About elshepherd

Marketing professional working and living in Portland, ME.

OTTO wins ‘Best Pizza – Gourmet’ in Boston A-List Awards

VotingPlatformLogoWe were thrilled and humbled to learn today that OTTO was voted ‘Best Pizza’ in the ‘Gourmet’ category of the 2017 Boston A-List Awards, presented by WGBH. In addition to this honor, we placed third in the ‘Best Pizza – Slices’ category.

As an independent pizzeria born in Portland, ME just eight years ago, it means a lot to feel the Boston love. It’s been a short 6 years since we opened our shop in Harvard Square (our Coolidge Corner and BU locations opened within the next 12-18 months), and we are have enjoyed every minute of it. The people who make up these vibrant and engaged communities inspire us every single day.

With half of our shops, and half of our employees, rooted in Massachusetts, it truly is our other home. We love these communities, and we are so grateful that they seem to like us back.

Thank you, Boston!


Our Portland Arts District location has re-opened!

DSC_3689We are pleased to announce that, after three weeks of closure due to water damage, our original shop at 576 Congress Street will re-open at 5pm on Friday, September 8!

Stop in for a quick slice to-go, join us in our full-service dining room (and bar), or lounge in our next-door sister bar, ENZO. (And enjoy outdoor dining while you still can!)

We appreciate the outpouring of support we received from the community (and beyond!) while we were recovering from the damage. We are so fortunate to be part of such a vibrant, diverse, and caring community — it reminds us why we do what we do.

We are so thrilled to be back, and we’d love to see you.  Come on down!

Enjoy OTTO at Maine Craft Distilling’s Public House in Freeport


Fall is in the air, and we can’t think of anything more inviting than enjoying locally distilled spirits and craft cocktails over a Mashed Potato, Bacon & Scallion pie in the cozy interior of Maine Craft Distilling‘s Public House in Freeport, Maine.

On Fridays, from 4-7pm and Saturdays from 12-7pm, OTTO will be on site, serving select signature pies freshly baked in the Public House’s 2nd floor kitchen.

The Maine Craft Distilling Public House is conveniently located in the historic Mallet building at 7 Mill Street on the edge of Freeport Village, between Old Navy and the Nordica Theater.  There is plenty of parking located directly in front of the building.

Whether a respite from fall shopping, a pre- or post-movie noshing, or a night out in Freeport, we’ve got the bases covered.

Come on down to the house. We look forward to seeing you. 15317769_642618455918583_4262705624348645715_n

Gluten-free pizza just got a whole lot more delicious

DSC_5216.jpgSince 2009, OTTO has strived to elevate the pizza experience. It starts with the ingredients — high quality, local when possible, and the toppings — creative and comforting. For years our crust has been winning over pizza aficionados everywhere. While we’ve been making our own dough daily for quite some time, we’ve historically sourced our gluten-free dough from others.

While our gluten-free pies have received high praise, we concluded that the only way to truly do it right was to make our own. We’re proud to introduce our very own gluten-free dough. It bakes thin and crispy, and tastes like real pizza crust. We love it.

OTTO’s new gluten free dough is now available at any location — in-house, takeout, or delivery.

Our new gluten-free dough is made in our very own bakery, in its own gluten-free room, and is continuously tested to ensure it exceeds FDA requirements for gluten-free labeling.

OTTO’s new gluten-free dough is vegan, and contains no GMOs, no gums, and no nuts or tree nuts.

Ingredients: rice flour, potato, millet, tapioca, plant fiber, cane sugar, light brown sugar, molasses, salt, ascorbic acid, cellulase, water, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, and yeast

While the dough is gluten-free, our current kitchen operations cannot guarantee that each hand-tossed pizza will not come in contact with trace amounts of gluten. Therefore, we can only recommend our gluten-free pizza to those with milder gluten sensitivities, and not for those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease.

We look forward to hearing what you think of our new gluten-free dough. Let us know!


Detroit-Style Pizza Pop-Up & Wine Tasting at OTTO Comm Ave — One Day Only!

Join us on June 29th, from 5-9pm, at our 888 Comm Ave location in Boston for a one-night-only Detroit-Style Pizza Pop-Up & Wine Tasting!


OTTO founder/owner Anthony Allen will be in the kitchen serving up Detroit-style pizza. Our friends from M.S. Walker Fine Wine and Spirits will be on-site to provide complimentary vino samples.

Be there, or be square (with a thick deep-dish crispy crust)!

*Detroit-style pies available for purchase in-store only (excludes delivery & online ordering).

Celebrate OTTO’s 8th birthday with 8 throwback pies throughout June!

On June 18, OTTO turns 8! To celebrate, we will be bringing back 8 classic OTTO pies for a limited time throughout the month of June!  Each week, we will be featuring 2 throwbacks, including fan faves like our Zucchini, Spinach & Summer Squash pie, and our Apple, Bacon & Red Onion.

Each Friday at 5pm, two pies will be available for 7 days. Check out the schedule below and mark your calendars!

18893282_1706999769311946_2863031500396257067_nThrowbacks will be available at all OTTO locations.

We have lots of other good stuff planned for June, including a very special birthday beer collaboration with Rising Tide. We’ll soon be pouring OCTO, which is a potato IPA (!!!) using Maine potatoes, as well as Nugget and Cascade hops from The Hop Yard!

Stay tuned!

Thanks, Maine! OTTO voted Best Pizza for 7th consecutive year

We are beyond thrilled to learn that OTTO has been named Best Pizza and Best Delivery Food in the Portland Phoenix Best of 2017 Awards4ac6a9421404dcf4878f120423d03756_L

Although it’s been nearly eight years since we opened our first (tiny) slice shop on Congress Street in downtown Portland, it continues to be such an honor to be recognized by those who have made our growth possible.  A huge thanks to those who voted for us — not only for your vote, but for your loyalty over the years.

This marks the 18th award OTTO has received via the Phoenix’s annual Best Of poll, including seven consecutive Best Pizza awards, four Best Late-Night Restaurant awards, and four Best Delivery Food awards.  In a town with no shortage of delicious pizza, and with one of the best food scenes in America, we feel especially honored.

We look forward to continuing to serve the wonderful folks of Maine. We are so incredibly fortunate to live, work, and make pizza in one of the greatest towns on the planet.

Thank you, Maine!

Bluegrass Night returns to OTTO Monday March 20!

Monday, March 20 marks the first day of spring (hard to believe on the heels of a Nor’easter, we know). What better way to celebrate than with the return of OTTO Bluegrass Night!

Monday Night Bluegrass has been a beloved Portland staple since 2013, when acclaimed mandolin player Joe K Walsh started assembling a rotating roster of bluegrass greats at our 576 Congress Street location, laying down some of the best performances (of any genre) you will find anywhere in Maine.


Photo by Gabe Souza/PPH

We’re pleased to announce that, after a short winter hiatus Bluegrass Night is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever.

As if a free evening of world-class bluegrass wasn’t enough, Lone Pine Brewing will be in the house, with giveaways and $4 drafts for the duration of the show — 8pm to close.

For the uninitiated, Joe Walsh was the first student at Berklee College of Music to graduate with a degree in performance specializing in mandolin. He currently teaches at Berklee, where he serves as Managing Director of the American Roots Music Program.

The world-renowned fiddle legend Darol Anger called Walsh “one of my favorite musicians on earth.”

Joe has played in several renowned bands, including Joy Kills Sorrow, the New England Bluegrass BandNorthern Lights, and the Grammy nominated Gibson Brothers.


$4 Lone Pine brews each and every Monday night!

Writing in the Portland Press Herald, Bob Keyes wrote, “Walsh is the most in-demand mandolin player in Maine, and one of the most sought-after in America. He could easily live in Nashville, Austin or any other acoustic music hotbed, but chooses Portland because he loves the city and is well-treated here.”

And he loves it so much, each Monday night he assembles a handful of the best roots musicians in Maine, or in America, for a fireworks-display of fretwork, lonesome harmonies, and good times.

Some of Bluegrass Night’s past guests have included members of Crooked StillDella Mae, the Josh Ritter Band, and the Ray LaMontagne band. You never know who might pop up, but you can always expect to be blown away.

And to boot, the shows are 100% free.

So, grab your family and friends, pop over for a few pies, some Lone Pine, and take in some of the very best bluegrass you’re likely to hear anywhere.

INTRODUCING: The OTTO Chocolate Chip Cookie!

c45dtrbwaaa6v6dWe are pleased to announce the arrival of the OTTO cookie, now available at all locations, and online!

Over the past several months, we’ve been diligently perfecting the recipe, which is adapted from Ruth Wakefield‘s 1938 recipe used at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. The result is a perfect way to top off your meal.

Each 3-inch cookie is baked daily from scratch, using Callebaut imported 60% dark chocolate chips and 82% euro style butter. The result is a delectable, mouth-watering treat — slightly crispy on the outside edges, and chewy-gooey in the center.

In addition to being available at any OTTO location, the OTTO cookie is a great addition to any catering order, sure to perk up any meeting, party or event. And you can add them to any online order, for delivery or pickup!

Go ahead. You totally deserve it.

2016: The Year in Giving Back

Since we opened our first little slice shop on Congress Street in Portland back in 2009, giving back has been integral to what OTTO does. From day one, we have committed ourselves to bettering the communities in which we do business, and this commitment continues to grow.

10414491_806020339409898_4134071848483003687_nIt is not lost on us that without having been embraced and supported by our communities over the past several years, we would not have been able to make community outreach an integral part of our company culture.

Our weekly fundraiser series now runs in 10 locations in two states. In addition to these events, we provide many in-kind donations to many deserving charities and community organizations throughout the year.

OTTO has been fortunate enough to have donated to over 300 organizations in Maine, Massachusetts and beyond in 2016. We are extremely grateful to be in a position to do so. As we close the year, we are thankful for the many wonderful organizations that worked tirelessly to better our communities in so many ways.

We’d like to acknowledge some of the organizations that we have had the pleasure of working with in some capacity in 2016. The following is a partial list of these organizations.

Thank you for all you do!


317 Main Community Music Center

317 Main Community Music Center
A Company of Girls
A Slice of Hope
ACT Boston
Action for Healthy Kids
Actors Studio Hall
Africa Schoolhouse Club at PHS
Almost Home Rescue
American Cancer Society
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Heart Association
American Liver Foundation
Amirah, Inc.
Amnesty International Boston University
An Evening with Champions
Andrew Gerke Memorial Scholarship
Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland
Anna Jacques Community Health Foundation
Anti-Defamation League New England


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

April Stools Day & Community Cleanup
Arlington Hockey Club
Arlington International Film Festival
Arts In Reach
Back Cove Festival
Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital
Bates College Radio
Belle of the Ball
Bently Academy Charter School
Best Buddies Friendship 5k
Beth Israel Deacones Medical Center
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Bike & Build
Bikes Not Bombs
Boston College Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Boston College Public Interest Law Foundation
Boston Green Academy
Boston Hassle
Boston Workman’s Circle


Bikes Not Bombs

Boston’s Children’s Hospital
Brackett School
Breakthrough Greater Boston
BreastFest Concert 4 a Cure
Brendan Conway Memorial Scholarship Fund
Brian D. Silber Memorial Fund & Gold Tournament
Brookline Arts Center
Brookline High School After Prom Party
Brookline High School Poetery Fest
Brookline Rotary Club
Brookline Senior Center
BU Alternative Spring Breaks
BU Baseball
BU China Care Fund
BU Circle K International
BU Color Cancer
BU Community Service Center “Journey for Food Justice”
BU Entrepreneurship Club
BU Global Days of Service
BU Global Human Rights
BU Global Water Brigades


BU Global Water Brigades

BU HerNetwork
BU Law Public Interest Project
BU Student Volunteers for Special Needs
BU Women’s Club
Buddy Up Animal Society
BUILD Boston’s Annual Entrepreneur Games
Cambodian Arts & Scholarship Program
Cambride YWCA
Cambridge Arts
Cambridge Rindge & Latin School- UNICEF
Cambridge Women’s Center
Cans for a Cure
Cape Ann Animal Aid
Cape Ann Youth Super Bowl
Cape Elizabeth Cross Country
Cape Elizabeth High School Student Council
Cape Elizabeth Land Trust “Paint for Preservation”
Cape Elizabeth Robotics Team
Carry The Future
Casco Bay High School
Casco Bay Japanese Exchange Program
Celebration Barn Theater
Center for Grieving Children
Children’s Dyslexia Center of Woburn
Children’s Museum & Theatre
Chocolate Lovers Fling

Bicycle Coalition of Maine / MassBike

Chopped Challenge
Chorus Pro Musica
City Year
Claws for a Cause
Climate Action Brookline
Clinton Path Preschool
Community Law Center
Community Nursery School
Coolidge Corner Community Chorus
Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation
Coolidge Theater
Corner Co-op Nursery School
Cultivating Community
Cumberland Boy Scounts Toop 58
Cumberland Community Nursery School
Cumberland North Yarmouth Little League
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Dempsey Challenge
Doctors for Global Health
Dora L Small Elementary PTA
Driscoll School “Arts Equinox”
East Coast Assistance Dogs

Cancer Community Center

East End School
Easter Seals Maine
Eastern Prom Summer Concert Series
Eastern Trail Alliance
Edge Dance Company & Dizzy Feet Foundation
Edward Devotion School
Edward M. Kennedy Scholorship Fund
Endless Summer 5-Miler
Falmouth Corner Preschool
Family Crisis Services
Firefighter Rice Memorial 5K
FNE International
Food For Free
Fox Library
Fresh Air Fund
Friends of Feral Felines
Friends of Playmakers
Friends of Tobin School
Furniture Friends
Girl Scouts of Maine
Girls on the Run
Global Acupuncture Project
Golden Givings
Gorham High School Key Club
Greely Girls Soccer Boosters
Greely Middle School Animal Awareness
Harvard “Youth Lead The Change”
Harvard Alpha Phi Foundation

Girls on the Run

Harvard College Asian Program
Harvard Earth Day
Harvard First-Year Urban Program
Harvard Forum for International Development
Harvard Happiness Project
Harvard Igniting Innovation Summit
Harvard Smart Women Securities
Harvard Underground Women in Business
Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Harvard-Radcliffe Women’s Leadership Conference
Head Start
Holy Cross School
Hour Exchange
iGlobal Classrooms Student Symposium – USM
Initiative EAU
International Myeloma Foundation
Jimmy Fund
Joslin Diabetes Center
Kappa Theta at Tufts
Kennebunk High School Girls Softball


Kids of Maine
King Middle School
Lano Family Foundation
Lawrence School PTO
Let’s Get Ready
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Levey Day School
Link House
LobsterJAM Olympic Triathlon
Longfellow Elementary School
Lucius Beebe Memorial Library
Lynnfield High School Play4theCure
Lynnfield High School Post Prom Party
Lynnfield Rotary
Lyrics Music Theater
Maine Access Immigrant Network
Maine Adaptive Sports
Maine Community Law Center
Maine Friends of Animals
Maine Inside Out
Maine Jewish Film Festival
Maine Lobsterman’s Community Alliance
Maine Startup & Create Week
Maine State Ballet
Maine Yoga Fest
March of Dimes
Maria L. Baldwin School
Melrose Alliance Against Violence
Milestone Foundation
Minds Matter Bostonscreen-shot-2016-12-14-at-3-04-27-pm
Mom to Mom of Maine
Multiracial Adoptive Family Collaborative
Munjoy Hill Spring Cleanup
Muscular Dystrophy Association
My Place Teen Center
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
New England Aquarium
New England Cancer Specialists
New School of Music
Newburyport Boys Basketball
Newburyport Chamber Music Festival
Newburyport Education Foundation
Newburyport Youth Soccer Association
Newton Community Chorus
Next Step
North Shore Civic Ballet
North Shore Medical Center
Odyssey Day School
Opportunity Alliance
Pan Mass Challenge
Parties of Hope
Partners for World Health
Partners in Health
Peabody Rotary Club
Peaks Island Walk for CMT
Pets for Vets

Pets for Vets

Pixel Fund
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
Pond Cove Parents’ Association
Portland Ballet
Portland Buy Local
Portland Chamber Music Festival
Portland Conservancy of Music
Portland Downtown
Portland Firefighters
Portland High School Softball
Portland High School Project Graduation
Portland High School Africa Schoolhouse Club
Portland NAACP
Portland Outright
Portland Ovations
Portland Stage
Portland Symphony Orchestra
Portland Trails
Portland VA Clinic
Protect South Portland
Public Library of Brookline
Purple Vision

Science Club for Girls

Rainbow Tribe
Read To A Child
Reiche Community School
Relay for Life
Ride the Vineyard for MS
River School
Riverton Elementary
Riverview Kids Who Care
Ronald McDonald House Royal River Music Fest
Safe Passage
Science Club for Girls
Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine
Silent Sidekicks
Smart Woman Securities
SMCC Women’s Soccer
Soccer Without Borders
SoPo & Cape Buy Local
South Portland High School Boys Soccer Boosters
South Portland High School Career Fest
South Portland High School CIEE
South Portland High School Dollars for Scholars
South Portland High School Football
South Portland High School Girls Volleyball
South Portland High School National Honor Society
South Portland High School Project Graduation
South Portland Historical Society
South Portland Little League
South Portland Robotics
Southern Maine Heart Walk
SPACE Gallery
Special Olympics BU

Special Olympics BU

Spirits Alive
St. Peter’s Golf Tournament
Steppingstone Foundation
Strong Women, Strong Girls
Team Dimodica
Team With A Vision
Teens to Trails
The Art Department
The Root Cellar
The Telling Room
Thomas Memorial Library Foundation
Timmy Global Health
Timothy Kormann Memorial Golf Tournament
Torigian Family YMCA
Tortoise and Hare 5k
Trefethen-Evergreen Improvement Association
Tri for a Cure
Tufts Medical School’s Sherwood Clinic
Twilight 5K
Underwood After School Program
Unite for Sight Boston
United Way of Greater Portland
USM “Protect the Grand Canyon”
USM Alternative Spring Break
USM Athletic Training Student Association
USM Model UN
Valpo Surf Project
Village Nursery School
Vivid Motion
Waltham Community Day Center
Westbrook High School Drama Boosters
Westbrook High School Football
WGBHScreen Shot 2016-12-14 at 3.06.35 PM.png
Willard Fest
Woman’s Center
Woodville School PTO
WordCamp Maine
Wounded Heroes Program of Maine
Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors
Yarmouth Colts Soccer
Yarmouth Community Garden
Yarmouth Day Care
Yarmouth Education Foundation
Yarmouth Field Hockey
Yarmouth Girl Scout Troop 1934
Yarmouth High School Basketball
Yarmouth High School Cross Country Team
Yarmouth High School Humanitarian Experience for Youth
Yarmouth High School Sailing Team
Yarmouth High School Softball
Yarmouth Historical Society
Yarmouth Hockey
Youth & Family Outreach
Youth Climate Adaptation Challenge