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Taste Buds: Gem City Pizza

Yorkville shop offers unique and tasty options

April 4, 2013

The Buds have discovered a gem in the heart of Yorkville.

It doesn't sparkle or come in brilliant colors but it involves homemade dough and warm gooey cheese. And that's the next best thing if you ask us.

We speak of Gem City Pizza, which occupies the same building as the former Grand Slam Pizza on Market Street in Yorkville. Partners A.J. Hunt of Toronto and Eric Archey, 30, of Philadelphia, opened the original location in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in January of 2012. Taking advantage of the opportunity to expand, they opened a second shop in Toronto last October and a third location in Yorkville in December.

Article Photos

Pictured is one of Gem City’s Roni Rolls with sides of Swagger sauce and regular. Yummy!!

After doing a little research and learning that they offered such things as Sweet and Spicy pizza and something called "Swagger Sauce," the Buds' curiosity was piqued - so off to Yorkville it was.

Gem City's pizza, like others unique to the valley, is square and sold by the tray or slice. A regular slice will run you $.85 while a regular tray is $12.75. Patrons can also purchase their specialty Sweet n Spicy pizza by the slice or tray. Other pizza options include white pizza, and specialty trays for $15 including veggie, Buffalo Chicken, BLT, Barbecue Chicken and Chicken Bacon Ranch.

If you are looking for something other than pizza, Gem City has you covered there too. Patrons can choose from a variety of salads (Steak, Buffalo Chicken, Garden, Chicken or Antipasto), calzones, cheesy bread, Roni Rolls and large or small subs which include Philly steak, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Bacon Ranch, Italian and meatball.

Bud Em opted to try the small Buffalo Chicken sub which rang in at 4 bucks and was a toasted sub roll loaded with grilled chicken with buffalo sauce and tons of warm, gooey cheese. The sandwich was not overly spicy and really hit the spot. With a can of soda for a buck, it made for quite the tasty lunch.

Tempted by the Roni Roll, she also ordered one to take home for later and absolutely had to try the Swagger sauce. The roll, ringing in at just 2 bucks, was made with their own fresh dough and filled with pepperoni and cheese then dusted with a special concoction which we suspect includes Parmesan and Italian spices. It was fabulous and Bud Em thoroughly enjoyed. The Swagger sauce, a mayo-based sauce with added spices, was a tangy treat for dipping. Yum yum!

Bud Shaunna decided to get two slices of the Sweet n Spicy pizza. Gem City's freshly prepared dough was topped with a tangy tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and the kicker - brown sugar and crushed red pepper! Bud Shaunna's taste buds loved this blend of flavors, and her only regret was that she didn't order a third slice. With a bottle of water, this lunch set Bud S back all of $2.90, most definitely worthwhile and affordable!

The top of Gem City's menu boasts a bold warning: "Eating our pizza will change your life!" Well, they certainly made believers (and new customers) out of the Buds!

The Buds can be reached at



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