Pizza | KCUR


Mark Davis / KCUR 89.3

Little Caesars pizza is returning quietly to the Kansas City area less than a year after the market’s longtime franchisee closed his last store and declared, “We’re done.”

Previous franchise owner Alan Knox of Utah had uttered that two-word epitaph after operating Little Caesars stores for 30 years. He had bought 16 Kansas City area stores nine years ago and owned 21 at one point.

Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

For the past three years at Long-Bell Restaurant in Lee’s Summit, co-owners Jayson Eggers and Aaron Mulder have been working on their specialty: Kansas City-style pizza.

"We haven’t really seen it anywhere else other than typical Chicago style,” Eggers says.

Eggers and Mulder’s pizza recipe differs from other regional pies like New York-style and Chicago-style pizzas because of the dough and the crust. The dough at Long-Bell is made to order and mixed the night before.

Food Critics: The Best Pizzas In Kansas City In 2019

Feb 23, 2019
Providence Pizza / Facebook

Unlike Chicago or New York City, Kansas City isn’t famous for its pizza offerings. But that hasn’t stopped area chefs and restaurants from developing their own distinctive pies — including two Lee’s Summit chefs who claim they’ve crafted a “Kansas City-style pizza” and a local spot that offers toppings such as crab meat and Indian spices.

On our annual pizza show, Central Standard’s food critics discussed the best spots in town for a slice or a whole pie.

Segment 1: What makes regional pizza styles unique?

What makes a pizza Neapolitan? Where does one draw the line between St. Louis and New York style pies? We talk with pizza chef Brent Gunnels about these distinctions. Plus, Celisa Calacal gives us a look at a local pizzeria which champions Kansas City's own style of pizza. 

Daniel Chow / Flickr -- CC

It’s the time of year when you may need to feed a crowd — perhaps for holiday gatherings or for college bowl game-watching. And what better way than with pizza?

There’s a pizza for everyone, from the picky toddler to the late-night reveler and the sophisticated gourmand.

From wood-fired to deep-dish, you can go traditional or dress it up with fancy toppings like fig jam. Get enough for a crowd or order individual pies that are made from scratch and baked in front of you.

On Central Standard’s annual pizza show, our Food Critics searched out the best pizza in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

A local chef recommends the best fall harvest toppings, then KCUR's Food Critics search out the best pizza of 2016 in and around KC. Plus, is there anything that makes KC pizza unique?


Paul Sableman / Flickr-CC


When hungry Kansas Citians need a lazy night in, they often reach for the phone. They know a wide variety of local pizza places are ready to deliver cheesy goodness to their doorsteps. 

Unless they live east of Troost Avenue.

While national chains Papa John's and Domino's will deliver east of Troost, many local pizza places won't.  

Minsky's on Main Street won't go there. Pizza 51 sits three blocks away from Troost at 51st and Oak — it won't deliver there either. Neither will Pickleman's. Sarpino's Pizza in Midtown will, maybe.

Jen Chen / KCUR

Thick or thin crust, red or white sauce, square or triangle ... Kansas City offers a plethora of pizza choices for just about everyone.

On this week's show, Erik Borger, chef/owner of Il Lazzarone, shows our Food Critic Charles Ferruzza how to make a certified authentic Neapolitan pizza. Craig Jones also discusses pizza tips for the home cook, and the Food Critics weigh in on the best pizzas in Kansas City.

Charles Ferruzza:

I love pizza: The good, the bad and the ugly...

Jen Chen, KCUR

According to Erik Borger, the chef-owner of Il Lazzarone, there's a specific way to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. And he should know; his original Il Lazzarone restaurant in St. Joseph has been certified as authentically Neapolitan by the American Delegation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Recently, our food critic Charles Ferruzza visited Borger's newest outpost in Kansas City's River Market to get the details on making an authentic Neapolitan pie.

Premshree Pillai / Flickr--CC

On a beautiful summer night, stopping by a neighborhood pizzeria for a quick slice (or five) can really hit the spot.

With a handful of exciting new pizza places opening up, Charles Ferruzza and the food critics put out a call for the best pizza in the Kansas City area. 

KCUR's food critics recommend:


Oct 22, 2012

In 1987 Congress designated October as National Pizza Month and we at Central Standard are nothing if not dedicated to the observance of this acknowledgment of one of our favorite foods.