Argentine Pizza: It’s thick, sturdy, and layered with surprises

You’ve likely eaten at many of Orange County’s Argentine restaurants and not even known it. Rincon ArgentinoMenus often read like Italian primers: skeins of fresh pasta, milky lobes of mozzarella, thin sheets of prosciutto. But even the strongest Italian accent can’t hide the Argentine underpinnings, like these uniquely South American pizzas.

Rincon Argentino is a homey little place, but the small kitchen bakes some of the county’s truest Argentine pizzas. The completa is the Argentine equivalent of an American supreme: tomato, sheets of ham, strips of roasted red pepper, slices of hard-boiled egg, and briny olives and anchovies. The crust is thick and sturdy, almost like a crumbly focaccia. Rincon is also home to the fugazzetta rellena, the sauceless, onion-topped pie that features ham and cheese.

Orange’s Patagonia Empanadas is one of those Argentine restaurants hiding in plain sight: elaborate archways, faux ancient columns, and a menu of handmade pastas. But it serves some of the most uniquely Argentine pizzas. Try the palmitos salsa golf pizza, with hearts of palm just barely coated in the salsa golf (an Argentine version of Thousand Island dressing) together with tomato sauce, thinly sliced ham, and stretchy mozzarella.

Empana da Man Pizzeria in Lake Forest offers one of the widest arrays of Argentine pizzas. Expect nearly a dozen variations of ham, olives, anchovies, and roasted peppers. Try the Hawaiian-leaning jamón y ananá: ham, pineapple, and hard-boiled eggs. You can even order a pizza-themed empanada stuffed with tomatoes, basil, and three molten cheeses.

Rincon Argentino doubles as a bakery. Look for the pasta frola,  a traditional shortbread dessert shaped like a pie. The thick crust is layered with quince jam and decorated with a lattice top. The pie is then brushed with an egg glaze, and the crust is garnished with coconut.


Rincon Argentino 2 Rincon Argentino doubles as a bakery. Look for the pasta frola,  a traditional shortbread dessert shaped like a pie. The thick crust is layered with quince jam and decorated with a lattice top. The pie is then brushed with an egg glaze, and the crust is garnished with coconut.


Rincon Argentino
2346 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa
949-642-3299

Patagonia Empanadas
2279 N. Tustin St., Orange
714-602-6945

Empanada Man Pizzeria
20761 Lake Forest Drive, Lake Forest 949-855-9900
empanadaman.com

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