Pizza joints in Charlotte are like churches — there’s one on nearly every corner. It’s not hard to find great versions of regional pies in the Queen City but singling out next-level pizza offerings from the pack is the hard part. There are family-owned operations with appeal for all ages as well as spots with unique toppings, carefully crafted crusts, and allergen-sensitive menus all ripe for the picking. From upscale digs to neighborhood dives, Charlotte’s got it all.Read More
10 Outstanding Pizza Spots in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Queen City serves up some killer pizza combinations
Figo36 Modern Italian + Wine Bar
Figo is an Italian slang word for “cool” and that is the theme of this trendy NoDa restaurant. Guests can look forward to a sleek Instagram-worthy interior with ideal lighting for #nofilter pics, fun murals, and modern aesthetics alongside a menu highlighting Italian classics like margherita pizza, housemade pasta, burrata, bruschetta, and tiramisu. Traditional pizzas are made with locally-sourced super-fine flour, and fresh mozzarella, but cauliflower crust and plant-based mozzarella are available as substitutions. If you want to be one of the “figo” kids, try the Tre Carne pizza with pepperoni, meatballs, and pancetta or the pepperoni rolls with sugo dipping sauce.
Being described as being a hole-in-the-wall leads to less than favorable connotations, but when that hole ends up on Forbes best new restaurant list, people tend to listen. Husband and wife duo, Kerrel and Nkem Thompson opened Bird in 2021 with not much more than a pickup window, a hanging sign, and a pizza oven. Order online and choose a pick-up time or take a chance and walk up to the window at this popular Optimist Park neighborhood spot. While this Black-owned pizza shop is cashless, the pizza is timeless. The East Coast-style pizza has vegan options and a simple menu with topping options such as pepperoni, Calabrian peppers, and hot honey. Simple add-ons like kale salad and bottled Mexican Coke make this literal hole-in-the-wall a Queen City destination.
Geno D's Pizza
Located inside the Market at 7th Street, Geno’s is a family-run pizzeria serving up New Jersey-style pizza, garlic knots, and focaccia sandwiches, but it’s the grandma-style pizza that has customers raving. Stripes of red sauce, pesto, and cheese are ribboned onto each pie, giving a perpetual nod to the mother country, Italy. Don’t miss the sweet heat of the hot honey pizza, packed with peppadews, pepperoni, and a hot honey drizzle.
Located on a fine line between Plaza Midwood and Uptown, Intermezzo is an equal-opportunity pizzaiolo destination thanks to its Serbian roots. Traditional items like eggplant moussaka, cabbage rolls, or stuffed bell peppers appear on the menu right next to pizzas like the Intermezzo Supreme featuring Italian sausage and pepperoni. Don’t miss the Piroska, a Balkan-style pizza stuffed with ham, mushrooms, three kinds of cheese, sour cream, and tomato sauce.
The positively petite Pure Pizza (say that five times fast) embraces true seasonality, with farmhouse-style pizza, local farm-to-table ingredients, and seasonal offerings. The wait times can be long, but the cute 10-inch pies (or big ol’ 16-inch), like the Lil’ Weezy Five Cheezy with mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, goat cheese, and a house special secret sauce, are great. Stop by any day of the week to pick up a pie, eat inside, or dine on the outdoor patio.
Hawthorne's New York Pizza and Bar 7th Street
Serving New York-style and tavern-style bar pies since 2004, this pizzeria prides itself on being family friendly in each of its eight restaurants, but the Elizabeth neighborhood is home to the original location. For pre-gaming before a night on the town, a casual meal with friends, or a dinner with family, there is something for everyone including a gluten-sensitive menu featuring a cauliflower crust and alternative sauce options. If you dare, try the legendary Inducer, a Buffalo hot sauce-layered pizza with chicken and mozzarella cheese that boasts as being the famous last meal for hundreds of expectant mothers in the last days of their pregnancy.
A staple in Charlotte for over 30 years, the original menu had 10 pizzas, 10 pastas, and not much else. Today, still known for its Italian fare, the New England-style pizza here is one of a kind. With its thin, crisp, bubbly crust cooked in a real wood-burning oven, “Joe’s Favorite” pizza is a perennial favorite with housemade pork sausage, pepperoni, and hand-pulled mozzarella. Personalize your own pie with a handful of traditional toppings or ramp up the flavor with anchovies, artichoke hearts, or prosciutto.
Inizio Pizza Napoletana Dilworth
Consistently lauded as the best pizza in the state of North Carolina, Inizio is dedicated to the art and craft of true Neapolitan-style pizza. 90 seconds and 900 degrees later, the naturally risen dough transforms into a leopard-skinned pizza crust of dreams. Starting with San Marzano tomatoes and real buffalo milk mozzarella and ending with gelato or cannoli, this modern, casual spot consistently hits on all cylinders for pizza and for flavor.
The Crust Pizza
The Crust gets its name from the Midwest-style pizzas it slings with impossibly thin, crunchy cracker crusts loaded with the toppings of your choice. Pineapple does go on pizza at this place, along with over 30 other toppings and sauces. Try the Palermo with fresh garlic and gorgonzola or the Buffalo chicken with a side of creamy Parmesan dressing. Putting the party in “pizza party” with its square cuts and tavern pizzas since 2014 in Naples, Florida, the Kanellopoulos family is one of the new kids on the ParkTowne Village block.
Luisa's Brick Oven Pizzeria
Every pizzeria claims to have a secret sauce or a secret recipe, but Luisa’s secret-not-so-secret ingredient is its brick oven brought over from Milan in the late 1980s. The restaurant boasts that the oven has cooked over a million pizzas. The lunchtime pizza buffet is a must-do as is ordering appetizers of meatballs and calamari. The signature pizza is the Luisa pizza with sliced tomatoes, pesto, ricotta cheese, and garlic. Other house specialties include the muffuletta (with ham, Genoa salami, provolone, and a muffuletta pesto of chopped green olives and pepperoncini).