Family-owned 4 Corners Pizza has served deep-dish pizza in Newton Highlands for 31 years. But since the March re-launch of its pizza cupcakes, the restaurant is attracting foodies from all over the region. It’s even gone viral.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” said Nyk Chatzis, whose family owns the restaurant.
Nyk and his sister Natasha, both part-owners, are the visionaries behind the cupcakes. The two created the dish prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but stopped producing it when quarantine began.
Though small, the pizza dough cupcakes pack a surprising amount of flavorful filling for their size, which is encapsulated in a chewy and buttery dough. The restaurant offers 12 different pizza cupcakes, including the classic double pepperoni pizza cupcake and the more innovative Nashville hot chicken pizza cupcake.
“I think [the cupcake is] just like a deep dish experience on the go,” Nyk Chatzis said. “I personally just like having very fine-tuned products. We like making sure that all the flavors inside that product are complimentary.”
Two years later, they re-launched the cupcakes after not only fine-tuning the dish, but also building a brand around the product. Nyk Chatzis designed a logo for the cupcakes, which is now featured on 4 Corners t-shirts, stickers, and a wall of the restaurant as a neon sign.
The restaurant started to attract Boston-based food influencers—or ‘foodies’—after launching the pizza cupcakes.
In April, following the launch, foodie Angela Miley featured 4 Corners Pizza on her Instagram account @thesecarbsdontcount, a Boston-based comfort food account with about 196,000 followers.
“I think when we first started doing it, like the first couple weeks, people got excited,” Natasha Chatzis said. “It was only like a couple weeks after, where … everyone [wanted] to take a nice little picture, and then they tell all their friends. So we’ve been super busy.”
Emily Chan, who runs the account @bostonfoodgram with over 100,000 followers, went to 4 Corners in mid-May. When Chan’s video post amassed a little over a million views, the Chatzis siblings knew the pizza cupcakes had become a sensation.
“Honestly it was a marker when we hit 100,000 views to be honest. When we hit 100,000 views, we were, like freaking out, and we’re only like a couple weeks away from that video and it’s [got] a million views,” Nyk Chatzis said.
While the apple-sized pizza cupcakes look amazing in pictures, they also taste delicious in real life. In the Shrimp Mac and Cheese cupcake, for example, the pasta is cooked to cheesy perfection and pairs perfectly with the buttery shrimp and ritz cracker garnish.
The restaurant uses the same ingredients found in its traditional pizzas for the cupcakes, including locally sourced flour and tomatoes.
“It’s so hard to just talk about them because they’re so fun to look at, but the actual taste quality is there,” Nyk Chatzis said. “We [have spent] a lot of time on making the dough here over the years … and then all of the flavors … are also very fine-tuned and very quality ingredients.”
Other than the freshness of the dough and the filling, what really sets the food at 4 Corners apart are the innovative flavor options.
The menu also offers three dessert pizza cupcake options, including classic cheesecake, cookies and cream, and s’mores, which use the same dough as the savory flavors.
“I think they’re really complimentary to the dough,” Nyk Chatzis said. “It’s a very dynamic dough, so it really works with the sweet options we’ve made.”
The primary inspiration behind the cupcakes, according to Nyk Chatzis, was the ability to provide customers who have a hard time settling on a single flavor of pizza with the opportunity to try multiple options at once.
“I just love food, and I’m definitely the type of person that likes to have a little bit of everything, so that’s why I love the cupcakes too,” Natasha Chatzis said. “You can have a little bit of everything. You don’t have to have a whole pizza.”
With the continually increasing success of the cupcakes, both Natasha and Nyk are planning to expand the menu and launch new flavors in the future.
“You know, we love pizza. This is what we do,” Nyk said. “But pizza’s such a good base to really provide a variety of flavors to people, so you can take any type of cuisine and really just try to work it out so that it’s pizza presentable.”
4 Corners Pizza is open at 1140 Beacon Street on Monday through Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.