A couple of weeks ago, after publishing posts on Nuburger, and Harvey’s, Cory Boehm, a friend and fellow food lover, asked if I had tried either of the new downtown pizza restaurants, Za Bistro, and Pizza Hotline. He said he had been having a conversation with a couple of his friends, and that since both offered similarly priced build you won pizzas, they might make for a good comparison.
As it turned out I had just made my first trip to Za Bistro, recently opened in CityPlace. I didn’t realize Hotline was similar, but on finding that out I thought a comparison post would be a good idea.
Pizza Hotline Wins the Decor Battle
When it comes to a dining space, Hotline wins hands down. Za Bistro is the middle of the City Place food court, while Pizza Hotline has a stand alone location with a variety of comfortable seating arrangements tucked into Winnipeg Square.
Battle of the Pizzas
I’ll say right off the start that Za Bistro has an advantage in my books because I prefer thin crust pizza. Having said that, unfortunately Pizza Hotline did very little to sway my opinion. I ordered a build your own from Za Bistro. This was a spicy special. It started with a spicy red sauce, included spicy sausage, and salami, along with bacon and ham. Then when I added the vegetables, I included all the hot peppers, and jalapenos I could. The result was a well baked spicy delight.
On my first visit to Pizza Hotline, I hoped to replicate the experience from Za Bistro. Unfortunately they don’t offer any spicy sauce, and their meat choices were limited in the spicy department. My biggest disappointment, however, was that their Neapolitan crust turned out to be soggy and flavourless. Crispy on the bottom but mushy on the top.
Thinking that I might just have hit them on a bad day, I went back yesterday to give their pizza another try. This time I chose their signature Italian meats pizza. This is one where they provide the toppings rather than me picking them myself. The pizza was much better cooked this time, but there is still a tendency for their pizza toppings to be soft and the sauce to be kind of runny.
Then there is the price. The Za Bistro pizzas are $9.95 each compared to $12.00 for the Hotline Pizzas. Between higher quality and lower prices, I’d definitely choose the Za Pizza Bistro pizzas every time.
Battle of the Salads:
Each place offers salads as well as pizza. Za Pizza Bistro offers build you own salads, while Pizza Hotline has three salads to choose from. The Za Pizza Bistro salads are $9.95 for a full and $4.95 for a side. The Pizza Hotline salads are $7.00 for the Greek and Garden, and $8.00 for the Caesar.
If you are ordering from Za, go with the full salad, as you get more than twice the salad for about twice the price. I actually preferred the salad from Pizza Hotline. While I had been able to add a variety of toppings when I ordered at Za, my Greek Salad from PIzza Hotline had plenty of each of the four or five ingredients beyond the lettuce.
This choice is tougher than the Pizza, but I would give Pizza Hotline the edge here. Although, you can add bacon (nature’s perfect food), to any Za salad.
One other difference between the two is that Pizza Hotline is licensed, while Za Bistro is not. This combined with the more pleasing decor might make Pizza Hotline a better choice if your looking to spend time together with company.
However, if good pizza is your first concern, I would say stick with Za Bistro.