Happiness and cheese: Award-winning Palo Mesa Pizza makes its way to San Luis Obispo



I felt at home the moment I walked through Palo Mesa Pizza’s doors. There’s something truly genuine about the environment that owner Michael Stevens has built at his businesses—not to mention the amazing pizza.

We’re talking internationally acclaimed pizza. In March 2013, Stevens competed in the International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas and placed first in the southwest division and fifth in the world. He followed that success by qualifying to compete for the America Pizza Team at the America Pizza Challenge in October 2013. Then, just weeks ago, in April 2014, he placed 53 out of 600 contestants at a pizza competition in Parma, Italy.

THE PIE MAN:  Michael Stevens owns Palo Mesa Pizza, where he puts his own spin on the menu. - PHOTO BY HENRY BRUINGTON
  • THE PIE MAN: Michael Stevens owns Palo Mesa Pizza, where he puts his own spin on the menu.

As I spent the day with Stevens and his employees to get a sense of how they create their exalted pies, I got a feel for how much they care for their craft, their customers, and each other. With annual pizza competitions in Vegas and Italy, these pizzaiolos are well seasoned in high-pressure pizza making situations judged by their peers in the pizza world. With two restaurants in Arroyo Grande and a new location in San Luis Obispo, they’ve drawn the attention of the community with their friendly attitude and stellar food.

Although my recent visit marked my first time enjoying Palo Mesa’s award-winning pizza, it won’t be my last.


Taste for yourself

Palo Mesa Pizza has three locations. Visit them at 2790, Halcyon Road, suite C, Arroyo Grande (474-9924); 906 Rancho Parkway, Arroyo Grande (481-7888); and 3536 S. Higuera St., suite 206 (784-0983). All three locations are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and offer delivery from noon to 9 p.m. For more information, visit


Contact Staff Photographer Henry Bruington at [email protected].


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