CINCINNATI -- In honor of National Pizza Month, here is a rundown of the newest pizza restaurants in the Queen City.
First, here are pizzerias that will be opening soon or expanding to a neighborhood near you:
MOD Pizza: Cincinnati's newest pizzeria is set to open Oct. 19 at 3200 Vandecar Way in Oakley Station. MOD is a pizza concept that started in Seattle in 2008 with a socially conscious mission. According to its corporate website, MOD promises customers unlimited customization of their pies, which are then cooked quickly, for a reasonable price. The company promises a fair wage for employees as well.
Pie & Pints: This West Virginia-based franchise opened its first Greater Cincinnati location in November at Liberty Center in Liberty Township. Its menu boasts more than 30 craft beers and "gourmet" pizzas. The franchise announced in March that it will add a location at Phase II of the Banks.
Strong's Brick Oven Pizzeria: Christian and Mindy Strong didn't exactly plan to open a third Strong's Brick Oven Pizzeria. However, the former LaRosa's executives could not pass up the location at 1 E. High St. in Lawrenceburg after being approached by a fan of their pizza and city officials. The new store is expected to revitalize the town's downtown area once it opens. (The Strongs are working to open by the end of October.) It will join locations in Hebron, Kentucky, and the original Strong's on Monmouth Street in Newport.
Rapid Fired Pizza: The latest entry into the fast, high-quality pizzeria market is Rapid Fired Pizza. The small chain of Ohio-based eateries opened its first regional location Sept. 26 at 9889 Montgomery Road. On its website the pizzeria asks guests, "What can you do in 180 seconds?" That's about the time Rapid Fired takes to bake a pizza. There are already plans for a second location at 3589 Dixie Highway in Middletown by year's end.
LPH Pizza Co: This neighborhood pizzeria serves slices for a cause. Co-owner Damien Fields opened LPH Pizza Co. on Sept. 9 as a way to give back to the Lower Price Hill community in which he grew up. The pizzeria at 712 State Ave. hopes to play an integral part in the neighborhood's growth by offering people jobs and a place to grab good food.
Taglio: This pizzeria, the brainchild of A Tavola founders Nicolas and Jared Wayne, opened March 4 at 3135 Columbia Parkway in Columbia Tusculum. Taglio delivers New York-style pizza with crisp crusts and toppings such as pepperoni, spinach, artichoke, bacon, jalapeno and barbecue chicken. Taglio delivers its pizza, along with beer and wine, to Cincinnati's east side through www.eattaglio.com and apps for iPhone and Android smartphones (available on iTunes and Google Play, respectively).
Pizzeria Locale: The region's first Pizzeria Locale opened March 13 at 7800 Montgomery Road in Kenwood Mall. The Naples, Italy-inspired quick-serve chain bakes pizzas in about 90 seconds after guests move down a line and pick fresh toppings for their pies. A second Pizzeria Locale opened in August at 9540 Mason-Montgomery Road.
Mac's Pizza Mainstrasse: The much-loved pizza parlor and pub opened its fourth location on St. Patrick's Day in Mainstrasse Village in Covington. The pub at 604 Main St. offers the same mix of craft beers, hot wings and other bar foods, alongside full pies and slices, as the other Mac locations.
Pizza ATM: Xavier University made national headlines when it opened the first "pizza ATM" in North America on its campus in August. The school partnered with France-based Paline to set up the automated pizza dispenser outside of Hoff Dining Hall. And yes, the machine is exactly what it sounds like. Customers select their pizza via touchscreen, pay by debit or credit card, and the Pizza ATM dispenses a fully cooked pie.
Delicio Coal Fired Pizza: After nearly three years of success in Montgomery, owner Randy Key opened a second Delicio pizzeria near Xavier University in August. The pizzeria is possibly the only pizza place in Greater Cincinnati to bake its pies using coal instead of wood or gas heating. Key swears the coal gives his pies a clean, delicious flavor. The original Delicio is located at 9321 Montgomery Road. The new restaurant is right down the road at 3701 Montgomery Road.
Bub's Pizza: This popular late-night Mount Lookout pizzeria added a second location in Mount Adams this September at 1045 St. Gregory St. Besides slices, Bub's also offers a wide selection of craft beer and wine for delivery and carryout from both locations.