.Aptos’ Pizza 1 Appeals to Traditionalists and Adventurers

One of Pizza 1’s goto pies is the Corralitos. It’s cheesy, loaded with Bavarian sausage and boasts a garlic olive oil base. The kicker: apple slices that have been marinated in a cinnamon and sugar cocktail, gorgonzola cheese crumbles and bacon. Another customer fave is the Blues Festival, a cornucopia of gouda, feta, goat and gorgonzola, topped with chilled, housemade bruschetta. Holy cheese! However, manager Romano Avalos, a self-described “pizza person” and employee for eight years, says he still opts for the classic pepperoni—always heavy on the pepperoni and flatbread sourdough crust that is nice and crispy.

Located in Seacliff, Pizza 1’s vibe is retro-meets-beach, highlighted by surfboard décor and old-school Santa Cruz photographs lining the walls. 

Pizza 1 is open every day except Tuesdays from 11am-8pm (9pm Friday and Saturday) for indoor and outdoor dining. They also do takeout and take-and-bake. Avalos excitedly spoke about Pizza 1 and what makes it so good.

How is Pizza 1 inspired by Highway 1?

ROMANO AVALOS: I would say because a lot of visitors come to Aptos on Highway 1, and our menu is based off it too, such as the name of the pizzas and the ingredients. One example is the Castroville, which has artichokes, of course, as well as the Gilroy, which is mega-garlic; it’s like going to “garlic town.” We also have the Monterey with portobello mushrooms, green olives and feta. Highway 1 is all about the coastline, and our shop is literally steps away from the beach. We’re so close that when we close at night and sweep, there is sand on the floor. 

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What is Pizza 1 experience like?

First of all, we’re very careful during Covid times with masks and gloves, etc. And we have a very friendly and attentive staff that really takes pride in helping our customers with service, and it’s something we really like doing. We love our job. We take care of any complaints, and our goal is to always have the customers leave happy and full.

253 Center Ave., Aptos, 831-684-1110; pizza-1.com.

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