The Pitch put its stomach to the test with a three-day, 58-pizza-joint jaunt.

Three days, 58 pizza places, endless love 

The Pitch put its stomach to the test with a three-day, 58-pizza-joint jaunt.

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Bella Napoli

6229 Brookside Boulevard, 816-444-5041, kcbellanapoli.com

Amore? A taste of Rome in Brookside

Signature pie: The Giovanni (sausage, onion, peppers, tomato and mozzarella)

Noteworthy deal: 10-inch pies for $5 on Monday nights

Toppings: Great selection of Italy-centric cured meats

By the slice: No

Delivery: No

Price: Most pies are around the $10 mark.

Part café, part grocery, part classy restaurant, Bella Napoli is one of those quiet, easy-to-miss Brookside spots that makes the neighborhood a coveted place to live. The authentic Italian sandwiches are the star menu items, but the pizza is a close second. The crust is chewy (in a good way), and the mozzarella is always fresh. (The recipe and all ingredients for the dough are imported from Italy, the menu notes.)


Blue Grotto

6324 Brookside Plaza, 816-361-3473, bluegrottobrookside.com

Amore? Progressive wood-fired pies

Signature pie: Quattro Formaggio (bubbling ricotta, asiago, aged gouda, goat cheese, extra-virgin olive oil)

Noteworthy deal: Half-price 8-inch pizzas 3–6 p.m. weekdays

Toppings: Hard to beat the lamb sausage.

By the slice: No

Delivery: No

Price: Most $14

There's a pepperoni pizza on Blue Grotto's menu, but it's the type of place where you feel a little silly ordering it. If you're going to shell out $15 for a 12-inch pizza, you might as well go with something like the Merguez: lamb sausage, tomato, roasted pepper, olives and pecorino. Upscale is the name of the game here — the wine list is a cut above, and the Visitation moms who order glasses of it from the bar don't have any trouble paying for it — but the thin, adventurously conceived wood-fired pizzas are worth the price.


Caddy Shack  

700 East Third Street, 816-421-4742, caddyshackkc.com

Amore? It's a hole in the wall.

Signature pie: Supreme with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, red onion and green pepper

Noteworthy deal: 9-inch Meat Lovers for $11

Toppings: Limited but include anchovies.

By the slice: No

Delivery: Yes, to downtown, the River Market, North Kansas City, Briarcliff and the Plaza.

Price: $9–$16

Caddy Shack, a dusty dive east of the River Market, attracts the type of clientele that prefers the comforting haze of a few glasses of Maker's. Maybe that's why the city's drinkers rave about the pies here. Caddy Shack's grid-cut 9-inch pizza is the perfect size for a drinker. The crust is thin, without the saltine texture that snakebites other joints. The toppings are plentiful, with mounds of meats and veggies peeking out. It's good pizza to pair with a few drinks — and a solid sober lunch, too.


Café al Dente

412D Delaware, 816-472-9444, cafealdentekc.com

Amore? Good downtown pizza delivery is hard to find.

Signature pie: Several, but the Gray Cup stands out (white sauce, chicken, mushrooms, Canadian bacon and pepperoncini).

Noteworthy deal: Happy hour 4–7 p.m. with $2.25 domestic bottles

Toppings: Smoked Cajun sausage, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini

By the slice: No

Delivery: Yes

Price: $9.75 for a 12-inch regular cheese pie; $17.75 for a 16-inch specialty pizza, like the Draft Pick (mushrooms, green pepper, onion, black olives, zucchini, eggplant and tomato).

Nestled on a cozy corner of one of Kansas City's best streets (Delaware), Café al Dente quietly slings some of the tastiest pies in the metro. This is the place for speciality pizzas — with 12 options, all bearing football-themed names — like the 1st & 10 (pepperoni, Canadian bacon, hamburger, sausage, Italian sausage, mushrooms, green pepper, onion and black olives). The pizzas come on a firm crust with golden brown cheese and toppings stuffed inside. Don't have time to dine in? Café al Dente delivers downtown for $1.50. Tip your driver.

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