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 first thing you want to do with a hot pizza is dig in, but if you're so inclined, go ahead and count the pepperoni first. Donatos promises that every pepperoni pizza, sized large or larger, will have at least 100 slices of lean pepperoni spread across the pie. That's just one of the many flourishes that Donatos, founded in 1963, has used to distinguish itself from the rest. There's also its Edge to Edge promise: a guarantee that every pie will be loaded from one end to the other with toppings, from said pepperoni slices to family-recipe sausage to fresh, hand-cut veggies. Donatos' formula seems to have worked, as the once small Italian eatery now spans the nation with more than 150 locations.
Beyond its classic pizzas, Donatos offers many specialty pies, including its chicken spinach mozzarella and Mariachi beef. Each is framed with naturally smoked, aged provolone cheese on top and cornmeal-encrusted dough, from a 50-year old recipe, below. Donatos even offers gluten-free pizzas on its signature Udi's crust. For those searching out other Italian fare, the menu features robust stromboli stuffed with meats and cheeses, and hearty subs. And for dessert, Donatos creates its warm cinnamon brick-street bread, an oven-baked loaf of artisan pull-apart bread with cinnamon spread, streusel, and vanilla icing.
The kid-approved cadet menu at Heroes makes it family-friendly, while its military theme gives the classic pizzeria and deli fare an air of official sanction. Go directly to the top of the food chain with the general: a sausage, pepperoni, bacon, ham, and ground beef pizza floating in a sea of cheese ($12.99 for a 12-inch). Heroes' crew of hunger fighters sends appetites off the radar with navy subs; try the commander, chicken strips topped with melted mozzarella and provolone cheese ($6.29), or its airborne cousin, the aviator ($6.29), which takes off on wings of marinated beef with melted cheese and sautéed peppers and onions.
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).
The husband-and-wife team behind So Italian brings the taste of home-cooked Italian dinners to the restaurant’s dining room, filling tables with piping hot pizzas, leaning towers of pasta, sub sandwiches, and bowls of soup. Vibrant marigold-hued walls hold framed mirrors that reflect piping hot calzones or preening stromboli adjusting its tie. Meals can be eaten outside, picked up, delivered to your doorstep, or catered for special events.
Named for the late oil painter and hot-rod builder John Bueno, Johnny Bueno's Pizzeria fosters a sense of community with friendly service and homey Italian cuisine. Its pizzas and panini sandwiches feature homemade dough and sauces such as alfredo, pesto, and barbecue. The list of fresh toppings includes everything from mozzarella and pepperoni to italian sausage, chicken, and banana peppers. Johnny Bueno's welcomes patrons with more than just food—it also offers local art, live music, karaoke, video-game tournaments, and pizza-throwing contests.