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208 West Maple, Independence, 816-461-2929, squarepizzasquared.com
Amore? If Richie Cunningham and Potsie were working behind the counter, it could pass for a 1950s malt shop. And all the pies are baked in square brownie pans.
Signature pie: The Square House Supreme, with pepperoni, Italian sausage, beef, red onion, green pepper and fresh mushrooms
Noteworthy deal: The 10-inch Six Cheese Pizza costs just $2 more than the 10-inch Three Cheese Pizza.
Toppings: On the exotic end of the spectrum — banana peppers, roasted garlic and pine nuts
By the slice: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. only.
Price: A slice costs $4.29; whole pies are $10–$21.90.
Owned by Independence powerhouse lawyer Ken McClain, this small-town pizzeria serves a pizza with a deliciously doughy crust — not unlike the kind served in your high school cafeteria, but less greasy.
The Stone Canyon Pizza Co.
15 Main, Parkville, 816-746-8686
8630 Northwest Prairie View Road, 816-741-4444
Amore? Big-league pizza in a small-town setting
Signature pie: Stone Canyon Choice (classic pizza sauce with mozzarella, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, ground beef, American sausage and sliced Italian meatballs)
Noteworthy deal: A two-topping mini pizza, a fountain drink and a choice of side salad or cup of soup for $7.95 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Toppings: A deep roster of meats, veggies with some premiums — sauces (KC Masterpiece, basil pesto, Alfredo, roasted garlic, olive oil), cheeses (goat, feta, asiago, romano), and crusts (gluten-free and crispy cracker)
By the slice: No
Price: From $7.95 for a 10-inch cheese pizza to $19.95 for a 14-inch Bob's Whole Hog (Canadian bacon, smoked bacon, Italian sausage, American sausage and KC masterpiece BBQ sauce with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses).
We don't need excuses to go to Parkville. But when we make the trip, and a pizza craving hits, we target Stone Canyon Pizza Co. The pizza joint offers so many choices, for such a fair price, that we can't resist. You want options? There are 13 specialty pies, for starters. But we like to build our own, keeping it simple with an original crust, classic sauce, mozzarella and American sausage or choosing from mix-and-match crusts, sauces, cheeses, meats and veggies. Get it to go and eat in neighboring Riverfront Park in the spring.
13386 Metcalf, Overland Park, 913-685-1667, sugoscucina.com
Amore? This is almost classic St. Louis–style pizza, baked on a paper-thin, slightly crispy crust. If it were authentic St. Louis pizza, the crust would be yeast-free.
Signature pie: The Babbo, topped with tomato sauce, sausage, caramelized onion, balsamic glaze, and oregano
Noteworthy deal: The pies average about $11.
Toppings: Limited but stylish
By the slice: No
Sugo's is the brainchild of St. Louis–based restaurateur Michael Del Pietro, the grandson of Roy Russo — who is credited with serving the first pizza in St. Louis in 1954. Sugo's may have the closest thing in KC to St. Louis-style pizza. The pies here — the kinds that Dean Martin used to sing about — are inexpensive enough that ordering an additional salad or entrée to share can make a very filling meal.
4730 Rainbow, Westwood, 913-262-7883, suteras.com
Amore? Casual dining for frugal Mission Hills types
Signature Pie: Stick to the basics; a supreme will get you where you want to go.
Noteworthy deal: A 7-inch, two-topping personal pizza with a salad for $8.99
Toppings: Sliced sausages
By the slice: No
Price range Large two-toppings for $13.99
Its locations in the West Bottoms and Brookside are long gone, but Sutera's lives on in a strip mall off Rainbow Boulevard in a nexus of Fairway, Westwood and Mission Hills. The casual vibe — lots of middle-aged men wearing polo shirts drinking Bud Lights after 18 holes — is a welcome one considering the affluent neighborhoods that surround it. As for the pizza: The sauce is sweet, the crust is on the thin side but pleasantly moist, and the slices are cut into squares. If you're looking for evidence of Mission Hills snobbery, you won't find it here.