Top This: The Ultimate Pizza Goals of SoCal and Beyond

Pepperoni Pizza Fries soon to hit the streets at OOZEFEST 2016 in DTSA.

Pepperoni Pizza Fries soon to hit the streets at OOZEFEST 2016 in DTSA.

National Pizza Month is upon us (cue squeals) and we’re looking to pay homage to this glorious celebration with the one food that can be eaten in triangles, circles, in hand or on a paper plate, deep dish or thin-crusted, stuffed or classic, beautifully dressed with toppings galore or simply marvelous with tomato sauce and cheese, our oldest friend: the pizza. High and low we’ve searched for all things pizza and pizza-inspired, from classic deep dish to a pizza waffle sandwich, to bring you pies galore! Bring on the bread and cheese sweats, it’s about to get hot in here.

OOZEFEST 2016
DOWNTOWN SANTA ANA, CA

FOODBEAST presents Orange County’s premier cheese festival October 15th and 16th and is pulling all the stops to make their 2016 National Cheese Month celebration bigger and better than ever. Among a sea of local vendors with a specially crafted lineup comes an insane offering of hands-on attractions, including one for the daredevils of the world, the Cheese Pizza Eating Contest. Eating pizza is easy enough, so some dastardly masterminds are telling players to step right up and say "Look, Ma. No hands!" as partners shovel pizza by the slice into each contender's mouth. A World Record title may or may not be on the horizon. Pizza goodness will be provided by Jinny's Pizzeria of 4th Street Market, the same guys who have brought insane specialty slices like Spaghetti & Meatball.

Jinny's Spaghetti & Meatball Pizza | photo courtesy of @foodwithmichel on Instagram

Jinny's Spaghetti & Meatball Pizza | photo courtesy of @foodwithmichel on Instagram

FRESH BROTHERS
MULTIPLE SOCAL LOCATIONS

“South Chicago’s Best Pizza” has made its way to Southern California and boy do these guys deliver. With a passion for quality deep dish, family style pizza with a health-conscious twist, Fresh Brothers’ menu caters to the widest array of diet preferences so that the whole world can enjoy their insanely delicious pies. Gluten free? A whole section of their kitchen is devoted to it. Vegan? Not a problem. Everything from soy cheese to vegan-friendly dressings for their salads (you know, in case all that pizza has you feeling guilty) has got you covered! As for what we keep coming back from, it’s definitely Da Works deep dish style with house sausage, savory pepperoni, onions, bell peppers, and of course crank up the heat with giardiniera.

Da Works deep dish | Photo courtesy of @missfoodieproblems on Instagram 

Da Works deep dish | Photo courtesy of @missfoodieproblems on Instagram 

CITIZEN KITCHEN
FULLERTON, CA

Hotel Fullerton’s Citizen Kitchen is part of the newest culinary wave to hit Orange County. With Chef Zack Geerson’s innovative signature of transforming seasonal ingredients into modern delicacies comes the “Not Pocket,” an artisanal reimagining of the household frozen pizza treat. Organic tomato sauce, a refined blend of mozzarella and Parmigiano, housemade meatballs, and house-dried spices has us weak in the knees, but that could just be a sign of high pizza intake.

THE IRON PRESS
ANAHEIM & COSTA MESA, CA

Local businessman Leonard Chan’s waffle and beer brainchild has just released a new and improved menu of savory waffle sandwiches, and of course a pizza waffle is on that bad boy. Each cheese-infused waffle is pressed to order in front of you with an artisanal gruyere and cheddar cheese blend melted between, and stuffed with savory slices of pepperoni. Don’t judge when we suggest their house-made jalapeno maple syrup on the side. Bonus: with 24+ rotating taps of local craft beer, enjoy an awesome pairing with your new-fangled pizza waffle magic.

BAGELS & BREW
LAKE FOREST, CA

Every time is a good time for pizza, and this neighborhood bagel eatery couldn’t agree more. With fast casual breakfast items in mind comes the life-sized Bagel Pizza. Because why go bite-sized when you can go full carbo-load? Their house-baked bagel topped with melty mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce, and pepperoni pieces. 

Pepperoni Pizza Bagel | Photo courtesy of Hangry Adventures via Instagram

Pepperoni Pizza Bagel | Photo courtesy of Hangry Adventures via Instagram

SECRET PIZZA
COSMOPOLITAN, LAS VEGAS, NV

No signage, no fluff. This counter service pizza shop gives off a speakeasy-ish vibe with its hidden whereabouts, tucked away inside Las Vegas’s Cosmopolitan. Keep an eye out for the one deadringer, an inexplicably long line of hungry patrons that stand along the wall beneath album covers as they wait to get their paws on a slice of the perfectly simple selection Secret offers including Cheese, Pepperoni, and Veggie. Mismatched barstools and a fluorescent pinball machine only add to the quirky charm of this foodie jewel.

A variety pack of Secret Pizza's current offerings | photo courtesy of Gracie Lee on instagram

A variety pack of Secret Pizza's current offerings | photo courtesy of Gracie Lee on instagram

GD BRO BURGER
ORANGE COUNTY, CA

With whacky burger concoctions headlining the menu at GD Bro, their infamously offbeat pizza tots sure know how to draw a crowd. Crispy taters are doused in globs of melted cheese and topped with savory pepperoni slices. We suggest throwing a pan fried egg on it and make the most of this match truly made in a pizza lover’s food porn heaven.

Pizza Tots cheese pull action shot | Photo courtesy of Jenna Olivia via Instagram

Pizza Tots cheese pull action shot | Photo courtesy of Jenna Olivia via Instagram

MELT IT! A GRILLED CHEESE CO.
PASADENA, CA

You can rate a grilled cheese sandwich simply based on its cheese-pull-ability. Melt It! is dishing up some of the ooiest, gooiest sammies around and has added a Pizza Grilled Cheese to the roster, and as long as cheese and bread are in the mix, anything can be pizza-fied. Monterey jack and provolone melt over fresh marinara and pepperoni, and it’s all sandwiched between two toasty slices of sourdough bread. Just how awesome is this thing? The cheese pull speaks for itself.

Pizza Grilled Cheese | Photo courtesy of Scott Afters via Instagram

Pizza Grilled Cheese | Photo courtesy of Scott Afters via Instagram

AMECI'S PIZZA & PASTA
BURBANK, CA

The guys at Ameci's have offered up classic New York Italian style pizza for over 20 years, and are going rogue with their newest pie creation that teaches us all a thing or two about how to think outside the pizza box. Their lesson of the day: Flaming Hot Cheetos are always better on top of melted cheese and some saucy crust. This crunchy, spicy, savory concoction is not for the faint of heart.

Flaming Hot Cheetos Pizza | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Eats via Instagram

Flaming Hot Cheetos Pizza | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Eats via Instagram

BAR TOMA
CHICAGO, IL

Who says a pizza needs sauce and cheese to be called a pizza? Despite residing in the deep dish epicenter, Bar Toma’s Chef Tony Mantuano certainly doesn’t, and his S’mores Pie says it all. House-made crust is the perfect flakey canvas for slathers of Nutella, toasted gooey marshmallows and a delicate drizzle of chocolate syrup to top off this decadence. Now pizza can officially be had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

S'mores Pizza | Photo courtesy of Bar Toma via Thrillist

S'mores Pizza | Photo courtesy of Bar Toma via Thrillist

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