Fremont pizza wars: Uncle Joe’s vs. Radio City

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The exterior of Uncle Joe's Pizza and Deli is shown at 505 Fremont St. on Friday, March 29, 2013.
The exterior of Radio City Pizza is shown at 508 Fremont St. on Friday, March 29, 2013.

When it comes to pizza, the battle lines have been drawn … right down the center of Fremont Street.

Uncle Joe’s Pizza (505 E. Fremont St., 385-2162; Tue.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.) is an old-school pizza joint that’s been serving old-school pizza for 18 years. It’s a small storefront looking out on to the hustle and bustle (mostly hustle) of Fremont East, pizza ovens near the front, wafting the scent out the door. In the back are a half-dozen Formica-topped tables under faux-Tiffany lights.

The pizza itself is in the traditional New York style — the crust is a fine balance of crispy and chewy, a nice amount of cheese and relatively ungreasy. The pizza styles are traditional: meat, veggie, Hawaiian and something called the Zappos special (in fealty to the neighborhood overlords), which is pepperoni, peppers, jalapeños and onions. The vegetable pizza is heaped with onion, olives, peppers and mushrooms, a nice contrast to the snap of the crust. Uncle Joe’s is a classic pizza place serving a classic slice.

The newbie is Radio City Pizza (508 E. Fremont St., 982-5055; Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 a.m.), which was previously and briefly located out in Summerlin, but wisely decided to come to where the action is. It does a more updated, upscale take on pizza. It’s not a grab-a-slice type of place, although there is a to-go menu, but the full bar, multiple flat-screens and leather upholstery invite you to at least enjoy one of many beers it offers with your slice.

Radio City is heavy on the cheese and slightly spicy in the sauce; its pepperoni version comes with plenty of crispy meat products and a thin sheen of pizza juice on top. It also offers a range of pies with more adventurous combinations than the usual — chicken club pizza with chicken, bacon, tomato, lettuce, ranch and fries; breakfast pizza with ham, bacon, eggs, mushrooms and sour cream.

But once you choose between the two pizzerias, bear in mind that your options will soon expand even further. New York City’s Slice is opening in the next few months to serve organic, vegan-friendly gourmet pizza. And come summer, the long-dormant Celebrity space will be reopening as Pizza Rock, a Sacramento restaurant with breakdancing chefs making Sicilian, Neopolitan and American-style pizza.