Magoo's California Pizza in Indianapolis
I didn't realize the size of the fanbase for this somewhat unassuming pizza place north of Speedway. My friend Maurice was raving about them, so I added Magoo's California Pizza to our bucket list and Indy pizza map.
Magoo's popped up again on the @citiesbytheslice poster for Indianapolis pizza places. I realized we had been to every single place on the poster except Magoo's - then when I checked them out on Instagram I realized they had almost 14,000 followers and tons of comments. I knew we had to check this place out right away. When we posted about it on our stories, we got dozens of people reaching out to us to tell us that they love this place!
Magoo's offers halal options (I think of it like the Islamic version of kosher), which has become more available alongside places like New York Pizza Garden, Pizza with a Twist, and Maestro Pizza. The location is in a little strip mall, and the inside is much larger than I thought it would be. It's very no-nonsense, and I guess people don't really come for the interior design they come for the pizza.
We came in the early afternoon on Saturday and ordered a variety of things to try. We got the garlic bread with cheese, something called a Magzone (the Magoo's version of a calzone), a small double pepperoni for Chris, and a medium Chappli Kabob pizza for me.
The garlic bread with cheese was a good texture with generous garlic butter and melted cheese on top in an open faced sandwich style. I think it's something like a hoagie bun with garlic butter and cheese. It was very decent but definitely not the main attraction.
Next we had the Magzone with pepperoni, which came with an amazing cup of home made ranch dressing that I kept to dunk my pizza in later. The Magzone itself had a beautiful crispy crust and stayed golden and dry in spite of the fact that they actually have sauce on the inside rather than just cheese and toppings. This thing was filled, and was a surprisingly thin pocket with everything in the middle. It was a little runny for my taste, but the crust flavor and texture was really nice. Chris thought it was delicious and would absolutely get it again.
On to the main course. I had the Chappli Kabob pizza with a garlic sauce base. The Chappli Kabob includes kabob, green peppers, tomatoes, onion, and kabob sauce. The little crispy bits on top had a great spicy aroma and the buttery garlic sauce mixed with the peppers gave it a savory creaminess.
The crust was foldable and soft and sort of a blank canvas - it doesn't have a particular buttery or yeasty or cornmeal flavor on its own. It's a gooey pizza but the toppings stay together, unlike some places where the toppings and cheese side off in a big sheet.
Chris got the double pepperoni, which I think uses beef pepperoni since it's halal. He said he's starting to like beef pepperoni just as much as pork pepperoni now, so it definitely didn't feel like a substitution or compromise. The edge to edge cheese mixed well with the toppings and created those nice little brown spots on top - so good!
Overall, I can see why this place is so popular - it's hands down the best halal pizza place in Indy that we've tried and is doing its own original thing. To me it was deceptively filling for how thin the pizzas look, and I ended up taking half my pizza home with me. It was about a 45 minute drive for us, it was a fun place to try and if we're in the area again will happily come back.