beard-award winning food journalist Jason Sheehan of Philadelphia Magazine.  

Sheehan particularly loves the streamlined menu at Pizza Richmond, which he interprets as a throwback. “Every neighborhood deserves a great pizza place, and that’s exactly what Pizza Richmond is: a great pizza place,” Sheehan writes. “It’s nothing more than that, but also nothing less. It’s just pizzas, a couple salads, soft-serve from 1-900-ICE-CREAM, and these wild, experimental specials (charred onion and sherry cream; slices of roasted sweet potato with a maple and sage white sauce), but again: just pizza, no matter how non-traditional.” 

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At any given time, there are about five pizzas on the menu. Pies—and slices—include cheese, pepperoni, white, Philly Tomato Pie and a rotating special. The specialty pizza is where Pizza Richmond flexes some of its creative culinary muscle, with pies like the Marinated Portobello Mushroom + Long Hots on Caramelized Onion Cream. “Close your eyes and it’s a cheesesteak,” Pizza Richmond wrote on Instagram.

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As Sheehan alluded to, another recent specialty pizza was the Crumbled Potato & Roasted Leek with Shallot Cream and Salsa Verde. That particular pizza was in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. 

Culinary creativity aside, Pizza Richmond thrives on simplicity. For example, it has no phone nor website. As Sheehan notes, if you want a slice, you’ve got to show up to the shop. Like its sister restaurant, Pizza Shackamaxon, Pizza Richmond tends to attract lines of eager patrons. Its whole pies go for up to $30. “The prices seem like robbery,” Sheehan notes, “until you see the size of the pies. For this cost, this is everything a neighborhood pizza shop needs to be.” 

It would seem the ownership group intends to open more neighborhood slice shops. A post on Instagram asks, “What neighborhood should we come to next? Let us know in the comments.” The post attracted 200 likes and over 50 comments from Philly faithful. 

“The smartest thing Pizza Richmond ever did was not very much at all,” writes Sheehan. “It’s a restaurant that seems to exist to prove the axiom that it’s better to be very good at one thing than mediocre at a lot of things. That success lies in picking your one thing and doing it very well.”