Teenagers on first dates, a group of friends watching the game, and a family wrestling for the last slice are a few of the scenes you might find on any given day at Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza.
Opened in Tequesta in August by franchisees Amanda and Mike Christie, the local pizza joint is the newest addition to the Riko’s chain—and the only location outside Connecticut and New York.
“My husband and I are very passionate about pizza,” says Amanda, who hails from New York. “We saw an unmet need in our area for thin pizza crust. When we found out Riko’s was franchising, we decided to bring it down here.”
Riko’s rose to fame up north thanks to its namesake hot oil pizza, which features spicy homemade oil made with stinger peppers. It’s also beloved for its sweet and spicy hot honey sauce, which is drizzled on the pizza and wings. Additional pies range from the Meat Lovers Pizza (pepperoni, ham, bacon, and sausage) to the Clam Pizza (a blend of mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, clams, bacon, basil, and chopped garlic). The restaurant offers more than just its famous pizza: Riko’s is also known for its lighter alternative known as a “salad pizza,” which is a thin-crust pizza topped with fresh ingredients typically found in tossed salads, such as antipasto and chopped chicken. The casual spot also serves cocktails, including the Riko’s Stinger Margarita featuring tequila infused with a secret-ingredient pepper.
“It’s cool to see something I grew up on flourish down here,” says Mike, who originates from Darien, Connecticut. “Thin crust is not common in South Florida, and some people come in and say, ‘I’m not sure about this.’ But then they’re back the next day because the pizza is so good.”