Best pizza: Knolla’s Pizza offers slices of originality

Engineering senior Mark Galimi has been a self-described diehard fan of Knolla’s Pizza since he was a little kid.

“The greatest thing about their pizza is how unique it is,” Galimi said. “The sauce is bursting with a bold tomato flavor, and the cheese always hits the spot, but the most delightful thing their pies offer is the crust — a satisfying base with a toasty outside covered in crispy bread crumbs and a soft center. Knolla’s crust doesn’t compare to any other pizza found in Wichita.”

Knolla’s Pizza has been serving Wichitans since 1988, when the Knolla family opened their first pizzeria in Kansas. 

The family’s pizza roots started with Pizza Hut in the 1970s when the restaurant chain’s corporate headquarters was located in Wichita. Two of the Knolla brothers quit their corporate careers to follow their passion, traveling to New York City to learn the art of pizza crafting from Sicilian artisans.

Today there are four Knolla’s locations in Wichita owned by three different Knolla brothers at West 13th, West Central, East Central and North Maize Road. Knolla’s Pizza has been voted the best pizza in Wichita four years in a row.

There are plenty of options at Knolla’s, at prices about what you’d expect — a medium specialty pizza will cost around $15.

From personal-sized, deep dish and New York-style pizzas to breadsticks, cheese bread, meatballs, sandwiches, wings, salads and more, the Knollas take pride in their fresh, handmade dough and quality ingredients. 

The pizzeria offers all the usual toppings Midwesterners are accustomed to, plus feta cheese, pesto and more. Some of Knolla’s more creative pizzas include the “ICT Pizza,” topped with bacon, barbecue, minced garlic, basil, beef, onions, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese with a garlic butter crust, the “Coney Island,” topped with chili, onions, diced pickles, all-beef hot dogs, beef, cheddar cheese and mustard, and the “Buffalo Style Chicken” topped with baked, marinated chicken breast, barbecue sauce, diced celery, mozzarella and cheddar cheese.

Knolla’s isn’t just popular with the customers, either — Karsyn Konecny and Evie Bryan, who work in the Piccadilly Square store at Central and Rock Road, said the job is good, the food is great and business is booming.

“Everyone’s really nice here,” Konecny said. “I’ve been here since August and I really like it.”

“It definitely keeps us busy,” Bryan agreed. “There’s always something to do.”