Clovis and Fresno are upping their pizza games with the opening of five new places.
More than just the standard Italian fare, one of the pizza places coming to town is Marco’s Pizza, a franchise that has 900 locations worldwide.
The other spots are diverse: They serve Indian and Mexican pizzas, along with the traditional pepperoni pizzas.
Marco’s Pizza is a big company with most of its restaurants in the eastern half of the United States. As a franchise though, its Clovis location is locally owned. It’s near Armstrong and Herndon avenues, in a new building across the parking lot from Subway.
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Marco’s is scheduled to open Sunday, March 10.
Here’s what owner Michael Caldwell said you need to know about the new-to-Clovis restaurant: The regular crust is pretty thick compared to most pizza places, but its thick crust is even thicker. It also has thin crust and gluten-free crust options.
Marco’s also has free crust toppers – garlic butter that’s brushed onto the crusts and then topped with seasoning, like bits of basil or Parmesan cheese, for example.
Caldwell’s favorite pizza is the pepperoni magnifico, with both regular pepperoni and “old world pepperoni.” That’s the tiny pepperoni pieces that “kind of curl up and get real crispy” when baked, he said.
He also recommends the vegetarian pizza, made with veggies and feta cheese.
It also sells subs, salads, chicken wings and chicken poppers.
Marco’s will hold a grand opening event with free food, carnival games from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 24.
Details: 2230 Herndon Ave., Clovis. 559-472-0090.
The Curry Pizza Co. is a locally owned independent pizza place that opened its first location in Fresno in 2017. Its new location, though technically not in Clovis is just across the street from it. It is planning to open the same day as Marco’s, Sunday, March 10, at the northwest corner of Willow and Nees avenues near the Wassabi on Fire restaurant.
The Curry Pizza Co. will be a bigger location than the original, with more seating and more emphasis on craft beer.
This restaurant caters to all kinds of pizza lovers: Meat eaters, Indian food lovers and vegans.
“The savage” is the most popular pizza here, topped with pepperoni, bacon, sausage, bell peppers and mushroom, said co-owner Malhi Singh, a DJ-turned-restaurateur.
Pizzas with Indian toppings include butter chicken and tandoori paneer. An Indian cheese, paneer makes an appearance on several pizzas.
The restaurant also has a separate vegan menu with many of the items made with vegan cheese. That includes pizza, breadsticks and loaded curry waffle fries.
Details: 2930 E. Nees Ave., Fresno. 559-365-7000.
Chicago’s Pizza With A Twist is another pizza place serving both traditional and Indian pizza. It opened its first location in Clovis about a month ago.
It’s a franchise that has two locations in Fresno.
Chicago’s has got all the regular pizzas – like the all meat, and a spicy Hawaiian – but also pizza with Indian food toppings.
The menu has chicken tikka masala pizza made with tikka sauce, for example, and a curry veggie pizza. The butter chicken pizza is one of the most popular, made with spices like garlic, ginger and cilantro. Some pizzas have paneer, an Indian cheese.
You can also get “naan pizzas,” the Indian flatbread topped with butter sauce and either butter chicken or cheese. Garlic, ginger and green chiles can be added by request.
Details: 497 N. Clovis Ave. 559-921-0000.
Sunnyside Pizza used to be in the Sunnyside neighborhood for 19 years, but its lease expired. It recently moved to Fowler and Nees avenues in Clovis – far from the Sunnyside neighborhood, but not far from Sunnyside Avenue.
The pizza place is family-friendly pizza place with beer and wine. It’s been extremely busy since it moved.
One popular favorite: The Mexican pizza, topped with refried beans, onions, jalapenos, bacon and chorizo.
“We’ve been surprised that a lot of people on this side of down are trying it and they like it,” said owner Enrique Rosales.
Details: 1175 N. Fowler Ave., Clovis. (559) 321-8819.
Otti’s Pizza is a Mexican pizza place in that the original three locations are located in Ensenada, Mexico. Their first one outside that city is in Fresno.
It opened about a month ago in the same shopping center as CVS at Shaw Avenue and Fresno Street. It’s run by Ana Falcon, a member of the family that runs the restaurants in Mexico.
Its menu is partially in Spanish and partially in English. But don’t worry, you can probably figure out pizzas named “carnivora” and “vegetariana” no matter which language you speak.
It also has a Mexican pizza. The Mexicana features beans “smashed” into a spread instead of tomato sauce, and is topped with mozzarella cheese, jalapenos, red onion, chorizo and bacon.
“It’s something different that we’re bringing from Mexico,” Falcon said.
The restaurant also has spaghetti, breadsticks, and wings served with a popular mango habanero sauce.
Otti, if you’re wondering is the owners’ first kid - their dog Otti who they named the restaurant after.
Details: 337 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno. 559-222-2323.