Pizza is a pillar of the food industry that always seems to pop up on the menu, and never disappoints. Panago Pizza is a smaller slice on the big pizza platter, but just like the pizza they specialize in, they do not disappoint! Competing against big names, such as Pizza Pizza and Pizza Hut, it takes a special something to make it in world of pizza. Not only does Panago offer a wide variety of Canadian sourced ingredients and recipes, they attempt to reach beyond your taste buds, becoming a very proactive business in the Toronto community.

Started 25 years ago in British Columbia, Panago has always tried to maintain a healthy and fresh motto. As the company expanded into the east and into Ontario, it brought along its fresh cause to meet dietary concerns and health conscious individuals. What other pizza place will offer gluten-smart crust are lactose-free cheese? Panago truly goes the extra mile to ensure that everyone can experience the joy of pizza. With no artificial colours and flavours, Panago pushes for a more authentic and transparent food culture—which can be clearly seen through the open-kitchen concept in stores. Toronto itself manages five stores and Love This City visited the downtown location at 44 Gerrard St. to try out some of Panago’s delicious pizzas. Not only were we met with undeniable service, but quality food to match.

Food itself is the key to any restaurant, and it’s here where Panago shines. The panned pies are cooked fresh, with dough made daily at each store location. The menu itself is extremely extensive, with options ranging from a sloppy and delicious meat eaters delight, to a gluten-smart crust vegan-cheese pizza. The toppings, be they meat or veggie, are scrumptious. Like all good pizza joints, Panago offers a wide variety of ready-to-order recipes, such as the Sweet, Spicy or True Canadian(s). Our favourites include The Veggie Mediterranean—topped with fresh passata tomato sauce, ground beef, red onions, tomatoes, feta and mozzarella, as well as the infamous Chicken Club—topped with Jalapeño white sauce, grilled chicken, Canadian ham, bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella. You can also craft your own, choosing from various vegetable, meat, or seafood toppings.

To keep things fresh and exciting, Panago comes out with quarterly promotions and flavours. Their current deal? ‘The Summer of Love,’ where four Canadian classics are featured to raise a little patriotism to our pizza-loving nation. In each Panago store, you’ll also see a list of their favourites, which you can choose from if you can’t decide between all the choices on the extensive menu. From the popular New York Deli, to a twist on the traditional Hawaiian with the Deluxe Hawaiian, you can’t go wrong.

Panago Pizza is also heavily community centred. They offer a variety of school lunch programs, and certain locations offer rewards programs for children based on their scholastic achievement.Within the community at large, Panago works with other organizations to distribute their product to the hungry masses at shows, and other public events—such as giving at pizza to The Pizza Underground audience members at this year’s NXNE.

“Panago starts with people—they fuel our business. We want to give back as much as we can, they are truly the reason our business keeps running and we want to make community involvement a pillar in our pay-it-forward style,” said Christie Coughlan, Director of Marketing at Panago. This seems to be a winning combination of community outreach and public service, because everyone could do with earning a little more pizza in their lives.

With a business that has shown to be more than just a logo, you can only expect the highest quality meats and dough that is made on-site when ordering at Panago. Their meaningful engagement with people is to depict themselves as a company that truly cares, even if it is the little gems on a local level. Panago goes as in-depth as to come out with organic juices, so that you can wash down your hearty pizzas with a juice of equal quality.

On top of their delectable pizza pies, Panago became renowned for their massive selection of dips and shakers. With 14 dips on their menu, you seriously could not want for more selection. Not to mention that dip comes free with your order of pizza! Also offered on the side are various flavours of their new fire-grilled wings, which enriches the flavour and saves you from all the fat and grease from friers. Alongside the wings on the menu, are breadsticks, and healthy salads. Don’t be mistaken—just because Panago makes pizzas, doesn’t mean it can’t provide a quality salad. Its proud salad program boasts a customizable and fresh-cut salad, so that you can stop in on your lunch break and have a salad made of only the freshest and most natural ingredients.