marios pizza kitchen

Mario's Pizza Kitchen

Mario's Pizza Kitchen is nestled between two Caribbean restaurants at the center of an unassuming plaza. It's a little bit off the beaten path with the only clues to its existence its black sign, which features a cartoon pizza chef carrying a pie, and a pervasive aroma of Italian spices.

The restaurant itself is little more than a takeout counter surrounded by a small collection of tables. Large TV screens take up most of the west wall, while the east wall is covered with pictures of pizza toppings. The decor is nothing fancy, but gives the space a quaint, almost vintage vibe.

marios pizza kitchenMario's Pizza Kitchen first opened in 2020, when housebound Torontonians were starved for new takeout and delivery options. Owner Shelton Julian credits his former coworkers with sparking his interest in Italian food.

"When I first came to Toronto, I worked downtown," he explains. "I knew a lot of Italians and they took their food very seriously."

Wanting to be a part of the thriving culinary scene, Shelton made it his mission to learn all he could about Italian cuisine and provide customers with authentic yet affordable meals.

marios pizza kitchen"Everything's fresh here," Shelton says proudly. "A lot of Italian places say the same thing, but here, we really mean it. Everything's baked from scratch every day. Nothing's frozen."

True to his word, everything on the menu is handcrafted, from pastas and pizzas to sandwiches and salads. The restaurant also offers weekday deals, allowing customers to purchase select dishes for a fraction of their usual price.

Chicken parmigiana ($19.99) is a mainstay of Italian restaurants and Mario's take on the dish does not disappoint.

marios pizza kitchenThis lightly breaded cutlet is smothered in tomato basil sauce and served with a generous helping of penne. On Thursdays, the meal is available for $14.99, as part of the daily special.

The cajun chicken alfredo ($20.69) is dressed with a Creole-inspired cream sauce. Not only does this give the pasta a slight kick, it also enhances the grilled chicken and mushrooms that rest on top.

marios pizza kitchenThe classic lasagna ($17.29) is the perfect comfort food: filling without being heavy, moist without being greasy. Made from traditional ingredients, including ground beef, tomato sauce and stringy cheese, this multi-layered masterpiece will leave you feeling satisfied.

marios pizza kitchenBut with a name like Mario's Pizza Kitchen, it's obvious that their pies are meant to take center stage. Mario's offers more than a dozen types of pizza, each of which is available in three different sizes.

Prices vary based on both size and toppings, but their cash pickup special ensures that you get your money's worth, no matter what you order.

A small veggie pizza ($15) comes topped with black olives, green onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and mixed peppers, in addition to the usual pizza fixings.

marios pizza kitchenShelton claims that the chicken carbonara ($16.95) is the shop's most popular pizza to date. With its flavourful mix of meat and veggies, it's easy to see why. This white sauce pizza is covered with mushrooms, onions, grilled chicken, and bacon crumble.

marios pizza kitchenThe creamy alfredo sauce and crunchy bacon make an excellent combination, while the savoury vegetables give the crust a more sophisticated taste.

marios pizza kitchenThough somewhat secluded, this hidden gem has garnered a loyal following. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, consider coming in for a slice. The dining room is open until 11 pm.

marios pizza kitchenMario's Pizza Kitchen is located at 355 Pitfield Rd. Open 7 days a week.

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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