The Ultimate Guide to Pizza

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Top That

Forget boring pepperonilocal pizza joints are serving up pies with some one-of-a-kind toppings you have to try.

More Must-Try Toppings:

Shrimp at Mr. Bigg’s 
Thinly sliced Italian beef at Mr. Gilberti’s
Venison at Rocco’s Pizza Palace
Greek sausage at Arris’ Pizza
Jerk sausage at The Big Slice
Broccoli at Jax and Gabe’s Pizzeria
Avocado at Cravin’ Pizza
Date Lady Sauce at Pizza Nights at Millsap Farms


Pizza Nights at Millsap Farms
Millsap Farms, 6593 N. Emu Ln., Springfield, 417-839-0847,; to subscribe to the farm’s newsletter and be kept up-to-date on pizza nights, email farm owner Curtis Millsap at

On every Thursday night during the typical farmers’ market season (April through October), Millsap Farms invites you to try a pizza unlike any you’ve ever had before. The farm’s buffet-style pizza nights always feature several artisanal pies topped with whatever is being harvested that week. Earlier this year, the pizza spreads included drool-inducing topping combos such as bacon, kale and apple with bleu cheese, balsamic vinegar–caramelized squash and onion and even bacon, arugula and tomato with garlic aioli. Before you can enjoy a slice of pie, you have to pay $1 and become a member of the Pizza Club. Try This Pie: Any of the pizzas topped with Date Lady sauce


Altenhof Inn Restaurant and Pizzeria
680 Jakes Creek Trail, Branson, 417-338-5091, 

You’ll find plenty of the usual specialty pizzas at Altenhof Inn, but it’s the more unusual options that have our mouths watering. “The Bavarian Highlight has bratwurst, knackwurst, sauerkraut and onions,” says Gertraude Santo, the restaurant owner who came here from Germany in 1966. The medium-crust pies come in 7 or 12 inches, and there’s also a 10-inch thin crust on the menu. Those watching their waistlines can try the Slimline with mushrooms, olives, green peppers and onions. No matter what pie you order, make sure to dine in­—the restaurant has a great balcony with amazing views of Table Rock Lake. But plan accordingly—as a seasonal business, it usually closes around the end of November and opens back up in mid-March.Try This Pie: Gertraude’s Creation with hamburger, olives, mushrooms, green peppers and pepperoni


Cravin Pizza
3641 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-890-8255

(Editor's note: This restaurant has closed since the publication of this article.) While all of the pizza crusts at Cravin’ Pizza are thin, the crust on the Owner’s Deluxe is what owner Jim Ashford calls a much thicker thin. “We have to make it thicker because it has so many toppings on it,” Ashford says. A behemoth in the pizza world, the pie is piled with cheese, sausage, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, freshly sliced mushrooms, onions and bell peppers, slices of breakfast bacon, sliced tomatoes, kalamata olives and green olives. Another signature pie is the avocado pizza with Canadian bacon, tomatoes and avocado. Try This Pie: The Henry VIII with sausage, mushrooms, red onions, fresh tomatoes and jalepeños 


Garbo’s Pizzeria
C101 W. Chesterfield Blvd.,  Springfield, 417-883-9010,

Garbo’s Pizzeria is best known for its thin St. Louisstyle crust, its gooey, delicious provel and mozzarella cheese blend and its rather quirky topping combos. “Mom came up with all the recipes, and she’s quirky herself,” says Laine Scholz, who co-owns the restaurant with her mother Pam Babcock. Among the not-so-typical pies offered here is the Sauer Italian, topped with hamburger, green olives, mushrooms, Italian sausage, red onion, sauerkraut and Alfredo sauce. Before you indulge in a pie (also available with thicker crust, if you prefer), try Garbo’s house salad. It comes topped with a secret-recipe vinaigrette. Try This Pie: The spicy chicken pie with red onion, mushrooms, green peppers and Alfredo sauce. “It normally comes with red sauce, but it’s great with Alfredo because it offsets the spiciness,” Scholz says.


Jax and Gabe’s Pizzeria
1282 E. Republic Rd., Springfield,  417-890-1311,

Although it just opened last February, Jax and Gabe’s Pizzeria quickly became known for its signature New Yorkstyle pie. Workers at this south Springfield restaurant throw the dough high above their heads during prep to create that unrivaled thin crust that New Yorkstyle pizza is known for. And when you walk up to the counter, you’ll see a beautiful sight: a selection of pizzas sitting, ready to order by the large, foldable slice from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Of course, whole pies are also available for feeding your family (or a very, very hungry you). Broccoli and crushed garlic add excitement to the toppings menu, and the restaurant’s garlic knots make the perfect side. Try This Pie: The spinach and garlic pizza made with garlic butter sauce, crushed garlic, baby spinach and mozzarella, ricotta and Romano cheeses


JJ’s Woodfire Pizza
1612 S. Madison St., Webb City, 417-717-0418

JJ Spurlin, a professor at Missouri Southern State University, opened JJ’s Woodfire Pizza in January 2012. The restaurant offers 9- and 14-inch pies topped with homemade sauce and baked in a wood-fired oven with a red oak and hickory blend. The creations are often topped with produce from the Webb City Farmers’ Market, and a great time to try a bite is during the pizza buffet offered Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Monday nights from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. “We smoke our own brisket and our own pork loin for pizzas and put those out on the buffet,” Spurlin says. “It’s getting hard to even find a spot in here during that time.” JJ’s also serves a tasty dessert pizzaa streusel-cinnamon sugar concoction called the Pudgy Pie.   Try This Pie: The Big Easy- This spicy JJ's creation comes with Cajun sauce and seasoning, smoked sausage, onions, green peppers and jalapeños

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