Welcome to National Pizza Month, Cincinnati! Although pizza first made its appearance in America during the large Italian immigration waves around the turn of the 20th Century, our country’s love affair with pizza has really been piping hot ever since the end of the Second World War, when GIs and sailors returning from the Italian front brought back their acquired taste for this tasty and convenient dish.
In October 1984, Pizza Today magazine debuted and its founder — Santa Claus, Indiana pizzeria owner Gerry Durnell — suggested it would be fitting for the pizza industry to recognize the launch of its first trade publication by celebrating National Pizza Month.
"94 percent of us — seniors included — eat pizza at least once a month."
According to industry experts, it’s estimated that there are more than 63,000 pizzerias in the United States and that 94 percent of us — seniors included — eat pizza at least once a month. Different regions of the country have developed their own variations from the classic Neapolitan pie. And the Tri-state certainly has its share of unique pizza parlors and delivery restaurants.
Today, we thought it would be fun to explore some of the places seniors in Cincinnati can celebrate National Pizza Month. Here are a few of our picks:
Founded in Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood in 1998, Dewey’s Pizza focuses its business on serving up inimitable gourmet pizzas loaded with fresh, unexpected toppings in its friendly, neighborhood-style parlors.
The chain quickly grew beyond the confines of the Tri-state. Today, Dewey’s has 23 franchises located across six metro markets, including Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, St. Louis and its most recent opening in Kansas City.
There are plenty of excellent options on the menu, but our favorite is the Edgar Allan Poe (especially appropriate during Halloween season!), which features olive oil, mozzarella, fontina, goat cheese, fresh mushrooms, whole roasted cloves of garlic, and Kalamata olives, with juicy tomato slices and a dusting of parsley added after the bake.
Mio’s has been a fixture on Cincinnati’s east side since its first location opened in Hyde Park in 1975. In recent years, the chain has expanded to nine locations from its northernmost in Lebanon to its first Kentucky location (Florence).
Mio’s may be best known for its special stuffed pizza — a Chicago-style deep dish pie with all the cheese and toppings on the inside of the crust and sauce and Parmesan covering the top. It’s a pie you’ll need to eat with a knife and fork, just the way the folks in the Windy City would say is right!
With only two locations — one near the University of Cincinnati, and one in Columbus, near Ohio State — Adriatico’s certainly fills the classic campus pizza pub niche. First opened 38 years ago in a small storefront across from UC Medical Center, Adriatico’s moved several years ago to a sparkling, purpose-built Clifton location on West McMillan Avenue.
Adriatico’s is best known among UC students and alumni for its thick-crust, garlic butter-brushed Big Bearcat which, at 30 slices per pie, is quite literally enough to feed a full platoon of hungry people. But unless you’re aiming to feed your whole neighborhood or retirement community, we’d recommend you steer toward a smaller offering.
Try an Inflation Fighter pizza — pepperoni, ham, beef, sausage, green olives, black olives, green peppers, onions and mushrooms — on Adriatico’s hand-tossed thin crust. it’s loaded and delicious!
A chic relative newcomer to the Cincinnati market, Pi Pizza opened downtown at Sixth and Main in 2014. It features a tremendous selection of craft beers and ciders on tap. And its build-your-own cornmeal crust pies (pis?) will, like its namesake number, keep you coming back for endless combinations of gourmet pizza topping goodness.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, Pi can accommodate you with Daiya™ vegan cheese, match® vegan Italian sausage, an array of uncommon vegetable toppings and fresh herbs.
Another neat, modern facet of Pi: It’s recyclable, heat-in boxes fold down several ways so that you can minimize the space leftovers will take up in your refrigerator. It’s definitely worth the trip downtown!
Celebrate National Pizza Month at any of these, or find your own go-to parlor!
These are just a few of the many options available to Cincinnati seniors who have a craving a mangiare. This month, take a night off from cooking and order in, or gather some friends and head out for a pie and a pitcher. This October, take a slice out of life with some excellent pizza!