4345 S Broadway, Gary, IN 46409
Gary in Indiana came into being as a permanent settlement in the early 20th century after a steel plant was set up there. New housing for the plant workers soon sprang up and in the first decade of its existence Gary's population spiralled to over sixteen thousand. Gary continued to evolve as an industrial city at a rapid pace and the promise of well-paid, stable employment attracted migrant workers of all nationalities from all corners of the United States. By the 1960s, Gary had spread its urban reach over almost one-hundred and fifty square miles and was inhabited by nearly two hundred thousand people. The ensuing decades were not so kind to the steel industry though, and as plants closed down, workers who found themselves redundant had to find a different way to earn a living. A few of Italian descent made the brave move to open the first pizzerias in Gary and even though the city's population was in serious decline, managed to make a success of their new businesses.
Times were hard for many in the latter decades of the 20th century when the pizzerias in Gary were opening their doors. Money and produce for the new businesses had to be made the most of so Gary is known for thin crust pizza. Thin crust pizza is a traditional Italian pie that consists of a slim dough base, tomato sauce and cheese plus whatever extra toppings are either added by the chef or chosen by the customer. Thin crust pizzas originate from the Naples and Rome regions of Italy and are usually cut into triangular wedges for serving. For some unknown reason, most of the pizzerias in Gary like to cut their pies into squares the same as a Detroit-style pizza would be. Does that affect the taste? Not at all and it also means you get more crustless middle pieces to nibble on.
To get the very best delivery pizza in Gary you have to order from a pizzeria that's ready for action, knows how to have all their preparation done in time for the rush hour and has an organised delivery service. That pizzeria in Gary is Samia Pizza. Samia Pizza is a family-owned and run pizza joint that started small and worked hard to build their business. That wouldn't have happened if their pizzas weren't as good as they are. After starting out selling their pizzas in gas stations and stores, Samia Pizza now has a premises on West 5th Avenue. It might not look much externally, but inside the kitchen is a palace of shining stainless steel that's primed for making pizza and make them they do and usually by the dozen too.
There are some great trails in Gary like the Hobart Woodland Trail and the Prairie and Oak Savannah Trail. If you've been out all morning on either of those and starting to head home, you're probably thinking about where you can get the best take-out pizza in Gary and who can blame you. You'll find the best take-out pizza in Gary is baked at Beggars Pizza on South Broadway. Beggars is housed in a medium-sized, independent premises where the onus is on take-out and delivery rather than eat in. At Beggar's they make both thin crust, stuffed pies and Chicago-style deep dish pies. They don't have a menu of ready-made ingredient combinations so whichever pizza type you choose you need to pick what goes on it.
When you're in Gary and need to escape from its big city vibe the best place to head for is Beverly Shores twenty miles further east. In Beverly Shores you'll have a choice between Indiana Dunes State Park where you can get lost in the sand on the 3 Dune Challenge Trail or the more populated Kemil Beach which is a favorite with surfers. If the dune challenge wasn't enough then head for the inland Calumet Trail which is a nine mile out and back hike, if you do it all, where deer are often spotted if the cyclists don't scare them away. When you're all hiked out drop by the Goblin and the Grocer on West Dunes Highway for some pizza.
If you want to spoil the kids with a fun day out take them to Whiting. Whiting is a short ten mile drive from Gary so it won't take long to get there. The kids will have a ball in the Mascot hall of Fame Museum trying to name all the familiar characters they recognise. After you've finished there, take them for a splash at the WhoaZone on Whihala Beach where the floating obstacle course will keep them busy for a spell while you relax watching from the shoreline. If they've still got energy left after that, wander up and down the shoreline in search of shells before going to Beggars Pizza Whiting on 119th Street for a big pie.
When your kids are not so small they can handle a thirty mile journey in a car without getting sick, take them to Orland Park in Illinois. If you go in the Fall, it'll be the right time for a visit to Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm to grab a few pumpkins for Halloween. If not, they won't be too disappointed if you pull up in the parking lot of the Centennial park where there's a massive water park with lots of chutes. Once they've dried off, introduce them to something just a little different by taking them to Space Golf for an indoor game of alien-themed mini golf. They'll love it as much as they'll love eating pizza after at Pizza Pete on South La Grange Road.
Q: What restaurant has the best create your own pizza in Gary?
Q: What restaurant has the best gluten-free pizza in Gary?
Q: What restaurant has the best thick crust pizza in Gary?
Q: What restaurant has the best Chicago-style pizza in Gary?