When the Roman’s Cafe location in Bluebonnet Village shopping center opened in 2018, with it came a new feature for the local restaurant family: a brick pizza oven. The addition allowed Roman’s to serve up traditional margherita and pepperoni pizzas as well as chicken shawarma and gyros versions layered on that crunchy baked crust. Customers can request gluten-free cauliflower crust, as well.
Rafat Roman, whose family has owned the Greek and Lebanese restaurants for decades, says the oven is also responsible for its fresh, homemade pita bread.
The pizzas are so popular, the Roman family is considering installing a brick oven at the Government Street location in the future. “People are loving it,” Roman says. “It’s really taken off.” 7756 Bluebonnet Blvd., romanscafe.net
French Market Bistro
Scan the expansive menu of fresh oysters and classic dishes at this upscale restaurant, and you’ll come across a small selection of pizzas worthy of your time. There’s a roasted vegetable option with all manner of charred veggies, a salty and sweet focaccia pizza with prosciutto, caramelized onion and goat cheese, and the Around the World, with pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions, mushrooms and mozzarella.
Pair it with a selection from the extensive wine menu, and you’ve got a classy night out. 16645 Highland Road, frenchmarketbistro.com
If you’re looking to get as far away from the typical pizza offerings as possible, look no further than Hello Sushi. The restaurant is well known for pushing the boundaries of Japanese fusion with small plates like Sushi Eggrolls and a Salmon Martini.
Then there’s the Sushi Pizza, featuring your choice of spicy tuna, spicy salmon or snow crab studded with avocado and drizzled with a house special sauce on top of a fried tortilla. 18291 Highland Road, hellosushi.com
New York Bagel Co.
Next time you pop in for lunch to grab one of those satisfying bagel sandwiches, consider going pizza-style instead. New York Bagel offers its take on pizza in the form of three open-faced bagel sandwiches.
There’s the popular Little Italy, featuring its house pizza sauce topped with mozz and Italian seasonings. You can add pepperoni to that, or turn it into a Veggie Pizza with mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and jalapenos. Then there’s the Village Pizza with fresh spinach, garlic, roma tomatoes and mozz. Multiple locations, nybagelcompany.com
Any trip up to St. Francisville requires a stop at Magnolia Cafe. The ramshackle restaurant gives day-trippers a homey atmosphere as well as a menu that runs the gamut from burgers to crawfish salad to quesadillas and even fried alligator.
So it comes as no surprise there’s a full pizza menu, too. Using a crust that’s hand-made daily, the restaurant offers six options, including a Chicken Pesto, a Veggie and the “Motherload,” topped with pepperoni, beef, ham, peppers, onions and mushrooms. 5689 Commerce St., St. Francisville, themagnoliacafe.net
Our Mom’s Restaurant & Bar
OK, you came for the burgers, obviously, but that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy a pizza craving, too. Among the many burger options—and there are more than 20 at your disposal—is the Pizza Burger. It stacks an 8-ounce patty with grilled pepperoni, fresh mozzarella and the restaurant’s house marinara on a sourdough bun.
The savory, melty Pizza Burger was unique enough to get a feature on the Cooking Channel show Food Paradise last spring. That should make it worthy enough to check off your must-try list. 250 W. Lee Drive, ourmomsrestaurant.com
Pizza at an Italian restaurant is commonplace, but at Gino’s, you have to ask for it. The longstanding Baton Rouge institution doesn’t advertise its pizza offerings on the online menu. But if you dine in at the cozy restaurant, you’ll see the words “when available” above a couple of pizza options on the physical menu.
The reason, according to owner Gino Marino, is that when the small kitchen is bustling, it’s harder for staff to spend time crafting a quality crust and toppings. But time your visit just right, and you can sample some favorites of the Gino’s regulars, such as the Around the World, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, ground meat, shrimp and even anchovies if that’s your thing. Then there’s Mama’s Special, harking back to a family favorite with pepperoni, Italian sausage, bell peppers, onions, the thinnest slices of fresh tomato, mozzarella and tomato sauce.
Marino suggests calling ahead to see if the pizzas are available. 4542 Bennington Ave., ginosrestaurant.com
This article was originally published in the March 2021 issue of 225 magazine.