Little slices of heaven: Ten great pizza places in Nashville
There's no such thing as bad pizza, but Nashville has so many options that it's hard to know where to start. Fortunately, Music City has pies to suit every taste, from build-your-own pizzas to Detroit- and Chicago-style deep dish.
Here are some of our favorite local pizza joints (with some boutique national chains we felt we had to include).
For our favorite: Joey's House of Pizza
The crew at Joey's House of Pizza slings dough so fast, you'd think their slices might taste cheap or half-baked. Quite the opposite: The New York-style crust here is crispy, flavorful, not too greasy and surprisingly tasty when reheated in a microwave. That's especially important if you're ordering the massive Gladiator slice, a double crust slice filled with pepperoni and sausage.
There's no beating the frenetic lunch rush at Joey's, which is only open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. There's no beating the pizza there, either.
897 Elm Hill Pike; 615-254-5639; joeyshouseofpizza.com
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For build-your-own: Slim & Husky's Pizza Beeria
Build-your-own pizza places are a dime a dozen in major cities, but Slim and Husky's is a true Nashville brand founded by three Tennessee State University grads. You can custom-order a pizza from high-quality ingredients on unique oblong dough (for the larger "husky" size), or you can pick their versions of classics like the Red Light Special, a Margherita pizza slathered with spicy tomato sauce.
911 Buchanan St. (multiple locations); 615-561-1787; slimandhuskys.com
For Neapolitan style: DeSano Pizza Bakery
DeSano's, a growing national chain with locations in California, Texas and North Carolina, takes authenticity extremely seriously. The restaurant adheres to the strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana and is a must-try for people who love the fluffy, wood-fired taste of a Neapolitan pizza.
115 16th Ave. S. (multiple locations); 615-953-1168; desanopizza.com
For neighborhood comfort: NY Pie
Picture a cozy neighborhood pizza spot where families go to celebrate Little League baseball wins and working professionals pop in to grab a slice on their lunch break. That's NY Pie, which has locations in West Nashville and Hendersonville. The New York-style pies are pleasantly thin and greasy, and we enjoyed the by-the-slice options.
6800 Charlotte Pike #105 (multiple locations); 615-915-1617; nypienashville.com
For Chicago deep-dish: 312 Pizza Company
312 is the area code for most Chicago phone numbers, so it's no surprise that 312 Pizza Company serves the Windy City's iconic deep-dish pizza. Be sure to allow extra time for your meal — the tomato-y, loaded pies take around 45 minutes to bake, but you'll likely have plenty of leftovers at the end of your meal.
371 Monroe St.; 615-730-7888; 312pizzaco.com
For Detroit-style: Emmy Squared
Detroit-style pizza — rectangular-cut with a thick, soft and chewy crust — has expanded beyond the Great Lakes State thanks to national delivery chains (think Jet's Pizza). For a more upscale Detroit pizza experience, Emmy Squared has three locations in Nashville. The toppings were standouts here. We ordered the Colony pizza, topped with pickled jalapeños, crispy, coin-sized pepperoni and a drizzle of honey.
1121 5th Ave. N. (multiple locations); 615-502-1025; emmysquaredpizza.com
For pies and pilsners: Five Points Pizza
Five Points serves thin-crust New York-style pizza and craft beers in a casual neighborhood environment. As the name suggests, the Nashville pizza bakers is an East Nashville favorite in the Five Points neighborhood but also has an outpost on Charlotte Avenue in West Nashville.
1012 Woodland St. (multiple locations); 615-915-4174; fivepointspizza.com
For pilsners, then pies: Roberta's
Roberta's, a nationally beloved wood-fired pizza baker with roots in Brooklyn, has a pop-up storefront at Urban Cowboy Public House in East Nashville. Customers can either grab a pizza to-go or eat it inside the Urban Cowboy bar space while enjoying craft beers and a bustling bar atmosphere.
Urban Cowboy Public House; 103 N. 16th St.
For by-the-slice: Two Boots
We may be biased since it's walking distance from The Tennessean's newsroom in Midtown, but Two Boots is a perfect spot for downtown office employees to get a quick slice during the lunch hour. The Kitty, a pizza topped with Hattie B's hot chicken and named after country music pioneer Kitty Wells, is one of many inventive slices waiting behind the glass at Two Boots.
1925 Broadway; 615-340-4343; twoboots.com/locations/nashville
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For coal-fired pizza: Nicky’s Coal Fired
Nicky's Coal Fired's most obvious feature is the coal-fired grill that's instrumental to a top-notch menu of Italian classics and pizzas. We got the best of both worlds with the Aces High, topped with crushed meatballs, mozzarella, pecorino, basil and roasted onions.
5026 Centennial Blvd.; 615-678-4289; nickysnashville.com
Cole Villena covers business at The Tennessean, part of the USA Today Network — Tennessee. Reach Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-925-0493. Follow Cole on Twitter at @ColeVillena and on Instagram at @CVinTennessee.