I’m on an ongoing quest to find the best pizza in Charlotte, so here are five of my favorite Charlotte pizza spots to grab a slice or a pie to go. If you’re a pizza lover living in the Queen City, what’s your favorite Charlotte pizza place?
I wrote this post a week or so ish ago while sitting on our friends’ couch waiting for our plane delay in Chicago, with the intention of posting the next day when my Charlotte Today pizza segment aired. My segment got bumped for a news break (fair enough) but I would rather be eating pizza than rewriting the intro to this post, so here you go.
I had all of these intentions to share this post with you during October (which is National Pizza Month! Perfect timing right?) but as it sometimes happens, life (and my couch sitting priorities when I wasn’t running around like a chicken with my head cut off) got in the way (instead of beating myself up when I don’t have the time for the blog or don’t have the motivation, I’ve started approaching it with grace to just allow myself to come back when I’m ready). So all of that means, we did miss National Pizza Month, but really pizza is relevant and delicious any month of the year.
Speaking of things I intended to do but didn’t, I was planning on writing this post on our flight home from Chicago, because if Chicago doesn’t inspire a pizza post, I don’t know what does. We were in the Windy City this weekend for a law school friend’s wedding, and yes, I ate my weight in deep dish pizza. In fact, we carpe diemed the heck out of being in Chicago and loving deep dish pizza and ate it three times over four days (and we learned that deep dish makes a great pre-black tie wedding afternoon snack). But anyways, I’m not currently on a flight home, and instead we’re over staying our welcome and I’m watching football on our friends’ couch because our flight was cancelled (and spoiler, waiting for deep dish to be delivered). We have the worst luck with flights! (Seriously the worst). But we are rebooked and hopefully will get home tonight, so really the only negative from this situation is that Bodie will have to spend an extra night at Lucky Dog, which he loves, so he’s probably thrilled. And we get to eat deep dish again, so there’s no complaint there!
So I haven’t been able to find proper deep dish pizza in Charlotte (I don’t think it exists but if I’m just looking in the wrong place please let me know!) so while we have a lack of deep dish let’s talk about delicious Charlotte pizza. This morning, I was on Charlotte Today talking about Charlotte pizza, so I decided it was about time to dedicate a whole post to Charlotte pizza (and since I know you love watching me on Charlotte Today, you can find the segment at the end of this post!).
AndI am always and forever on a quest for the best pizza in the Queen City (and not above taking polls on social media about where to find good Charlotte pizza) so I hope this post will generate some good Charlotte pizza conversation and I’ll get a few more places to add to my Charlotte pizza bucket list!
A TASTE OF ITALY: INIZIO PIZZA NAPOLETANA
Right now, Inizio is serving my favorite Charlotte pizza. Authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza is my jam (which is actually funny because it’s at the other end of the spectrum from deep dish which is my other jam). Pizzas are made with Italian ingredients and cooked for 90 seconds in a wood fired brick oven from Italy, giving you as close to an authentic Naples pizza experience that you can get in the Queen City. My fave is their pistachio pesto pizza, and I really want to try their seasonal pumpkin pizza that’s on the menu right now.
SLICES BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD: BENNY PENNELLO’S
Pizza by the slice is my jam; I’m actually a little hungry right now and my stomach is rumbling just thinking of the excitement/anticipation of waiting for your slice to come fresh out of the oven piping hot. In college and law school, grabbing a late night slice on my way home at bar close was a weekly MO, and my 25 year old self was disappointed with Charlotte’s late night pizza options when I moved here after graduation (in fact, my friend Kate and I laugh about a birthday party we hosted for her at our apartment and all I wanted at about 1230 AM was pizza and I couldn’t find any). So while my thirty year old self as never been to Benny Pennello’s after bar close (it’s way past my bed time now!) I do like that we have a delicious late night Charlotte pizza option, and will happily eat their giant slices in the light of day. The slices are so big it’s a two plate situation.
QUEEN OF PIZZA MIDWOOD: PURE PIZZA
Plaza Midwood has been affectionately appointed Pizza Midwood after the abundance of pizza options on Central Avenue right through the main stretch of the neighborhood. As a Charlotte pizza aficionado, I have dined at all of them, written about them, and ranked them, and still believe Pure Pizza comes out on top. I love their crust, their use of fresh, local ingredients, and their casual counter service. Their original location is in 7th Street Public Market in Uptown which makes for a great lunch option for office dwellers or a perfect pizza pre game/concert/event option. In fact, AJ and I celebrated our first major purchase together (Panthers’ season tickets) with a large Pure Country (extra garlic, of course).
BEST USE FOR SCISSORS: STAGIONI
Confession: I haven’t been to Stagioni, but it made this list because photos of their pizza are drool inducing and they bring your pizza with special pizza cutting scissors which is the best use of scissors I’ve ever heard of. Another pro tip from some foodie friends: score a seat at the pizza counter if you can to watch the kitchen in action.
A DAY TRIP UP I-77: ELKIN CREEK VINEYARD
I was invited on a Surry County press trip in September (a weekend in North Carolina wine country coming very, very soon when I can survive the jury trial I have on tap for this week) and was immediately enamored with Elkin Creek Winery when I learned they do wood fired pizzas on Sundays (yes, wine tastings all the time but pizza only on Sundays) and that guests can guarantee a pie if they call ahead to reserve, not a table, but a ball of dough. So quaint, so creative, I love it. So not Charlotte pizza, but a great reason for a fun little day trip North (about an hour and a half from Uptown). I will travel for pizza and wine, and we enjoyed our afternoon sipping on wine and savoring a brie and bacon pizza.
Also, I didn’t think I could write a Charlotte pizza post without a little input from my readers. So a little crowdsourcing on Facebook and Twitter also brought these Charlotte pizza recommendations (there are a few repeats and also a lot of new to me places…I thought it would be fun to see what my followers thought!):
Primavera in Matthews, Tony’s in Ballantyne, Simonetti’s in Belmont, Brooklyn’s in Concord, Stagioni, Jack’s in Indian Trail, Pizzeria Ommagio, Inizio Pizza, Blaze Pizza, Jets Pizza, Novanta 90 Pizzeria, and my favorite, “anyone who claims a chain is the best is not to be trusted.”
Who else is hungry now?