California-style pizzeria opens at Erzsébet tér


Caza Pizzabar, the first restaurant in Budapest to serve California-style pizza has opened in downtown Budapest, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The idea for Caza, named after a combination of the words "California" and "Pizza", was conceived before the pandemic. The decorations in the restaurant, including a giant surfboard in the show kitchen were carefully picked to evoke a West Coast vibe.

The founder, Alex Hemingway - son of George F. Hemingway, who was awarded the Hungarian Order of Merit this summer - is an American-born businessman who has lived in Hungary for decades and has embarked on the restaurant development despite the challenges caused by the COVID pandemic.

"My family has been in the hospitality and entertainment business for generations. A Californian really knows that there have always been ups and downs, and there always will be, but I'm convinced that a good concept can succeed in any circumstance," he said.

In addition to traditional round pizzas sold by the slice, three kinds of special square pizzas are also offered in Caza. These are distinguished not only by their shape but also by the dough, which is slowly risen with the help of cold water, making it both crispy on the outside and crumbly on the inside. The mozzarella is placed on top of the dough before the sauce is added, which prevents it from burning and allows it to better combine with the sauce and the dough during baking.

Caza boasts its own pepperoni, and the sauce is made from fresh San Marzano tomatoes, which can be layered in a choice of ways, from discreetly spicy to hot. Caza has carefully chosen its local collaborators, Hungarian producers from the area wherever possible.

The restaurant also offers a choice for vegans with its pizza named "Milk", which features plant-based cheeses and many kinds of vegetables. In addition, the rectangular "Napa" slice features Beyond-brand vegan meat substitute as a topping.

The restaurant was designed with sustainable solutions in mind. The tables on the ground floor were made of recycled wood, using a layering process that is not yet common in Hungary. All packaging materials used by the restaurant are biodegradable. Only cleaning products that are environmentally friendly are used. There is no deep-freezer in the restaurant, pizzas are freshly made on the premises and are offered for on-site consumption or takeaway, no delivery is available.

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