Restaurants

Gluten-Free Pizza Everywhere In Toronto!

17 Comments 16 April 2008

Kim’s aunt in Canada tipped us off that Pizza Pizza (a huge pizza chain comparable to America’s Pizza Hut) now has gluten-free pizza! It is available at 50 locations in Toronto and you can even have it delivered!  Here is an excerpt from the The Star:

Pizza Pizza’s chief marketing officer, Pat Finelli, says the trial at 50 GTA locations has been so successful the company will expand it across the country. The reaction has been even stronger than with the launch of whole-wheat and multi-grain crusts, he notes. Last week they sold 2,100 gluten-free pizza crusts with no advertising, other than word-of-mouth and a mention on their website.

Hopefully other food companies everywhere will see this and want to get their piece of the gluten-free sales action!

While we’re talking about Canada…

Evidently the Montmartre Bakery in Scarborough sells gluten-free breads.
105 Midwest Road
Scarborough, ON
M1P 3A6
416-757-7771

AND…

The Magic Oven also has gluten-free pizza.

So here is the question: Have any of our Canadian readers tried any of these places? What did you think? Now will someone pleez go scarf down a Canadian bacon w/pineapple for me?

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Your Comments

17 Comments so far

  1. 1
     
    Allison says:

    There is a Pier 49 in Salt Lake City that also offers gluten-free pizza. I was go excited to finally have pizza again!

  2. 2
     
    KAZ says:

    I am so excited to hear that Pizza Pizza is doing this!! I’ve mainly gone to the Magic Oven for my pizza, and the food they have there is just delicious. Along with a gluten intolerance, I have a wide range of food allergies so it’s nice to know spots like these exist.

    There’s also a spot in Toronto called Big Mama’s Boy that offer gluten free meals on their menu. I’ve not been there yet, but it’s on my list!

  3. 3
     
    Maggie says:

    Oh how I wish I lived in Canada right about now… : )

  4. 4
     

    I LOVE Toronto and do a convention up there every year – I’m SO going to Pizza Pizza before I leave this time! Thank you so much for posting about this! Pizza and doughnuts are the only two big things that I miss. 🙂

  5. 5
     
    Olivia says:

    I’m from Toronto originally and so pleased to hear this! Pizza Pizza is ubiquitous there (I can still hear their jingle in my mind – 967, 11, 11, call Pizza Pizza…) and I think it’s major that they now offer a gf option!

  6. 6
     
    Sweet Cyd says:

    Well, I read this post and immediately ordered a GF pizza. Not only was it a disappointment, but it made both me and my celiac friend ill. It has taken 7 hours for me to regain enough strength to write this. I wanted to post as soon as I could. Though others may have more positive experiences, it is good to know the bad with the good. I could tell that the crust was gluten free, but I suspect that it was highly contaminated. The order taker made me feel like a freak for asking for the ingredients in the crust: she kept saying – “it’s gluten free” – and nearly shouted at me.

    Frankly, it is hard enough, as you can see from Sarita’s ‘thesis’ 🙂 , to make one restaurant gluten free, when the owner/chef/cook is dedicated to the concept. When the preparation is not motivated from within the operation, it is nearly an impossibility. It seems to me that Pizza Pizza is just cashing in on what seems to be a desperate market (and we are that!). My guess is that most of the outlets don’t have a real clue as to how important it is to keep the food uncontaminated. I will never order from them again. I would rather not eat pizza than get this sick again. It brings back memories of pre-diagnosis. So …

    On a more positive note:

    I usually order from Magic Oven. They provide clean, clean, never-have-to-worry, GF food. They are certainly not a footnote to Pizza Pizza, they are the real thing. I NEVER have to worry about the quality of the food. From the gluten free grain salad (9 on a scale of 1 to 10 -luscious and delicious and good for you too!!) to the carefully made pizzas, this is the queen of GF pizza in this city. They are occasionally a little uneven but will rectify any customer complaint. I am a fan – and remain one, after this evening of feeling really really sick from the Pizza Pizza fiasco.

  7. 7
     
    CeliacChick says:

    Thank you all for your comments!

    Thank you, Sweet Cyd, for your thorough review. I had wondered if a big chain would be able to deal with the cross contamination issue. Hopefully you reported the problem you had to Pizza Pizza. The more they hear about this the more they will have to take precautions. Picazzo’s in AZ does an amazing job with several stores…so it is possible.

    Allison and Sweet Cyd- if you guys want to take photos and get the story on your favorite gf pizza places I’ll publish them. 🙂 Email me for more details.

  8. 8
     
    Ben says:

    On a positive note, I know people who have tried the pizza at Pizza Pizza and said it was better than Il Fornello and Magic Oven and they were not sick. I felt the same when I tried it. I think Pizza Pizza just has to keep on top of their employees to make sure they do not use the same utensils etc. to avoid cross-contamination. I hope this doesn’t deter other because it is really yummy!

  9. 9
     
    Jodi says:

    ‘nother canuck here in Toronto and I’ve ordered this from pizzapizza twice now and have had no problems with it. I think there’s a large learning curve for the stores – bear in mind this isn’t one or two franchises, it’s thousands and trying to educate everyone is going to take time but I applaud them for taking it on! Think about the number of people employed at these stores who are now learning not just what gluten is but how to avoid contamination… let alone the number of customers who will be inquiring about it!! (For the Americans, this is akin to Little Casear’s taking on gluten-free.)

    SweetCyd – the problem may not have been the crust, but the pepperoni. The second time I ordered – which was last week – the operator told me they’d just received a memo advising that the regular pepperoni contains gluten. If you decide to order again, make sure to ask for the special “New York Pepperoni” which IS gluten-free. (Pretty cool that they found a way to accomodate that issue!)

    Personally, I can’t stand the Magic Oven crust. I thought it tasted like cardboard and it’s ridiculously expensive, especially compare to pizzapizza.

    I did like the pizza at Big Mama’s Boy but again, it’s very expensive and I’d say the crust was good, but not great.

    I really like the pizzapizza crust. In fact, I thought it tasted very close to their usual crust which I’ve missed so much. Personally, I will keep ordering it.

    Thanks Celiac Chicks for posting this!

  10. 10
     
    Joanne says:

    I have yet to take the leap to try pizza pizza’s gluten free option primarily b/c of my concerns about the high even likely possibility of cross contamination. So I’m very interested in hearing people’s feedback / research on how they are going to manage this. As we all know it goes far beyond just offering it on the menu. Although it is an enormous undertaking my hope is that pizza pizza gets supportive recommendations so that they feel motivated to continue. This step is as big as budweiser making a gluten free beer. I live in the suburbs and ordering out is just plain difficult and discouraging. I’m cautiously excited that if this is successful (by celiac standards) I could be able to eat pizza with my co-workers at team meetings… when I don’t feel like cooking we could just “order in”. I don’t mean this to be negative or judgemental, my comment is a reflection of my worry not my attitude. But right now, I am not convinced that pizza pizza kitchens or staff are prepared to truly keep the flour off their hands / counters / utinsels / toppings and out of the gluten free pizza.

  11. 11
     
    melanie says:

    I’m happy to hear that Pizza Pizza is offering gf…it means that there’s a possibility that other restaurant chains in Canada will take notice and offer gf selections as well. I live in Ottawa and I will def try the gf pizza when they make it available here. It’s very important to note that Pizza Pizza has a company website. Use the “contact us” info they provide to address the contamination issue. We can educate them on the issue and provide suggestions/solutions because we’ve been gf longer than they have. We’ve gotten over our learning curve. Criticizing will only discourage Pizza Pizza and other restaurant chains from continuing their gf efforts.

    As for gf pizza in Ottawa, I always order mine from Bella Vista Restaurant. It’s so amazing!! The sauce on the pizza is awsome. I literally cried the first time I ate it because it was so good, it tasted like pizza I used to have as a kid. 🙂

  12. 12
     

    i have yet to try a gluten free pizza. I wonder whether it will taste as good .

  13. 13
     
    Laura says:

    Hi there,

    I too was SUPER EXCITED when I heard about pizza pizza’s offerings, I can’t WAIT to try it! Also, thanks for the tip about Big Momma’s Boy in Toronto… I’m always looking for new places to eat out at — as of right now I feel as though I am single handedly financing a few of the Il Fornellos around my area:)

    Also, Torontonians and Oakvillians (in Canada) HOW GOOD IS WHOLE FOODS? I get all my cereals (right now I’m enjoying frosted flakes and coco krispies) as well as snack bars and other amazing things! LOVE how they don’t just have a section of gluten free foods but rather that everything is labeled with the GF tag throughout the store:)

  14. 14
     
    Laura says:

    Hello,

    It’s me again… after reading these posts I decided to venture downtown Toronto to BIG MOMMA’S BOY in Cabbagetown for dinner and I was pleasantly surprised, I HIGHLY reccomend this place!

    The ENTIRE (yes that’s right ENTIRE!) menu could be made gluten free except for the Spring Rolls and I had a nice chat with the owner Heather about how she came to include gluten free items in her restaurant.. it was because her friends became intolerant to gluten and she realized how few places (restaurants) would accomodate them! Huzzah! She also listed three specials (all of which were gluten free! I almost cried!) and then for dessert she apologized and said that she had just run out of her fresh organic fruit crumble for dessert but did have some flourless chocolate cake left! I was all smiles after the meal and made my boyfriend “skip” out with me down the street!

    *Also, they have a gf brunch on Sundays featuring homemade jams, gf gluten free english muffins and almond toast, rice panckaes etc. GIVE IT A TRY!!!

  15. 15
     
    Norbert says:

    Why anyone would choose a gluten-free pizza at Pizza Pizza over one at Magic Oven is beyond me. I never even liked their gluten-packed pizza when I could eat it. Especially since Magic Oven now has several locations downtown. It’s not only about the pizza, but also about the principles behind it. A restaurant like Magic Oven has been consciously fostering a healthier lifestyle since it opened, whereas Pizza Pizza is clearly just trying to cash in on a potentially profitable trend, as evidenced by the number of people who have eaten their GF pizzas and gotten sick from them.

    I personally think consumers should consider supporting and encouraging more niche restaurants with the principles of Magic Oven as opposed to chain restaurants if they’d really like to see gluten-free restuarants catch on in their cities.

  16. 16
     
    selene says:

    on the note of Pizza pizza offering gluten free crust, I just tried to order a pizza from there and they make it incredibly difficult. They have a special for large pizzas – 5 toppings, 14$. I wanted this on gluten free crust. Because they don’t have large gluten-free pizza, they refused to let me have the deal. Even when I said to just put it on a medium pizza and charge me the gluten free surcharge, they refused saying that the deal was for large pizzas only. When I pointed out that they only have gluten free MEDIUM pizza, their response was actualy “yes mame, gluten free is medium, this special is only for large pizzas”. I don’t understand why they would offer gluten free on only one size and then not be flexible at all about it.they were also incredibly rude about it. When I asked for the number for head office the manager actually said that he wasn’t at liberty to give it to me. Which, working in a head office myself, makes absolutely no sense. And then I found it posted on their website under media centre so…

    It was very disheartening and frustrating.

    I also just read a post on another blog about pizza pizza’s gf pizza and on two different instances although that poster had ordered the gf pizza, pizza pizza had sent them a glutinous one without telling them. They both got violently ill.

  17. 17
     
    David S says:

    Bad News,
    The last two times I ordered gf from Pizza Pizza, they only had SMALL pizzas available. It still cost $11.29 with two toppings. I was told medium size is no longer available.
    I find this a cynical change in policy…get us in by giving “good” value, then doing a switch. I was able, with my 6 yr old daughter, to make 2 meals with the medium. Not any more.
    WHY????


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Kelly Courson

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Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.
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