First appeared in Issue 9 of Inner Circle Magazine in print (November 2017). To request a free hard copy, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hand-tossed dough, gooey cheese and a chewy crust… this is a typical New York pizza, and Shawcross Pizza on Brunswick Street spins the biggest and best all week.
“You can’t find these pizzas anywhere else,” says owner John Khoury.
That’s clear as soon as you enter the store.
From stacks of mammoth 22-inch takeaway boxes to a cabinet of fresh pizzas sold by the slice, this little Fitzroy pizza joint is unlike anything else in Melbourne.
“Looking at the Melbourne market, we didn’t really see anything that came close to that New York taste,” says John, and it’s a taste Melbournian’s are clearly hungry for.
“On Friday and Saturday nights, our trays of slices will be gone in seconds,” John explains.
There’s also the giant 22 inch pizza challenge for those who just can’t get enough.
Finish one of Shawcross’ famous 22 inch pizzas in under 30 minutes and you’ll win a 6 pack of beer and a t-shirt.
“We get a couple of people a week, sometimes groups come in, to do the challenge,” John says.
“About 10% of them manage to do it in the timeframe.”
But it’s not just size that sets Shawcross’ pizza apart. Custom-made ingredients and creative toppings are what really packs a punch.
“I found it really hard to find good cheese,” explains John, “so my cheese is custom made for Shawcross by an award winning Australian cheese producer.
“Lot’s of cheese in the market is just stock standard stuff. It isn’t that good and almost all pizza places use the same stuff. We pay a premium for this kind of cheese but it’s absolutely key to creating the right pizza. This custom mix, just for our shop, really sets us apart. The cheese as well as our home made sauce which is made in house, give our pizzas a unique taste that only Shawcross can deliver.”
Dough at Shawcross is also hand stretched, which John explains gives the base and crust a different density.
And the ingredients that top this base are special again.
“We get deliveries 3 or 4 times a week so everything is fresh.”
“Most of our stuff is local produce, and our ham isn’t that shredded stuff, it’s all top quality ham,” says John.
For those not so keen on meat, Shawcross’ menu also has some creative vegan and vegetarian options, with more to come in the next few months.
All creations on the Shawcross’ menu are unique, John adds, so they’re perfect to spice up your next event of function.
“It’s a different kind of catering. If you walk into a space with one of these 22 inch boxes, it has an effect!”
But, if a quiet night in with a beer and a slice is more your style, then Shawcross still has your back – they’re with Ubereats, Foodora, EatNow and MenuLog and also deliver alcohol.
So, next time your craving a cheesy slice washed down by a cool beer, head into Shawcross, or just pick up the phone… tasty, New York pizza is only minutes away.
Find Shawcross on Facebook at facebook.com/ShawcrossPizza
Visit the store at 324 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Hours are: Sun: 4pm – 12am, Mon – Thurs: 5pm – 12am, Fri – Sat: 4pm – 3.30am
Photography by Kerman Daruwalla