Hooray for Howard’s Pizza!


On my second night in Great Falls – way back in 2002 – I was tired from the long move & drive to Montana, meeting realtors, etc. I was in my hotel room (Crystal Inn – nice place), and didn’t feel like going out to find food. So I flipped open the phone book and noticed an ad for “Howard’s Pizza” – and the ad mentioned that they delivered, and it appeared to be pretty close to Gore Hill. I called and ordered some pizza (pepperoni – duh). It arrived and I was puzzled. Pizza delivered – in a paper bag? No cardboard box? Hm. Give it a shot.

And I was hooked. Instantly. I don’t know if it’s the thin crust, the abundant cheese, or the square slices, but Howard’s is, bar none, my favorite pizza. I have never had a bad pizza from Howard’s. And since that day in July 2002, I sneer at Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and other national chains – yes, I’ve sampled some of their stuff on occasion since then (office party, etc), but only grudgingly. Howard’s Pizza was one of the first things that I fell in love with here in Great Falls, and it got me off to a good start in “adopting” this community as my home.

And besides having Howard’s Pizza delivered, I’ve eaten on several occasions at the Howard’s located in the 50s Casino, over by the Marketplace – fun decor! And then, about 18 months ago, I discovered the Stein Haus (or is it Steinhaus?). Oh man…peanuts AND Howard’s Pizza? I’m in heaven. Still haven’t been to the Wine Mill location, but promise to do so soon.

And now comes news that – but of course – there’s a Facebook fan page for Howard’s Pizza, similar to the one for Taco Treat. The Howard’s fan page intro reads:

Locals know it. Non-locals are curious. Is it true that Great Falls, Montana is home the fastest piston-powered vehicle in the world, the best tacos and taco sauce in the world (Taco Treat), home of Olympic boxer Todd “The Kid” Foster AND Olympic Figure Skater Scott Davis, and home to the world’s greatest Western Artist, CM Russell, AND, AND yes to the WORLD’S BEST PIZZA!? NO KIDDING. Howard’s is the best pizza in the world, and I do not believe it is based on local favoritism. It that’s what you think, come talk to me and I’ll kick your sorry butt. If you can’t stand the heat, get outta the kitchen, and Ace’s, and the Steinhaus. Loser. Great Falls is great because we don’t have naysayers like you. Now beat it. They don’t call it Mediocre Falls now do they? Great Falls is great because of the greatest pizza, tacos, athletes and cars. Amen.

Now that is one helluva endorsement.

And check out this pizza lover’s review:

“The crust is so thin, you need to fold it to eat it. They cut the pizza in little squares (to be different? make it easier to eat? who knows….who cares?). The sauce is not too sweet and a little garlicky – best pizza ever -nothing can come close!!!”

And for folks who like something a little different on their pizza, don’t forget Howard’s famous asparagus pizza or the “Kraut special!”

So: Howard’s Pizza – yea or nay?

15 Comments

  • ajtooley (#)
    December 11th, 2008

    I have to tell you, the first couple of times I ate Howard’s Pizza, I was underwhelmed –as I still am with Taco Treat tacos. But a couple of years ago I tried it again after a too-long flirtation with Pizza Hut and Domino’s, and took to it right away. Maybe my tastebuds just needed a reset. But now when I think of getting takeout pizza, I think of Howard’s.

  • GeeGuy (#)
    December 11th, 2008

    Candadian bacon, jalapenos on half, pineapple on the other.

  • Dona Stebbins (#)
    December 11th, 2008

    Howard’s Special with extra cheese – absolutely the best!

  • Kirsten (#)
    December 11th, 2008

    Can’t say Im a fan of Howards…not a fan of any pizza place in town really, but I can’t dog Domino’s too bad. My hubby is the manager of the westside…so cheap pizza is cheap pizza.

  • bonkrood (#)
    December 11th, 2008

    Okay I lived in Great Falls and I’ve never had Howard’s Pizza. However that is how I feel about the Vu Villa Pizza here in Butte–it’s delicious. Still shaped like pizza though.

  • Renee (#)
    February 23rd, 2010

    Actually of all the local pizza places here in town, Pepperoni’s is Great Falls’ best-kept secret. It is actually not even a restaurant. It is a pizza cart inside the Country Market truck stop off of Exit 277, adjacent to Crystal Inn. The slices are huge. Love the crust and how they twist it at the base. Hard to explain, you just have to try it/see it. Good sauce. I wish they delivered. Unlike Country Market, which is a 24-hour restaurant, the pizza is only available until 8 p.m. at night or something like that.

  • LaughingMan (#)
    February 24th, 2010

    Howard’s Pizza was the first food I ever ate in Great Falls. I had it in my hotel room after a job interview (that I obviously got). And I haven’t eaten one since.

    The Howard’s Pizza on Market Place was close to my hotel room, and I called in a pepperoni because I’m always willing to try local restaurants over fast food and chain restaurants. The guy came to my door and handed me what looked like a soft-shell tortilla in a paper pouch. I was like, “What is this, a paper plate?”
    Him: “… um, it’s your pizza.”
    Me: “… ah…” Paid, tipped and shut the door.

    The laws of physics say that you can’t fold anything more than 9 times, regardless of how thin it is. That night I made a scientific breakthrough.

  • John Q (#)
    July 2nd, 2011

    Before we moved to Great Falls in ’96 we would come visit my grandparents. One of the places we always ate when we came to visit was Howard’s. Ever since I was a wee lad of 5 I’ve loved their pizza. I remember we would buy a case of their Pizza sauce to take back home with us. When my Mom would make pizza with it our friends always wondered where this fantastic sauce came from. Now fast-forward 21 years and I am still a Howard’s fan. The Kraut Special is hands down my favorite pizza. I love sausage. I love sauerkraut. Putting them both on a pizza is pure genius. Just ordered Howard’s to eat while I’m here at work for the next 10 hours.

    Proof Howard’s is good stuff:

    A friend of mine went to College in New Jersey and one summer when he was back home a friend of his from NYU flew out for a few weeks. He had never been farther west than Pittsburgh so this was a new experience for him. A few of us went to Howard’s while he was in town. When the pizza came he was perplexed by the square slices. We told him to shut up and eat it. He said it was one of the best pizzas he has ever eaten and easily beat out 90% of the pizza shops in New York. If our little Howard’s get the endorsement from a New Yorker who has access to some of the best pizza shops in the country and says Howard’s is BETTER than most of them, I think they are doing something right.

  • EricP (#)
    July 3rd, 2011

    You guys are nuts!!!

    Howard’s Pizza is funky! It’s greasy, and cheapo!

    Anyone who wants freshness and high quality ingredients as well as good service, a clean, welcoming atmosphere would do well to go to MacKenzie’s. It is the best in Great Falls (aint sayin much) by a long shot!

  • Renee (#)
    October 3rd, 2011

    I agree with EricP. MacKenzie’s being among the best in Great Falls (or THEE best, in his opinion) isn’t saying much. Pizza isn’t a Great Falls specialty. I feel kind of sorry for lifelong residents who think they’ve got it made with Howard’s… 🙂

    In the year and a half since I made my post, a lot has changed. The Country Market truck stop off Exit 277 has been converted into a DENNY’S and the “Pepperoni’s” pizza cart that I spoke of is now long gone.

    I’ve since left Montana and am now living back in my homestate in the upper midwest. Now WE’VE got some good pizza HERE! There are a few local pizza restaurants here (about four) that are really good. I must’ve been gone from my homestate a long time to think that pizza cart in Great Falls with their frozen shipped-in pizza was better than this stuff. One of our pizza restaurants was given a thumbs-up by a New Yorker in a Yahoo review. lol (And everyone knows they’ve got some good pizza over that way.)

    Great Falls can’t brag about pizza, however…… I DO wish I could still have some Taco Treat sometimes!

  • Aric Wright (#)
    November 4th, 2011

    I’ve had pizza all over the world and Howard’s is unquestionably the best. I don’t live in Great Falls anymore, but my family do and I visit often – each and every visit begins with a night at Howard’s. You haters just keep on hating.

  • Renee (#)
    November 7th, 2011

    LMAO @ Aric getting pissy about pizza. ;-D

  • Deb Hoffmeyer (#)
    November 7th, 2011

    A lot of us are sentimental about our hometowns and hometown foods go hand in hand with those feelings. I LOVE the pizza in my hometown in North Dakota so I completely understand why the people of Great Falls think that Howard’s is great pizza. I also understand (ugh, choke choke)why the locals love their Taco Treat (sorry…gag reflex). It’s what they associate with home and that’s a good thing. Now I’m trying to decide what to order for supper tonight; Stageline Pizza or Taco Johns.

  • Renee (#)
    November 7th, 2011

    Stageline, now that’s not bad. 😉

    It’s like one of the Montana locals said when I lived there, “It’s not so much that Howard’s is the best pizza in the world, it’s just a tradition.” So that’s another factor in what keeps many of these local places going, along with personal taste. I wasn’t born and raised there. I have no sentimentality about Montana, yet I still loved Taco Treat and I loved Zandy’s (RIP! haha). Howard’s isn’t gross pizza, it’s just not anywhere near the best anywhere, IMHO.

    Burger Master, on the other hand, was also a long-standing Great Falls tradition before they closed down a couple years ago, and I DID think they were disgusting. I was still sad to see them go though… esp. to eventually make room for a chain place (Sonic). It’s always sad to see a long-time establishment in a town go.

  • Jim R. (#)
    November 15th, 2011

    Howards pizza is OK. But it’s nowhere near the best pizza I’ve had. And that would be pepperoni pizza from a small bistro owned by Italians, in Bierstadt, Germany. That is the best pizza I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

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