Quest for the Best: Pizza!

 

Life + Spaces magazine takes you on a “quest to find the best” local foods in our marketplace. Each issue will feature a locally produced food category, and our review of what to expect.

 

Papa’s pizzeria
71077 M-62, #B
Edwardsburg, MI
(269) 663–0097

As you round the bend on State Road 23 and cross the Michigan line, there is a literal slice of heaven cooking at the original Papa’s Pizzeria. Handmade and homemade with top of the line ingredients, this family business spares no expense for what really matters…the pizza! We dove into a mouth-watering traditional pepperoni pizza (smothered in extra cheese). The crust may be as famous as the pizza; crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and slathered with Papa’s secret sauce—a perfect blend of flavor and secret spices. Delizioso! You won’t be disappointed in the generous portions and heaping toppings, and we love the cheesy breadsticks. Order a pie and introduce yourself to founder Steve Sapmaz when you pick it up. He will remember your name when you visit again—that’s the Papa’s promise!

 

Antonio’s Italian Ristorante
1105 Goshen Ave.
Elkhart, IN
(574) 295–8424
www.antoniositalian.com

Ceilings laced with greenery and sparkling lights, plus the warm aromas of Italian cooking set the scene for the great food at Antonio’s Italian Ristorante in Elkhart. Among a wide selection of menu items, a choice of unique gourmet pizzas demands attention. Thin crust and pan style choices include the Tony Russo Pizza, made with olive oil and artichoke hearts, the Rosemary Pizza, a US Pizza Team Winner, and the Margherita Pizza. We selected the Italian Stallion Pizza, a pan pizza that is loaded with meatballs, Italian sausage, bacon, and 60 pieces of pepperoni! It was topped off with a combination of provolone and mozzarella cheeses.


When our order arrived we were presented with a pizza lover’s example of perfection. Our pizza was loaded with toppings, just the right amount of flavorful sauce, plenty of cheese, and all on a crust that was done just right. The first bite was the proof that we have found a great pizza. All the flavors of the meats, the sauce, and the cheeses came through with the first and every bite. Two pieces were filling and three pieces was a feast, but there was still a few left to take home for a late night snack.
Antonio’s should definitely be on any pizza lover’s “Must Visit” list. Great food, a warm atmosphere, and outstanding pizza is easy to find at Antonio’s Italian Ristorante on Goshen Ave in Elkhart. Our next visit will be to check out the Margherita Pizza!

 

Barnaby’s pizza
3724 Grape Road
Mishawaka, IN
(574) 256–0928

713 E. Jefferson Blvd.
South Bend, IN
(574) 288–4981
www.southbendbarnabys.com
 

Look for the little brown bottle above the door and you’ll know you’ve found it; Barnaby’s, on Jefferson. Celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary this year, Barnaby’s continues to indulge the cravings of pizza lovers in South Bend and beyond.
Just past the front doors, diners will be delighted to find that the original décor (straight from the 70s!) is still intact. That, combined with the mouth-watering aroma of food, will immediately put you at ease. At the suggestion of Barnaby’s friendly and welcoming owners, we ordered a large Italian sausage and pepperoni pizza. It was fresh, fabulous and filling! The pizza even came with extra spices, cheeses, and peppers on the side to accommodate our different spice preferences.
 Barnaby’s pizza crust and sauce are homemade and follow the same recipes that have been used for generations. The crust, baked with cornmeal on the bottom, is given an extra day to “sit” to ensure it’s baked to the delicate, flaky perfection that customers have come to love. Every ingredient, from vegetables to meats, is bought fresh from local markets and served with the utmost skill and care. It is quite obvious that Barnaby’s does not cut corners where their ingredients, food and service are concerned! As a family-owned restaurant with 40 years of history and experience “under their bottle”, Barnaby’s is a place that everyone is sure to enjoy for many years to come.

 

Luigi’s Pizza
3620 Mishawaka Ave.
South Bend, IN
(574) 282–1215/(574) 282–1216
www.luigisthincrust.com

After 52 years of business, Luigi’s Pizza continues to fill their carry out and delivery niche in the South Bend area. They have recently moved two doors down from their original location and are located at 3620 Mishawaka Ave., South Bend, IN.

Luigi’s is known for their authentic homemade thin crust pizza, which actually crumbles like a cracker, and is loaded with a secret recipe sauce. The sauce is very thick and rich; just the right combination of sweet and spicy. The sausage is also a trade secret recipe and very tasty. Luigi’s uses only the freshest ingredients and loads the pizza with cheese. Overall, the pizza is delicious and a great value for the price.

Stop in and meet Jeri Lynn Garrison, the owner who worked at Luigi’s for 28 years. The atmosphere is very casual and friendly and you will know that this family owned business wants to please you, and they will. Jeri Lynn has even shipped partially frozen pizzas to customers who have moved out of the area, and, on one occasion, took a pizza with her on a flight to California!

Luigi’s hours are 4 pm to 10 pm, Sunday thru Thursday, and 4 pm thru 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Please call to arrange for delivery. Luigi’s delivers in the South Bend area and on an “as needed” basis for other areas. They are very customer oriented and will work with you on a delivery time.

 

Bruno’s pizza

119 Dixieway North
Roseland, IN
(574) 273–3890

2202 Mishawaka Ave.
Mishawaka, IN
(574) 968–0350

204 W. Edison Rd.
Mishawaka, IN
(574) 256–9000

3515 Bremen Hwy.
Mishawaka, IN
(574) 257–7800

501 N. Michigan
Plymouth, IN
(574) 935–4555

2714 South 11th St.
Niles, MI
(574) 684–6100

51099 Bittersweet Rd.
Granger, IN
(574) 273–3100

801 W. Michigan St.
New Carlisle, IN
(574) 654–3170
www.brunospizza.com

 

Bruno’s Pizza is certainly one of a kind. The original “thick” crust is the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and bread-ey on the inside. We enjoyed the combination pizza which had a delicious variety of fresh ingredients. Every bite was filled with fresh onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni and Italian sausage, with a slightly sweet pizza sauce and generously topped with mozzarella cheese. Bruno’s certainly offers a unique pizza experience. My advice is to go visit one of their eight locations and experience it for yourself!  We dined at the Prairie Street location, which is adorned with Notre Dame memorabilia on almost every wall. When you walk through the doors, you instantly get the feeling that you are walking into a family establishment that is rich in history.

Bruno’s Pizza has been a destination for great pizza and delicious Italian cooking in the South Bend area for over thirty years. Bruno and the Cataldo family have been preparing authentic Italian cooking in Michiana since 1975. Their pizza is as rich as the tradition—two slices will satisfy just about any appetite.

 

Volcano’s
Concord Commons
3704 Mishawaka Rd.
(574) 875–6568

126 Easy Shopping Place
(574) 295–8606

Poplar Court
1900 Berry Street, Ste. G
(574) 262–3339

We taste-tested Volcano’s most popular pizzas, including Fritz’s favorite—the ham and onion, and the classic meat pizza—loaded with sausage, pepperoni, apple smoked bacon and ham—each with their own distinct flavoring—it is evident why Volcano’s has been a staple in Elkhart since 1957 when Fritz’s father Greg started the business as a carry-out store at the Easy Shopping Place location. Not much has changed over the years, many of their employees started with Fritz when they were in high school. It’s just like walking into mom’s kitchen  at Volcano’s, with the vats of sauce slowing cooking on the stove at any given time during the day. Their fresh ingredients, “perfecto” sauce and crust just the right amount of cheese make Volcano a “must try” when in Elkhart. The pies are even sliced in their signature squares to make for easy eating!

Volcano has three locations, Easy Shopping Place, Poplar Court and Concord Commons. Customers have been known to place their Volcano Pizza orders right from the airport to pick up on their way home, and order pizzas to freeze and take back home with them, wherever that might be!

 

Polito’s pizza
401 N. Hickory Road
Mishawaka, IN
(574) 243–5385
www.politosny.com

If you have a passion for pizza, you will make a point to visit Polito’s Pizza in Mishawaka. Be sure to come hungry to experience Polito’s totally crave-worthy pizza, generous portions and everything that Polito’s has to offer. From a make-it-your-way salad bar featuring ultra-fresh ingredients (their homemade house dressing is the absolute best!) to a complete menu of pasta, wings, subs, calzones, stromboli, beer & wine, and more, Polito’s has something for everyone. If you haven’t tried Polito’s secret family recipe vodka sauce, ask your server for a sample.  Not only is it fabulous with pasta-—it’s great to order as a side for pizza crust dipping!

What makes Polito’s pizza so outstanding? Everything is made fresh from scratch in Polito’s kitchen, all day, every day—including the crust, the sauce, the incredible sausage (coming from someone who is not a big meat-eater), and even the veggies which are chopped and roasted in a secret blend of seasonings prior to topping the pizza. You will taste the difference that comes from fresh, homemade ingredients. Polito’s offers a family-friendly atmosphere, games for the kids, fast and friendly service, and plenty of room for large groups so bring your friends-—and don’t forget, Polito’s also delivers every day from 5 pm to close. Family owned and operated, Polito’s has been serving fresh Italian cuisine since 1997.

 

Rocco’s Restaurant
537 N. St. Louis St.
(574) 233–2464

Rocco’s Restaurant, within walking distance from the Notre Dame campus, has been serving delicious authentic Italian cuisine to students, alumni, football fans and local residents since 1951. Two constant favorites are the Rocco pizza combos.  What was immediately evident were the fresh ingredients used in preparing these delicious thin crusted pies. Our first pizza was the Rocco’s veggie combo, which featured garden fresh garlic, basil, and thinly sliced tomatoes.  We typically, (and which most do), have at least one meat as a topping, but after this taste bud explosion, this will definitely be on our order again soon list!

Next up was the Rocco’s combo. Again, homemade Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, (black olives were substituted for this order), absolutely delicious! The hand made thin crust is also a key factor in making both these pizza stand alone in taste.  Homemade fresh ingredients as well as the warm Italian atmosphere are just a few reasons this has been a community favorite for over 58 years.

Owners Linda and Warren look forward to meeting and serving you. Don’t forget to order the garlic cheese bread, UNBELIEVABLE!








 











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