Friday, January 14, 2011

Gillespie's Map Room

A friend of mine was in town (by "in town" I mean staying downtown with no car), for his cousin's wedding. Since I was catching the red eye back from California and he had a wedding to attend that Saturday afternoon, it looked like lunch was going to be the only time we were going to meet up.

Since I knew he was most likely going to be eating and drinking the rest of the day, I figured we could just split a pizza at Gillespie's Map Room and catch up a little. I'm normally skeptical when people tell me a place has good pizza. In the case of Gillespie's, though, some were adamant that not only was it good - it was great. Always a sucker for the impassioned plea, I decided to give them a try.

Located in the Warehouse District, Gillespie's sports high ceilings and the long narrow room that is synonymous with the buildings in that area. Since my friend was a bit rushed and I was fresh off an all night (or partial night) flight from the West Coast we just kept things simple with a small pepperoni pizza.

When the pizza came out it looked like just an average pie (run-of-the-mill pepperoni, cheese, and crust). I don't mean to sound like it was bad - it wasn't - it's just that I didn't understand the ferocity with which some people touted Gillespie's. For me, it was just a very average pizza (served with plasticware and paper plates at the bar).

Would I go out of my way to try the pizza here? No.

If I was drinking with my friends and we ordered a few of these, would I eat a couple of slices? Sure, I just wouldn't go out of my way expecting something miraculous.

While I'm not intimately aware of the pizza shops in that immediate vicinity, it may just be that GMR is the best option in downtown Cleveland - but that wouldn't be saying a whole lot for the others.

Gillespie's Map Room
1281 W 9th St
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 621-7747

Gillespie's Map Room on Urbanspoon


  1. Whomever told you that Map Room had good pizza must have had it at 2am drunk off his/her ass -- and wanted an alternative for shitty Panini's. Sorry for the swear words, but... seriously!? You there for drinks. End of story. Not the food.

    Best pizza in downtown is in the Colonial Marketplace (on the Prospect side): Vincenza's. Trust me. Even Michael Symon thinks so, FWIW. That said, it's not for the after-drunk crowd (I don't even think it's open at that hour), if that's the type of establishment for which you're searching.

  2. That could well be, but look at the website - it even says "Voted Best Pizza in Cleveland". I don't know who did the voting, but I have to believe it wasn't anyone with...say...a functioning tongue.

    The problem with Vincenza's is that their hours are about as bad as Gillespie's pizza. They clearly cater to the lunch crowd and are typically only open on nights when there's a game.

  3. +1 on Vincenza's. The thin crust wouldn't cut it back east, but it's the best NY style I've had in the area. I probably eat there once a week. Some folks still work downtown.

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