A slice of savory pizza pie, whether around a table, in front of a couch, or straight from the fridge the following morning, invokes emotions our culinary palates never knew possible. Pizza is our favorite shared comfort food but also the best canvas for customization — don’t you agree? Pleasing any age, stage or occasion, these Memphis establishments literally take a spin on their own doughs, sauces and toppings to offer locals and visitors the very best our city has to offer. Step aside, New York or Italy — the following Memphis-style must-haves are here to stay.
The bustling East Memphis neighborhood landmark inspires its diners with classic-meets-contemporary Italian and Greek cuisine. Ciao Bella’s handmade pizza selection, which marks one of many categories on the enriching dinner menu, brings flavor-packed options in the form of a classic crust, calzone, or flatbread. You’ll be tempted to choose more than one pie to share family-style before entrées, or pull up a stool in the popular bar and lounge area to enjoy a few slices in front of the big screens with a glass of wine.
Order: Roasted Garlic & Sausage Pizza
HOG & HOMINY
Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman’s brilliant Italian-Southern fusion concept speaks volumes in the form of its Neapolitan pizzas. Hog and Hominy’s pies are small enough to stomach on your own or serve as the perfect kick-off to a family-style meal of additional shared plates. Order the crab claws and save your butter-drenched plate to dip pizza crusts accordingly. The creativity behind H&H’s pizza ingredient combinations might sounds risky or unfamiliar, but they’re intended to take your dining experience to a new level. And, oh, they do — every single time. Pizza Happy Hours offer $10 pies daily during specific hours: 2-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 3-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Order: Red Eye or Thunderbird Forty! Twice
The farm-to-table concept owned by Whitton Farms couple Jill and Keith Forrester. In the Medical District. Pizza dough is made fresh daily; the kitchen simmer its own sauces, sometimes with Jill and Keith’s farm bounty of tomatoes; and yes, they even shred their own cheese. 20-inch large size allows you to mix and match signature pizza combinations, up to four (“the quad”) in one pie.
Order: Half protein, half garden — something for everyone!
Elemento Neapolitan Pizza
Elemento, the newest restaurant in East corner of Crosstown Concourse, is anchored by a pair of state-of-the-art white ceramic Neapolitan pizza ovens. The precision and extremely high temperature of its wood-fired interior allow individually-sized pizzas to cook to perfection in just 90 seconds with a sustained doughy yet bubbly crusts, slight smokiness, and perfectly cooked toppings. Though over a dozen of pizza flavors are listed on the menu, customers are encouraged to build their own pie, if desired. Order at the counter and pick your spot in the bright and open atmosphere.
Order: The Magic Egg
Aldo’s Pizza Pies
A centerpiece of Downtown’s Main Street Mall and Cooper Young’s gateway, Aldo’s delivers big pizzas with big flavor. The two locations take their pies, their patios, and their Instagram seriously; yes, follow along for a “slice of the day” announcement and comical captions alongside mouth-watering photos of their generous, consistent New York-style pizza creations. If you’re Downtown, you might spot the red Aldo’s golf cart wheeling pies to businesses and residences around the neighborhood!
Order: Lombardi or Slice of the Day
Oversized and overly satisfying, Little Italy specializes in a pie reminiscent of the restaurant’s namesake. Located in the Medical District of Midtown Memphis, New York would kill for their take on a thin, extra-large pie layered with just the right ratio of cheese to sauce. Our favorite classic favor is dotted meticulously with pepperoni. Even better? They’ll deliver it to your door with a $15 minimum order!
Order: Pepperoni Pie
Elwood’s expansive menu includes a hallmark, doughy pie that champions Memphis’s marker as a BBQ capital. The smoked pulled pork, extra-melty mozzarella and barbecue sauce combination is no-frills yet phenomenal. Give one of the seven Elwood pizza pies a try on the patio next time you visit the small yet mighty-established shack off Summer Avenue.
Order: Elwood’s BBQ Pizza