Pizza in Loves Park

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Papa John's has carefully curated a menu stocked with robust topping options to adorn blank pizza canvases. Unify bubbly discs under a blanketing of freshly cut roma tomatoes, or spice up bites with jalepeño peppers. The pizzeria imports its black olives from Spain's Herrara grove, where they peak in plumpness and accomplish astounding feats of international diplomacy before populating Papa John's pizzas. Meaty options such as grilled all-white-meat chicken, filler-free spicy italian sausage, and hickory-smoked bacon add layers of heartiness to slices, and reinforcing mozzarella with parmesan, romano, or a blend of asiago, provolone, and fontina improves the genetic robustness of cheese.

5028 N 2nd St
Loves Park,
IL
US

Italian-inspired entrees and specialty pizzas star at this casually romantic eatery. Crusts levitate out of kitchens in regular ($7.25 for a small, $10.75 for an extra-large), pan ($9.25–$14.75), and stuffed ($10.25–$15.75) varieties and dress themselves from a wardrobe of 20 different toppings. For diners tired of dipping lasagna in guacamole, the taco pizza ($11.75–$19.75) blends the best of Mexican and Italian cuisines with a pie topped with seasoned ground beef, corn chips, lettuce, and tomato. Alternatively, chicken parmigiana ($9.95) and the italian sausage sandwich ($7.75) keep it as classically Italian as Fonzie gelato molds.

2583 N Mulford Rd
Rockford,
IL
US

Happy Joe's Pizza piles a menu of specialty pies with a wide array of cuisines, including Mexican, barbecue, and breakfast fare. Diners can sink cheese-starved teeth into traditional offerings, such as a large 15-inch pepperoni pizza ($16.99), or opt for a large Taco Joe pizza piled high with beef, sausage, refried beans, and taco chips ($20.19).

6795 E Riverside Blvd
Rockford,
IL
US

Pizza making at Papa Murphy's stops just short of the ovens. After watching the cooks layer thin crusts or stuffed pies with toppings from the selection of four sauces and 20 meats and vegetables—including bacon, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes—customers take the pizzas home and follow the simple instructions for either baking or grilling them to a crispy golden-brown. Now boasting more than 1,200 locations across 37 states, Papa Murphy's cooks begin every morning by hand making new batches of dough and grating fresh cheese with Bruce Willis's coarse cheeks.

1137 N Alpine Rd
Rockford,
IL
US