While Kansas City doesn’t have a signature style of pizza, we love our local pizza restaurants. A book or two could be written about Kansas City’s love affair with pizza. You could start with the mid-20th century pizza joints like Shakey’s, Zepi’s, Paul Schaal’s. Then there was the explosion of large chains like Pizza Hut and Godfather’s. But independent restaurants and local chains have held their own and are thriving these days.
One of my favorite pizza restaurants over the past decade and a half has been Waldo Pizza. It has had two locations, the original in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, and a second one in Lee’s Summit (the ownership of the second one may have changed). They have been slinging the pizza for over 30 years. The original location has all the pizza joint charm with unique decorations and several expansions. It has awesome pizza choices, specials like the lunch buffet, and an amazing staff. If I were taking an out-of-town visitor to a local pizza place, Waldo would be one of my top choices.
Waldo’s style of pizza could be described as “standard pizza house style.” There are no special gimmicks, just lots of options, executed well, with fresh ingredients. The fact that Waldo Pizza has an extensive vegan and gluten free menu shows that just about any dietary issue or taste preference can be met. As a vegetarian of 30+ years, I’ve never been a fan of vegan pizza, but Waldo does vegan pizza right. And the vegan and gluten-free portion of their menu isn’t just topping for one style of pizza, they also have vegan and gluten-free pasta, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
They offer three different vegan pizza crust styles: original hand-tossed, St. Louis thin crust, and Egg-Free Gluten-Free Crust. A variety of vegan “meats” and “cheeses” are available, as well as sauces. In addition to the common vegetable toppings, they offer almonds, black beans, arugula, eggplant, sauerkraut and much more. If you don’t want to mix up your own, they offer specialty pizzas like Vegan Tex Mex+, Vegan Cheeseburger, and Vegan Ratatouille.
Want a vegan pasta plate or sandwich? Try their Vegan B.Y.O. Sandwich or Vegan Philly Chicken Sandwich. Choose pasta types like cavatappi, penne, spaghetti and add sauces and toppings
Of course, Waldo Pizza has all the options for meat eaters. I’m going to share some of the more interesting options for meat eaters. Specialty pizzas include BBQ Pork Pie, “BFD” Breakfast for Dinner+, Pesto Chicken, The Greek+, and the Ratatouille. Meat sandwiches include Meatball Sandwich, Turkey Pesto Sandwich, Chicken Provolone, BBQ Sandwich, and more!
One of my favorite reasons for going to Waldo has been there amazing lunch buffet. It’s been several years since I’ve enjoyed it, for reasons we all know about, but the Waldo lunch buffet was popular, delicious and affordable. It was an all-you-can-eat special featuring trips to their salad bar, fresh pizza (including dessert pizza), and pasta.
While the salad bar may have looked very modest, it was packed with some great options. One special element: their house ranch dressing. The dressing was a destination in itself. I heard that the restaurant was offering their ranch dressing for sale as of 2020 or last year. Not sure about the status of that product offering, but their Ranch Dressing is superb.
I also really love Waldo Pizza’s staff. Over 15 years of visiting their restaurants, their staff have always been friendly and helpful.
Waldo Pizza Express has opened in Blue Springs inside the Cosentino’s Price Chopper.
7433 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64114