We all have memories of our parents and grandparents reminiscing out loud about their favorite places to go when they were young; the bowling alley they visited every Friday, the perfect sightseeing point for date night and, of course, the tastiest pies around. For many Eugene residents and even out-of-towners, Track Town Pizza is the pizza parlour that they can’t wait to get back to.
Entering Track Town Pizza is like stepping into a time machine and coming out where the grass is truly greener. Original walls adorned with sports fare and autographed photos of some of the world’s greatest athletes, this classic pizza parlour will relax you from the craziness of the real world and leave you feeling nostalgic and satisfied.
“We have a huge out-of-town following. People coming in from Portland or Seattle, even California, they’re coming to Eugene, they’re coming for Track Town Pizza,” says Tim Hill, long-time employee and general manager of Track Town Pizza. “They’ll stop in Eugene on their way through just to get our pizza.”
Maintaining historical memorabilia and respecting antiquity is important to Track Town, and they make sure it reflects in all aspects of the restaurant. The majority of the menu items are the original flavors and combos that were offered when the restaurant opened in 1977. Offering a plethora of beers on tap, a loaded salad bar and pizzas for all taste pallets and restrictions, Track Town is sure to satisfy everyone at the table.
“Tom Happy still comes in and gets pizza here,” says Hill, referencing one of the original owners of Track Town Pizza from back in the day.
The dedication at Track Town Pizza isn’t limited to their decorum and menu options either. Each pizza is lovingly handmade by long-time employees, made up of fresh produce, house sauce and dough made from scratch every day. Good pizza is so much more than slapping some mozzarella and Progresso on dough, and the chefs at Track Town take that to heart as they craft each individual pie.
“I’ve been working here for 12 years now, and it’s just so much fun. I had my first pizza here — the 100 Yard Dash — when I was a high school senior,” reminisced Hill on his time at the parlour. “It’s stuck with me and has been my favorite ever since.” Canadian bacon, pepperoni, sausage, oh my!
“I think the majority of people when you ask them what their favorite food is, the answer is pizza. Pizza does not fail very much, it always does well, and people will like it if you put out a good product, and we make good pizza,” says Hill.
As if making delicious pizza for generations and a whole community isn’t enough, Track Town takes it a step further and ensures they are giving the love back to Eugene. Pizzas are regularly donated for fundraising events throughout the surrounding areas, and each year Track Town partners with different groups to raise thousands of dollars for local nonprofits and organizations alike.
Finally, the shining star of Track Town Pizza (besides, of course, the pizza) is their close relationship to the athletic history of the university and their namesake: Track Town USA.
“We had a couple of athletes here for the 2016 Olympic Trials here eating with their families, and they were sitting underneath photos of them framed from probably the 80s,” says Hill excitedly. “They ended up autographing the photos, and those photos are still on the wall. Now whenever an athlete comes here and their photo is on the wall, I’m like, ‘you gotta sign it!’”
This hometown pizza parlour represents the incredible roster of athletes that have come out of the University of Oregon, and has developed a close relationship with many of them over time. This only serves to add to the quintessential ambiance of Track Town Pizza, sealing the deal with framed and autographed photos by some of Oregon’s greatest.
“People feel like this is the home of track and field. The feel of those people being here, representing Oregon, and it’s just really cool to have them here,” concluded Hill.
Whether you’re looking for sports history, a lunch or dinner spot for the whole family or just some darn good pizza, Track Town Pizza is the place for you.