There’s no better time to order a pizza in Calgary than during YYC Pizza Week. Now in its fourth year, this annual event turns eating one of our favourite foods into a charitable action. From September 22 and October 1, local restaurants across the city serve special pizzas for $20 or unique pizza-inspired dishes for $10 to $20. When you buy one of them, $3 from each pizza and part of the cost of the unique pizza dishes is given to Calgary Meals on Wheels. There will also be judges selecting the best pizza dishes in various categories.
There are 44 participating restaurants this year, including Madison’s 12|12, Pza Parlour, Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market, Scopa and Cibo. While some of the pizzas feature traditional toppings, others offer a twist with more unusual ones. The eateries in the “unique” category have taken things a step further, offering pizza creations in the form of tacos, stuffed burgers, macarons and nachos. The full list of participating restaurants and dishes is on the YYC Pizza Week website.
For those who need a little help narrowing the list down, here are 11 of the most interesting pizza dishes you can try this year.
Imagine everything you love about burgers on top of a thin pizza crust. That’s what you get with the backyard bacon cheeseburger pizza from The Garrison. The pizza features smoked bacon, ground sirloin, mozza, cheddar, red onions, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, not to mention mayo, ketchup and mustard.
2040 42 Ave. S.W., 403-243-4483, garrisonpub.com
Friendships have been tested and verbal wars waged on whether toppings like pineapple belong on a pizza. The Block Kitchen & Lounge is sure to start some debates by topping its YYC Pizza Week creation with a new fruit: peaches. The thin crust pizza is also topped with capocollo meat, bocconcini cheese and roasted red peppers.
2411 4 St. N.W., 403-282-1339, eatdrinkblock.com
Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches are re-interpreted in this pizza offering from Spot On Kitchen & Bar. It features marinated chicken satay, mozza and cheddar, cucumbers, marinated carrots, red onions, red peppers, garlic butter and a sprinkling of cilantro on a thick crust.
2 Richard Way S.W., 403-240-3619, spotoncalgary.com
Known for offering gluten-free pizzas that can be vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free, Avatara Pizza decided to think outside the (pizza) box with its Pizza Week offering. Imagine tomato sauce, ground beef, chorizo sausage and mozzarella tucked between a gluten-free hard taco shell, then topped with cilantro and mango salsa.
3406 3 Ave. N.W., 403-457-4992, avatarapizza.com
Is it a burger? A pizza? It’s both! Naina’s Kitchen is famous for its stuffed burgers, and it doesn’t disappoint with its meat lover’s pizza stuffed burger. The beef burger patty is filled with marinara sauce, bacon, Italian sausage and ham, then cheese, spinach and more sauce are added on top. All of this is sandwiched between two mini cheese pizzas that act as the bun.
121 17 Ave. S.E., 403-263-6355, nainaskitchen.com
4th Spot Kitchen & Bar is bringing the flavours of Nashville to Calgary. The American city is famous for its crispy hot chicken, which will top 4th Spot’s thick crust pizza along with bacon, banana peppers and three kinds of cheese. It also has a cheese sauce base.
2620 4 St. N.W., 403-984-3474, 4thspot.com
When you really think about it, waffles make a great substitute crust for pizza. At Roosevelt, you can get a pepperoni pizza served on pieces of waffle. Dip it in marinara sauce for the full experience.
933 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-9330, rooseveltcalgary.com
Pizza meets the quesadilla in this dish from Blanco Cantina. The quesadilla is filled with refried beans and ground beef, then red onions, tomatoes, cheese, black olives and green onions are baked on top.
723 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-1854, blancocantina.ca
For an ultra cheesy experience, try the Tony Rino from Grate & Barrel. The grilled cheese shop is serving up what it makes best (grilled cheese sandwiches) but with pepperoni and cheese on top. This is a great choice for those with food sensitivities, as it can be made into a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or lactose-free version.
627 1 Ave. N.E., 403-452-2966, facebook.com
A pizza topped with black truffle. Need we say more? This thin crust offering from Parm also comes with three cheeses, meatballs, bacon, bocconcini, grana padano, basil, oregano and garlic.
1207 1 St. S.W., 403-232-6230, parmyyc.ca
Poke bowls are all the rage right now, so why not try it in pizza form. The Still is serving a thin crust, gluten-free pizza topped with ahi tuna, brussel sprout leaves, an Asian slaw, ginger, garlic, soya and sesame oil.
270 14 Ave. S.E., 403-500-8885, thestillfinespirits.com