That’s Amore

Deep dish, thin crust, hand-tossed or classic. No matter how  you slice it, pizza is one of  Huntington’s favorite foods.

By Shelly Betz

Since bursting onto the scene in the early 1900s in large cities like New York, Chicago and Boston (each known for their large Italian immigrant populations) the Italian  flatbread pie has all but taken over many homes, ballparks and other entertainment venues across the country.

Oftentimes, pizza is what’s for dinner at the close of a hectic workweek or while playing chauffeur to get the kids off to their many activities on time. Pizza is as much of an American pastime as baseball and apple pie in many places, and Huntington is no exception. While the bigger pizza chains may have greater name recognition, our family owned and run pizza establishments are holding their own. And although it may be true that Huntington has a large number of pizzerias for our population size, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a delicious slice of pizza while still watching your overall health. Many of our local establishments feature pizzas in smaller sizes, and there are many options with lots of vegetables. (See our “Farmers Market Pizza” recipe on page 20 that features a heap of fresh, local veggies!)

Both meat lovers and vegetarians alike stand united in their love affair with pizza. Add to that a fierce loyalty factor, and it’s easy to see why so many pizza restaurants in Huntington continue to thrive. Do not come between a pizza connoisseur and his or her favorite eatery! Most are willing to move mountains, tread through high waters or trek through massive snow to secure their place at the table. Here are our locally owned pizza restaurants that leave Huntingtonians with that feeling of amore!

Giovanni’s Pizzeria

2002 Third Avenue, Huntington
(304) 522-4134
www.giovannispizzapower.com
Mon. – Sat.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun.: noon – 11 p.m.
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

What do you get when you combine good food with an equally good location? Answer: a success. Since the late 1990s, Giovanni’s has been a staple near the Marshall football stadium. Before and after games, the restaurant is a true campus-style pizzeria, where the atmosphere is laid back and fun. Ingredients are fresh and customers have been known to bring in their own special toppings, such as deer meat and fresh vegetables from their garden. Upon request, Giovanni’s gives customers a deconstructed hand-tossed pizza crust to add their own toppings and cook at home. Frequently the restaurant makes 50 pizzas before noon and delivers another 60 during tailgate parties.

La Famiglia Southern Italian Trattoria

1506 Sixth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 523-1008
www.lafamigliawv.com
Tues. - Thurs.: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m.
Fri.: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m.
Sat.: 5 – 9 p.m.
Dine-in and Carry Out

This charming family-dining establishment feels like a slice of Little Italy – southern style, that is. Here old-world tradition meets contemporary demand for a pizza that is uniquely prepared to order. It just doesn’t get much better than this. The sausage is homemade and dough is prepared fresh each day, with flour imported from Naples to assure just the right consistency. Imported cheeses from Rome and succulent tomatoes grown on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius combine with exquisite flavor from the wood-fired oven to give each 12-inch hand-tossed pizza unrivaled appeal that will keep you coming back. With more than 700 pizzas served each week, the Margherita Pizza remains the most popular. Made with fresh basil and San Marzano tomatoes, it also represents the three colors of the Italian flag.

Slyce Pizza

1114 Fourth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 522-6600
www.slycepizzaco.com
Mon. – Fri.: 11 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Sat. & Sun.: 4 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

A pizza eatery that caters to soccer moms, night owls and everyone in between, Slyce comes made to order with its convenient hours. Whether you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table, in the mood to cap off a night on the town or simply enjoy pizza for breakfast, Slyce has you covered. It’s the mildly spicy homemade sauce that sets it apart from other establishments. Customers can also request a thin or thick hand-tossed crust, or one that is made gluten free to accommodate special diets. In fact, vegan customers love the Cheese-less Pizza, which is becoming more popular. But there are a few standards that keep customers coming back, such as the Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza and the Slyce Supreme.

Rocky Tops Pizza

101 Buffalo Creek Road, Huntington
(304) 429-4133
Mon. – Thurs.: 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

This traditional pizza restaurant is a popular gathering spot for local residents. The dough and sauce are made fresh daily, and customers can choose from among five different sizes of pizzas. It is not uncommon for Rocky Tops to make more than 100 pizzas a day. Area businesses provide a steady stream of delivery orders throughout the workweek. Fridays and Saturdays are especially busy with families choosing to make the stop before or after school sporting events and community activities. The Rocky Top Special is the crowd favorite, with its generous toppings of sausage, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Baked cheese sticks with a dipping sauce may be added to orders as a side dish.

Monty’s Pizza

815 Sixth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 525-1251
Mon. – Sat.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun.: noon – 11 p.m.
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

If it’s “hip to be square,” then Monty’s Pizza has truly cornered the market since opening in 1956. Believed to be one of the oldest pizza establishments in town, Monty’s is well known for its homemade sausage topping and the nontraditional way that pizzas are cut into small squares. Legend has it that the original owners cut it that way to distinguish their pizza from others in the area. While times and ownership of the popular pizza eatery have changed over the decades, the flavorful pizza has stayed true to its original identity. Serving up as many as 1,000 pizzas a week, Monty’s remains a family favorite across many generations. With either thick or thin crust, classic pepperoni and sausage pizza tops the list of customer favorites.

Gino’s Pizza

947 Ninth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 529-2547
Mon. – Thurs.: 10:30 a.m. – midnight
Fri. & Sat.: 10:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sun.: 10:30 a.m. – midnight
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

This pizza is one for the history books. If you aren’t old enough to remember the crowds of students who flocked to the Gino’s Pizza trucks during lunchtime at high school or junior high (as we used to say), then you probably have visited the restaurant with your parents who recall the “way back when” of this pizza eatery. With its hand-tossed dough and fresh ingredients, Gino’s Pizza has stood the test of time since opening its doors in 1961. It also has something to call its own: the legendary pizza bread – the same great pizza taste on a 9-inch bun. How’s that for innovation?

Z Brick Oven

1208 Fourth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 781-5209
Daily: 4 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Dine-in, Carry out and Delivery

Now here’s a place that puts the emphasis on flavor. For five years, this pizzeria has been serving up some of the tastiest creations in town – as many as 75 pizzas a day! The proof is in the oven … a brick-fired one. There’s no denying the rich flavor that is baked right into the pizza crust from this old-world cooking tradition. Z Brick is for the hearty pizza lover, with such masterful creations as the All Meat Pizza that features pepperoni, sausage, beef, bacon and ham. From college students to families, this place has something for everyone. Your late-night pizza craving is sure to be satisfied at Z Brick.

Backyard Pizza & Raw Bar

841 Fourth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 697-7437
www.backyardcraftedpizza.com
Tues. – Thurs.: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri. & Sat.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday Brunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dine-in and Carry Out

Pizza connoisseurs, sit back and fasten your seatbelts! You are about to go full speed into one of the most creative pizza spots this town has ever seen. Let’s start with the fresh dough, prepared daily. In peak season, nearly 80 percent of the pizza ingredients used are locally grown. The wood-fired ovens leave a lingering taste (and aroma) of cherry, maple and hickory-smoked flavor. With more than 20 specialty-themed pizza combinations, Backyard offers a smorgasbord of pizza options. One of the most popular on the menu is the Memphis, a delicious combination of white cheddar, BBQ chicken, caramelized onion, diced jalapeño and bacon. On a Friday or Saturday, this crew serves up nearly 400 pizzas. Your biggest challenge is deciding which pizza to try first.

Evaroni’s Pizza

914 Dale Street, Kenova
(304) 453-4355
Tues. – Thurs.: 4 – 9:30 p.m.
Fri. & Sat.: 4 – 10 p.m.
Sun.: 4 – 9:30 p.m.
Dine-in and Carry Out

This nostalgic, family-owned pizza place is a neighborhood favorite. In a space that once belonged to a glass factory, hundreds of thousands of pizzas have been served since opening in the late 1960s. A distinctively sweet sauce and choice of 15 toppings may be responsible for the line of people who patiently wait daily to be seated for dine-in service. Not only are customers likely to come the same day each week, but they also sit at the same table or booth regularly. One of the most popular times of year at Evaroni’s is during the annual Pumpkin House viewing in Kenova, when people stop in Evaroni’s for the pizza and casual dining atmosphere. The message on the restaurant’s exterior says it all: “In all the world, there’s only one Evaroni’s.”

Husson’s Pizza

335 Hal Greer Boulevard, Huntington
(304) 781-2488
www.hussonspizza.com
Mon. – Sat.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun.: noon – 11 p.m.
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

Location, location, location! When Husson’s opened its doors across from Marshall’s campus in 2005, it was an instant hit with the college crowd. Not only is it convenient, but it also has a loyal following. From humble beginnings in the late 1970s, when the family opened its first restaurant in the Charleston area and pizza dough was rolled on a formica kitchen counter, Husson’s now has multiple locations. Known for its hand-tossed, thin-crust pizza, it is one of the most popular pizza restaurants in town. With specialty pizzas like the Husson’s Vegetarian, the Hawaiian Pizza and the Husson’s Meat Monster, the classic pepperoni pizza reigns supreme among them. Priced right for the frugal college student, you can also enjoy pizza by the slice.

Daniello’s

1206 Fourth Avenue, Huntington
(304) 522-6362
www.danielloshuntington.com
Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fri.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dine-in, Carry Out and Delivery

This popular pizza eatery opened in 1988 in another part of town before settling into its current location blocks from the Marshall campus. It’s the dough and spices that keep the same loyal customers coming back for more. Offering three sizes of pizza guarantees an appetite of any size will be satisfied. If a distinctive flavor is what you seek, discover the ever-popular Capicola pizza. It’s loaded with spicy Italian ham, peppers and onions and smothered in provolone and mozzarella cheeses. Local businesses keep Daniello’s busy with large party occasions and catering events, but the staff takes pride in seeing familiar faces come through the door.

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