Friday and Saturday nights in high school for me regularly involved eating and going to the movies with friends. We had three movie theater locations to choose from but only one pizza place, Gianni’s Pizza that we would head to afterward.
Years ago it was a tiny brick joint with a handful of parking spots. Being a kid who couldn’t drive yet, all I cared about was having enough money for a large rootbeer with my pizza. Today I’m thrilled to report that Gianni’s is still in Monterey and still the BEST pizza around.
In an area like the Monterey Peninsula that gets so much of its money from visitors, it is understandable that if a restaurant or other business can’t produce a good product at a good price, then it is doomed to be replaced.
On Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey, there are lots of businesses that I have seen come and go over the years. However for a family visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium or a maybe a new college student at Cal State University Monterey Bay, you can’t go wrong with a meal at Gianni’s.
Today they have a large parking lot and the interior has expanded to including a separate dining room, a bar and the original picnic table seating near the kitchen. This is a great spot for birthday parties too. We grabbed a medium Gianni’s Combination when we were in town recently and it was everything that I remembered and still incredibly inexpensive after all these years. You can dine comfortably for about $20 which is amazing when you consider all the expensive and boring place a couple of blocks north along Cannery Row.
Savory sauce, hot dough that is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and full of flavor. I wish I knew the secret but seriously their crust is the best I have ever tasted. Maybe the secret is that it is still a family run business?
725 Lighthouse Ave
Monterey, CA 93940
Mon-Thu 3:30 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Fri-Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Photos by Sharon Castellanos