I am writing this at a coffee shop due to the widespread electricity outage in the Waterloo region. I love the aroma of coffee beans here but I don’t love my absolute lack of self-control and am already on my 3rd cup of coffee! Having to run to the bathroom every half hour is no fun. ;(
This was how I had to break the ice this morning! Annoying but kinda fun once-in-lifetime chance to smash my car “windows”. Mother Nature continues to pull cruel pranks on us – to think that I naively thought Spring is here! With the lingering cold, I am still craving slightly greasy and heavier carby meals. I truly hope that the weather will lighten up soon, and I will be able to start writing about fresher, lighter dining options in KW.
a flat, open-faced baked pie of Italian origin, consisting of a thin layer of bread dough topped with spiced tomato sauce and cheese, often garnished with anchovies, sausage slices, mushrooms, etc.
Pizza is more of a winter craving for me, though I am sure that there are many who loves eating pizza all year-long. Depending on the ingredients and dough, pizza can be both a well-balanced meal or an “unhealthy” option. I truly believe that with the right portions, pizza can be a decadent yet healthy meal. So why the bad rep for pizza, and why do some pizzas taste so good but some are so horrible when it is just toppings on dough?! Y thinks that since pizza is so simple, the quality of the ingredients is exceptionally important for a good pizza.
So, how much are you willing to pay for “gourmet” quality pizza?
The most expensive pizza I had was at Di Fara in Brooklyn, NY. At $5/slice, this place was voted the best pizzeria in NY for several consecutive years. It was expensive for sure, but oh so good. However, I probably will not get another slice ever, once is good enough. That price is too gourmet, or that gourmet is too pricey.
In Waterloo, my all-time favourite quality pizza spot is Gourmet Pizza at Uptown.
Gourmet Pizza in Waterloo, ON had some of the best pizza in town available for pick up and delivery. With over thirty gourmet toppings to choose from, the possibilities are endless. We also give you the option of regular crust, thin crust and even whole wheat crust. Don’t let the name fool you; while we do serve gourmet food, our prices are definitely not expensive.
It has a very small storefront, and I have never actually eaten at the store. It has always been take-out or delivery.
The following are my go-to options.
On the Table for Maple:
$12 for small, $15 for medium and $18 for large
- Chicken Pesto – Pesto Sauce, Goat Cheese, Grilled Chicken Breast, and Sliced Tomatoes
- Magic Pesto (vegetarian) – Pesto Sauce, Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Peppers, Artichoke Hearts and Kalamata Olives
- Hawaiian – Tomato Sauce, Sliced Ham, Pineapple, Bacon Strips and Extra Cheese
- BBQ Chicken – Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Grilled Chicken Breast, Bacon Strips, Sliced Tomato and Roasted Zucchini
- Pork King – Pepperoni, Sliced Ham, Sliced Spicy Sausage and Bacon Strips
Chicken Pesto is definitely my favourite, or the goat cheese magic pesto, or just anything pesto! Pork King is a popular one with dudes as they usually prefer meatier options. I enjoy those occasionally but am not a super fan since I have to pick out the bacon strips. We usually order online, and their delivery service is rather reliable and punctual. On the other hand, we went to the store for take-out once and waited more than 20 minutes for one medium pizza. I think that is considered slightly slow, but at least the food was fresh.
I really enjoy Gourmet Pizza and get extremely annoyed when people say “oh it is so expensive!”. NONSENSE. Let’s compare Gourmet Pizza’s pricing with the not-so-good Pizza Pizza. PP’s vegetarian Pesto Amore sits at $12.35 (small) / $13 (medium) / $17.50 (large). I don’t know if the sizes of both pizzeria matches, but with prices so similar, wouldn’t you rather order pizza from a local joint instead of a pizza chain?
I thought Gourmet Pizza is the best specialty pizzeria in Waterloo until a colleague introduced me to Primavera Pizza & Pasta by the Boardwalk. Before that, I had passed by it a couple of times but had mistakenly thought of it as a pizza franchise of some sort.
Owners and pizza lovers, Mario and Mladen opened Primavera Pizza & Pasta in the summer of 2011, with a vision of creating Kitchener-Waterloo’s best pizza. Mario and Mladen grew up making Italian meals with their father Momo. Momo’s legendary, generations old Sicilian pizza and pasta recipes are now feeding the families of Kitchener – Waterloo. Primavera Pizza & Pasta makes Canadian-Italian style pizza and pasta. We vow to only use the finest and freshest ingredients and prepare each pizza with an infusion of passion and creativity.
At Primavera Pizza & Pasta we make all of our dishes from scratch. After just one bite, Primavera will be your favorite pizza and pasta restaurant.
It was awfully quiet for a Friday night. Their staffs were in and out a couple of times for delivery, and there were quite a few take-out orders. However, we were the only ones dining in.
The interior is way more spacious than Gourmet Pizza’s.
I was told that our order would take approximately 15 minutes so I decided to time them. When the pizzas arrived however, I got too excited and forgot to stop the timer. Teehee.
On the Table for Maple:
- Chicken Pesto – Basil pesto sauce, mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, grilled chicken, red onions and parmesan cheese
- Chicken Primavera – Whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken, zucchini, roasted red peppers and feta cheese
We went for the deal of $25 for two specialty medium pizzas. The usual price is $14.50 for one medium specialty so it was a pretty good discount. Both of them were thin crust/wholewheat. I actually do not mind thick crust, but I can probably only eat two slices with the thicker dough. For thin crust, I can go for three or four.
Each medium comes with eight slices, which is pretty standard.
After the photo-taking session (I take A LOT of photos) and finishing my first slice of pizza, I remembered the ongoing timer and it clocked in at approximately 16 minutes. Therefore, I am guessing that the pizzas arrived at the 10 minute mark, which is very impressive when compared to the >20 minute wait we had at Gourmet Pizza.
The thin crust was even MORE impressive. It might be a little too thin for some people… almost felt like a cracker. We loved it though; I had four slices, Y had eight, leaving four slices for next day’s lunch. The toppings were generous and fresh. Y prefers the chicken primavera but I like the good ole’ pesto.
Despite my deep love for Gourmet Pizza, I do think that Primavera is a strong contender for the best “gourmet” pizza in Waterloo. Another place I would love to try is Bianca’s Pizza on King/Columbia. With unreal prices like TWO medium pizzas for $15, I have heard numerous praises about them and am curious of the quality. What is your favourite KW gourmet pizza place? For Kitchener, Nostra Cucina has delicious ones, and of course, Bread Heads is another amazing pizzeria (or what my Irish colleague described it – “the best f*king pizza I have ever had”).
With amazing quality, great speed, and reasonable prices like that at local pizza places, I see no reason to order subpar pizza from boring national franchises.