Winter Park was an area to the north of Orlando which remained mostly undeveloped until after a railway line was laid between Orlando and Sanford. When a New Hampshire-born-gentleman, Loring Chase, traveling to Orange County for a period of convalescence, saw the lake-dotted lands, he decided to purchase them and build a town there. Chase set up a company with another town developer and Winter Park began to take shape.
After a few years, Chase and his partner sold the land and properties to a larger property company that continued its development. One of the buildings they constructed was the Seminole Hotel and Winter Park's evolution from purely residential into a budding tourist resort began.
Although it wasn't by the coast, Winter Park soon became renowned for its lake scenery and parklands. As the resort grew in size it needed more workers to deal with the daily grind of keeping them satisfied. When Italians resettled in Winter Park to take on jobs in the tourism industry, they spotted the lack of eateries and were quick to open restaurants and serve pizza to the ever-increasing number of visitors.
When the first pizzerias opened their doors in Winter Park the food fashion was for mega-sized, thin-crust pies That's what the restaurants served and so Winter Park became known for New York-style pizza. A few years later though, the pizzerias began to develop their own individuality by baking the pizzas from the regions of Italy they originated from and now in Winter Park you'll find all types of pies. From Sicilian, to Roman, to Neapolitan and even Tuscany-style, boring or bland pizzas are definitely a thing of the past in Winter Park. The pizzerias of Winter Park are innovative when it comes to topping their pies no matter what style they form the dough base into. Expect to see some combinations created with serious flair when you're reading through the menus and if you can come up with something more original than what you see, they'll be happy to make that for you too.
Tuscany Pizza on Howell Branch Road doesn't have the look of a traditional Italian trattoria by a long way. But in the case of this pizzeria appearances can definitely be deceiving, as they make the best delivery pizza in Winter Park. There's really no denying that Tuscany Pizza looks like a fast food joint inside and out with its bright neon signage and bar-style counter. There are no burgers and fries on the menu though; just great pizzas you'll be calling to order time and time again. Their PoFolks Pizza is an absolute masterpiece of creative cookery and carries mashed potatoes, shredded ribeye steak, bacon, and onions, as well as two types of cheese. If you couldn't decide between a pizza or a steak dinner, with this pie you won't need to.
When you've been out taking a wander around some of the smaller lakes either side of University Boulevard, you don't need to head into town to pick up a pizza. You'll find the best take-out pizza in Winter Park comes from NY Pizza Baby which is over on Aloma Avenue. NY Pizza Baby, as the name might suggest, specializes in New York-style pizza so you can grab a slice or order an entire pie to go. While this pizzeria's premises are nothing much to write home about and in fact not even worth a mention, you'll find their pizzas are quite a different thing. From a small kitchen kitted out with more pie cartons than it has worktop space, they produce some amazing pizzas. Try one of their Sriracha Chicken, Alla Peyton Alexis, or NY Wild Hot and you'll soon realize why there's always a queue of vehicles waiting to get into their parking lot.
Black Hammock is a rural community with just a few hundred inhabitants that if it weren't right on the shores of Lake Jessup probably wouldn't be worth doing the fifteen-mile drive it takes to get there. It is on the shores of Lake Jessup though and that's where you can go to do some spotting of the Florida wildlife. You won't need to stand on the shoreline with a pair of binoculars either as you can board an airboat ride from the waterfront Black Hammock Restaurant and Lazy Gator Bar. Make skimming over the alligator-infested lake even more exciting by doing it on a jet ski instead, but remember to keep your feet well away from the water. Grilled alligator tail is a specialty at the lakeside restaurant, but if you can't stomach that, go for a pie at Mad Hatter's Pizza on Geneva Drive.
If you enjoy scenic driving, head west out of Winter Park to Paradise Heights. Don't stop in Paradise Heights, but head for the north shore of Lake Apopka where you can join the eleven-mile-long specially paved route that will allow you to spot wildlife from your vehicle. There are special pull-ins where you can park up to get a closer look at anything you see of interest which could vary between semi-submerged alligators to otters or any one of over three-hundred and fifty species of birds. Pick up a take-out pizza from the Winter Garden Pizza Company on West Street before you set off and you'll have something to nibble on the way.
Sanford is another lakeside city in the Winter Park region of Florida. It’s sandwiched between the Black Bear Wilderness Area, the outer reaches of the Seminole State Forest, and is fronted by the expansive waters of Lake Munroe. There's a large marina there where you can hire a craft to go boating, a riverside walk that runs parallel with the St Johns River, and a beach. The city has a historic Downtown area where you can discover museums as well as craft breweries. Have a good look around then take a table at Pacino's Pizzeria on Rinehart Road for a pizza.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best Sicilian-style pizza in Winter Park?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Winter Park?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best New York-style pizza in Winter Park?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best gluten-free pizza in Winter Park?