Who doesn't like a good pizza? This week we cover 7 must-try pizza places in Orange County.
Welcome foodies! It’s Krager, and welcome to our first issue of The Foodie Maps Orange County!
Each week we will bring the hottest trends, recommendations, and news from the OC food scene right to your inbox. We are all about local business. Whether you’re a local looking for new places to eat or a traveler planning your next trip, this newsletter is for you. And best of all, it’s totally free!
Who Doesn’t Like Pizza? 🍕
This week’s issue is about pizza. We’ll cover some of OC’s hottest pizza spots and then explore some unique pizzas, like Chicago deep-dish. The issue ends with a cheap-eats pick and a finer dining pick, both specializing in pizza!
Let’s get to it!
🍕🏖️ Pizza by the Beach
A Slice of Rome in Surf City
A local favorite, ZeroZero39 Pizza is located right next to Starbucks on Main Street. The restaurant is run by the Zaza family, who first sought out bringing Roman-style pizza to Southern California when they opened up shop in 2014. But what exactly is Roman-style pizza?
It’s all in the dough. Doppio zero flour is the culinary standard when it comes to making an authentic Italian pizza. The flour is extremely fine and results in a better bite of pizza. Of course, this dough is in full use at ZeroZero39.
Also unique to Roman-style pizza is the shape. As seen on their menu, a large pizza is cooked in a long rectangular pan and is then cut into 6 slices. These slices, however, are nearly double that of your standard American slice. At ZeroZero39 you can order by the slice (which is plenty for one person) or by the pie!
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🍕🍽️ Chicago Deep-Dish in OC
Chicago takes the expression “pizza pie” quite literally with their deep-dish pizza. The pies are almost a different cuisine from their pizza relatives.
The Original OC Deep Dish
Tony’s Little Italy has been family-owned and operated since 1978. They were among the first to bring Chicago’s world-famous deep-dish to Orange County. Make sure you are hungry if you plan on visiting because a 2-inch thick pepperoni pizza weighs about 4 lbs! Across the board in our interviews and research, Tony’s was the most frequently mentioned. The team hopes to visit soon and get a full report!
Missing The Windy City
An OC native, Executive Chef Rance Ruiz often visited his older sister in Chicago and quickly fell in love with Chicago’s stuffed pizzas. Seeing there were not many options at home, Rance wanted to both satisfy his own cravings and introduce the Chicago classic to a whole new audience. The spot caught on in SoCal and in 2017, a second location opened on Long Beach’s Belmont Shore.
In 2017, Rance’s stuffed pies were named the best pizza by The OC Weekly.
🍕🍺 Pizza On-Tap
It’s common knowledge that you can find good pizza at good breweries. Here are some spots in OC that have killer pies AND local tap.
Thick Crust, Pirates, & Craft Beer
Are loaded, giant pizzas your thing? If so, you should definitely check out Buccaneer Pizza. With 30+ years in the restaurant business, the owners have created a pirate-themed menu and heavily-topped, thick-crusted pizzas. They also serve plenty of local brews on tap!
The Pizza Press is a place to build your own elevated pizza. Inspired by 1920s media, many of the menu items carry the names of old newspapers. If you build your own, you are encouraged to “publish” your pizza and give it an official name. The Pizza Press was founded in 2012 in Anaheim and has since started franchising. There are now over 10 locations in SoCal and 30 locations nationwide. The OC locations also serve local tap!
🍕💰 Cheap Eats & Fine Dining
Last up, we have one value pick and one fine-dining pick. Both are OC classics and are meant to be entirely different experiences.
Affordable Pizza - Best Value
For 2 decades, Valentino’s has built its reputation of having great pizza at prices friendly to your wallet. A personal pizza is just $4.50. The family-run business is a favorite in Northern Orange County and be sure to check their website for weekly specials and deals!
Fine Neapolitan-Style Pizza
A popular Italian sit-down in Irvine, Angelina’s is well acclaimed for their Neapolitan-style pizza. So acclaimed, in fact, that they are one of the few restaurants in the United States to receive a Vera Pizza Napoletana Certification. VPN Certifications are overseen and distributed by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Napoli and certify that restaurants adhere to the strict requirements that make their pizzas “true Neapolitan Pizza.”
Now that’s fine dining!
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