Pizza was first made in Italy in the 18th century, and lucky for us, Italian immigrants introduced the pizza pie to America in the late 1800s. We've been eating it ever since in Kansas City. From wood-fired and New York-style to thick-crust Chicago pizza, you'll find it all here in the big KC. We give you five of the best pizza places in the metro area, but be forewarned: The list keeps growing and changing as more local chefs become enamored of the delights of really, really good pizza and as more pizza chefs move into the area from the East Coast and the Chicago area.
We've listed full-fledged pizza restaurants, but there are hidden, almost secret kitchens producing extravagantly good pizzas that don't even mention pizza on their website. We're looking at you Ibis Bakery, a throwback-good bakery inside the Black Dog Coffeehouse at 12817 W. 87th St. Parkway, in Lenexa, Kansas, that produces Neapolitan-style pizza only on Tuesday nights, beginning at 6 p.m. Be there early or miss out on the hand-crafted pizzas with local veggies, meat and cheese. We don't know how long this will last, so visit them now. Call 913-669-9883 for information. While you're there, pick up some fresh, crusty bread (available Wednesday–Friday and Saturday–Sunday) and flaky pastries (available every day of the week).
As with any restaurants, which change frequently, visit each establishment's website to confirm hours, prices and menus.
Providence Pizza was started by brothers Luke and Aaron Salvatore from Providence, Rhode Island, a city known for great pizza. Whether it’s a New York slice or a classic Italian Margherita, Providence Pizza delivers to the good people of Grandview.
If you're there for pizza, try the classic Margherita with de rigueur San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil, house mozzarella and extra-virgin olive oil. Or the meat lover's Providential with Italian sausage, bacon, red onion, mushrooms and house marinara. Team it with one of the chef salads like the arugula that's tossed with roasted golden beets, pears, walnuts and gorgonzola dressing.
You could also order from the wide-ranging menu of calzones, sandwiches, starters, salads and desserts like the signature fresh cannoli.
Waldo Pizza is practically a neighborhood institution. Usually, you'll see this "great little place for pizza" packed with folks eating Waldo's super flavorful pizza, from hand-tossed crust and thin, St. Louis-style crust to the often requested honey wheat crust and the unusual gluten-free crust that folks trek from all over to order. On top, the cooks slather house-made sauces with a huge variety of toppings from shrimp to fresh spinach. Try the Waldo combo with hamburger, pork sausage, onions and the works for a huge bang for your bucks.
Serial food entrepreneur, Rob Dalzell launched Pizzabella with the same successful formula focusing on high flavor and great local ingredients. Pizzabella's Neapolitan-style pizza baked in an Italian wood-fired oven feels like a trip to Italy, and it's served up with serious wine that complements pizza.
The menu is full of winners. A couple of outstanding creations: the mushroom pizza with a trio of mushrooms, roasted onion, of-the-moment semisoft Taleggio cheese and fresh thyme. And the roasted eggplant pizza, which, with house-made marinara, roasted eggplant, olives, goat cheese and oregano, is straight out of the Mediterranean.
The interior reflects the no-frills serious effort in the kitchen with lean-lined light woods and industrial-style, bare-bulb lighting. Eat here for dinner, order takeout or enjoy a good deal on low-priced lunch items. At both Waldo locations, you can eat alfresco on the patio.
Pizzabella in the Crossroads
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Pizzabella at Mission Farms
4000 Indian Creek Pkwy.
Overland Park, Kansas 66207
An authentic New York–style deli-cum-pizzeria (with recipes brought back from the Bronx, New York), d'Bronx has been an institution for some three decades, and the pizza here never disappoints. D'Bronx is known for the biggest pizza in the universe (a 30-inch monster), and you kind of feel as though you're in New York as the guys in the back twirl the dough with their fingertips.
The people who run d'Bronx have made freshness their focus, with each of several locations roasting, baking, preparing and making almost everything on the premises for a “cook-driven” experience. Among customer favorites: meatball pizza and pepperoni.
Rosati's Pizza originated in Chicago in 1895 when Fred Rosati opened his first restaurant, and today there are over 200 restaurants, with more being added all the time. Great ingredients, amazing crust and sauce, and Wisconsin cheeses give Rosati's Pizza top patron marks as "pizza heaven."
You can't go wrong with the famed "double-dough" and Chicago-style deep-dish pies. We love the Fabulous Four (sausage, mushroom, onion and green peppers) and the Chicken Alfredo.