Fireside Pizza in Richfield, MN

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

If the Richfield water tower is the north anchor of the 66th and Penn corridor, Fireside Pizza is the south. In business for 50 years, Fireside Pizza looks the part of a small-town eatery and gathering place; it’s lined with local sports memorabilia and photos of little league teams the joint has sponsored. The atmosphere has a homey, dark-wood-booth vibe including two floor-to-ceiling plastic trees and — yes — a fireplace. There’s also a patio.

Cheese bread is a stand-out dish in keeping with the place’s style: A half-order for $3.95 contained three slices of crisp Italian bread loaded with melted pizza cheese. Delicious. “Just enough grease,” said my friend. Served with a bowl of warm red sauce, it was hearty and well-executed.

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

When it comes to pizza, the Fireside focus seems to be above the crust, which is a glorified Saltine: white-flour, crisp, and ultra-thin. As a whole, the pizza lacks the complex layers and creative flavors of local stalwarts like its thin-crust competitor, Red’s Savoy, and Pizza Luce — maybe, however, that’s the point. The toppings are hit or miss — on one visit, a custom pizza came topped with a few mealy Roma slices, tasteless mushrooms and onions, and average pepperoni. On a second visit, a sausage-and-sauerkraut pizza was better. Low on sauce, with just the right amount of cheese, everything above the crust was tasty and picture-perfect.

Overall value is moderate at best: a small cheese pizza, which one semi-burly adult with any sort of stomach could easily polish off, runs $9.45; toppings are $1.25. Larges start at $11.49. Consider the following when ordering: This is thin-crust pizza and you can eat a lot of it.

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

Spaghetti and meatballs weren’t exceptional, but adequate. The plump meatballs had a nice char, as though they had been cooked on a griddle, and the slightly spicy sauce (same as with the cheese bread appetizer) was delicious.

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

Scott Theisen / Heavy Table

A ham grinder (or “sandwich,” if you prefer), served cold was the best deal at $6.95. It arrived layered generously with ham, tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheddar, and “special sauce.”

BEST BET: Cheese bread with red sauce, a mid-American classic done true to form, or the ham sandwich.

Fireside Pizza

Pizza in Richfield
6736 Penn Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423
OWNER: Rich Thompson
Sun-Thu 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
BAR: Beer and wine

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About the Author

Jason Walker

Jason Walker was born and raised in Kansas, where he grew up loving his grandmother’s homemade noodles and weekly fried fish. A summer internship in Milwaukee turned Jason and his wife, Leita, into die-hard fans of the Northwoods culture, and they moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Immediately the quality of food and drink in the Twin Cities was impressive – that even the most unassuming bar usually had a decent menu – and Jason knew he was home. Now living in the Fulton neighborhood with two kids, Jason grows tomatoes, cans voraciously, and badgers his neighbors with conversations about restaurants.

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  1. I agree that this place is average or hit and miss. It’s a nice place to gather with friends and split a few pies and a few pitchers – but there is better pizza to be had.

  2. Waaay better-head north to 50th & Penn, & get a pie at Lake Harriet Pizza.

  3. I first ate here in 1962 or 63, when in high school. Loved the place and am not suprised that it still exists. I’m planning a trip to Bloomington this summer and will have to stop here for dinner.

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