Cook’s Pizza in Wakarusa Remains a Scrumptious Staple After More Than 50 Years
Writer & Photographer / Ali Snyder
There is one thing that brings people together, and it’s pizza. And, if you’re in the Wakarusa area, you likely know the name Cook’s Pizza. Located in the heart of the quaint downtown, Cook’s Pizza has been a staple in the community for over 50 years.
What started as a mere vision for brothers and owners, Stan and Steve Cook, the business has managed to continue bringing the community together since 1971. When the brothers opened their doors, they focused primarily on serving delicious homemade ice cream. As the years went on and their following grew larger, they decided to make pizza a focal point on the menu. Clearly, that was the right move as people come from near and far to enjoy one of their hot and fresh slices or a whole pie.
The vibe when you walk in the door instantly makes you feel like part of a family. The walls are covered in newspaper articles, magazine features, Northwood pride memorabilia, and even photos of celebrities and high-status individuals who have visited. One of the most notable items displayed is a signed photograph from former President Barack Obama. As you look around you will find booths full of smiling faces, chit-chatting about life and likely enjoying a fresh cup of hot coffee. If you are by yourself, you can sit at the small counter and promptly be served by one of the friendly team members.
What keeps customers coming back time and time again is the simplicity of the recipe. Everything on the pizza, from the dough to the sauce, is made fresh in-house. You can choose from a variety of toppings such as ground beef, sausage, ham, bacon, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, olives, pineapple and more. The whole-pie options are small (10”), medium (12”) and large (14”).
As they pop your pizza into the oven you can relax and enjoy small talk with friends and strangers. Don’t be surprised if Steve and Stan make an appearance and join in on the conversation as well, as they know so many of their regular customers as friends. When asked what keeps them going every day, they say it’s the community that continues to return for their signature food and friendly vibe. They truly put pride into their dishes, and as Stan puts it, “you’re only as good as your last pizza.”
Not in the mood for pizza? No problem. Cook’s has something for everyone. Their menu is extensive, and everything is made fresh with the highest-quality ingredients. Some of the popular menu items include the Cook’s burger, tenderloin sandwich, cold-cut sub, stromboli, shrimp basket, chef salad and the chili dog, just to name a few. Don’t forget to add a side order of mozzarella sticks, fries, garlic bread with cheese, or their homemade soup of the day. To top it all off, choose from their delicious homemade ice cream, or a dessert item like the hand-dipped shakes, banana split and root beer floats.
Cook’s Pizza is also known for their daily specials. The lunch crowd is always busy, yet Steve and Stan manage to get the food prepared quickly, making it a great option for those on a lunch break. In a hurry? Cook’s offers carry-out for pizza and to-go options for all their menu items.
Next time you’re in the area or looking for a new restaurant to try, give Cook’s Pizza a go. You’re likely to hear stories, have a great conversation and maybe even make some new friends.
Cook’s Pizza is located at 101 South Elkhart Street in Wakarusa. You can find them on Facebook @CooksPizza or reach them via phone at 574-862-4425.