It's almost a tradition now: seasoned staff members of Krony's Pizza love the business so much that they open their own location. After three decades, this rite of passage has brought Krony's third location from its home in upstate New York to the West coast. Amid bright orange walls and checkered floors, homemade pizzas depart the oven steaming in white, pink, or red sauce beside hot subs, hearty wraps, and fresh salads. The eatery's free WiFi allows easy access to email or pointers on protecting the roof of one's mouth from impatient chomping on too-hot pizza.
Satisfying meals and handcrafted beer intersect with premium sports viewing at Lamppost Pizza and Backstreet Brewery, founded in 1976 by Angelo Barro and his sons, Dan and Tom. Today, the franchise welcomes patrons to 37 locations in three states, and the philosophy remains the same at all of them. Seven big-screen TVs broadcast football, basketball, and baseball games from around the leagues to entertain patrons sipping small-batch draft beers brewed onsite. Fans munch on traditional sports-viewing snacks, such as jalapeño poppers, potato skins, and deep-fried depth charts. Chefs also prepare heartier entrees including garlic-chicken pasta, Pesto Supreme pizzas covered with artichoke hearts, and The Linebacker, a pizza loaded with pepperoni, salami, ground beef, sausage, and two types of bacon.
For Gourmet Pizza Shoppe owners Bill, Don, and Scott, the standard assortment of pizza toppings isn't enough. Though pepperoni, sausage, and black olives are certainly part of its repertoire, the trio also stocks exotic ingredients such as mashed potatoes, peanut butter, and crabmeat—making a total of more than 120 toppings. Strewn across dough made fresh each day, these morsels form custom build-your-own pies or dozens of specialty pizzas, ranging from classic eggplant parmesan to the out-there Mini Pearl, loaded with country gravy, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken.
At the downtown location, taps pour out more than 20 regional microbrews, including several from Redlands brewery's Hangar 24 and Ritual. After meals, customers can request six types of dessert pizzas to adorn the tables' green-gingham tablecloths or their imaginary pet dragons' green-gingham tongues.
At Two Guys Pasta and Pizza, tomato sauce simmers on the stove for hours, while housemade pizza dough bakes in the oven until bubbly and crisp. The eatery’s from-scratch sauces and breads have earned nods from the Daily Bulletin, which hails the fresh-baked bread as “outstanding—almost a meal in itself.” Diners can also make a meal out of Two Guys’ specialty pastas and sandwiches, pairing these eats with draft beers and bottles of wine freshly tapped from the grape bush.
Hand-tossed dough sails sky-high at Bonello’s New York Pizza, where chefs pepper pies in an oregano-based herb blend sealed in by the flickering flames from a stone oven. Dining companions can peruse the menu’s inspired litany of toppings—which include balsamic marinated steak, cashews, and pineapple—which drift across eight hefty New York–style slices ($10.95+) or a Sicilian–style pizza doused in homemade marinara. Like an underachieving yardstick, Bonello’s hot and cold sandwiches span 18 inches and stuff themselves with hearty mounds of homemade meatballs, Neapolitan cold cuts, and sweet italian sausage ($4.95+/half, $6.95/whole). Marinara and melted mozzarella ooze over a tender trio of ricotta-stuffed manicotti tubes ($8.95), where ropes of angel-hair pasta lope themselves around chopped roma tomatoes, garlic, and basil ($8.95+). Those looking to feast in the comfort of their own castles can place on an order for pickup on Bonello’s nifty online order form, an accommodating alternative to ordering via phone or smoke signal.