Cravings - Pizza
When the mood for a certain food strikes you, patience can wear thin as you research what local joint you should select to satisfy the craving. Most foodie disappointments happen when you have a serious hankering for something and the experience falls flat. When the mouthful you get doesn’t give you the eye-roll into the back of the head, awkward audible moan, and belly rub finish you imagined. To help with that, I’m starting a new series dedicated to the foods we crave so you have recommendations at your fingertips. Did the inspiration for this series come from seeing all the Chrissy Tiegen “Cravings” merchandise at Target, while simultaneously listening to k. d. Lang?
As always, it’s not a complete list of all pizza joints, but rather a selection of places I’ve personally enjoyed and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend based on someone’s location and budget.
We’ll start with the food I tend to crave the most often: PIZZA
Hidden in an Altamonte shopping center you’ll find a charming Italian cafe serving up a lot of authentic dishes, including Neapolitan pizza. If it’s quiet you can hear them speaking Italian in the kitchen, which I find quite soothing. I really loved the pizza, a simple but perfect Margherita, but save room for dessert if you like tiramisu. Oh, and cheese lovers: they have a mozzarella bar!
Beer & Wine: Yes
Location: 249 W State Road 436, Altamonte Springs
You get serious la familia feels when you go to Antonella’s. It’s located right on Fairbanks, not far from Park Avenue, but if you aren’t aware it’s there, it’s easy to miss. It’s important to note seating is limited, so don’t be afraid to make a to-go order.
I’m a fan of their pizza, especially their crispy crust. Other standouts include the caprese salad and the garlic knots. Service has always been outstanding here, as they always make mention of their family background and make you feel welcome and invited to enjoy in their hospitable spirit.
Beer and Wine: Yes
Location: 360 W. Fairbanks
Imagine if Yellow Dog Eats was a pizza joint. That’s the vibe you get inside this cute, large, yellow house in downtown Mt. Dora. I am a lover of several different types of crust, and PizzAmore' offers a thick, soft crust on their pizzas. They also offer cheese-less pizza for the lactose intolerant and they do a great job with it, or so says my Dad. As a side note, their grilled wings and garlic knots are not to be missed.
Beer & Wine: Yes
Favorite Order: 5th Avenue Pizza + Garlic Knots + Baked Wings
Location: 722 E. 5th Ave. Mt. Dora, FL
Planet Pizza - Downtown
I love Planet Pizza even though I am well aware that it isn’t the best slice in the city. However, it has been my trusty side-kick for post-concert eats for many years. A trip to the Social or the Beacham is not complete without a quick late night slice where the ambiance includes watching very drunk people get mad that the cheese and red pepper shakers are chained to a counter. Planet Pizza is my Gringos Locos, and I am proud to tell you I’ve even ordered it to be delivered very late at night to my home. Why has no one made a Planet Pizza shirt? Enjoy this vintage pic of me at Planet Pizza from 2014.
Beer & Wine: No
Favorite Order: Slice of pepperoni and a Yo-hoo.
Location: 14 W Washington Street
When I was growing up in Winter Garden pizza options were mainly Pizza Hut and Hungry Howie’s. Now you can support a local spot for all your pizza cravings. If coal fire pizza is your jam, you should definitely check out Michael Ali’s in the Plant Street Market. Despite all the other food vendors in the space, this pizza tends to win my love. I normally opt to build my own and dive into pepperoni, arugula, and some tomatoes. It pairs perfectly with a cider from Crooked Can if you aren’t a beer lover. Don’t feel bad eating here and not Winter Garden Pizza Company, they have the same owners!
Beer & Wine: Grab a brew from Crooked Can
Location: 426 W Plant Street, Winter Garden + 790 West Minneola, Clermont
Pizzeria Del-Dio - E. Colonial
Originally from Brooklyn, you’ll find another strip mall gem at Pizzeria Del-Dio. It’s literally on the back side of this center with no front-facing exterior placement, so make sure you don’t miss it.
My go-to order is the heart-shaped cheese pizza that starts at $16.95 (more if you add toppings) and garlic knots. This is a no-frills, no booths, casual place to dine, but the service is always great. Important to note that they are gluten-free friendly!
Beer & Wine: Yes
Location: 3210 E Colonial Drive
Tomasino’s - Lake Mary + other locations
Tomasino’s has a classic pizza joint vibe complete with cozy booths and red checkered table cloths. All that is missing is some Billy Joel playing and a classic arcade game so I can experience full childhood nostalgia back to my dine-in Pizza Hut days.
If you feel like trying something a little different, check out their “Farmer Pizza”. It’s sauce-less with cheese, maple-cut bacon, eggs, fresh spinach, drizzled with maple syrup. Breakfast pizza is a thing!
Beer & Wine: Yes
Location: 920 International Parkway, Lake Mary
Costco - Yes, Costco
If you have the willpower to be near a Costco and not consider grabbing a slice of pizza, well, I envy you. I have no such strength. The cost of happiness here doesn’t have to include a long receipt chronicling $300 worth of over-sized jars of olive oil, muffins, and toilet paper for the year.
For $2.13 you’ve got yourself a slice of ‘za the size of your face. It’s oh-so greasy, slathered with hot bubbling cheese, and adorned with pepperoni slices that all have a crispy edge. It’s bliss and pain all at once. While I have absolutely regretted wolfing down a slice in the parking lot walking to my car; for those brief minutes, it absolutely satisfies the pizza craving.
Unless you consider yourself a true pizza connoisseur, lots of pizza joints may feel the same. If that is the case, it’s the little things that are going to stick with you. At Tony’s, you get lots of those little service warm and fuzzies. First off, as soon as you sit down, possibly before you are even greeted by your server, you are given a warm garlic knot for every person at your table. Give me free bread and you can call me Paula Abdul cause I’m forever your girl. The pizza here is solid, but fair warning this place is packed at peak dining times.
Beer & Wine: Yes
Location: 146 W New York Ave, DeLand
Pizza Bruno - Milk District
I don’t really need to tell you about Pizza Bruno, because undoubtedly you already know. The Pizza King has claimed his territory in the Milk District, and I am glad to see his empire expanding closer to my zip code. Perhaps the best thing about Pizza Bruno is that if by some odd chance you don’t love pizza, you can still enjoy the delicious meatballs, butt-fattening garlic knots, and truly magnificent grilled octopus. Let it be known, I do not trust people who don’t like pizza.
Beer & Wine: Various offerings including cocktails
Location: 3990 Curry Ford Rd + Coming soon to Mills 50
Lazy Moon - Downtown + UCF Area
What started as a staple of cheap eats for UCF students is now known more widely for larger-than-life slices you can build a mountain of toppings on. It’s not my personal go-to pizza joint in town, but if a slice is calling your name and you are near one of their two locations, you can be sure of a few things. A good beer selection, vegan friendly options, it won’t break the bank, and one slice will be all you need.
Beer & Wine: Lots of beers on tap
Location: 1011 E Colonial Drive + 11551 University Blvd
Blaze Pizza - Multiple Locations
Yes, its a chain. Sue me! Did you know Lebron James invested in Blaze Pizza? If its good enough for King James, it’s good enough for me. Blaze is actually a dope option if you are pinching pennies, need something fast, and have people that need customization options dining with you. You can act like you’re better than me because you don’t eat here and you watch The Chef’s Table: France on Netflix and that’s cool. Truthfully, I’m more of a Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat or Ugly Delicious gal. Maybe, just maybe, this is my Domino’s.
Besides, it’s way better than Papa John’s.
Beer & Wine: Yes, a small variety
Location: Winter Park, UCF, Disney Springs
All food mentioned in the post was paid for personally. No business that is featured asked to be included. These are personal preferences. All photos belong to LemonHearted Creative. Support your local restaurants and never put your IG profile in someones face, tell them you are important, and ask for free food.