By Isabella Zizi | Photos By David Meza
Whenever the phrase “Have it your way” pops up, you think of Burger King, right? What if I told you there was something better than that, and it included more options than those processed hamburger patties and frozen fries? There is a new craze in downtown Richmond right across the street from the Richmond BART parking garage called Your Way Pizza that opened its doors in April.
The new restaurant, owned and operated by the Aparicio family of Richmond, is quickly becoming a favorite in the downtown area.
The Aparicio family moved to Richmond from Novato over six years ago. Opening a restaurant is something they’ve been planning for years.
“This is the first Your Way Pizza and we wanted to bring diversity in the food selections,” said Bryan Rivas, 23. “If you don’t like what we have on our menu, than you can create something that you would like.”
A friend of mine recently checked into Your Way on Facebook and recommended checking out the new restaurant. From the moment I walked in the double doors, I was blown away by how spacious they had everything set up. The vibe of the room was modern, yet family oriented, and full of flat-screen TVs with soccer, basketball and baseball games. I was greeted with kind customer service as I made my way to check out their menu.
I kept my first order simple, ordering a personal pizza with pepperoni and spinach, since the special was any two toppings. It came with a delicious fresh tossed Caesar salad and a drink in a glass mason jar.
I watched as they spun the freshly made dough in their hands to form the pizza. All of the ingredients were fresh. I watched as the cooks placed my pizza in the pizza oven. Finally, a waiter brought me the freshly baked pizza. The crust wasn’t too thin or too thick and it was buttered on the edges with green spices and herbs. The spinach had a perfect crisp.
“The food and our customer service are the two things we are working on for our community to feel welcome,” said Rivas. “We focus on the food and service quality, not quantity.”
Rivas says the most popular pizza on the menu so far is the combo pizza with pepperoni, salami, sausage, mushrooms, red onions and green bell pepper.
The burgers are also popular. The Richmond City Burger is a 6-oz house-made ground beef patty, with sauteed mushrooms and onions with swiss cheese and mayo. The Your Way Burger is a classic burger with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese and mayo.
Some new menu items are also gaining popularity, like the pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran dish that comes with a side of pickled and slightly spiced cabbage and red sauce.
You’d better get there early to get their buffalo wings. They are a crowd favorite and have been selling out every day since they opened.
If you have a sweet tooth, there is the Nutella Love Pizza that Rivas’ dad created. It’s topped with nutella, strawberries, bananas, cinnamon and condensed milk, which gives it a different type of sweetness.
For the Aparicio family, investing in Your Way Pizza also means investing in a growing and changing Richmond.
“We wanted to have something different in Richmond for people to enjoy,” said Eliezer Aparicio. “So they don’t have to go to El Cerrito and other cities.”
Aparicio said the family’s goal is to serve the community really good food while growing as a business.
“We want to have people come out to this area,” he said. “It’s not a bad neighborhood. I have lived here for six or seven years and I love it.”
For now, Aparicio says the family is grateful for the positive response from the community.
“We’ve been getting a lot of compliments on the food and great support,” he said.
IF YOU GO: Your Way Pizza is located at 1428 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond. They are open every day from 11:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. You can check out the menu online at urwaypizza.com or call them 510.680.5676