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Once a groundbreaking idea, gyro meat on pizzas has become a familiar trend. But not at Pizzeria Tivoli—here, the gyro pizza is more than a gimmick. As the Riverfront Times attests, this pie "actually attempts to recreate the experience of eating a gyro." How? By cooking the meat with the pizza, and adding the rest of the toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatziki sauce) after the fact. That way, the pie's mix of hot and cold ingredients emulates the sensation of feasting on a gyro sandwich more accurately than any virtual reality helmet yet invented.
It's these thoughtful touches that have endeared locals to Pizzeria Tivoli, a cozy spot where they can sit in chatting range of chef Sam Racanelli. As Sam monitors the custom-built wood-burning oven, he's as likely to toss a friendly comment to visitors as he is to toss discs of fresh mozzarella onto a pie. The cheese goes onto several of Sam's 20 pizzas, including the Castel Madama, where it mingles with olives, prosciutto, arugula, and shaved parmigiano.