The Pursuit of Pizza
I am emotionally involved with food. I think this is why I take the pursuit of certain foods so seriously. Pizza is the president of this pursuit for me. We’ve been in a serious relationship for a while now (totally Facebook official). Six years ago when I began eating gluten free (GF), I was probably most upset about missing out on bread and pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza?! I mean honestly, it’s hard to mess up crispy bread with cheese and your favorite assorted toppings.
If you’re new to the GF lifestyle, lucky for you, OKC has come a long way in its offerings of GF pizza. 6 years ago, the landscape was a barren desert wasteland of nothing. People didn’t know what gluten free meant and they definitely were n’t shipping GF crust to their restaurants. Thankfully, in 2015, the landscape is now lush and overflowing with options in all areas of our city. Below you’ll find a list of my favorite places, the reason I love them, delivery options (I KNOW!) and also a few options for you to use at home for pizza night with family and friends.
Keep in mind, dining out for pizza is going to include our friend Mr. Convenience Fee. This varies from place to place but remember that you’re not just paying for GF crust, you’re paying for someone to prepare it separately, bake it on a separate pan, and even cook it in a separate oven*. (*If you are celiac, be sure to ask your server or manager where the pizza is cooked to ensure you are not exposed to cross contaminates. Some places have a separate toaster oven for GF pizza; other places simply have a dedicated preparation space and pan but bake it in the same oven.)
The Wedge Pizzeria
Deep Deuce, Oklahoma City. 230 NE 1st St, Oklahoma City, OK; 405-270-0660; thewedgeokc.com
(Note: the Western location does not have GF pizza.)
The Wedge gets top honors from me because they were the first (to my knowledge) to comply with requests for GF pizza crust. Any pizza on their menu can be made GF and they even offer GF Wedge Bread! (Use your Keep It Local card to score one of these for FREE.) Also, they include GF pizza on their daily lunch special. Depending on what you order, you can expect to pay $11-14 (or more) for a personal-sized GF pizza. For my vegan friends, they have a vegan crust as well as vegan cheese!
BONUS: (Almost) year-round patio, chill vibe and often on the quieter side, they give your kids dough to play with while you wait, and they often show old black-and-white movies or TV shows as well as most Thunder games. Oh and hey, THEY HAVE BRUNCH!
Empire Slice House
Plaza District, Oklahoma City. 1734 NW 16th St, Oklahoma City, OK ; 405-557-1760; empireslicehouse.com
You have got to experience Empire Slice House if for no other reason than to marvel and applaud their creative menu. With names like Rocksteady, Brussel Westbrook, Notorious P.I.G., and Andre the Giant Meatball, it’s hard not to love this place. The Doug E. Fresh is my personal favorite and standing order. Any pizza can be done on GF crust and it’ll cost you $11. (That’s the cheapest you’re going to find, my friend!) My one criticism of the place is they play their music way too loud (#iam85). If you’re eating inside or on the side patio, be ready to battle the speakers for your partner’s attention. The front patio tends to be pretty chill if you don’t mind hipsters vaping on you.
BONUS: two patios, comic book walls, a giant pink elephant, and a pretty stellar music collection. Also, their staff is fantastic.
OKC, Edmond, Norman, Stillwater, Tulsa, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; hideawaypizza.com
Gosh, if you’ve lived in Oklahoma for very long it’s hard not to know about Hideaway Pizza. They’ve been around since 1957 and are known for their tie-dyed shirts, their cartoon mascot, and almost as much personal expression as Whole Foods employees. The local chain has expanded in the last few years, which means more locations to enjoy! They charge a $3 fee for GF pizza with additional toppings being extra and as far as I know, you can get GF pizza at all of their locations. I can personally vouch for the Norman, Automobile Alley, NW Expressway, and Edmond locations having GF on their menu. (Wow, I eat pizza often.)
BONUS: Locations are popping up everywhere. I can almost guarantee you’re within 15 minutes of one at any given time. Also, this place has a great vibe and is kid-friendly.
Sauced (The Paseo)
BJ’s Brewhouse (Memorial Road, Norman, OKC)
Pizza 23 (Uptown)
Revolve Pizza Kitchen (Memorial Road)
The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen (Food Truck)
If you don’t have a homemade pizza night at your house, I think you’re doing it wrong. At my house, homemade pizza is a regular occurrence as it allows us all to make what we want instead of arguing over toppings. The brands I’ve had the best luck with are Live G Free (available only at Aldi), Namaste Foods Pizza Crust Mix, (available online, at Sprouts, and Whole Foods) and Bisquick Gluten Free (available practically everywhere). Live G Free is my overall favorite. It bakes up light and fluffy while also getting crispy. Namaste is a chewier crust and can be very finicky while baking but tastes good. Bisquick is closer to a cookie consistency and also tastes a bit on the sweet side. This works well if you like putting some poached pears, balsamic glaze, and arugula on your pizza. Whew! That’s a lot of info! Go throw a pizza party, enjoy a local patio, and most importantly, enjoy some GF slices of pizza pie!
Did I miss your favorite local joint? Want to share a favorite pizza crust recipe? Have a connection to a place serving GF pizza? I’ d love to hear from you! You can reach me on Twitter (@EdibleOKC_GF) or email: mailto:EdibleOKC@gmail.com.