As much as we love Philadelphia, we enjoy a little adventure outside the city limits. And believe us when we tell you, Rize Pizza is West Chester and Broomall, PA is most definitely worth the trip. Owners Julia Angelos and Jim Haralambidis aim to elevate your standards of pizza. They make all pizzas with their unique homemade crusts. The ‘Rize Crust’ is used with all their slices. It rises naturally for 2-3 hours and produces a square pie with an airy and crispy crust which is coated with sesame seeds on the bottom and deceptively light. This special recipe took over 6 years to perfect. Any pie can be ordered, but it is only available as a Large approx. 11″ x 17″ (8 slices). The ‘Traditional Crust’ is thin and round like a traditional Neapolitan pie. This style crust only comes in a small 12” size (6 slices).
“We’ve had our first Broomall location for two and a half years,” Julia described, “and we knew it was a small location. We wanted to open up a second, bigger location where people could sit down and enjoy the Rize crust. So when we first started the journey, we fell in love with not only the space, but the town. West Chester really seems to love pizza. There’s a lot of pizza places.”
Jim’s family has been in the restaurant business since 1976. However, while in school Jim was pursuing a career in art. Then the family business reeled him in and he turned down acceptance to Parsons School of Design in New York City. His sister also has the industry in her blood, she works in corporate catering in Conshohocken, PA with her business, Cafe Zoe. After 17 years of working with his family, Jim’s first venture out on his own was Fresco Pizza Grill in Newtown Square, PA. For Jim, it seemed natural to open a second location for Rize in West Chester.
“My father’s first pizza shop was in West Chester on Five Points Road,” he said. “So when we were looking for other locations, it was a little like fate to be brought to the borough again. People say everything happens for a reason… Julia’s a great partner,” Jim continued, “You need that collaboration with the marketing and sales aspect. This way, I can focus more on my craft. I’ve always loved it, it’s sentimental for me growing up in the pizza business.”
We loved the atmosphere at Rize’s West Chester location. The restaurant is larger than the Broomall location with waitress service (and yes its byob). Slices rotate daily and new creations are also added. We tried the popular Ivory Pizza topped with melted fontina, fresh mozzarella, asiago, truffle oil, roasted garlic, cracked black pepper and sea salt. This cheesy slice is perfect comfort food during the cold winter. We also loved the Green Dream Pizza topped with baby spinach, roasted peppers, gouda, fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, and drizzled with fig balsamic glaze. Some new daily special slices include Zucchini with asparagus lemon and garlic herb spread, Tomato pie with house-made ricotta cheese, sea salt, spinach, and tomatoes. They’re even serving a special Brussels sprouts pizza.
And make sure to grab an order of the Fancy Frize because their massive portion is great for sharing. These fries are sprinkled with Romano and Asiago cheese, truffle oil, and sea salt. New to the menu are the Avocado Spring Rolls filled with avocado, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and lime wrapped in a spring roll served with a soy ginger dipping sauce. Philadelphia cheesesteak lovers will also enjoy the Rib-eye Spring Rolls stuffed with rib-eye steak, caramelized onions, sharp white cheese wrapped in a spring roll served with a sriracha mayo dipping sauce. Each come with 4 rolls.
For all your New Years resolutions, Rize also offers organic and local produce in our salads when available. All salad dressings are gluten-free with side portion options for any salad for half the price of the large. The newest menu addition is the Upbeet Salad with arugula, beets, pistachios, cranberries, honey goat cheese, and lemon wedge. And don’t miss the house-made Chocolate Chunk Cookies and baklava for your sweet tooth!
Stop by Rize West Chester for Wine Wednesdays– Call to reserve a spot as each Wednesday night, a local wine creator on location provides a blend of wine that’s made to pair perfectly with your pizza! A free glass of wine with every purchase! Who doesn’t love free wine? And Rize is open for late night slices every Saturday night until 2:30 am so you’ll be able to stop by after your night out. Online ordering is also now offered at Rize West Chester, get 10% off your order Monday and Tuesday with promo code “rize”.