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Roman Candle Pizza

In a word: Like the fourth of July in your mouth.

The specs: #0556  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Insider Pages, QSC on East and Middleton,  77Square on Middleton and Fitchburg, Yelp, listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Twitter, Cream City Chow, Roman Candle on Urbanspoon

Latest Roman Candle news and reviews

JM, Nichole, and Nino ate the Dead Man Walking (sausage, ham, pepperoni, prosciutto and bacon) and a side of broccoli with a lemonade and a Mud Puppy porter.
The bill was $38, or $12.67/person, with coupon, plus tip.
JM gave Roman Candle Pizza an A; Nichole and Nino gave Roman Candle Pizza an A- (see our grading rubric).

Broccoli cheeseWe were thrilled to finally make our visit to Roman Candle count. In the creative topping combo category, and a decent crust on the thin side, it really can't be beat.

Willy Street's branch has a warm, cozy atmosphere. Late at night the dining room was bathed in orange and yellow light, and small, real flower arrangements decked each table. The pizza platform that folded down from the wall and over our table was ingenious. There were several tables in use at 8pm, something our customarily early dinners rarely let us see.

In the name of nutrition, we got a small side of steamed broccoli topped with nice Parmesan cheese shavings. It was good, if small to split three ways.

The Dead Man Walking pizza was blanketed in meat (with apologies to any vegetarians reading - we hear Roman Candle also throws a mean vegan pizza party). Six kinds of pig-based proteins composed what Nino called a "symphony of meat." Each bite was an exciting guessing game: "What am I tasting now? I'm not sure!" Compared to our most recent meat-centric pizza, the Meat Pyramid at erstwhile Pizza Oven, the Dead Man Walking had both higher-quality ingredients and more of them:

  • Sweet, fennel-spiked sausage dominated the flavor;
  • Chunks of not-too-salty ham were filling;
  • Pepperoni was there just in case there wasn't enough grease;
  • Prosciutto and bacon used sparingly, mostly under the cheese, added smoky depth.

The crust was thin, floppy near the middle and crisp on the edges.

Dead Man Walking

Roman Candle currently delivers to most of Madison and has a really nifty map (whoa, Oregon, you lucky ducks! Who knew? And Monona, too bad, but at least you have Rossi's). Its three menus are basically the same, except that Fitchburg offers sandwiches and more pasta options and Middleton has a wider selection of wine and beer. Boom!


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I'm going to miss this place when I move. I always build my pizzas there around Chevre and caramelized onions - I was so excited to find those on the toppings list!

Good pizza overall, but significantly overpriced for the amount of food one receives. This place shines in a small town like Madison, with a dearth of quality delivery, but if they had real competition for thin (non-doughy) crust they'd have to offer more competitive deals. Whole topping charges for half a pizza (they claim it's because they double toppings per side, but I've repeatedly found otherwise); a basic large pizza with two toppings can top 20 bucks... They're twice as good as Glass Nickel, and three to four times as good as most other local deliveries. That said, there's a cap on what a pizza is worth. We'd order from here twice as often if it was a better value and they had fries.

I already moved, and I miss that place. :-( The staff in Middleton are fantastic. There were a couple times when we would be debating between two different options and they would throw out great ideas on how to modify one of the two in a way that would give a delicious compromise.

I'm so happy there is somewhere to get a good slice of cheese pizza. I crave the east coast variety which is so hard to find anywhere else .... thin and flavorful crust, just a touch of spicy sauce and not too much cheese. RC's is as close as I can get.

We ordered a pie from RC last night. I think they're thin crust is getting thicker. Or maybe it's just my memory.

RC is good but I think La Rocca's makes a better pie overall. Our pizza last night had an abundance of pepperoni on it which is a good think if you don't mind all the grease. But La Rocca's has better crust and better sauce.

For NY style thin crust, Pizza Di Roma is the best I've had here in Madison.

I agree with Timmy. Great pizza at great cost. A once in a while splurge, which is probably good.
I like to recreate their signature pies at home. Who knew broccoli would be such a great pizza topping?
Warning, it's quite busy on Monday nights, when they offer two-for-one with a coupon. We had to wait about 30 min. after sitting to flag a server.

I really don’t like Roman Candle. High quality toppings can’t make up for what to me seems like a Pizza Pit base (right down to screen hash marks on the bottom of the pie, though that may have changed in the years since I’ve tried it). I assume there’s some cross-pollination between the two places, as with the obvious similarities and connection between PP and Pizza Extreme.

And that’s not even a dis to Pizza Pit. But if I’m getting close to Pizza Pit quality, I better be paying close to Pizza Pit prices, which is not the case with RC. I’ll eat it if someone else is picking and paying, but if it’s up to me I have a long list to run before I get to Roman Candle.

Feel the same way about the Glass Nickel (which reminds me of Gumby’s rather than Pizza Pit) and can’t understand why they’re so popular in a town that has so many great pizza options, especially downtown and near-east.

Ha ha! Fresh vindication of my beliefs!


What a shock! A Chicagoan loves the doughy, thick (Chicago-esque) Rocky Rococo's, but loathes the floppy, thin (New York-esque) Roman Candle.

Everyone's opinions are their own, but really: grain of salt, Jason. Grain of salt.


Roman Candle pizza is waaaaaaaaay
overpriced but people keep paying for it. It's not real pizza..it's foo foo Madison pizza. The ingredients are quality, though.
If you want the best in town..Rosati's on mineral point is the place. This is the real deal

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