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Pizzeria Mercato/Facebook

11 Essential Pizzerias in the Triangle

From New York-style to Neapolitan and everything in between

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Burgers might have been the pandemic pivot hero of 2020, but when it comes to craveable comfort it’s still hard to beat a slice of really good pizza. (Actually, if we’re being honest, we’re probably going to eat the whole damn pie.) Pizza can be both celebratory and rage-subsuming, it can lift the spirits or help you wallow through depression. A good pizza is revelatory, but at times even a mediocre slice is still pizza, still comforting, still there for you.

The Triangle is lucky to be home to dozens of great pizza options, ranging from New York-style to Neapolitan and everything in between. Homegrown pizzaiolos have carved out their niches alongside transplants from across the country, each bringing their own expertise and geographic understanding of what pizza should be. Inevitably someone’s ideal choice of pizza style is likely to run up against someone else’s , but in the great wide world of saucy pies there really is room for everyone. Whether you choose a high-end, wood-fired pizza or opt for a big, foldable slice dripping with cheese, you can’t go wrong at any of these local favorites.

A number of North Carolina restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit here. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sofia's Pizza

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2201 Angier Ave
Durham, NC 27703
(984) 219-3656
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This East Durham pizza, sandwich, and sub joint may not garner as much attention as it’s in-town neighbors, but it has built a loyal following with its affordable pizzas and unique, herbed crust. The “East Durham” pie comes with applewood smoked bacon, collard greens, and serrano peppers, and is a must-try. Owner Jorge González-Peña also operates the El Rey de Tacos truck, which can usually be found parked right next door. Pizza and tacos, what more could you want? 

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

Sofia’s Pizza/Facebook

2. Hutchins Garage

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402 W Geer St
Durham, NC 27701
(984) 219-6578
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A relative newcomer to Durham’s pizza scene, Hutchins Garage has become a go-to spot in the Central Park neighborhood. Offerings range from a spicy vodka pizza with vodka sauce, fennel, ham, sausage, mozzarella, and Fresno chilies to an eggplant alla norma pizza with fried eggplant, pecorino, mozzarella, and oregano, but it’s the grandma pizza with pepperoni that keeps devotees coming back. 

Currently open for pickup or delivery, with outdoor dining available depending on the weather.

Hutchins Garage /Facebook

3. Pizzeria Toro

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105 E Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 908-6936
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It would be easy to argue that Pizzeria Toro launched Durham’s obsession with wood-fired, artisan pizza, and this downtown staple from chef Gray Brooks (Littler, Jack Tar) still tops many lists of the best pizza in the Triangle. Offerings change based on the seasons, but there is always a variety of both red and white-sauced pizzas, like the prosciutto cotto with olives and asiago (red sauce) or the soft egg pizza with trumpet mushrooms, arugula, and parmesan 

(white sauce). Make sure to ALWAYS ask for the extra side of the house made red chili oil. 

Currently open for pickup only, no delivery

Pizzeria Toro/Facebook

4. Oakwood Pizza Box

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610 N Person St
Raleigh, NC 27604
(919) 594-1605
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If you want it your way, Oakwood Pizza Box has you covered. This Raleigh favorite has a slimmed-down pandemic menu that offers a red, white, or square pie with a list of add-ons like olives, anchovy, sausage, or extra cheese. Customers can also order cheese, pepperoni, or white pizza by the slice if your appetite trends more toward snackish than starving. Plus with NC now allowing cocktails to go, who can argue that a slice of pepperoni and an Aperol Spritz isn’t the perfect midweek dinner?

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

5. Pizzeria Mercato

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408 W Weaver St
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 967-2277
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Gabe Barker (son of Triangle restaurant legends Ben and Karen Barker), came back to his hometown of Carrboro from San Francisco in 2016 and opened this brick-oven, Neapolitan-inspired pizzeria to local and national acclaim. With pies that utilize the bounty from the nearby Carrboro Farmers’ Market while staying true to their Italian roots, Barker has turned Mercato into a destination pizzeria. Favorites include the salami (with hot honey, of course), the funghi, and the puttanesca, but to get an idea of just how good the pizzas are, opt for the classic margherita and be wowed. 

Currently open for limited pickup only, read their takeout instructions for more information.

6. Pizzeria Faulisi

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215 E Chatham St
Cary, NC 27511
(919) 377-8244
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Locally milled flour from Boulted Bread in Raleigh is combined with imported flour from Italy’s Piedmont region to make the craveable dough that forms the base of Pizzeria Faulisi’s wood-fired pies. Innovation doesn’t just stop at the crust, though. Creations like the Red, White, & Blue (sour cherry, blue cheese, mozzarella, chilies) and the Sweater Weather (mozzarella, ricotta, butternut squash puree, and crumbled Amaretto cookies) put Faulisi squarely at the intersection of tradition and innovation. They’re also one of the few spots open for lunch during the pandemic, so make sure to check out their $10 pizza happy hour between noon and 3pm. 

Currently open for pickup only.

Pizzeria Faulisi

7. DeMos Pizzeria & Deli

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222 Glenwood Ave #121
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 754-1050
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Tucked among the raucous (pre-pandemic) bars and nightclubs of Raleigh’s Glenwood South neighborhood is DeMo’s Pizzeria and Deli. Sure they have an extensive menu of subs, salads, and wings, but it’s really the New York-style pizzas customers will want to focus on. The DeMo Delight, with pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, fresh garlic, and basil is pure Italian-American comfort, and it has one-upped a grandma pizza with their Godfather pizza, a 16-inch, thin-crust square pan pizza. In a nod to the former partiers from nearby NC State University who looked for craveable post-bar eats DeMo’s still offers pies like the Montana (ranch dressing base, mozz, grilled chicken, bacon, kettle chips, and chives) and the Wendy (ketchup sauce base, seasoned ground beef, cheddar, and bacon). Order to-go and revisit those drunken pizza nights in the comfort of your own home. 

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

8. Pie Pushers

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117A W Main St
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 294-8408
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If Pizzeria Toro is the sophisticate of the Durham pizza scene, then Pie Pushers is the OG who keeps it real with what they call “Durham-style” pizza (think New York-style with Midwestern sensibilities). Owners Becky Cascio and Mike Hacker went from food truck to brick and mortar, all while developing a cult-following as downtown Durham’s go-to pizza. By the slice or by the pie, it’s hard to beat their classic Pepperoni Pizza, but you could also branch out and try the State of Nirvana (basil pesto, roasted chicken, spinach, mozz, caramelized red onion, and bleu cheese) or the 1234 (tomato sauce, salami, caramelized red onion, bell peppers, pistachios, smoked gouda, and mozz). In warmer months catch them at the Durham Farmers’ Market on Saturdays for a slice of breakfast pizza with a fried egg, because honestly breakfast pizza should always be a thing.

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

A chicken basil slice at Pie Pushers
Pie Pushers Pizza/Facebook

9. Coronato

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101 Two Hills Rd, #140
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 240-4804
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Chef Teddy Diggs (formerly of Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill’s Siena Hotel) operates what he claims to be the first Roman-style pizzeria in the South. Roman-style dough is rolled very thin, with low-moisture and the addition of olive oil for an almost cracker-like crunch. Pizzas are served European-style (read: unsliced) and hew to traditional Italian flavors like the marinara, funghi, or rossa (raw crushed tomato sauce, provolone and mozzarella, Sicilian oregano, shaved soppressata, Taggiasca olives and pickled hot peppers). Roman pan pizza is also on offer, as is a Sunday-Thursday family special that includes three pizzas, one Coronato chopped salad, six suppli Romana (crispy rice croquettes), and six Sicilian cannoli for $65. 

Currently open for pickup only.

Pizza at Coronato
Coronato

10. Napoli Pizzeria & Gelateria

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105 E Main St
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 667-8288
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Wood-fired Neapolitan pies are the name of the game at this Triangle micro-chain. Locations in the Durham Food Hall, Carrboro, and Hillsborough offer up a variety of traditional and non-traditional pizzas. Stick with a classic like the parma (mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, prosciutto di parma, arugula, and grana padano cheese) or opt for something a bit more avante garde like the apricot (apricot glaze, mozzarella, Boxcarr Handmade Cheese Cottonbell, sweet soppressata salami, and fresh oregano). All three locations also offer house made gelato, and the Carrboro spot offers frozen pizzas as well.

Currently open for pickup only.

11. Trophy Brewing & Pizza

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827 W Morgan St
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 803-4849
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Is there a better combination than pizza and beer? Raleigh’s award-winning Trophy Brewing started offering pizza at their West Morgan Street brewpub a few years ago and never looked back. Specialty pies include the Low ‘n Slow (with barbacoa, chipotle barbecue sauce, tomatoes, red onion, mozz, and avocado salsa), the Most Loyal (roasted chicken, basil pesto, tomatoes, mozz, and honey), or the Farmers’ Market (curried cauliflower purée, mushrooms, shaved brussels sprouts, grilled onions, and jerk sauce). If you’re a fan of heat you might want to take a bite of the Daredevil, a spicy red sauce pie with ghost pepper salami, jalapeño, and Sriracha in addition to mozzarella and caramelized onions. Those in the know, though, show up on Mondays or Tuesdays for the not-so-secret special Detroit-style pizza, a square pan pizza with a loyal following. Whichever pie you go with you’ll also have the full range of Trophy’s beers available to wash it all down. 

Outdoor dining by reservation only, or pickup.

1. Sofia's Pizza

2201 Angier Ave, Durham, NC 27703
Sofia’s Pizza/Facebook

This East Durham pizza, sandwich, and sub joint may not garner as much attention as it’s in-town neighbors, but it has built a loyal following with its affordable pizzas and unique, herbed crust. The “East Durham” pie comes with applewood smoked bacon, collard greens, and serrano peppers, and is a must-try. Owner Jorge González-Peña also operates the El Rey de Tacos truck, which can usually be found parked right next door. Pizza and tacos, what more could you want? 

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

2201 Angier Ave
Durham, NC 27703

2. Hutchins Garage

402 W Geer St, Durham, NC 27701
Hutchins Garage /Facebook

A relative newcomer to Durham’s pizza scene, Hutchins Garage has become a go-to spot in the Central Park neighborhood. Offerings range from a spicy vodka pizza with vodka sauce, fennel, ham, sausage, mozzarella, and Fresno chilies to an eggplant alla norma pizza with fried eggplant, pecorino, mozzarella, and oregano, but it’s the grandma pizza with pepperoni that keeps devotees coming back. 

Currently open for pickup or delivery, with outdoor dining available depending on the weather.

402 W Geer St
Durham, NC 27701

3. Pizzeria Toro

105 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
Pizzeria Toro/Facebook

It would be easy to argue that Pizzeria Toro launched Durham’s obsession with wood-fired, artisan pizza, and this downtown staple from chef Gray Brooks (Littler, Jack Tar) still tops many lists of the best pizza in the Triangle. Offerings change based on the seasons, but there is always a variety of both red and white-sauced pizzas, like the prosciutto cotto with olives and asiago (red sauce) or the soft egg pizza with trumpet mushrooms, arugula, and parmesan 

(white sauce). Make sure to ALWAYS ask for the extra side of the house made red chili oil. 

Currently open for pickup only, no delivery

105 E Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701

4. Oakwood Pizza Box

610 N Person St, Raleigh, NC 27604

If you want it your way, Oakwood Pizza Box has you covered. This Raleigh favorite has a slimmed-down pandemic menu that offers a red, white, or square pie with a list of add-ons like olives, anchovy, sausage, or extra cheese. Customers can also order cheese, pepperoni, or white pizza by the slice if your appetite trends more toward snackish than starving. Plus with NC now allowing cocktails to go, who can argue that a slice of pepperoni and an Aperol Spritz isn’t the perfect midweek dinner?

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

610 N Person St
Raleigh, NC 27604

5. Pizzeria Mercato

408 W Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

Gabe Barker (son of Triangle restaurant legends Ben and Karen Barker), came back to his hometown of Carrboro from San Francisco in 2016 and opened this brick-oven, Neapolitan-inspired pizzeria to local and national acclaim. With pies that utilize the bounty from the nearby Carrboro Farmers’ Market while staying true to their Italian roots, Barker has turned Mercato into a destination pizzeria. Favorites include the salami (with hot honey, of course), the funghi, and the puttanesca, but to get an idea of just how good the pizzas are, opt for the classic margherita and be wowed. 

Currently open for limited pickup only, read their takeout instructions for more information.

408 W Weaver St
Carrboro, NC 27510

6. Pizzeria Faulisi

215 E Chatham St, Cary, NC 27511
Pizzeria Faulisi

Locally milled flour from Boulted Bread in Raleigh is combined with imported flour from Italy’s Piedmont region to make the craveable dough that forms the base of Pizzeria Faulisi’s wood-fired pies. Innovation doesn’t just stop at the crust, though. Creations like the Red, White, & Blue (sour cherry, blue cheese, mozzarella, chilies) and the Sweater Weather (mozzarella, ricotta, butternut squash puree, and crumbled Amaretto cookies) put Faulisi squarely at the intersection of tradition and innovation. They’re also one of the few spots open for lunch during the pandemic, so make sure to check out their $10 pizza happy hour between noon and 3pm. 

Currently open for pickup only.

215 E Chatham St
Cary, NC 27511

7. DeMos Pizzeria & Deli

222 Glenwood Ave #121, Raleigh, NC 27603

Tucked among the raucous (pre-pandemic) bars and nightclubs of Raleigh’s Glenwood South neighborhood is DeMo’s Pizzeria and Deli. Sure they have an extensive menu of subs, salads, and wings, but it’s really the New York-style pizzas customers will want to focus on. The DeMo Delight, with pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, fresh garlic, and basil is pure Italian-American comfort, and it has one-upped a grandma pizza with their Godfather pizza, a 16-inch, thin-crust square pan pizza. In a nod to the former partiers from nearby NC State University who looked for craveable post-bar eats DeMo’s still offers pies like the Montana (ranch dressing base, mozz, grilled chicken, bacon, kettle chips, and chives) and the Wendy (ketchup sauce base, seasoned ground beef, cheddar, and bacon). Order to-go and revisit those drunken pizza nights in the comfort of your own home. 

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

222 Glenwood Ave #121
Raleigh, NC 27603

8. Pie Pushers

117A W Main St, Durham, NC 27701
A chicken basil slice at Pie Pushers
Pie Pushers Pizza/Facebook

If Pizzeria Toro is the sophisticate of the Durham pizza scene, then Pie Pushers is the OG who keeps it real with what they call “Durham-style” pizza (think New York-style with Midwestern sensibilities). Owners Becky Cascio and Mike Hacker went from food truck to brick and mortar, all while developing a cult-following as downtown Durham’s go-to pizza. By the slice or by the pie, it’s hard to beat their classic Pepperoni Pizza, but you could also branch out and try the State of Nirvana (basil pesto, roasted chicken, spinach, mozz, caramelized red onion, and bleu cheese) or the 1234 (tomato sauce, salami, caramelized red onion, bell peppers, pistachios, smoked gouda, and mozz). In warmer months catch them at the Durham Farmers’ Market on Saturdays for a slice of breakfast pizza with a fried egg, because honestly breakfast pizza should always be a thing.

Currently open for pickup or delivery only.

117A W Main St
Durham, NC 27701

9. Coronato

101 Two Hills Rd, #140, Carrboro, NC 27510
Pizza at Coronato
Coronato

Chef Teddy Diggs (formerly of Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill’s Siena Hotel) operates what he claims to be the first Roman-style pizzeria in the South. Roman-style dough is rolled very thin, with low-moisture and the addition of olive oil for an almost cracker-like crunch. Pizzas are served European-style (read: unsliced) and hew to traditional Italian flavors like the marinara, funghi, or rossa (raw crushed tomato sauce, provolone and mozzarella, Sicilian oregano, shaved soppressata, Taggiasca olives and pickled hot peppers). Roman pan pizza is also on offer, as is a Sunday-Thursday family special that includes three pizzas, one Coronato chopped salad, six suppli Romana (crispy rice croquettes), and six Sicilian cannoli for $65. 

Currently open for pickup only.

101 Two Hills Rd, #140
Carrboro, NC 27510

10. Napoli Pizzeria & Gelateria

105 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510

Wood-fired Neapolitan pies are the name of the game at this Triangle micro-chain. Locations in the Durham Food Hall, Carrboro, and Hillsborough offer up a variety of traditional and non-traditional pizzas. Stick with a classic like the parma (mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, prosciutto di parma, arugula, and grana padano cheese) or opt for something a bit more avante garde like the apricot (apricot glaze, mozzarella, Boxcarr Handmade Cheese Cottonbell, sweet soppressata salami, and fresh oregano). All three locations also offer house made gelato, and the Carrboro spot offers frozen pizzas as well.

Currently open for pickup only.

105 E Main St
Carrboro, NC 27510

11. Trophy Brewing & Pizza

827 W Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Is there a better combination than pizza and beer? Raleigh’s award-winning Trophy Brewing started offering pizza at their West Morgan Street brewpub a few years ago and never looked back. Specialty pies include the Low ‘n Slow (with barbacoa, chipotle barbecue sauce, tomatoes, red onion, mozz, and avocado salsa), the Most Loyal (roasted chicken, basil pesto, tomatoes, mozz, and honey), or the Farmers’ Market (curried cauliflower purée, mushrooms, shaved brussels sprouts, grilled onions, and jerk sauce). If you’re a fan of heat you might want to take a bite of the Daredevil, a spicy red sauce pie with ghost pepper salami, jalapeño, and Sriracha in addition to mozzarella and caramelized onions. Those in the know, though, show up on Mondays or Tuesdays for the not-so-secret special Detroit-style pizza, a square pan pizza with a loyal following. Whichever pie you go with you’ll also have the full range of Trophy’s beers available to wash it all down. 

Outdoor dining by reservation only, or pickup.

827 W Morgan St
Raleigh, NC 27603

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