Hawaii: Brick Fire Tavern
> Location: Honolulu
The only member of the authentic-pizza-defining Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Hawaii, Brick Fire Tavern was opened in Honolulu’s Chinatown in 2016 by Matthew Resich and the late Inthira Marks, both of whom studied the art of pizza-making in Naples with one of the Associazione’s founders. The restaurant closed in the face of COVID in 2020, but reopened a few months later in a new location and has been going strong ever since. Resich uses local ingredients in his array of classic and inventive pies (and his pastas).
Idaho: Casanova Pizzeria
> Location: Boise
The original Casanova – which claims inspiration from Naples, New York City, and the Connecticut pizza capital of New Haven – opened in 2004, but closed in 2015. Last year it returned, firing up its 700-degree oven in a new location, offering a wide range of specialty pies, including (in a nod to a significant ethnic presence in Boise) The Basque – adding chorizo to tomato sauce and sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers.
Illinois: Pequod’s Pizza
> Locations: Chicago & Morton Grove
Pequod’s late founder, Burt Katz, is legendary in Chicago’s deep-dish lore, and his tradition lives on with Pequod’s blackened caramelized crust, a chewy, nearly burnt cheese edge rimming a cheesy pool of sauce.
> Location: Indianapolis
This Indy pizza favorite prides itself on making not just its own pizza dough but its own pastas and sauces daily. The pizzas are 13-inch pies, available with thin or less-than-thin crusts (a gluten-free option is also offered), and are offered in 20 varieties (including a crowd-pleasing barbeque chicken version). For customized pizzas, the ingredients include peppadew peppers, brussels sprouts, and capicola, in addition to more usual offerings.
Iowa: Need Pizza
> Location: Cedar Rapids
With a name that sounds like a plaintive cry from a hungry frat boy, this local favorite in Iowa’s second-largest city doesn’t offer pre-made combinations – diners concoct their own. Pies, available with gluten-free and cauliflower crusts as well as the usual, are offered in three sizes (12-inch, 16-inch, and “massive”). The crusts all come with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and grated parmesan, and after that it’s up to the customer. All the usual choices are available (plus vegan cheese and meats).
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