PUHI — From the traditional pies at Bobby V’s to the smoked ono and Gorgonzola rosemary sauce pizza at Kilauea Bakery and Pizza, Kauai’s a place to get a slice any way you like it.
Pizza Hut will deliver, or you can drop by the Scorpacciata for pepperoni straight out of the truck. Hit up Brick Oven for a happy hour beer with that homemade sauce, or go Italian at Pietro’s.
Some locals swear by Costco’s pizza — by the slice or the whole pie — with its open-air dining area.
Others prefer the upscale, lowlight atmosphere of a place like Kauai Pasta, with its fresh-daily sauces, dressings and deserts.
The competition for a big bite of the pizza market is fierce on Kauai and a new competitor with a big name has entered the fray: Domino’s. The franchise has added itself to the nearly 20 pizza-slinging shops on the island with a 4,000-square-foot store in the Hokulei Village Shopping Center.
It faces some strong rivals.
Brick Oven Pizza has locations in Kalaheo and Kapaa. Harbor Mall is home to Pietro’s Pizza Kauai, owned and operated by Tom Iannucci. Its brick oven was imported from Italy.
Hideaways Pizza and Pub offers soups and 12 different types of pizzas with a build-your own option. They’ve got everything from just a cheese pizza to the sautéed spinach and pear pie with goat cheese.
Then there’s Little Caesars at Kmart, which has a quick slice to go.
Many restaurants around Kauai, like Tahiti Nui in Hanalei, include pizza on their menus.
There’s good reason for all this fighting for a piece of the pie. According to Pizza Power Report:
• Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second.
• Pizza is about a $45 billion per year industry in the US and an estimated $130 billion worldwide.
• There are about 75,000 pizzerias in the United States.
• Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second. Each person in America eats about 46 pizza slices a year.
• Top 50 chains average unit sales, $577,909
It’s also a growing market.
Large pizza chains continued to expand beyond U.S. borders this year, with a focus on nations with rising disposable incomes, according to the Pizza Power Report.
Pakistan is the world’s fastest-growing retail market, according to Euromonitor International, with Pizza Hut planning to double its store count in Pakistan to 150 over the next five years. Almost two-thirds of the 200 million people in Pakistan are younger than 30, according to Bloomberg, with disposable incomes doubling since 2010 and 40 percent of household expenditure spent on food.
Pizzas in general are an affordable dinner. A large, depending on the restaurant, can range from $15 to $30. And yes, you can get them the way you want them: Thin or thick crust, hand-tossed, or even a crusted filled with cheese.
And, many people consider pizza a healthy meal. Depending on what you put on it, it can be.
“Pizza is, and has always been, an ever-evolving cuisine, especially when it comes to toppings,” says Joseph Englese, executive chef of National Market at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, which includes ZiZi’s Pizza, in Pizza Power Report. “One of the more interesting things that we have noticed with millennials is their love for ranch dressing and incorporating it into everything they eat, including pizza. At ZiZi’s, we experiment with a variety of toppings, like pineapple, clams and chicken, offering our patrons a chance to expand their palates, but we also maintain a constant presence of the traditional styles.”
Hawaii by the way, is picky about pizza toppings.
According to delish.com, ” This state is the only one where pepperoni didn’t make the list of favorite toppings. Artichoke hearts and ham are the wildcard additions that Hawaiians love (we would have guessed pineapple!), but they love a little sausage in the mix as well.”