The dough wizards at Papa John's create circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! has been a classic Italian eatery since 1956, from the family-style meals and traditional dishes down to the red-checkered tablecloths. The building that houses its original restaurant in Mountain View has been around since the 1920s, and it has vacillated from a speakeasy to a coffee shop to its current state as a friendly Italian restaurant. At each of the company’s five locations, chefs masterfully toss pizza dough in the air to create specialty pies such as the vegetarian fantasy or seafood ecstasy, piled with scallops, shrimp, clams, and high concentrations of euphoria. The intoxicating aromas of garlic and marinara waft through the air as families and friends enjoy meals of house-made meatballs, New York-style Italian sausage, and veal scaloppini.
The simple red, green, and white sign on Ramona’s Pizza's façade may seem minimalist, but their menu of casual Italian food is anything but. Chefs stuff more than 10 types of calzones with a signature spicy tomato sauce and piles of vegetables and meats. A 9-inch sesame french roll creates the foundation for each of their 11 hot subs, which also bubble with layers of melted mozzarella cheese. But, the true stars of the menu are 19 different New-York-style pizzas, whose creative toppings range from barbecue chicken with onions and pineapple to clams and fresh garlic. Diners can order a whole pie, savor that day's lunch slice, or demand a pie shaped like Brooklyn for additional authenticity.
Nizario's Pizza has been satisfying customers since 1983 with its simple menu of tasty pies. Nine speciality pizzas satisfy with tried-and-true flavor pairings, such as the Greko's black olives, garlic, feta, and pesto, and the Hawaiian's Canadian bacon and pineapple. They also delight tongues with more unique combinations, such as the Tijuana's pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapeños. Customers feeling creative can crown pizzas with their own topping selections and then put them in a shadowbox.
The chefs at Jake’s specialize in whipping up circular comestibles, dishing out pizzas with more than 20 toppings in addition to scrumptious specialty pies and a sizeable selection of burgers, sandwiches, and wings. Cozy up in a booth with a signature pizza ($15.25 for a small), such as the barbecue chicken, which plunders the garden for ripe pineapple and onion before wedding them to juicy marinated chicken breast on an altar of smoked provolone. The create-your-own-pizza menu rounds up the usual suspects including pepperoni, mushrooms, and anchovies and puts them in a lineup alongside their more exotic counterparts such as louisiana hot sausage, artichoke hearts, and chives ($12.05+ for a small). Burgers ($5.65), quesadillas ($4.50), and a chicken philly with fries ($8) clamor for diners' attention, and a bucket of wings ($12.75) provides a perfect opportunity to prove your kindergarten teacher wrong about your ability to share.
From founder Bill Larson’s first quaint pizza parlor, which he opened in 1959, Round Table has grown to more than 500 stores, which sprinkle across seven states like pepperonis across a sizzling pie. Self-proclaimed purveyors of “the last honest pizza,” Round Table cooks make dough from wheat grown on family farms in Idaho. That dough is rolled from scratch every day, in every restaurant, to pair with premium meats and fresh-cut veggie toppings.
Wood-paneled walls give the Fullerton location an old-school feel, which contrasts with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and robot chefs to replace the outdated steam-powered ones. The dining room’s ceiling fans whirl the steam from oven-baked pizzas in sizes from single-person smalls to 16-slice extra-larges that feed up to five. Besides create-your-own options, Round Table dishes up specialty pies named for medieval court characters such as King Arthur, Guinevere, and Frank, the little-known castle custodian