Ranging from thick crust to cracker-thin, Charlotte offers a good selection of pizza styles and choices. Some have been around for several years while others are relatively new, but all share the same goal of offering a respectable piece of pie. I’m a big fan of a good crust piled high with toppings and cheese … but once I find a place that I like I tend to just stick with it. This can be both a good and bad thing, but I’m working on expanding my horizons.
Here are 15 pizza restaurants that I personally appreciate or have been endorsed by friends. Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments so we can go check them out on our next pizza expedition.
Places I’ve tried (and enjoyed):
What’s it good for: The San Marzano Tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella (+ other ingredients) are flown in straight from Italy and their ovens are made of volcanic sand from Mt. Vesuvius. Pizzas are served family-style on a large sheet pan, and if you visit their Concord Mills location you can make a family-adventure day by visiting the aquarium before or after your feast.
What to order: I like to keep it simple with their Margherita or Sorrento Pizza.
What’s it good for: Fast, personal sized pizza. I typically visit during my lunch hour because I can get in and out in a hurry. Plus, you get to pick all your toppings from a line-up similar to a sandwich shop.
What to order: Whatever your little heart desires. I like adding arugula to finish mine off on a healthier note.
DeSano Pizzeria Napoletana
What’s it good for: This pizza parlor flies in the highest quality Italian ingredients from Napoli and Campania (Italy) weekly. DeSano’s also offers a full bar, while most other pizza restaurants only serve wine and beer.
What to order: I really like the peppadews on the San Gennaro; I don’t see those offered on many menus. They also have fresh garlic by the front for your feasting pleasure … and I am guilty of grabbing three or four ramekins for myself. #garlicbreath
601 South Kings Dr.
What’s it good for:They serve New Haven style pizza with a thin crust that’s crisp and bubbly. The restaurant is very family-friendly and we’ve enjoyed fantastic service for both lunch and dinner.
What to order: The White Pizza is delicious; it’s made with fresh garlic, olive oil and ricotta cheese topped with mozzarella, Romano and sautéed spinach.
Prosciutto’s Pizzeria & Pub
20920 Torrence Chapel Rd., Cornelius
What’s it good for: This place has a great family atmosphere (hello play area dedicated for kids-only so mama can enjoy a glass of wine in peace) and serves New York Style, brick-oven pizza. They also have NFL Ticket, so it’s the perfect place to watch all the games during football season.
What to order: The Garlic Knots and Toasted Ravioli goes over well with my toddler, and they also offer an extensive selection of wings (not for toddlers). As for the main show, I usually go for the traditional Deluxe or Meatlover’s Pizza.
Spoiler Alert: This is a Boston themed pizzeria, so expect to sit next to a Red Sox jersey.
Zablong Peculiar Pizza
137 Brevard Ct.
What’s it good for:It’s a convenient place in Uptown to grab pizza with a co-worker and I like sitting outside in Latta Arcade’s court (lots of people watching). This spot can get busy though, so make sure to head over there before the lunch rush if you’re in a bind for time.
What to order: The Ghost Pepper Salami is pretty good. To be honest, I wish it was a little spicier (especially with a name like that) but overall, it’s flavorful and a great addition to your meal.
Places recommended to me (and sadly I haven’t visited yet):
500 Degrees New York Style Pizza
6037 South Blvd.
Why you should visit: The lunch specials look pretty appealing and both are under $7. Visitors have their choice of two slices of cheese pizza with a drink or a slice of cheese pizza with a house salad and drink. Available Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
2909 N. Davidson St.
Why you should visit: Right next door to Heist Brewery in NoDa, I’m not sure why I haven’t eaten here yet. I mean, I’ve had pints with friends at Heist dozens of times. The main note here is … they serve pizza slices that are bigger than your head. What? Yeah.
CharlotteFive’s Sallie Funderburk and Katie Toussaint head to three different Charlotte pizzerias (Benny Pennello’s, Inizio Pizza and Bisonte Pizza Co.) to try pizza at three different price points and let you know which one has the best value for its cost.
Why you should visit: They pride themselves on offering a family-friendly atmosphere and some of the photos I’ve seen of their pizzas online look phenomenal. They have an award-winning gluten-free menu and offer authentic New York pizza and Italian fusion cuisine.
Intermezzo Pizzeria and Café
1427 E. 10th St.
Why you should visit: They have an extensive menu that includes unique Serbian dishes, salads and sandwiches, in addition to pizza. It’s owned by two brothers who wanted to showcase their grandmother’s recipes in a “no freezers or microwaves” restaurant. They offer a full bar and an outdoor patio view of the Charlotte skyline.
Why you should visit: Specializing in true Neapolitan-style pizza, this restaurant follows a strict set of specific guidelines to ensure you get an authentic meal. They are family friendly and also use San Marzano tomatoes and real buffalo milk mozzarella. Save room for dessert too (the cannoli’s here look spectacular).
Why you should visit: Looking forward to trying their farm-to-fork pizzas, salads and sandwiches from local Carolina and Southeastern Farms. They offer vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and organic options on a daily basis, as well.
2400 South Blvd.
Why you should visit: Located in the Atherton Mill Shopping Mall, this spot seems like the perfect place to relax after a fun afternoon of shopping. They also offer vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free pizza options to accommodate specific dietary needs.
Why you should visit: They are known for their unique specialty pizzas; their Cheeseburger and Baked Potato varieties have me intrigued. You can also create your own by choosing from multiple homemade sauces, select cheeses and a mound of fresh veggies and proteins.
Even though it’s not a Pizza Joint … this one is pretty tasty so they deserve a shout-out:
Essex Bar & Bistro
101 S Tryon St.
What I like: This is a great option in uptown for people watching. Next time weather permits, opt to sit on their patio during the weekday lunch rush. I find it really entertaining.
What to Order: Sausage, Bacon and Ham Flatbread served with Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Pillows of Herb Ricotta.
Photos: Jess Bentley/Fooddesign Associates