After watching two hours of drag at Kremwerk on a recent Saturday night, I walked out knowing just what my drunk self needed. Something hot. Something tasty. Something immensely carb heavy to act as sand on the exposed nuclear reactor that was the alcohol in my stomach. Luckily, the answer was right above me: Little Maria's, a tiny pizzeria located directly above the Kremwerk complex.
Open since 2016, Little Maria's Pizza is without a doubt one of the best places to get hot, cheap, delicious food while also rubbing elbows with some of the most talented (and weirdest) drag entertainers in Seattle. You'll find no better atmosphere to discuss meaty tucks while tucking into some meaty slices.
Owner Nicole Stone—who also started Kremwerk and the adjacent Timbre Room—told me that Little Maria's was founded out of a deep need to feed enthusiastic partyers. And what's better than pizza?
"I wanted to have something that was user-friendly for when people are drinking and dancing, and pizza seemed to be a great fit," Stone told me over the phone recently. "I'm a trans woman, and I wanted a place where the staff could be themselves and be free... So that was why it was really important that we have a queer little pizzeria. I didn't think there was any place like that in Seattle."
And the space is pretty freeing. One of the best parts about being in Little Maria's before or after a drag event is seeing a six-foot-five queen teetering on tall heels, wig off, eyebrows still on, ordering a slice while her partner loves up on her. Visibly and proudly queer people, both in front of and behind the counter, inhabit every inch of Little Maria's.
The pizza is pretty fucking delicious, too. I've definitely talked shit between ravenous bites of a slice of Thunder, a perfect balance of salty meat (pepperoni, sausage, salami, and bacon), cheese, and airy crust. (It's one of their most popular offerings.) I've sung some queen's high praises while devouring a Roma (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and olive). Both pair well with an ice-cold beer and hefty doses of Parmesan and red pepper flakes.
For all you vegetarians out there, the Prince-inspired Darling Nikki (pesto base, feta, garlic, artichokes, and onion) is filling and satisfying as well, a scrumptious alternative for those looking to get their edible kicks from something other than copious amounts of cheese.
All around the long, rather narrow space, you'll find gaggles of colorfully dressed queers crammed into booths or balancing a takeout box while smoking outside, waiting for a Lyft to take them home or to the next party. It's a place of both random chance and grease.
"To me, that's what makes Little Maria's so special, because we are queer, and where Little Maria's is located, we have all these high-end skyscraper [residents] coming in," said Stone. "We want those people to be very aware that we are a queer establishment and this is a place where everybody should feel safe." And we do, Nicole, we do.