Sandwiched between a dry cleaners and a mini-mart in a tiny urban strip mall at the corner of NE Glisan and 28th Avenue, , Dove Vivi doesn’t exactly count curb appeal among it’s many attributes. In fact, first time around, there’s a good chance you’ll drive right by, distracted by neighboring Pambiche’s amazing technicolor dreamfacade. Then again, in a city where visibility is often largely obscured by drizzle, curb appeal can be totally overrated—and if you pay attention to details like the darling criss-crossed wooden hearts signage dangling from the raingutter and the smell of freshly-baked cornmeal crust pizza wafting out into the parking lot, it’s obvious this seemingly unremarkable strip mall conceals something loveable.
Dove Vivi seems perpetually packed, probably because there’s nothing else like it around—owners Gavin Blackstock and Delane Hamik have mastered a unique cornmeal crust and bake their deep dish pies in thin cast iron pans, creating thick, hearty, richly-flavored pizzas like the smoked mozzarella, fresh corn and sausage-topped “Corn.”
Inside, the busy little pizzeria is as neat as a pin and modestly adorned with simple wood bench seating and an eclectic array of vintage prints on the wall. Those waiting for a table or takeout socialize in a sizeable waiting nook with a thoughtfully-stocked magazine rack—catch up on the latest, Esquire, National Geographic, and Lucky. The cold case next to the register is filled with Mason jars of pickled vegetables, chilled pint glasses waiting for their chance to host one of the local microbrews on tap, and bowls of fresh kale and beets destined for one of Dove Vivi’s so-fresh-they-should-be-slapped salads, like the shredded Lacinato kale and ricotta salata tossed with a zingy lemon shallot dressing. Eating it creates instant superfood virtue.
Dove Vivi seems perpetually packed, probably because there’s nothing else like it around—owners Gavin Blackstock and Delane Hamik have mastered a unique cornmeal crust and bake their deep dish pies in thin cast iron pans, creating thick, hearty, richly-flavored pizzas like the smoked mozzarella, fresh corn and sausage-topped Corn, the Potato Pancetta—paper thin slices of tender potato over mozzarella with pancetta and rosemary, and pleasingly cheesy Quatro Fromaggio. The wine list is an extreme value, and you can choose from draft beers or nearly 20 bottled. Curb appeal or no curb appeal, Dove Vivi is strip mall dining at its best.
Executive Chef: Gavin Blackstock and Delane Hamik
Owner: Gavin Blackstock and Delane Hamik
Atmosphere: Small, hip space filled with young chic things and neighborhood families
Outdoor seating: A few sidewalk tables
Best Seat: Anywhere will do
Noise Level: High when full, but you can still converse normally
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: Back of the dining room
Parking: Street parking is free but can be hard to find close-in during peak times, you may have to park a couple blocks away
Beer: Bottled beers and three rotating draft microbreweries
Wine: Red and white and quite affordable
Teetotalers: Craft sodas
Ideal Meal: Kale salad, beet salad, Corn pizza, Pesto pizza, housemade zuccotto
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: Yes, daily menu includes two vegan pizzas
Gluten Free: Crust is not strictly GF, but it is mostly cornmeal
Good for the following occasions: Dinner With Friends, Family Supper, Low Key Date Night, Pizza Night
Take-Out: Yes, call 503.239.4444 to place your order and get a time estimate. Take out orders of six or more whole pies will be subject to a 10% gratuity.