Recently I traveled with my kids to Las Vegas. I'm not a fan of bringing kids to Vegas. Ever. But if you have to take your kids due to flaky babysitters, lack of a Grandma, or because you'll miss them terribly, you need to remember to eat away from the strip or spend triple your budget.
After paying $11.50 for a cold hot dog, I was so desperate to find a decent meal off the strip that I began cornering random hotel employees demanding, "Where do you eat?" After many of them (separately) suggested Metro Pizza, I packed up my 3 kids and headed out.
Walking into the family pizza restaurant I felt like I was coming home. It screamed of the few things I cherish: Family. Friends. Food. Voted Best Pizza by locals in Las Vegas year after year, Metro Pizza does little advertising. They don't have to. They are that good.
I grew up in Chicago, home of some of the best pizzerias. Here in Los Angeles we have many 'other' good foods, but when it comes to pizza in LA, residents just laugh. So when I travel and find a place that has food worth talking about, I have to share.
Metro Pizza. Strange name, I know. But after tasting their pizza, the only thing you'll be calling strange is that Metro Pizza isn't all over the country. Because with five restaurants all in one city, Las Vegas is quite lucky!
The owners, cousins John Arena and Joe Facchini began their pizza career at their NYC family pizzeria at age 14 working for 50 cents an hour! Both had never wanted to work in restaurants, but soon, fate and love for everything pizza would bring them to open a pizzeria together. They city picked to birth their pizza empire was Las Vegas, because Vegas is a place to go on vacation and if they live there, they'd be on vacation forever. (Course they said this before working 5 straight years without ever seeing the sun!). That was 45 years ago.
Cool Metro Pizza Facts:
1) Metro Pizza owners don't own pizzerias, they live and breathe pizza. Their favorite pastime is "throwing dough" with other brilliant creators of pizza and will travel across the world to do so even teaching classes to new pizzeria owners as far as Korea!
2) Dad, the 85 year old father of owner John, still, to this day, makes their secret cannoli cream recipe for their handmade cannolis! Which I have to say, is worth the trip alone!
3) Owner, John says Metro Pizza delivers to the strip but also adds that he doesn't like to. "Pizza is best straight from the oven to the table. When you put it in a box…it loses something."
Metro pizza has a huge wall on the back of their restaurant that has photos of guests visiting other pizza restaurants! Bring in a photo of yourself at another pizza restaurant in the country and they will give you 25$ off your bill! A real testament to the owners as they honor the great traditions of America's landmark Pizzerias!
So they next time you visit Las Vegas, plan a meal at Metro Pizza. You'll be glad you did and you can thank me here!