Figuring out what to make for family meals can be frustrating, especially if there are multiple picky eaters in your house. If you’re stuck on what to eat for lunch, Mario’s Pizza can help. Here are five fun lunch ideas to consider, or for the easiest option, stop by our authentic Italian restaurant for a full menu of pizza, subs, wings, and more, including daily lunch specials.

Try an International Twist on an Old Favorite

According to one survey, some of American’s favorite things to eat at mealtime include:

  1. Mashed potatoes
  2. French fries
  3. Hamburgers
  4. Grilled Cheese
  5. Fried Chicken

Other top lunch favorites include sandwiches, chicken nuggets/tenders, and salads.

If your family members tend to be creatures of habit, you can get creative by trying a new twist on one of their favorites. Think about how you can make your lunch globally-inspired to introduce a few new flavors or textures without going too far out of their comfort zone.

Here are some examples:

  • Try teriyaki, jerk-style, or other unique international dipping sauces for your chicken.
  • Add some brown gravy and cheese curds to your French fries to create the beloved Canadian dish poutine
  • Create a grilled cheese or other type of sandwich using something other than slices of American and provolone. Try Spanish Manchego, Dutch Gouda, English Cheddar, or another type of delicious melty cheese.

Get creative by adding in a few interesting ingredients to encourage your family to try new things, without making them turn up their noses at something completely unfamiliar.

Create a Meat, Fruit, and Vegetable Tray Kids Will Love

Charcuterie boards are all the rage, and for good reason. People love the flexibility to try a wide range of foods during a single meal. There’s no reason you can’t make a version that your kids will love too, as a fun lunch option.

Traditionally, a charcuterie board shows off upscale cured pork products, and many also include nuts, cheese, fruits, vegetables, crackers, spreads, and dipping sauces. For your lunchtime charcuterie board with the kids, you can add:

  • Rolled lunch meat and sliced cheese
  • Baby carrots, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers, broccoli, and other raw vegetables they enjoy
  • Crackers (Ritz, goldfish, saltines, or anything else in your pantry)
  • Peanut butter
  • Sliced applies, berries, orange slices, grapes, and other fresh fruits
  • Raisins
  • Pieces of bread or toast, cut into strips
  • Pretzels

You can add any other snacky foods in your house as well. Don’t forget to add in a few more unusual options to encourage picky eaters to try new things. You could include foods such as hummus, kiwi or other tropical fruits, pickles, and more.

Have Breakfast for Lunch with a Pancake or Waffle Bar

Sometimes your mornings can be very rushed, so it isn’t possible to make pancakes or waffles. You can make them for a fun lunch instead, with a toppings bar that kids (and – who are we kidding – adults too!) will love. Here are a few fun toppings to try on your pancakes or waffles:

  • Maple syrup of course (and try warming it a bit with some flavoring extract like vanilla for a fun twist)
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings or chips
  • Peanut butter
  • Candied bacon
  • Fresh berries or fruit syrup
  • Jam
  • Sprinkles
  • Sliced bananas
  • Apples stewed with some cinnamon (or use apple pie filling!)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Honey
  • Walnuts or pecans
  • Shredded coconut

You can make your waffle/pancake bar slightly healthier with options like fresh fruit, nuts, and honey, or you can get indulgent for a special occasion with candy toppings.

Whip Up Some Easy Quesadillas if You Need an Idea for What to Eat for Lunch

Quesadillas are a fun lunch alternative to sandwiches and wraps. They are extremely easy to customize so you can please everyone. You can even make tortillas at home by mixing together 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of water, and a pinch of salt. Little hands will love to help you knead the dough into a smooth consistency, and after it rests for ten minutes, divide into 8 balls and roll into thin circles. Cook in a greased pan for a few minutes and viola: homemade tortillas.

Of course, you can also choose the easier route with a store-bought version as well. Either way, top one tortilla with your desired fillings. This is a great way to use leftover ground beef, steak, pulled pork, or chicken. Then, top with your favorite cheeses and a second tortilla and grill for a few minutes on each side.

Stop by Mario’s Pizza for Lunch

Sometimes, even the best lunch ideas in the world just don’t sound good in the moment. When you don’t know what to eat for lunch, bring the whole gang to Mario’s. Our lunch menu includes full pizzas and pizza by the slice, a wide range of Italian pasta entrees, hot and cold subs, and more. There’s a little something for everyone, even if you don’t want pizza for lunch.

If your day is especially busy, we also offer delivery via Slice, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub. Additionally, you can call us for a carry-out order. Don’t forget to join our rewards program to earn points with every visit!

FAQs About Mario’s Lunch Menu

We’d love to answer any questions you have about the Mario’s Pizza lunch menu. Here are a few FAQs to get you started:

Do you have options for special diets?

Yes! We have both a gluten-free crust and a cauliflower crust option. Notably, we take allergies very seriously, so please tell a staff member if someone in your family has an allergy or sensitivity. Likewise, we also have some carb-conscious options, including a wide variety of salads.

Can I order catering?

We have a variety of party trays available to make your next work meeting, party, or event delicious! Our team can also provide large quantities of pizza, calzones, strombolis, and other foods. Please provide 72 hours notice for catering.

What makes Mario’s different?

We bring traditional Italian food to North Carolina with our authentic family recipes. Our family has roots in Calabria, Italy, and we grew up in Brooklyn before moving south. You can read more about our journey here, and we hope to see you at one of our locations for an Italian lunch soon!

At Mario’s Pizza, you can get a taste of authentic Italian food right here in the Triad. We have a full menu of Brooklyn-style pizza, pasta, and other favorites, including what we humbly believe is the best calzone near me. If you’ve never had a calzone before, we would love to make one for you, filled with your favorite toppings.

What is a Calzone?

Calzones are an Italian invention, and roughly translates to “pants legs.” Naples pizza-makers created calzones in the 1700s as an on-the-go pizza so you could eat it while walking around, hence the name. They were originally just normal pizzas folded in half, which gave them their traditional half-moon shape. However, over time calzones have become their own thing, rather than just being a version of pizza.

Today’s calzones still have the half-moon shape, as opposed to stromboli, which is a rectangle shape where the dough is rolled into a log. Calzones typically have a cheese blend inside, featuring ricotta and other cheese varieties. They can also be stuffed with a variety of other toppings. We serve the sauce on the outside, however. It’s perfect for dipping. With a stromboli, the sauce is baked into the center with the other ingredients, so the resulting texture is a bit different.

Calzones still make a great meal on the go. We even have a calzone lunch special on Tuesday if you stop by Mario’s for a quick bite. We have eight locations throughout the Triad, in Winston-Salem, Clemmons, High Point, and Greensboro. Our sister restaurant, Tony’s Pizza, also has locations in Mooresville, Charlotte, Hickory, and Huntersville to satisfy your calzone cravings.

Calzones: Are They Better Than Pizza?

Pizza will always be our first love, but there are a few reasons why you might choose a calzone instead. Here are the top five reasons why calzones are sometimes better than pizza:

  1. You get a bigger ratio of toppings to crust. Hey, we get it. Some people are just not “crust” people. We think our crust is the best in the Triad, but you might still like that a calzone gives you a huge pocket of delicious toppings to enjoy.
  2. Calzones are grab-and-go, as mentioned. While you can sit in our dining room to enjoy a calzone, they are perfect when you want Italian food but don’t have time to stop for a long meal.
  3. You get to determine the perfect amount of sauce for every bite. Because we serve the sauce on the side for dipping, you can pick if you want a little sauce or a lot. Just ask one of our servers if you need more!
  4. Calzones stay warmer longer. Who doesn’t like to catch up with old friends over pizza? The only problem is that sometimes you get so caught up talking, your pizza gets cold in the meantime. Because of the pocket shape, calzones stay warm a lot longer.
  5. Everyone in your family can choose their own toppings. Our pizzas easily serve the whole family, but that means you have to agree on toppings. Calzones are single-serve, so you can each pick your own.

Strombolis also have some of the same benefits over pizza, but with more crust and sauce on the inside. Our strombolis also have mozzarella cheese instead of a mozzarella/ricotta blend, so if you don’t like ricotta cheese, they might be the best option for you.

Delicious Calzone Toppings

Our calzones come with a delicious cheese blend and your choice of one topping. We have a huge range of toppings available here at Mario’s Pizza!

Toppings for meat lovers:

  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Sliced sausage
  • Beef
  • Ham
  • Chorizo
  • Salami
  • Beef roni
  • Meatball
  • Bacon
  • Canadian bacon
  • Grilled chicken (premium)
  • Crispy chicken (premium)
  • Steak (premium)

Vegetarian options:

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Banana peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Roasted peppers
  • Black olives
  • Fresh garlic
  • Spinach
  • Pineapple
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Jalapenos
  • Green olives
  • Eggplant
  • Feta cheese (premium)
  • Artichoke hearts (premium)
  • Broccoli (premium)
  • Anchovies (premium)
  • Kalamata olives (premium)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (premium)
  • Roasted red peppers (premium)

Some of our most popular topping options for calzones include spinach, pepperoni, and mushrooms, but you can choose the topping that sounds tastiest to you. The best calzone near me will be the one that fits your personal preferences.

FAQs About Ordering the Best Calzone Near Me

Our servers would be happy to answer any calzone questions you may have. Here are a few we get about ordering an authentic calzone you love:

Do you have any calzone specials?

Along with our weekly Tuesday calzone lunch special, we also have a rewards program. You can sign up online, via our app, or by giving your phone number to one of our staff members when dining in. You’ll earn points any time you order a calzone or any food at Mario’s Pizza!

What other entrees do you have available?

We are a top Italian restaurant in the Triad and offer a large selection of traditional Italian entrees, including not only the best calzone near me, but also the following other dishes:

  • New-York style pizza and strombolis
  • Appetizers such as Italian sausage, garlic knots, wings, garlic bread, toasted ravioli, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, Italian meatballs, garlic cheesy bread, french fries, and fried mushrooms
  • Hot and cold subs
  • Salads
  • Eggplant parmigiana and chicken parmigiana
  • Meat Lasagna
  • Baked Ziti
  • Baked Ricotta Cheese Ravioli
  • Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

We also offer a selection of authentic Italian desserts, including tiramisu, cannoli, cheesecake, and limoncello mascarpone cake, as well as a kids menu with seven different options. You can see our full menu here!

Are you open for dine in?

Yes! Our dining rooms are open if you’d like to enjoy your calzone or other entrees at our restaurant. We also offer convenient online ordering if you would rather pick up or have your pizza delivered. Click here to learn more or stop into any dining room today for you next authentic Italian meal.