Lets talk pizza! From deep dish to thin crust, people all over the world love it. While you can find a slice at almost any corner in Southern California, lets face it, all pizza is not equal. Stop in at any of these restaurants and order a customized pie to your liking!
1. AJ Bariles Chicago Pizza- Yucaipa
AJ Bariles has been open since April 2006 and just six short years later in 2012 they were ranked second in the world. Award winning pizza’s, REAL Chicago thin-crust and fresh ingredients build a mighty menu. The most recommended pies are the specialty pieces, including “That One,” “Mona Lisa,” and a house favorite “Oak Glen Hen.” Don’t be afraid of this innovative menu and try something you’d never imagine.
2. Alfredo’s Italian Kitchen- San Bernardino
Alfredo’s has been serving San Bernardino since 1979 with friendly faces and quality homemade meals. This pizza and pasta joint was named “The Best Italian Kitchen” by Inland Empire Magazine Readers and voted 2003 Readers’ Choice Awards Winners by the Sun. With two of the best veggie and meat pizzas in town, there is a pie for everyone. Local favorites include the White pizza, topped with five types of cheese and the classic Pepperoni. So stop in and get your pie today!
3. Barboni’s Pizza- Alta Loma
This authentic Italian joint has been family run since 1986. Every dish is created from scratch including the most ordered pie on the menu, sausage and pepperoni combination. Customers also rave over the Great White and Meat Supreme pizzas. The Great White is topped with pesto sauce, chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke and onions. The Meat Supreme is a male favorite, topped with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, salami, meatballs, sausage and bacon bits. A hearty pizza for meat lovers everywhere!
4. Big Guys Pizza & Pasta- Moreno Valley
At Big Guys Pizza& Pasta they serve winners! With three award winning pizzas including the Chicken Spinach White, The Philly Cheese Steak and the Bar-B-Que Chicken, your mouth is sure to water on site. This place isn’t your typical pizzeria as the most popular menu item is “The Grand Slam,” having more toppings than you could ever dream of placing on one pie. Visit Big Guys and experience these delights first hand.
5. Bonello’s New York Pizza- Colton
At Bonello’s, pizza is served New York style, with thin crust and savory sauce it’s a flavor you can’t find anywhere. These characteristics are what sets Bonello’s apart; the crust is thin and crisp unlike others, while the sauce is spiced and rich unlike the sweeter flavor that other California pizzerias have picked up. Come visit Bonello’s for a Philly Cheese Steak or Chicken Alfredo pie, baked to light and crispy perfection! Oh and don’t forget to try the garlic knots.
6. The Gourmet Pizza Shoppe- Redlands
With roughly 130 toppings available, you can create a pizza that is one of a kind. From mashed potatoes to peanut butter, don’t be afraid to step out of your box and try something new. Some local favorites include the cashew topped “Tuscan” and the honey mustard spread “Smiley Bros.'” Redlands general manager, Scott suggests trying the “Annie Oakley,” a unique pie combination of ranch dressing, chicken, bacon, angel hair pasta, mozzarella and seasoning.
7. Jafang Pizza- Riverside
Dine in or delivery, Jafang offers daily made dough in traditional white, sourdough or wheat options. With countless options, locals order the “Whoa Momma!” most frequently, topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, onions, spinach, seasoned olive oil, and Matticus sauce; their secret ranch with a twist. Riverside manager Chris recommends trying the “Meat-Eater” or “BBQ Chicken,” two house and customer favorites.
8. Pieology Pizzeria- Rancho Cucamonga
Pieology provides “the best tasting, healthiest kustom pizza in the world.” If you’re looking for pizza at the drop of a hat, Pieology serves them in under five minutes at every location; you can create your own pie or have one of theirs. With three sauces, four cheeses and 17 toppings, the choice is yours. Have your pie your way, place it on a gluten free or traditional crust and munch away!
9.Romano’s Family Italian Restaurants and Chicago Pizzerias- Redlands
Whether you’re looking for a thin crust, stuffed pizza or a gourmet pie, Romano’s is the place for you. Enjoy innovative dishes and delicious cocktails with a date in the upper dining area or take your whole family and have dinner on the patio. The most popular and first time guest recommendati0n is the “Stuffed Bad, Bad LeeRoy Brown” pizza. A pizza that is stuffed, literally, with sausage, pepperoni, ham and meatballs. Redlands general manager, Chad Craig, claims “the thing that sets [them] apart the most is [their] “Stuffed” pizza. Nothing else like it.”
10. Strongman Pizza- Redlands
Visit Strongman to try a traditional or vegan pizza that is made with care. With choices such as chicken bacon ranch or buffalo chicken with celery, there is something for everyone. Dine in or order out and try the unique garlic butter crust for an affordable price!
Here you have it, all pizzas are not created equal but at any of these joints be prepared for the best. If you’re in the mood for a healthy or hearty option, one of these pizzeria’s has a fresh to order pie for you. So stop in and wet your taste buds!
– Sara Nydam, CBS Riverside