Week 4: Los Olivos Pizzeria

Just a few minutes west of the hub of downtown Tucson sits a non-descript pizzeria, whose spanish name, makes it feel like an unlikely place to get a good pie. I’ve overlooked this place so many times that I had almost forgotten about it completely. After trying their pizza, I regret not having it sooner. All those times I waited almost full hours past my quoted wait time for Brooklyn or Empire, I could have been enjoying Los Olivos, where they wait time was almost non-existent.

I’d like to think that I was the only one passing this gem by, but based on their online ratings, which I also never really paid any attention to, I seemed like one of the only ones passing it up. I phoned in my order, but the small building does have a few outdoor tables, and few small tables inside. Carry-out was definitely the best option, especially because it was getting late on Sunday, I was exhausted, and all I wanted to do was go home and enjoy the last fleeting hours of the weekend.

They have many specialty pies, or you can create your own. They are served up as 14″ or 18″. Having enjoyed my fair share of snacks while watching the NFL playoff games, I opted for the 14″ pizza of its namesake, a Los Olivos. They also boast one of the more unique pizza I’ve encountered so far, called La Mexican. La Mexicana is topped chorizo, bacon, jalapenos, tomato, onions. I imagine it’s like a pizza and a sonoran hot dog were walking home smashed from the bar one night, made some questionable decisions, and 15 minutes later hot and fresh out of the oven, La Mexicana was born. The Los Olivos is its mild mannered cousin, lighter in toppings with fresh clean flavor. Green olive, artichokes, fresh tomato, basil, along with a generous layer of mozzarella weigh down the otherwise light and airy crust. Their dough is made fresh daily.

The real thing that sold me on this pizza, was the green olives. I love green olives, and really wish that more pizza parlors had them as a topping option. Why should black olives have all the fun?

Aside from the pizza, the also have 4 different Italian entree options on the menu. I would have liked to try the meatballs, because I think they are a good judge of kitchen skill and values. Maybe next time…

In the meantime, here’s the Los Olivos ($9.95 for 14″) rundown:

Crust: A little thicker than I like my  thin crust, but still had a nice gas oven crunch to it. Well salted and a balanced taste. No elements were overpowering.

Toppings: Kept it veggie again. The cheese was really really thick, but not too greasy at all.

Sauce: The sauce is very thin. If you blinked, you might have missed it. Although,  didn’t miss it because there were a lot of tasty toppings to distract against that.

I hope news of this place spreads, because they have super friendly and helpful staff, and their pizza is such a great value. Many are priced from $9.95-$14.95 for the 14″. Online ordering is available. They also have specials starting around $5. Can’t beat that.

Check them out any day of the week. If you live or work downtown, take the extra 5 minutes, and hit them up for lunch. When 52 Weeks of Pizza wraps up, I’m definitely coming back to this one.

Los Olivos Pizzeria 

937 W Congress St., Tucson, AZ 85745


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