28 best pizza spots in Charlotte

28 best pizza spots in Charlotte

Emmy Squared Pizza Plaza Midwood. Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

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In honor of National Pizza Week, here are the 28 best pizza spots in Charlotte — from New York-style to deep-dish.

This guide was first published in 2017 and was most recently updated in January 2022.

 


Aliño Pizzeria

Enjoy a Neapolitan-style pizza, cooked in 90 seconds. The pies are made with fresh ingredients and dough imported from Italy and cooked in wood-burning ovens.

Order this: The Capri Verdure. It’s a great option for vegetarians and it’s made with shiitake mushrooms, artichoke, caramelized onions, sweet peppers, San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella.

alino pizza concord

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios


Benny Pennello’s

You’ll need two plates and two hands for a slice of Benny’s behemoth 28-inch pies.

Order this: Try the sliced Italian sausage pizza.

ICYMI: Benny’s is opening a second location.

bennys pizza

Giant cheese pizza from Benny’s.


Bird Pizzeria

One of the newest spots on this list, Bird specializes in gourmet East Coast-style pizza.

Order this: We recommend trying the white pizza made with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil and basil ($22).

Read more: East Coast-style pizzeria now open in Optimist Park

Bird Pizzeria

White pizza with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil and basil. Photo: Emma Way/Axios


Bisonte Pizza Co.

Bisonte pizzas are made using a passed-down family recipe.

Order this: Customize your own pizza

Bisonte Pizza Co.


Capishe

The fast-casual Italian restaurant has locations outside of Uptown and in SouthPark. There are nine Neapolitan-style pizzas with red and white sauce options.

Order this: Go with the San Lorenzo. It’s a red pizza with bufala mozzarella, sweet piquante, cipollini onion, Italian sausage, fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

pizza-kitchen-capishe-charlotte

San Lorenzo pizza from Capishe.


DeSano Pizza

DeSano specializes in authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. What makes this pizza chain unique is that the pizzas are cooked in wood-burning ovens for 90 seconds — ideal for those who are eager to chow down.

Order this: The Verdura pizza. It has broccoli rabe, mushrooms, Vesuvian cherry tomatoes, garlic, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala and pecorino romano.

desano pizza


Due Amici Pizza

If you’re looking for authentic New York-style pizza, Due Amici is the place to go. There are plenty of fresh toppings for you to customize your pizza exactly how you like it.

Order this: Build your own pizza


Emmy Squared

New York-originated pizza joint known for its square-shaped, crispy-bottomed pizza and signature burgers.

Order this: Unequivicolly, the Colony² pizza. It combines the heat from jalapeños and sweetness from drizzled honey to create an unsuspecting paring that you didn’t know you needed.

Emmy Squared’s Colony² pizza. Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios


Hawthorne’s NY Pizza

Go big or go home with Hawthorne’s 18×18-inch thick crust, square pie. It’s gigantic so bring a few partners-in-pizza. They have traditional New York-style pizza too, but you need to give this one a go.

hawthornes elizabeth


House of Pizza

This family-owned pizza spot has been in the Charlotte community for more than 43 years. In addition to serving authentic Italian fare, House of Pizza also serves cheesesteaks and wings.

Order this: Try the house special pizza, it has mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, mushroom, onions and peppers.


Inizio

Owner Grant Arons is so obsessed with replicating authentic Neapolitan pizza, he makes his crust using water imported from Italy for its exact pH balance and mineral content. He also imports Polselli type “OO” flour, San Marzano tomatoes and real buffalo mozzarella. It doesn’t get much closer to the real deal than that.

Order this: Go with the pistachio pizza.

pizza-inizio-charlotte

Inizio’s famous pistachio pizza.


Intermezzo

Serving both Italian and Serbian cuisine, Intermezzo has everything from pizza to schnitzel.

Order this: The Garden Fresh pizza. It’s topped with broccoli, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, spinach and smoked gouda.

intermezzo

“Garden Fresh” pizza from Intermezzo.


Livy’s Neapolitan Pizzeria 

Dive into Neapolitan pizza from classics to originals inside Heist Brewery and Barrel Arts.

Order this: Il fungo, which has a slight kick from the chili oil. This vegan pizza also includes smoke cured portobellos, San Marzano pomodoro, vegan cheese, cartelized onions and garlic and baby spinach.

Go deeper: 10 vegan pizza options in Charlotte

Il fungo. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios


Luisa’s Brick Oven Pizzeria

Luisa’s uses a brick oven imported straight from Italy to cook its pies.

Order this: You can’t go wrong with building your own pizza.

Luisa's Pizza

Pepperoni pizza from Luisa’s Pizza. Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios


Mama Ricotta’s

The Charlotte classic has been serving up authentic Italian food for nearly three decades. Their pizza is New Haven-style with a thin, bubbly crust cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Order this: Go with the tomato & mozzarella pizza.

pizza-at-mama-ricottas-italian-restaurant-charlotte-nc


Margaux’s Wine, Pizza & Market

This pizza shop is technically located in Pineville, but it’s worth the short drive. The pizzas are St. Louis-Style, so they’re thin and crispy.

Order this: The St. Louis-Style Cheese Pizza ($12).

Margaux's Wine & Pizza Pineville

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios


Pizzeria Omaggio

Omaggio’s thin-crust pizzas make it so you can eat the entire pie in one go. Their seasonal pizzas are the stand-out on the menu, though.

Order this: Try the Country pizza. It’s a seasonal pizza made with tomato sauce, whole milk mozzarella, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, smoked pancetta and Italian parsley ($16.50).

pizzeria omaggio pizza

Regina Margherita from Pizzeria Omaggio with mozzarella di bufala.


Portofino’s

Portofino’s has your classic “foldable” NY slice. The pizzas are made with Grande cheese, Italian whole peeled tomatoes, homemade sauce, and fresh-made dough. Pick up a slice at any of its four Charlotte locations.

Order this: For an outside-the-box option, go with the Arrabbiata pizza. It’s made with spicy marinara, prosciutto, mushrooms, tomatoes, kalamata olives, mozzarella and basil.

portofinos east charlotte pizza restaurant

NY-style pepperoni pizza from Portofino’s.


Protagonist

You’re definitely going to want to bring a pizza partner (or several) because these pizzas start at 16-inches and go up to 28-inches.

Order this: The Peter Parker. It’s got spinach, tomato, black olives, bell peppers and mushrooms

Protagonist South End

Photo: Emma Way/Axios

 


Pure Pizza

Farm-to-table meets pizza. All ingredients are locally sourced — plus: they have gluten-free crust options, vegan cheese and plenty of meat-free toppings. Who said pizzas couldn’t be healthy?

Order this: Pure Pizza’s chorizo pizza with red onions, sliced radishes, cilantro and fresh lime wedges.

chorizo pure pizza plaza midwood

Pure Pizza’s chorizo pizza.


Room & Board

Room & Board does reimagined pub fare but their Detroit-style pizza with extra-crispy crust is a standout on the menu. Pizzas come in four-square and eight-square options.

Order this: The Papa Pepperoni

room and board pizza


Sal’s Pizza Factory

Sal’s crispy, Jersey-style pizza comes by the slice and in whole pizza pies. It’s thin, yet sturdy and doesn’t need to be folded.

Order this: The meat lover’s pizza. It has pepperoni, sausage, meatball, bacon AND ham.

The Meatlover’s Pizza from Sal’s.


Salud Cerveceria

In addition to its extensive beer selection, Salud also serves up a host of fun, fusion pizzas.

Order this: It’s a toss-up between the Latin Lingo pizza and the “Liberation” potato pizza.

salud pizza potato


Stagioni

Choose a pizza from their menu, or make one yourself. Stagioni sells a take-home pizza kit that serves two and comes with pizza dough, sauce, cheese and sausage and pepperoni ($25).

Order this: The pepperoni and sausage pizza.

pizza at stagioni myers park charlotte


The Pizza Peel & Tap Room

This family-casual pizza joint has a wide selection of specialty pizzas (meat & veggie), or you can build your own pie. Outdoor seating and a spacious astroturf lawn at the Plaza Midwood location make for a great place for kids to run around. Plus, kids 12 and under eat free every Tuesday at all three locations.

Order this: “Sorry for Partying Supreme” pizza. It has pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, mozzarella cheese, green peppers, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, onions and mushrooms.

The Pizza Peel

The “Sorry for Partying Supreme” pizza.


TRUE Crafted Pizza

Although TRUE makes a mean traditional wood-fired pizza, the restaurant’s signature pie is its super-thin crust brushed with olive oil and cooked to a perfect char on the grill.

Order this: Give the House-Made Pesto pizza a try. It’s made with caramelized onions, red and yellow bell peppers, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and house-made pesto sauce ($14).

Pro tip: You can also get TRUE pizzas at sister restaurant Osteria LuCa in Park Road Shopping Center.


Zio Casual Italian

Zio’s offers classic New York-style pizza as well as grilled pies that are cooked over an open flame and cut into squares.

Plus: Zio has a garden on-site that not only serves as a romantic outdoor space where guests can enjoy their meals (pandemic-friendly), but also as the primary source for the majority of the fruits, vegetables and herbs used in the dishes.

Order this: The sweet Italian sausage pizza. It’s made with rich tomato sauce, cheese blend, sweet Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and fresh herbs ($15).


300 East

If you’re craving pizza first thing in the morning, 300 East has the pie for you.

Order this: The Breakfast Pizza. It’s made with local chorizo, red sauce, cheddar-jack cheese, scallions, queso fresco and fried eggs.

breakfast-pizza-300-east-brunch-charlotte

Breakfast pizza at 300 East. Photo: Ted Williams/Axios


800 Degree Woodfired Kitchen

This upscale pizza spot cooks its pies using a rotating, 800-degree oven that is specifically manufactured for each 800 location.

Order this: The Double Pepperoni pizza.

Read more: Upscale pizza restaurant with a rotating oven opens in SouthPark

800 Degree Woodfired Kitchen

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios


Looking for more Charlotte food and drink guides? Here’s our complete list of Axios Charlotte food & drink guides including best burgers, best bars, best new restaurants, best weekly specials, best cocktail bars and best brunch.

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