The fast-casual pizza scene is expanding beyond belief in Los Angeles and Orange County. Fast-casual pizza is a made-to-order, fresh pizza served in a contemporary, fast-pace atmosphere. These restaurants give you the opportunity to choose your own dough, ingredients, sauces, and topping or choose one of their own signature creations. Once you choose your custom pizza, your pizza will be cooked in a high-speed oven that is often the centerpiece of the restaurant’s design. These new concepts are becoming the “Chipotle of Pizza” with a move away from cheap, unhealthy meals, to a more quality-oriented, fresh dish. Here are some of our favorites:
With 24 Southern California locations and over 40 nationwide locations, Pieology Pizzeria is at the center of the fast-casual pizza hub. The long lines during peak hours are definitely worth the wait for your custom-ordered thin-crust pizza. While waiting in line, you can read hundreds of inspiring quotes that consume the wall space. They have seven signature pizzas to choose from or you can create your own just the way you want it on their 11.5″ crust (housemade or gluten free). Your pizza is reasonable priced ($7.50) and only takes less than four minutes to cook once you have selected all of your toppings.
Photo credit: Instagram: ash_channe
Pizza Rev currently has restaurants in seven states and is a part of the national Pizza Rev-olution that empowers YOU to “Craft Your Own!” For less than $8.00 you will have the option to customize your freshly made Roman-style thin crust pizza with any of their 35 ingredients. You will walk down the assembly line and choose from your favorite sauces, cheeses, and meat and veggie toppings. This fast-casual pizza joint is perfect for the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free customer because of their options for gluten-fee dough, vegan cheese, and 17 vegetable toppings. Your individualized food experience will then cook in an open hearth stone oven at 800 degrees and will cook within 3 minutes.
Photo credit: Instagram: PizzaRev
At 800 Degrees, they honor the Old World heritage of Naples, Italy, where the original pizza was created over 200 years ago, with a fast-casual spin on pizza. The integrity of the ingredients is paramount. They only use California grown tomatoes, locally made fresh mozzarella, fresh and local vegetables, and their handcrafted crust is made with flour from the ancient Molino San Felice in Naples, Italy. With locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, they create a high-energy, bustling atmosphere, not so different from the cities they preside in. Not only do they pride themselves on their customizable pizza creations, but they also have an professionally designed Coke Machine with over 150 different flavors and wine on tap. PS… Unlike all the other fast-casual pizza joints, they serve gelato!
Photo credit: Instagram: 800 Degrees
The Blaze Pizza fast-casual chain opened in 2012 by Elise and and Rick Wetzel, the co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels. Blaze Pizza is a high-quality artisan lunch choice, not just your “Let’s get pizza for dinner” option. They have a nine signature pizzas, but they also allow you to customize your pizza to your liking with an average price of $7.50 per pizza. With a focus on simplicity and high-quality products, Blaze Pizza promises to get you through line with your hot pizza in six minutes or less. They also serve alcohol at many of their locations. Not to mention, they have a s’mores pie dessert that is to die for.
Photo credit: Instagram: la_loba_roja
Try out these fast-casual pizza joints and let us know what your favorite one is. Enjoy!