We tracked down the best pizza spots in Raleigh. Here are our 12 faves.
Pizza is like no other food: it’s great for lunch or dinner, late-night or breakfast, served cold or hot. It’s approachable and affordable and loved by all. In fact, every American adult and child is said to eat 46 slices a year. This feature is not meant to settle arguments over who serves the best pizza in Raleigh but rather, to celebrate all the great pies we have to choose from. Here are our favorite local pizza joints and what the owners suggest you try.
DeMo’s Pizzeria & Deli
222 Glenwood Ave., demospizzeriadeli.com
Style: NY Style –thin crust, hand-tossed
DeMo’s Pizzeria opened on Glenwood South in 2014, a spin-off of DeMarco’s Restaurant at the Shoppes of Bedford in North Raleigh. Owners Anthony DeMarco and Clay Adams tout homemade ingredients and love for what makes their pizza special. “We mix our dough daily, sometimes 6-7 times each day depending on the volume,” says DeMarco. “Our veggies come fresh from the Farmer’s Market 6 days a week.”
DeMo’s offers 10,” 16” and 18” specialty pizzas, build-your-own pies and pizza by the slice. Gluten-free 10” is also available.
Most Popular Pizza: DeMo Delight –Pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, fresh garlic and fresh basil.
Milton’s Pizza & Pasta
8853 Six Forks Rd., miltonspizza.com
Style: Greek Style Pan
Milton’s opened its doors at Six Forks Station in North Raleigh more than 34 years ago. Owner Jeff Janik describes his pizza as “very unique,” noting that the difference in theirs is that they don’t use high-gluten flour. Instead, they use a Pillsbury XXX brand flour. “That combined with a 3-stage rising process, results in a light crust that’s not too thick and not too thin,” says Janik. “It’s just the right bite.”
Milton’s offers Mini My Pie 8”, 11”, 13” and 15” Showcase pizzas, as well as build-your-own pizzas. Gluten-free 11” is also available.
Most Popular Pizza: The Milton’s Special – Pepperoni, mushroom, onion, green pepper, ham, salami, homemade sausage and extra cheese.
Trophy Brewing & Pizza
827 W Morgan St., trophybrewing.com
Trophy Brewing & Pizza opened in late 2012, brewing beer onsite and creating artisan-style pizzas with locally grown ingredients. Chef Jon Pettit and Sous Chef Brian Burdett show their creativity with two daily-featured pies. Co-owner David “Woody” Lockwood believes the beer is part of the pizza’s success. “Our delicious beer is used in the dough and in both of the red sauces,” says Lockwood.
Trophy offers small and large specialty and build-your-own pizzas.
Most Popular Pizza: Trophy’s kitchen staff creates two feature pies daily, a veggie and a meat pie. The feature pies showcase seasonal ingredients that aren’t available long enough to put on the menu. These are usually the most popular along with The Best Dressed – tomato sauce, mozzarella, spinach, red onion, pepperoni, bacon and lamb sausage.
Piccola Italia Pizza & Restaurant
423 Woodburn Rd., piccolaitalianc.com
Style: NY Style & Deep Dish Sicilian
Frank Amato’s love for pizza and Italian food started long before he came to Raleigh; in fact, it began at birth, in Palermo, Sicily. Amato immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s and fell in love with North Carolina while on vacation. He opened Piccola Italia 35 years ago in Cameron Village and it has always been a family business, run with his children who still work with him today. “Our pizza dough and our pizza sauce are made in-house daily,” says Amato. “We strive to use top quality, fresh ingredients.
Piccola Italia offers 10”, 12”, 14”, 16” specialty and build-your-own pizzas and 16” x 16” Sicilian. Gluten-free 10” is available.
Most Popular Pizza: Margherita – Mozzarella and fresh basil;
Gladiator – Pepperoni, ham, sausage, hamburger meat and bacon.
Pizza La Stella
219 Fayetteville St., pizzalastella.com
Style: Neapolitan Style
Pizza La Stella will celebrate its first anniversary this December. Owner Rudy Theale and Executive Chef Matt Kepp will have a lot to celebrate, as they’re currently working to open a second location on Hillsborough Street in the former H-Street restaurant space later this fall. Theale attributes a lot of success to their always using fresh ingredients and, odd as it sounds, to the oven. “We use custom made Stefano Ferrara ovens to bake our Neapolitan pizza,” says Theale. “They reach a blistering 900 degrees. It’s very efficient, wood-firing pies in under 90 seconds.”
Pizza La Stella offers individual size Pomodoro (red sauce), Bianca (white sauce), specialty and classic pizzas. Gluten-free dough is available.
Most Popular Pizza: Margherita – San Marzano tomato sauce, fontina-mozzarella blend and basil.
Oakwood Pizza Box
610 N. Person St., oakwoodpizzabox.com
Style: American & NY Style
Oakwood Pizza Box has barely been open a month but owner and pizza maker Anthony Guerra isn’t new to the business. His family owned the beloved Bella Mia Italian restaurant in Cary. Since closing, Guerra has worked with some of Raleigh’s best chefs such as Scott Crawford and Ashley Christensen. Guerra wants Oakwood Pizza Box to be simple and fun. “We want to bring back the nostalgia of the pizza we grew up eating and the atmosphere with our families,” he says.
Oakwood offers 18” cheese or white base pizzas and slices.
Most Popular Pizza: Sausage, roasted fennel and vesta (dry rub).
13220-164 Strickland Rd., schianospizza.com
Style: NY & Sicilian
Schiano’s founder John Pittari Sr. moved his family stateside from Naples, Italy in the mid 1970s. He brought his love of Italian food with him and opened a string of restaurants in New York. Lucky for us, he made his way to Raleigh in the mid 1980s and opened Schiano’s.
Schiano’s offers 14” and 16” rounds, 12” x 12” and 16” x 16” Sicilian square specialty and build-your-own pizzas and slices.
Most Popular Pizza: Meat Eater Pizza – Cheese, bacon, ham, pepperoni, Italian sausage and fresh meatballs.
615 W Morgan St., moonlightpizza.com
Style: “Gourmet & organic”
Moonlight Pizza has offered the same pizza, pizza combinations and pizza recipes for more than two decades. It was originally opened in the MoJoe’s Burger Joint location on Glenwood South and later moved to the corner of Morgan and Boylan Streets. “Moonlight Pizza and its food have been part of Raleigh’s culture and community for more than 20 years,” says Co-owner Hans Huang, “and we look forward to many more years.”
Moonlight offers 12” and 16” signature, seasonal and build your own pies. Gluten free crust is available in any size.
Most Popular Pizza: Earth Wind and Fire – Housemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, roma tomatoes, grilled chicken, avocado, red onions, pepper jack cheese;
Cow Over the Moon – Housemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, red sauce, meatballs, Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, yellow onions and white cheddar.
Farina Neighborhood Italian
8450 Honeycutt Rd., farinaraleigh.com
Style: Neapolitan Style
Farina opened in 2015 at Lafayette Village in North Raleigh. Chef/managing partner Nunzio Scordo says it’s all about the dough—and the oven—at Farina. “Our pizza dough is made daily with only Caputo “00” flour, water, yeast and salt,” says Scorda. “Its cooked at 800 degrees in a wood fired oven.”
Farina’s offers Pizza Rosso (with tomato sauce) and Pizza Bianco (no sauce) as 12” or 18” pizzas for sharing.
Most Popular Pizzas: Pizza Rosso Margherita – House-made mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil;
Pizza Bianco Pancetta – Gorgonzola, fig preserves, Saba and arugula.
Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant
3905 Western Blvd, amedeosrestaurant.com
Style: Hand-tossed & Extra Thick
At 54 years old, Amedeo’s is Raleigh’s oldest pizza restaurant. “Amedeo” Richard DeAngelis opened the small Italian eatery in 1963 to serve his family’s recipes. Today, David Harris and Rodney Byrd own Amedeo’s but they say nothing significant has changed. “The dough and pizza sauce are still made using Mama D’s special recipes,” says Harris. “Amedeo’s is still considered the NC State ‘museum.’”
Amedeo’s offers 12” and 16” specialty and build-your-own pizzas. Gluten-free 12” is available.
Most Popular Pizza: Big’s D’s Meat Lovers Pizza – Pepperoni, bacon, Italian sausage, ground beef, ham and Canadian bacon.
Frank’s Pizza & Restaurant
2030 New Bern Ave, frankspizzainraleigh.com
Style: NY Style
Frank’s Pizza may be Raleigh’s best-kept pizza secret, even though it’s been around for more than 30 years—it’s tucked away in the Longview Shopping Center on New Bern Avenue. Owner and chef Nasser Lachichi says once you eat at Frank’s, you’re hooked. “Its all about our homemade dough and famous sauce, served however you want it,” says Lachichi.
Frank’s offers small, medium and large round pizzas, Sicilian style specialty pizzas and slices.
Most Popular Pizza: Rio Ranch Pizza – Bacon, fresh tomatoes, ranch dressing and extra mozzarella.
1813 Glenwood Ave., lillyspizza.com
Style: “Gourmet & organic”
Lilly’s prides itself on offering the most natural, local and organic pizza in Raleigh. Owner Jon Garrison explains that Lilly’s loves all its customers but especially those with vegetarian and vegan diets. “Our menu is packed full of healthy vegetables that are almost all certified-organic from local farms,” says Garrison.
Lilly’s offers 10”, 14” and 16” specialty and build-your-own pizzas and slices. Gluten free 10” is available.
Most Popular Pizza: Nonna – Olive oil, garlic, prosciutto, roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, basil and a Balsamic reduction;
Dante’s Inferno – Molasses/bourbon bbq sauce, mozzarella, barbecued chicken, bacon, red onions, roasted red peppers and parmesan.