Answers To Our Most Commonly Asked Questions

Is there really a Buddy LaRosa?

You bet! The man who has been bringing smiles to Guests faces for over six decades is a Cincinnati native, growing up in a working-class neighborhood on the West Side where he worked at a couple of different jobs. But his real passion was to build his own business.

Growing up Buddy always loved the pizza his Aunt Dena made. He thought other people might like her family recipe pizza, too. So he made a couple dozen for his church's summer festival. As it turned out, Buddy was right! Lots of people loved Dena's pizza.

So in 1954, with $400 and a couple of partners, Buddy opened a small family pizzeria and boy did people eat it up. Now, over 60 years later, Buddy's restaurants serve hundreds of neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, the Miami Valley and Southeast Indiana- and soon Central Ohio and Tennessee. As for Buddy, he's still around and involved in the family business. Only now he's able to spend more time with family and follow his life-long interest – amateur and professional boxing.

Pizza

What’s the difference between the different LaRosa’s crusts?

Our traditional crust is thin, our crispy pan is thick and our hand tossed crust is in between – not too thick, not too thin.

Why does LaRosa’s put some toppings under the cheese, and some toppings on top?

It was Buddy’s Aunt Dena’s recipe that first specified that the ingredients go under the cheese, and it’s become a LaRosa’s tradition. Some toppings, like spinach or tomato, need to go on top because they have a lot of water in them, and it needs to bake out. Other meat items, like bacon, taste better when they bake on top and get nice and crispy.

Can I get a LaRosa’s pizza that’s “pre-baked”?

Yes. We can make a pizza for you that has not been fully baked in our ovens. This is perfect for you if you’re not going to eat the pizza right away. You can refrigerate it at home, then take it out when you're ready to bake it. You can also freeze the pizza, just allow about a half hour thawing time before you bake it.

How do I bake a LaRosa’s “pre-baked” pizza?

Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pizza on a cookie sheet or baking pan. (allow about a half hour to thaw if frozen) Bake until the cheese and edge of the crust are golden brown. Usually about 5 to 10 minutes. Note: only our traditional or super crust can be prebaked, not our pan or focaccia crust. Pan and focaccia-style crust pizzas are too soft when pre-baked to be taken out of our pans.

How many different toppings can I put on a LaRosa’s pizza?

We can put no more than 6 different toppings on a pizza, because a pizza with more than 6 different toppings simply wouldn’t bake well in our ovens.

How many different toppings can I put on half of a LaRosa’s pizza?

We can put no more than 6 different toppings on any one half of a pizza. There can also be no more than a difference of 4 toppings per half (For example: a large pizza with 1/2 plain, 1/2 pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and onion). Anything more and the pizza simply wouldn’t bake well in our ovens.

What are the three cheeses on the Roma and Florentine Focaccia?

provolone, cheddar & ricotta.

What are the two sauces on the Chicken Specialty Pizzas?

The ranch dressing for our Chicken Bacon Ranch Specialty Pizza is the same great ranch dressing that is served with our great tasting salads. It is a bold flavored, creamy white sauce and goes well with most pizza toppings. The garlic-pesto sauce for our Chicken Garlic-Pesto Specialty Pizza is the same great garlic-pesto sauce that is served with our Cheesy Flat Bread. Its recipe appeals to our Guests who like a white sauce with a combination of many unique flavors, and goes well with all of our pizza toppings.

What are the four cheeses on the Chicken Specialty Pizzas?

Provolone along with a blend of Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan.

Can I make changes to the cheeses on the Chicken Specialty Pizzas?

You can hold the provolone, hold the cheese blend, or hold both. But, because it’s pre-mixed, you can’t make any changes to the Asiago-Romano-Parmesan cheese blend.

Calzones

Can I get a “pre-baked” LaRosa’s calzone?

Sorry, no, we can’t pre-bake a calzone. Since the crust is folded over, it would not rise enough as we pre-baked it to be the delicious product you’d expect to come out of your oven at home.

Can I get the chicken breast that is on LaRosa’s chicken hoagy put in a calzone?

You bet. Our chicken breast strips are now a regular menu topping and you can order it like any other topping for the same price.

How many toppings can I put in a LaRosa’s calzone?

The maximum number of toppings we can put in a calzone is 3. Any more toppings and the calzone simply wouldn't bake well in our ovens.

Allergies & MSG

Does LaRosa’s use MSG in any of its recipes?

Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) is a high-sodium preservative that is mostly used in pre-packaged and frozen products. MSG is used in the ranch and creamy garlic dressings that we serve.

Do any of LaRosa's products or recipes include peanuts or other tree nuts?

None of our recipes have peanuts in them. However, some of our recipes contain other tree nuts...we use pine nuts in our garlic-pesto sauce, which is in our Cheesy Flat Bread. Also, our Italian Cream Cake contains chopped walnuts and chopped coconut. For those with severe nut allergies: we can't guarantee that all of the ingredients that we use to prepare our menu items have been handled in nut-free manufacturing environments.

Why isn’t gluten free pizza available at my neighborhood LaRosas's?

Some of our gluten intolerant Guests can get very sick with even a little gluten exposure. So, it’s important that we follow strict preparation and cleaning procedures. That’s why we’ve focused on eight conveniently located pizzerias that we could “certify” in preparing and serving gluten free pizza. We hope that our Guests who choose gluten free won’t mind a little drive in the name of keeping people safe.

When are you going to add more gluten free items to the menu?

We've gotten many requests for all kinds of gluten free products: pizza, hoagies, pasta, etc. But, we wanted to focus on one thing with which we could do the best job. Since pizza represents over 60% of what sells on our menu, we decided that we could make more of our gluten intolerant Guests happy by adding gluten free pizza to the menu.

What else on the menu is gluten free?

There are, actually, other gluten free selections currently on our menu. However, just as we follow strict preparation and cleaning procedures for our gluten free pizza to keep our Guests safe, we’d do the same with any other selections, too. We currently don’t have those procedures in place. After we learn more from our gluten free pizza launch, we’ll consider adding procedures for other gluten free selections already on our menu. Then we’ll let our Guests know all the selections that are gluten free.

How do you handle gluten free pizza so there’s no cross-contamination in your kitchens?

We follow very strict cleaning and preparation procedures to keep our gluten intolerant Guests safe. For every gluten free pizza we prepare, we change gloves, use a separate clean set of utensils, clean the pizza making surface, and use sauce, cheese and toppings from supplies that have not been used on other pizzas. The crust comes on its own separate disk, so that it doesn't touch surfaces other pizzas touch. While we take every precaution, it’s still possible flour transfer could pose a problem for Guests with severe gluten intolerance. So, we let our guests know that so they can make an informed decision about eating with us.

Hoagys

I love LaRosa’s hoagys. Is there a way I can get more of a good thing?

Try our double hoagys. A double hoagy has an extra steak patty, and on Royals and Baked Buddies, there is double meat and double cheese. You can order Double hoagys for a small additional charge.

What’s the difference between LaRosa’s Baked Buddy and a Royal?

These hoagys are very similar, but the Baked Buddy includes pepperoni as an extra meat ingredient.

Can I substitute meats on a hoagy?

Yes, if that meat already comes on the hoagy. So, you might consider substituting more salami instead of the capocolla on your Royal. You can add meat to a hoagy that doesn’t already come on it at an extra charge.

Is the chicken breast on LaRosa’s chicken hoagy breaded?

No. Our chicken hoagys come with all white meat unbreaded chicken breast strips. However, they are heavily seasoned, so it may appear that they have a thin coating.

Can I have any of my favorite LaRosa’s sauces or dressings on my hoagy?

Absolutely. You can pick any sauce or dressing we offer and put it on any hoagy you order, free.

What other things can I put on my LaRosa’s hoagy?

You can put lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, jalapeño peppers, green peppers or black and green olives on your hoagy, free. You can even add pepperoni, bacon or any other meat, for a small extra charge.

Fries

I love LaRosa’s fries. Can I put stuff on top of them?

Cheese, bacon, even mushroom sauce. Just let us know, and we can do it for a small extra charge.

Breadsticks and Cheesesticks

I’d much rather dip my sticks in dressing instead of pizza sauce. Can I?

Yes.  You can substitute any of our sauces or dressings at no extra charge.

Can I put pepperoni or another topping on my breadsticks?

Sure, for a small extra charge.

Salads

Can I get extra helpings of my favorite stuff in a LaRosa’s salad?

Yes, you may.  Additional items or any additional salad dressings can be ordered for a small additional fee.

Does the Creamy Garlic dressing come on the side with the JoJo’s BLT salads for pickup and delivery orders?

Yes, the dressings for all of our salads come on the side for pickup and delivery orders. We only pre-mix the dressing into JoJo’s BLT salad when you dine-in.

Lasagna

Do you have a veggie lasagna?

Sorry, no. We had a veggie lasagna, but not many guests ordered it, so we took it off our menu.

Can I have LaRosa’s lasagna without the meat?

Our lasagna is prepared and baked with the beef already inside, so we can’t remove it. We can put our family recipe spaghetti sauce without meat on top of the lasagna on request.

What are the cheeses in LaRosa’s lasagna?

The two cheeses inside our lasagna are provolone and ricotta.

Spaghetti

Can I get extra sauce on my LaRosa's spaghetti?

We can put extra spaghetti sauce on your spaghetti. But, if you order meat sauce, Alfredo sauce or order the sauce on the side, there’s a small additional charge.

Ravioli

What is mixed in with the beef in LaRosa’s meat ravioli?

Our meat ravioli is prepared with just a hint of spinach mixed in with the beef for flavor. So, we can’t “hold the spinach”. Likewise, when our cheese ravioli is prepared, the provolone and ricotta are mixed together, so we can’t hold one or the other.

Spaghetti Sauce

Can I put things like sausage or chicken in my LaRosa's spaghetti sauce?

No problem. We can put either of those or mushrooms in your sauce for a small additional charge per serving.

Catering

Can LaRosa's cater parties at home or at the office?

Yes, you can use our online Catering Builder or call us at 513-347-1111 (or 1-877-347-1111 toll free outside Greater Cincinnati) to place a catering order.

What will LaRosa's serve when it caters a party?

Pizza, of course. But we also offer trays of hoagys, ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna, salads, appetizers, desserts, bread…everything you’d want for a hearty Italian meal. Check the front counter for our Special Delivery Menu the next time you join us in one of our dining rooms, or you pick up an order.

How many people can a tray of food serve?

Each tray serves 10 people and includes 10 sets of napkins, utensils, and plates. A tray of lasagna is already prepared sliced for 10 people. Trays of salad and garlic bread can also be ordered to accompany your pasta.

Payment

Can I use my credit card to pay for my LaRosa’s order?

Yes. All our pizzerias accept Visa and MasterCard, and some pizzerias accept other cards as well. Call us at 513-347-1111 (or 1-877-347-1111 toll free outside of Greater Cincinnati) and we can confirm for you which cards your favorite pizzeria accepts.

Can I use a check to pay for my LaRosa’s order?

Many of our pizzerias no longer accept checks (because of returned check charges), but some still do. Call us at 513-347-1111 (or 1-877-347-1111 toll free outside of Greater Cincinnati) and we can confirm for you if your favorite pizzeria accepts checks.

Can I split the cost of an order, some on a credit card and the rest in cash?

Sure, we can handle your order that way at most pizzerias. Please check when placing your order. Be ready to give us the credit card number and the amount you want charged to the card.

Delivery

Why do you need the phone number of the place I want my order delivered to?

It’s important that we have the phone number of the location to which you want your order delivered because all the address information we have is tied to that number. So, if we don’t have the right number, we can’t find you to deliver to you. Also, we make call backs from time to time to ensure that we serve you the best we can. If we don’t have the right number, we can’t call you.

Why do you need specific contact information at a business to deliver?

At many businesses, there is a front desk with a welcome person, or key-in access only to the building. When we arrive with your order, and the front desk person doesn’t know who ordered, or if we can’t even enter the building, your delivery will be late. You won’t be happy, and we won’t be happy. That’s why we need a name and a phone number to which we can get through at any time.

Can you break a $50 on a delivery?

Safety is our #1 core value at LaRosa’s. It’s important that our drivers carry as little money as possible when they’re delivering. Please pay in the smallest bills possible. It’s the safest way to go for everybody.

Ordering

Can I set up a delivery order at 11 a.m. for a lunch that I have planned at noon?

You bet. It’s called a “timed order”. Just call us at 513-347-1111(or 1-877-347-1111 toll free outside of Greater Cincinnati) and ask the Customer Service Representative that answers about it. He or she will set it up for you.

Lunch Discounts

Can I order the lunch discount I see on LaRosa’s dining room menu for pick up or delivery?

No. Our special lunch menu is for the Guests who visit us in our dining rooms only. We don't extend the lunch discount to carry out or delivery. However, if you're looking for smaller portions, check out our Just Right Combos which are available to-go for carry out or delivery. These can be found on our Delivery & Carry Out Menu.

Kids Meals

Do you deliver your kids’ meals? Can I pick them up?

Yes. Our kids’ meals are available for delivery, pick-up or dine-in.