The best pizza in Charlotte

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Hope you’re hungry. Here are the 18 best pizza spots in Charlotte.

Best authentic Italian pizza: Inizio Pizza Napoletana

Owner Grant Arons is so obsessed with replicating authentic Neapolitan pizza, he makes his crust with water imported from Italy for its exact pH balance and mineral content. He also imports Polselli type 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes and real buffalo mozzarella. Doesn’t get much closer to the real deal.

pizza-inizio-charlotte

 


Best pizza by the slice: Benny Pennello’s

Benny’s serves giant slices of its behemoth 28-inch pies all day and into the wee hours of the morning (until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) making it a mandatory late-night stop after last call.


Best farm-to-fork pizza: Pure Pizza

Owner Juli Ghazi keeps it pure with thoughtfully sourced ingredients from local farms, including organic flour milled in North Carolina and toppings from local, sustainable and/or organic farms. They’ve also got a unique gluten-free sprouted ancient grain crust, vegan cheese and plenty of meat-free toppings to keep everyone accommodated.


Best Chicago-style deep dish: Matt’s Chicago Dog

The Midwest classic that eats more like a casserole than a pizza is hard to come by around these parts, but Matt’s Chicago Dog makes it happen up at its Lake Norman location. It’s available in 10- or 14-inch shareable sizes or you can get a more manageable mini size for one. (Sorry, the Uptown location is a dog-only operation. No pizza.)

Best mobile pizza: Libretto’s Street Pizza Food Truck

Libretto’s has brick and mortar locations Uptown, near Montford and in Ballantyne, but Charlotte just loves something about food out of a truck. Follow them on Facebook for the truck’s weekly location schedule.


Best brewery pizza: Passport Dough & Co. at Unknown Brewing

Unknown Brewing partnered with Seoul Food Meat Company’s Mark Sung to permanently park his new pizza food truck, Passport Dough & Co., at the brewery. The menu features pizzas made with unique potato crusts or traditional wheat crusts and unexpected, international-inspired toppings.

The most popular toppings are Mexican (chorizo, queso fresco, cilantro, crema, tomatillo and guajillo sauce) and Lebanese (chicken shawarma, caramelized onions, tahini, harissa and parsley).


Best pizza buffet: Luisa’s Brick Oven Pizza

This Charlotte classic has been running strong for 26 years, cranking out more than 1.3 million wood-fired pizzas so far. (Yes, they really tally them up and update the tracker above the oven every Saturday.) Catch the pizza buffet Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You get unlimited pizza, pasta, salad and a drink for $9.

pizza-at-luisas-on-montford-buffet-charlotte

Agenda related story: Best lunch spots in Charlotte


Best personal pizza: Zablong Peculiar Pizza

Zablong is Charlotte’s local answer to Chipotle-style, build-your-own pizza assembly lines. They mix things up with an oblong 12-inch crust, 9 different sauces and spreads, tons of toppings and a bunch of fancy finishes and oils. Get creative on your combo or stay safe with classic cheese.


Best Sicilian pizza: Hawthorne’s

Go big or go home with this 18×18″ square thick crust pie topped with pepperoni and Italian sausage. They have traditional New York-style pizza too, but you need to give this one a go. It only comes in one size (gigantic) so bring a crew.


Best fancy date night pizza: Stagioni

Designated a “snack” on the menu, these wood-fired pies are served with a pair of scissors for freestyle cutting at your table.


Best grilled pizza: True Crafted Pizza

Although True certainly means business with its traditional wood-fired pizzas, the restaurant’s signature pie is a super thin crust brushed with olive oil and cooked to a perfect char on the grill. A perfect lighter option for the summer heat.


Best specialty pizzas: Pizzeria Omaggio

Nobody does limited-edition pizzas quite like Pizzeria Omaggio. Their Pizzas of the Month feature unique toppings like smoked salmon, zucchini blossoms, roasted potatoes and poached lemons.


Best classic pizza: Mama Ricotta’s

The Charlotte classic has been serving up authentic Italian food for 26 years. Their pizza is New Haven style with a thin, bubbly crust cooked in a wood-fired oven.


Best underrated pizza: Zio Casual Italian

Earlier this year, Agenda readers named Zio the #1 most underrated restaurant in Charlotte. And they’re right. The family-friendly spot with a romantic garden patio flies way under the city’s pizza radar. Team Agenda recommends a cheese pizza as an appetizer before diving into a pasta entree. YOLO.

Zio Charlotte Pizza


Best suburban pizza: Aliño Pizzeria

The 30-mile trip north to Mooresville is worth it for the gorgeous Naples-style pizzas at Aliño. They do one thing and do it extremely well with a dead simple menu of nine pizzas available in one size only (16 inches) and a few salads and desserts. Order at the counter, grab a seat at the long, cafeteria-style tables and await your pizza.

alino pizzeria mooresville


Best wood-fired pizza: Rooster’s

Go with Rooster’s famous mushroom pizza of their roasted chicken pizza.

mushroom-pizza-at-roosters-in-charlotte


Best family-friendly pizza: Pizza Peel Plaza Midwood

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.

Pizza-Peel-Plaza-Midwood


Best fast food pizza: Blaze Pizza

Meet the king of assembly line pizza chains (and not just because LeBron James is an investor). Fresh, fast, wood-fired (no conveyor belt oven) and only five bucks for plain cheese. What’s not to like?

pizza-at-blaze

 

Header photo of Inizio Pizza via Facebook

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director