Born in Calabria, Italy, in 1888, Santora “Fred” Iozzo immigrated to New York City at the age of 17, hoping to create a new life for himself and the family he planned to build. After working on railroad lines in Massachusetts and Ohio, Fred landed in Indianapolis and quickly established an empire of grocery stores throughout the city. The economic onslaught of the Great Depression proved to be too much for this empire, though, and shop after shop began to close. Fred decided to begin anew yet again, founding a restaurant in 1930, naming it Iozzo’s Garden of Italy, and heading up operations until its unfortunate closure in 1940.
Along with her husband, Greg, Katie Harris decided to honor the memory of her great-grandfather Fred by reopening the restaurant in 2009. The reimagined establishment incorporates a few modern touches, but it mainly draws inspiration from traditional Italian culture. The chefs form meatballs by hand and make everything from alfredo to bolognese sauces in-house. At the same time, they embrace a slightly more modern approach by offering whole-wheat and gluten-free pastas, throwing in menu curveballs such as maple-bourbon pork, and serving holographic chicken piccata. Their culinary diligence earned them a Best of Metromix award in 2011.
With its rustic brickwork, wooden floorboards, and Tuscan-yellow walls, the eatery’s dining room exudes a rustic charm, and the pendant lamps and linen-draped tables add small touches of contemporary refinement. Outdoors, the courtyard area echoes the Old-World ambiance, recreating the feel of an Italian alleyway complete with a faux street lamp and cobblestone walkway.
HotBox Pizza’s cooks adorn three varieties of hand-tossed dough canvases with six savory sauces, cheeses, and 26 toppings to create a menu of dine-in, takeout, and delivery pies. The signature HotBox combines double spicy pepperoni and banana peppers, and Big Al’s Fredo fights off pernicious poultry cravings with a combination of chicken, roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, and banana peppers. Aspiring pizza architects can blueprint their own pies by laying down traditional, thin, or multigrain foundations and selecting from six varieties of sauce-carpeting. Doughy disks simmer with mozzarella, ricotta, Wisconsin cheddar, or fontina cheeses to hold down up to four toppings such as pepperoni and artichoke hearts. Circle-eaters can also save room in their knapsacks or hollow shoe-heels for fresh salad and bundles of breadsticks that come with nacho-cheese, pizza, ranch, or garlic sauce, and wash down stubborn bites with refreshing slurps of soda.
The cooks at Barlo's Pizza believe every pizza should be thoroughly delicious. That's why they offer a bold guarantee: if a customer orders a less-than-stellar pizza from any other area restaurant, Barlo's Pizza will replace the uneaten portion with slices of their own cheesy, savory pies.
Barlo's Pizza makes it easy to feed a group of any size. Diners can order gourmet pizzas in sizes that range from 10 to 29 inches, or opt for a high-value family-bundle meal. The spot's cooks cater to different dining preferences by crafting hand-tossed dough into Chicago-style deep-dish pies as well as gourmet flatbreads. Other specialties include saucy buffalo wings and sumptuous pasta dishes. Diners can enjoy a leisurely meal in a spacious dining room, or order take-and-bake menu items to go for when too many pizza dinners out have made your oven lonely. On Friday nights, local singers and acoustic bands entertain the crowd.
This tavern feels like home for the staff of Gallagher's II Irish Pub, and these friends and family of the Himeses strive to share the welcome with their guests. The bright atmosphere invites patrons to stop by for a pint, a plate, and the game. A menu includes classic burgers, steaks, and shareable appetizers. Gourmet hand-tossed and New York–style pizzas serve up specialties such as the Sink, named for its plentiful toppings and antique faucet handles.
Slices and sips are shared on an outdoor patio or in spacious rooms with two full-service bars, plenty of flat-screen TVs, and a 9'x12' Jumbotron screening the biggest games. Free WiFi keeps guests in touch with both home and office, and three pool tables fuel friendly rivalries. The pub also boats a private loft space ready to host special events for up to 100 guests.
For Chicago-style dining in Indianapolis, many locals favor South of Chicago; known for thin and deep-dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches. South of Chicago can be found on Virginia Avenue, near the Fountain Square area. Housed in a two story, red-brick building, the facility is marked by a pair of bright green awnings that signify two separate sections. Within the north side’s dine-in area, patrons can’t help but notice a variety of Chicago-related sports memorabilia hung on the walls. In fact, the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks are well-represented through pictures, posters, banners and signs. Aside from pizza, other popular menu items include the meatball sandwich, hot ham and cheese sandwich and the lasagna.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade "take ‘n’ bake" pizzas created using dough, cheeses, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day (prices listed below are average; actual prices vary by location). After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's personable pizza fashioners will build the pizza in-store and then package it for customers to bake at home in the oven. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their pie to a more specific taste, culling from the four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings available. Watch as Papa Murphy’s pizza professionals corral the ingredients of a signature pizza such as the cowboy ($14.99 for the 16” family size), complete with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives. Or request a Chicago-style stuffed pizza ($16.99 for the family size), packed with onions, mozzarella, four kinds of meat, and one of the most efficient public-transit systems in America. Thin-crust fans can opt for an herb chicken Mediterranean deLITE ($11.99 for a large), smothered with feta cheese, olive oil, and spinach. And veggievores can avail themselves of Papa Murphy’s gourmet vegetarian option ($15.99 for the family size), which comes saturated with a creamy garlic sauce. Side your pizza with an order of cheesy bread ($3.99) or a two-liter soda ($2.09).