Kansas City's Best Pizza

Our favorite regional pies



Steve's Villa Capri

Photography: Ashley Deck, Zach Bauman, Katie Currid,

 

Come on, admit it, pizza should be classified as a food group because … what can’t you put on a pizza? (asking for a friend.) Whether it’s a circle or a square, covered in red or white sauce and loaded up with enough meat to make even the most ardent carnivore blush. Or perhaps a veritable vegetarian garden – pizza is the ultimate comfort food.

435 set out on a pizza pilgrimage and trust us when we tell you, no slices were left behind. We diligently devoured the traditional, the trendy, old and new school, newcomers, hometown favorites, fancy schmancy and even pizza sold at a gas station (spoiler alert — delish); all so we could roll out a list of the 44 best pizzas in Kansas City. 

 

OLD SCHOOL

All the styles you need to know — whether you’re an aspiring pizzaiolo or just a pie enthusiast.

 

NEAPOLITAN

What it is: Neapolitan pizza — or pizza Napoletana — was born in the late 1600s in Naples, Italy. It’s the godfather of all pizza and the famous margherita pizza is the gold standard.

To be an authentic Neapolitan pizza, the pie must be cooked in a wood-fired oven that has been constructed according to specific ratios and is capable of reaching over 800 degrees. Only Tipo 00 flour, milled on the finest Italian mill, can be used; only San Marzano tomatoes, grown in the rich volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, may go into the sauce; only fresh yeast is allowed, and pizza dough must be stretched by hand. Those are just a few of the regulations a pizzaiolo must meet if they would like to call their product Neapolitan.

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to jet across an ocean to get a taste of authentic Neapolitan pies: There are a handful of local shops that have committed to the O.G. style.

Il Lazzarone​

Il Lazzarone is one of 77 locations in the United States with an official AVPN certification. The shop uses Acunto Mario’s wood-fired ovens, made in Naples by a fifth-generation oven builder who follows the most traditional and stringent rules of oven-making (the dome is made entirely from special bricks composed of soil from Italy’s Campania region and molded by hand one at a time). In other words — this is legit.

 

Must-try menu item: The margherita pizza here would make your nonna weep, but we’re partial to the uovo, featuring a farm-fresh egg, mozzarella, salami, extra-virgin olive oil, basil and garlic.

Price per pie: $8.50 - $15

412 Delaware Street, Kansas City, MO. illazzarone.org


1889 Pizza Napoletana

1889 Pizza Napoletana's Margherita Pizza

Husband-wife team Jason and Kelli Kolich opened their shop in 2016, quickly gaining popularity for the refreshing combination of sumptuous decor and authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pies. Hit up the patio for some al fresco dining or order your pizza to go — it’s ready in a flash.


1889 Pizza Napoletana's Prized Pig 

Must-try menu item: 1889 makes modern pizza the traditional Neapolitan way. We suggest trying the Prized Pig, with smoked pulled pork, barbecue sauce, mozzarella, provolone, caramelized onions and coleslaw.

Price per pie: $7.89 - $18.89 with GF (gluten-free) options

2876 W. 47th Ave., Kansas City, KS. 1889pizza.com


SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza

SPIN! Pizza

The first SPIN! location opened in Kansas City in 2005; just over a decade later, the company has expanded to 18 shops across the country. Similar to 1889, SPIN! has a fast-casual approach: You order at the register, then grab a seat for a sit-down meal, with real china and a server to fetch you extra napkins.

Must-try menu item: Crazy for queso? The Cinque Formaggi pie packs on five different cheeses: fresh mozzarella, provolone, fontina, taleggio and Grana Padana — plus toasted pine nuts.

Price per pie: $10.25 - $14.95
(with GF options)

Various locations in Kansas and Missouri, spinpizza.com 


Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli

Bella Napoli is an Italian deli and restaurant with a lot more than pizza to offer, so prepare to be tempted. Jake Imperiale opened the charming Brookside shop in 2001 in memory of his Naples-born mother and, naturally, the menu includes traditional Neapolitan pizza — made with those oh-so-fresh and oh-so-rare ingredients that Imperiale imports directly from Italy.

Must-try menu item: If you like it hot, go for the Pizza Diavola — “devil’s pizza.” At Bella Napoli, this gets you a pie topped with creamy mozzarella, a kick-in-your-throat spicy olive oil and Calabrese salami (made with pork and chili flake).

Price per pie: $9 - $12

6229 Brookside Blvd., Kansas City. kcbellanapoli.com


Pizzeria Locale

Pizzeria Locale

Pizzeria Locale is a Boulder, Colorado, import and the sister concept to Chipotle — but you’ll find a lot of originality at this fast-casual chain.

Must-try menu item: Need some greens? Go for the pie with prosciutto, mozzarella and red sauce -- topped with a fluffy handful of fresh, spicy arugula.

Price per pie: $4.75 - $8.25 (with GF options)

Locations in Kansas and Missouri, pizzerialocale.com 


WOOD FIRED

What it is: It’s no secret that Kansas Citians are partial to cooking with a live fire (ahem, barbecue, anyone?), and so it should come as no surprise that some of us have found a way to work pizza into that tradition as well.

 

Martin City Pizza and Tap Room

Martin City Pizza and Tap Room Chicken Spanakopita

Martin City Pizza and Tap Room has extensive beer offerings, with well over a dozen craft brews on tap. Any of these will make a fine pairing for your wood-fired pizza where you can experiment with a variety of inventive toppings. Expect this crust to be a little thicker than a traditional Neapolitan pie.

Must-try menu item: Regulars swear by the chicken spanakopita, a white pizza with garlic Alfredo sauce, chicken, fresh garlic, artichoke hearts, spinach and feta with extra-virgin olive oil and parmesan.

Price per pie: $8 - $20 (with GF options)

410 E. 135th St., Kansas City, martincitybrewingcompany.com


 Coco Bolos Wood-Fired Grill & Cantina

Coco Bolo's Black & White Pizza

You’ll find more than Tex-Mex and chips and salsa at Coco Bolos. Their wood-fired grill makes pizza a no-brainer. Pro tip: Pop in on Mondays for half-price wine or Wednesdays for $4 margaritas.

Must-try menu item: The Pizza Al Fresco piles smoked shrimp, grilled chicken, pico de gallo, Monterey Jack, Parmesan cheese and cilantro pesto onto a thin crust.

Price per pie: $14

5621 W 135th St., Overland Park, KS. cocoboloskc.com


Homeslice Pizza & Pints

Homeslice Pizza & Pints

Homeslice raises the pizza bar by making their own mozzarella in-house daily. Count on a crispy crust and chase down your meal with a shot of Fireball — which Homeslice carries on tap.

Must-try menu item: If premium meat toppings are your thing, get the “Wise Guy.” It’s loaded with hand-crushed tomato sauce, mozzarella, housemade meatballs, fennel sausage, sliced mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Price per pie: $6.95 - $13.95 (with GF options)

1501 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. homeslicekc.com 


SICILIAN

What it is: Sicilian pizza is known best for its pillowy crust, similar to focaccia. In Sicily, they call this pizza sfincione (which translates to "thick sponge"). You won’t find mozzarella on traditional Sicilian pies — they raise sheep and goats for cheese, not cows. (We’ve got a few local joints that bend that rule, though.)

 

Providence Pizza

Providence Pizza does traditional Sicilian pizza (usually baked in a square shape), Neapolitan pizza and New York-style, in case your party has strong preferences.

Must-try menu item: The Federal Hill is a meat lover’s paradise, with pepperoni, Italian sausage, sliced meatballs, bacon and mozzarella.

Price per pie: $18 - $25 (with GF options)

12925 US-71, Grandview, MO. providencepizza.com


Four Seasons Pizza & Pasta

Four Seasons Special

This no-fuss, family-friendly Italian eatery does Neapolitan-style pies, too, but it’s the Sicilian masterpieces created by the Palermo, Italy-born owner that haunt our dreams.

Must-try menu item: The Four Seasons Special — with mushrooms, ham, red onion, green olives and artichokes — is the pizza topping combination you didn’t know you were missing in your life.

Price per pie: $13.95 - $20.95 (with GF options)

7820 Quivira Rd., Lenexa, KS.


Square Pizza

Square Pizza's Taco Pizza

True to its name, Square Pizza shapes its pies into the traditional Sicilian shape. Located in the historic Independence Square, this joint also boasts an arcade — appease your inner child on the pinball machine.

Must-try menu item: Who can resist a taco pizza? Customize your Mexican Taco pie with beef or chicken, plus salsa, bean sauce, red onion, lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese.

Price per pie: $10.49 - $21.99

208 W. Maple Ave., Independence, MO, squarepizzasquared.com


PIZZA BUFFET

 

Gambino’s

Gambino's 'The Capone'

The lunch buffet at Gambino’s is a spectacular deal: $7.99 for a huge selection of pizza, calzones, salads and desserts (don’t skip the cinnamon-apple pizza). Served Sunday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Must-try menu item: The Capone — a dangerous combination of beef, Italian sausage, pepperoni, onion, jalapeno and mozzarella.

Price per pie: $7.99 - $23.99


NEW YORK STYLE

What it is: When Italian immigrants started arriving in Staten Island in the early 1900s, they brought with them their beloved pizza recipe. Born out of Neapolitan pizza, New York-style pies have more ingredients than their ancestors: Sugar and olive oil are added to the dough and plenty of spices are added to the sauce — but the dough is still hand-tossed.

 

Papa Keno’s

Papa Keno's Pepperoni

Papa Keno's has been doing its thing since 1991 when the first shop opened up in Lawrence, Kansas. You can grab a slice on the go or, if you’ve got an army to feed, a 26-inch “Papa Pie.”

Must-try menu item: If there’s any question about the merits of plain ol’ cheese pizza, Papa Keno’s signature thin crust cheese (by the slice or the pie) will put your mind at rest.

Price per pie: $11.99 - $39.99 with GF options

Locations in Lawrence, Overland Park and Kansas City, papakenos.com


d’Bronx

d'Bronx Pizzas

Part deli, part pizzeria and totally authentic, d’Bronx has been a beloved Kansas City institution since the original Bell Street location opened up in Kansas City in 1990.

Must-try menu item: The 30-inch party pie at d’Bronx (which will set you back around $75) or the d’Bronx Special — with pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, meatball, mushroom, onion, black olives and green pepper — is the only specialty pie on the menu, otherwise you can build your own.

Price per pie: $14.75 - $75

Locations in Mission, Overland Park and Kansas City, dbronxkc.com


Original Pizza

Original Pizza - Pizza by the slice

Slices here are quintessentially New York: face-size triangles that will delight the whole family.

Must-try menu item: You can’t beat the classic New York Combo pie, with pepperoni, sausage, beef, black olive, onion and green pepper.

Price per pie: $12.95 - $28.95

11134 Antioch Rd., Overland Park, KS. originalpizzakc.com


Old Town Pizza

An old-school pizza joint with a twist. Make sure you sample the mac and cheese bombs and buffalo “cluck cluck” balls before you get to the main event.

Must-try menu item: The Royal Hamburger is topped with ground beef, dill pickles, bacon, onions, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce.

Price per pie: $12.99 - $19.99 with GF options

14850 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS, oldtownpizzakc.com 


U-Gene’s Deli and Pizza

U-Gene’s is about as no-frills as it gets. This hole-in-the-wall eatery is attached to a Conoco, but don’t worry: The product doesn’t taste like gas station pizza.

Must-try menu item: Keep it simple — the pepperoni at this place never disappoints.

Price per pie: $5.99 - $10.99 plus toppings

11200 N. Ambassador Dr., Kansas City


Mamma Leone’s

Mamma Leone's Margherita

Mamma Leone’s has that cheese-to-sauce ratio just right — and, bonus, there’s a drive-thru window for slices and deli items.

Must-try menu item: We'll happily take a veggie pizza from Mamma Leone's any day of the week.

Price per pie: $13.95 - $21.45

650 E. Red Bridge Rd., Kansas City, mammaleones.com


Johnny Jo's Pizzeria

Johnny Jo's Pizza

Johnny Jo’s is endlessly charming. In fair weather, you can walk up, order your pizza to go or to stay and plant yourself at one of the picnic tables out front while the neighborhood passes you by.

Must-try menu item: The Tom and Art, with tomato and artichoke on a garlic butter herb sauce topped with mozzarella and provolone.

Price per pie: $16.95 - $32.95

1209 W. 47th St., Kansas City. johnnyjospizza.com


Nick's Italian Pizza

Nick's Italian Pizza

Located in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, Nick’s Italian Pizza is a surprising little joint that shares a storefront and a dining room with a Subway. Appearances aren’t everything, though, and the pizza at Nick’s is sublime.

Must-try menu item: Go for the fresh basil and tomatoes -- simple and perfect.

Price per pie: $9.95 - $13.95

714 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS. (913) 321-1610


ST. LOUIS STYLE

What it is: St. Louis-style pizza is defined by its unleavened, crispy, cracker-thin crust and liberal use of provel cheese (a processed combination of cheddar, Swiss and provolone cheeses).

 

Waldo Pizza

Waldo Pizza's BFD

For parties with mixed allegiances, Waldo Pizza is a great neutralizer: Not only can you get that signature St. Louis-style pie, but they also do a traditional hand-tossed dough and a honey wheat crust.

Must-try menu item: Who doesn’t love a little breakfast for dinner? Waldo Pizza’s “BFD” is just that — a gorgeous pie topped with Alfredo sauce, scrambled eggs and coffee-maple sausage.

Price per pie: $9 - $26 (with GF options)

7433 Broadway St., Kansas City. waldopizza.net


Old Shawnee Pizza

Old Shawnee Pizza's The Big Joe

Joe Walker opened his restaurant with a small loan from his father-in-law in 1969. Luckily, he knew a thing or two about pizza, and 49 years later, this local favorite has grown a loyal cult following.

Must-try menu item: If you’re not afraid of heat, try the Ghost Pepper Chicken pie. With chopped chicken, red onion, green peppers and mushrooms, topped with ghost pepper cheese, this pie brings the spice.

Price per pie: $8.50 and up with GF options.

Locations in Shawnee and Lenexa, KS, shawneepizza.com


Leo's Pizza

Leo's Pizza

From the outside, Leo’s doesn’t look like much — but this Northland institution has been serving pies with their own custom blend of provel cheese for over 40 years.

Must-try menu item: There’s something really satisfying about Leo’s deluxe pizza. Who knows how that crust holds up a pile of toppings and buttery mess of provel, but it’s a beautiful thing.

Price per pie: $8.86 - $27.95

408 NW. Englewood, Kansas City. www.leospizzakc.com


Caddyshack

Caddyshack Pizza is the place to get your late-night pizza fix. Offering delivery until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, this pizza will be the perfect end to a night on the town.

Must-try menu item: Try the supreme pizza and you will never go back.

Price per pie: $10 - $19.50

700 East 3rd St., Kansas City, caddyshackkc.com


Imo's

Imo's Pizza

Imo’s was founded by Ed and Margie Imo in St. Louis in 1964. It’s largely considered the original source for this uniquely Midwestern style of pizza.

Must-try menu item: If you really want to experience St. Louis pizza start with the “plain ol’ cheese.”

Price per pie: $9.59 - $23.39

11552 W. 135th St., Overland Park, KS, imospizza.com

 

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING

 

Artego

Artego's Madrina

Be the hero of your next meal out and take everyone to Artego Pizza. Build your own pizza (pick from original, thin or gluten-free crusts), go with a signature pie or take a detour with Artego’s signature jumbo wings, bacon mac ‘n’ cheese, egg rolls or meatball grinder sub.

Must-try menu item: Pepperoni, black olives and cream cheese might sound odd, but trust us on this one: You won’t regret the Madrina. (Don’t worry -- there’s still loads of mozzarella on there, too).

Price per pie: $7.99 - $19.99 (with GF options)

900 W. 39th St., Kansas City. artegopizza.com


CHICAGO STYLE

What it is: Deep-dish pizza with impressive slices that reach 3 or 4 inches in thickness is the Windy City gold standard. With most styles of pizza, cheese and toppings come after the sauce is on the dough; in Chicago deep-dish, the tomato sauce goes on top (to insulate the cheese and toppings from becoming too crispy in the oven). This is definitely a knife-and-fork pizza.

 

Rosati's Pizza

Rosati's Meatball Florentine

Though Rosati’s Pizza shop is little, the pies are mighty in flavor and size. This is traditional Chicago-style pizza in the strictest sense of the word. Anyone who loves their sauce on top will be sure to find something to love at Rosati’s.

Must-try menu item: Although Rosati’s does offer thin and “double dough” pies, there is nothing that tops their classic Chicago deep-dish. Choose from one of their specialty pizzas or make your own.

Price per pie: $14.50 - $28.75

9928 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS. rosatisop.com


Pizza Man

Pizza Man's "The Kitchen Sink"

The Pizza Man is spreading the word that there’s actually thin-crust style Chicago pizza.

Must-try menu item: Can’t decide what you want on your pie? Fret not: Pizza Man offers the Kitchen Sink pizza, with just about every topping they’ve got in their pantry.

Price per pie: $6 - $19

10212 Pflumm Rd., Lenexa, KS. (913) 492-2116.


HopCat

HopCat Detroit-style Canadian Bacon

HopCat technically has “Detroit” style pizza which features a crust that is thick and springy, but whatever it’s city of origin this personal pan pizza is yummy. Insider tip: Pizza is $5 off during happy hour (Monday through Thursday, 3 to 6 p.m.).

Must-try menu item: Bacon, green olives and — yes — cheese curds.

Price per pie: $10 - $11

401 Westport Rd., Kansas City, hopcat.com


SO-GOOD SLICES

 

Avelluto’s Italian Delight

Avelluto's Italian Delight

If it’s Italian, you can find it at Avelluto’s. The menu is so vast — from Stromboli to pasta alla vodka to tiramisu — you’d almost be forgiven for overlooking the pizza. Customize your slice down to the crust (thick or thin) and enjoy your meal in this charming hole-in-the-wall ristorante.

Must-try menu item: “The Delight,” which has every topping in the house.

Price per slice: $2.19 - $3.89

6522 Martway St., Mission, KS. italiandelightmission.com


Pizza 51

Pizza 51 Cowtown Lovers

Pizza 51 was born in Brookside more than a decade ago. Today, their colossal thin-crust slices can be found at their Fairway shop, Pizza 51 West, and at Old Milwaukee Delicatessen in downtown Kansas City.

Must-try menu item: The meat-tastic pizza called the
Cowtown Lovers.

Price per slice: $3.99 - $6.25

Locations in Fairway, KS and Kansas City. www.pizza51.com


Joe's Pizza Buy the Slice

Joe's Pizza

Joe’s Pizza has been catering to the Westport crowds since 1997. It’s attached to Kelly’s, so if the closet-sized joint is too full, you can head through the bar and order through the window inside.

Must-try menu item: Drizzle your slice with honey — it’s a Joe’s signature.

Price per slice: $3.50

4058 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, joespizzakc.com


CREATIVE TOPPINGS

 

Grinders

Grinder's Goldberg Phats

Grinders chef-owner and artist Jeff “Stretch” Rumaner has a reputation for weird flavor combinations. So unique are his creations that Grinders has been featured several times on Food Network since the original KC location opened up in 2004.

Must-try menu item: Appease your inner New Yorker and go for the Goldberg Phats: housemade pesto topped with smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese. It’s the pizza-lox marriage you never knew you needed.

Price per pie: $15.50 - $21.50

Locations in Lenexa, Lawrence and Leavenworth, KS and Kansas City. grinderspizza.com


Minsky's

Minsky's Spicy Thai

Minsky’s traditional and honey whole wheat doughs are offered in thin-crust, original and deep-dish pan. But it’s the specialty pizzas that will really blow your mind. From a Philly cheese steak pie to a “seafood elite” combo, you’re sure to find a new favorite.

Must-try menu item: The spicy Thai pizza — with chicken, red onions, red bell pepper, carrots, cilantro and a hot peanut sauce — gets points for originality.

Price per pie: $6.39 - $56.99 (with GF options)

Various locations. minskys.com


Dewey’s

Dewey's Pizza

This Cincinnati-based company gets extra points for inventive pies, where the punny names match the pizza.

Must-try menu item: Surprise your taste buds with the Porky Fig, a sweet and savory pizza featuring fig jam, mozzarella, fontina, prosciutto, caramelized red onions and gorgonzola.

Price per pie: $14.95 - $22.45 with GF options

3615 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS. deweyspizza.com


Pinsa Pizzeria & Kitchen

Pinsa's Pizza

Pinsa Pizzeria takes some of the basic Neapolitan pizza and marries them with American panache.

Must-try menu item: We’ve never seen squash on a pizza before, but Pinsa makes it possible: Their squash pie features butternut smear, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese.

Price per pie: $7.95

1694 NW. Chipman Rd., Lee's Summit, MO, orderpinsa.com


LOADED

 

Tim's Pizza

At Tim’s Pizza toppings are king. Crispy crust is piled high with fresh mozzarella and an assortment of meats and cheeses.

Must-try menu item: If you’re on the adventurous side, get the Ballpark Pizza. With layers of Polish sausage and sauerkraut.

Price per pie: $14.15 - $22.75

17201 US-40, Independence, MO, timspizza.com


FASTEST PIZZA IN KC

 

Pie Five Pizza

Pie Five's Jack Stack BBQ Pizza

Pie Five promises your order will be ready in five minutes or less, which is pretty impressive considering the bevy of ingredients you can pile on.

Must-try menu item: The Jack Stack BBQ pizza is a hometown win. With pulled pork straight from Jack Stack and diced pickles, it’s barbecue heaven on a crust.

Price per pie: $7.69 - $14.99 with GF options.

Various locations, piefivepizza.com


Topp’d

Topp'd Pizza - Ready in 5 minutes

“Cooked in less than five minutes!” may sound like a stretch, but Topp’d is here to make you believe. Without letting quality suffer, they have the formula figured out on how to get delicious, satisfying pizza into your hands in record time.

Price per pie: $8 - $15

Locations in Lenexa and Kansas City, KS, toppdpizza.com 


BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

 

Grimaldi’s

Grimaldi's Pizza

Grimaldi’s, a Brooklyn export boasting thin-crust pies, offers a fantastic deal that tastes authentic thanks to the coal-fired brick ovens and sacred family recipes.

Must-try menu item: Pay homage to the original Grimaldi’s with the Brooklyn Bridge pizza, featuring oven-roasted red peppers, creamy ricotta cheese and hand-pinched Italian sausage.

Price per pie: $9 - $25

5601 W. 135th St., Overland Park, KS, grimaldispizzeria.com


NEIGHBORHOOD CLASSIC

 

Steve’s Villa Capri

Steve's Villa Capri Special Pizza

At Steve’s, tradition is important. This means the pizza menu is simple and straightforward: You can build your own pie or go for the Villa Capri Special Pizza with sausage, pepperoni, hamburger and veggies.

Must-try menu item: The Villa Capri Special Pizza will not disappoint. Do yourself a favor and add anchovies for a small upcharge.

Price per pie: $7.25 - $19.50

10412 Mastin Blvd., Overland Park, KS, stevesvillacapri.com


Nicky’s Pizza

Nicky's Pizza

Nicky’s Pizza is the kind of place where everybody knows your name and likely your order. Located between a cupcake bakery and a drive-thru fast-food joint, it would be a real shame to miss the pie’s coming from this neighborhood pub.

Must-try menu item: Pizza with white sauce instead of the traditional red might be a bit taboo for the pizza purist, but when it’s as good as it is at Nicky’s, it’s worth a try.

Price per pie: $12.99 - $19.99

9771 N. Cedar Ave., Kansas City. www.nickyspizzakc.com


SPORT’S LOVERS

 

Kelso’s Northtown

Kelso's Tommy Lasorda

Watching a Royals or Chiefs game is a classic Kansas City experience -- and for those who can’t make it to the field, Kelso’s is the next best thing. With pie size options ranging from “Little League” to “Rookie” to “MVP,” you can trust that this place takes its sports and its pizza seriously.

Must-try menu item: The Tommy LaSorda boasts sliced chicken spiedini on top of an already delicious pizza.

Price per pie: $8.49 - $21.99

300 Armour Rd., Kansas City. www.kelsoskansascity.com


PIZZA TRUCK

 

Chef Baldee’s Pizza

Chef Baldee

If you like large foldable slices of New York-style pizza served with a smiling face, then Chef Baldee’s Pizza is for you. This food truck is the first permanent resident of Food Truck Central in the West Bottoms.

Must-try menu item: 93 slices of “Mama Isabella’s pepperoni” and an entire pound of cheese is an taste experience.

Price per pie: $20 - $25 with GF options

100 South James St., Kansas City. (913) 605-0988.

Chuck Baldee has a passion for pizza as infectious as his smile. There’s nothing that he likes more than making pizzas and proselytizing about them. “God has put me here to make pizzas,” he zealously proclaims while sharing his curriculum vitae that includes three decades and counting of his dedication to the art of creating the perfect pie.

Chef Baldee's Pepperoni Pizza

He says the secret to his pizzas is the sauce which was born out of a 1963 recipe his mother clipped out of the “Kansas City Star.”

“My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs was my favorite thing to eat growing up, and the sauce had sausage and raisins in it. I’ve taken that recipe and refined it to create a sauce with, thankfully, no raisins, but I do use Marsala red wine and red pepper for kick that creates my signature sweet and robust sauce.”

The “pizza preacher” has had almost a lifelong fervor for pizza that started when he delivered pies back in high school in Manhattan, Kansas, but it wasn’t until he became a stay-at-home dad that he refined his passion into a business plan.

“I started fiddling around, experimenting with flavors, fine-tuning and even growing my own spices. I cooked so many pizzas in my home oven at 500 degrees that it broke.”

In 2011 he converted a bookmobile (he got in Kentucky) into his dream pizza kitchen on wheels and hit the road.

“Plenty of people loved telling me I was crazy to do this.  One banker even said, ‘there is very little or no appetite to fund a mobile pizza kitchen,’ but the joke’s on him because my business is booming.”

Baldee says not even sharing a small space with a 500-degree oven on a day when temperatures hover near 100 can dim his enthusiasm for pizza.

“There is nothing else I want to do with my life. I spread happiness, love and joy with each slice.”

 

DESSERT PIZZA

Fruit Pizza

Pizza for dessert? Why not? There are hundreds of different ways to make what is traditionally thought
of as a savory entrée into a sweet, scrumptious dessert.

It all starts with a crust that gets a makeover; usually into a giant sugar cookie – anyone got a problem with that? Yeah, I didn’t think so. On top of that sweet crust, you can add a variety of “sauces” from a cream cheese, whipped cream, confectionary sugar-based spread, to indulging in the growing trend of a huge dollop of chocolate Nutella as your base.

For your dessert toppings, there are no rules. If it makes you happy, sprinkle it on the pizza. If you like s’mores, then break out the mini chocolate chips and marshmallows and then crush up some graham crackers. If you’re yearning for something a little less candy inspired, embrace the fruit pizza. It’s not only delicious, but it can also look too pretty to eat…almost.

 

Dessert Pizza Provided By Paige's KC