York Region Eats: Abruzzo Pizza
One of the best family-style Italian restaurants sits right in York Region at 9010 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill. If you’re not familiar with the address, you may be familiar with the modest-looking brick building accented by a bright red and green sign with large white lettering that reads ABRUZZO PIZZA. For over three decades, Abruzzo Pizza has been making authentic, home-cooked Italian food, known by locals as a staple in the Richmond Hill community.
Abruzzo Pizza was established by brothers Sergio and Vince in 1981 after emigrating from Italy, with one goal in mind: to build a restaurant with a “family home kitchen.” In Italian culture, the kitchen is a vessel for gathering together; family bonding and great food come together as one. With this image in mind and with their knowledge of both the culture and authentic Italian cooking, Sergio and Vince opened Abruzzo Pizza. They named it after Abruzzo, a region in Southern Italy, and one of the most idyllic places to visit in the country. The place is known for its world-renowned wines, spectacular views, and of course, restaurants with amazing food.
All of Abruzzo’s famous pizzas, along with my personal favourite, the gargantuan panzarottis, are made using the brothers’ special dough recipe and tomato sauce made from tomatoes imported straight from Italy. Their golden coloured cheese is made from a three-cheese blend, adding to Abruzzo Pizza’s unmatched flavours. Their generous menu of additional toppings includes everything from anchovies to hot soppressata to sun-dried tomatoes, all hand-picked each day. For those with dietary restrictions or looking for a healthier option, the menu also includes gluten-free and whole wheat dough options, both of which have also received stellar reviews.
There’s no denying that once you bite into that soft dough covered in the perfect amount of melted, bubbling cheese and fresh ingredients, you’ll start to understand why people keep coming back.
Not only is Abruzzo Pizza known for its fresh ingredients, good prices, and good service, the restaurant is also heavily involved in their community. They are known to sponsor Richmond Hill minor league baseball teams and local school lunches, and on holidays like Halloween, offer “trick-or-treat” cheese slices to children who walk into the restaurant in costume.
What Abruzzo Pizza has built over the years is not just a place to go for delicious food. They have created a community within a community; a family. People come back for the memories, for the food, and for the people, with Abruzzo constantly being praised for their great customer service and friendly staff.
The establishment recently expanded into a neighbouring unit to include a proper dining area, which unfortunately is currently closed under COVID-19 restrictions. But if you’re suddenly finding yourself craving a hefty cheese pull from a dough-y panzo (just me?), then call Abruzzo Pizza today as they are open and accepting take-out and delivery orders, and Ready When You Are!
Photos by Valeria Nunziato and Abruzzo Pizza’s Instagram.