Grab a Slice at One of These Top Charleston Pizza Joints
When most people come to Charleston, they think of shrimp, grits, and seafood, but pizza is just as beloved here as it is anywhere else. We might not have a dedicated style of our own, but we know how to appreciate a good pie -- be it thin crust, wood-fired, square, or deep dish. And while Charleston might be 750+ miles away from New York City, you can still get a quality slice right here in the Holy City.
Grandma-style pizzas and hearty sandwiches in a cozy neighborhood setting
Uneeda Sicilian is one of the only pizza joints in Charleston that offers a square, “grandma-style” pizza. Grandma-style is a popular offering in Detroit, and consists of a thin, buttery crust cooked nice and crispy with no shortage of tasty toppings to go with it. The sauce does a great job of toeing the line between savory and sweet, with plenty of garlic and basil to add a great pop of herbaceous flavor. Top your pie with you choice of meat (‘roni, sausage, or meatball) and veggies (sweet onion, portabella mushrooms, roasted peppers, olives, or the signature broccoli rabe) for just a few bucks more.
A family-owned New York-style pizzeria
After building up quite the following at its stall in Workshop, Slice Co. made the move to a more full-service location earlier this year. Slice serves whole pizzas, and -- as the name suggests -- slices that are customizable with a variety of toppings, including caramelized onions, “confee” garlic, and housemade mozzarella. The pizzeria also offer up a “squarish” grandma-style pizza, and a gluten-free pie that packs a whole lot of flavor. No trip to Slice is complete without an order of the garlic knots, which are soft, pillowy bites of joy with enough garlic to make a vampire blush.
The perfect marriage of craft beer and craft pizza
What do you get when you cross a craft brewery and a one of the most beloved bakeries in all of Charleston? Baker & Brewer, a wood-fired pizzeria, artisan bakery cafe, and craft brewery all under a single roof. Come in the morning for a cup of coffee and a fresh pastry, stay until happy hour for a house brewed ale and bowl of whipped ricotta with housemade baguette. Many of the pizzas on the menu will look familiar to those who regularly frequent EVO in Park Circle, with the added bonus of being able to get a pie without trekking all the way out to North Charleston. Although everything on the menu is a winner, make it a point to try the chorizo and pumpkin pizza (with garlic oil, thyme, gouda, and mozzarella) before it’s gone for the season.
A lively sports bar serving up surprisingly good pies
Oftentimes sports bars are associated with greasy, subpar snack foods that go great with beer and football, but not much else. Luckily, that is absolutely not the case at Uptown Social, which focuses on an eclectic menu of standard American fare with quality ingredients and elevated touches. Opt for a traditional pie, like The Falco, or get a little crazy with one like The Orchard (white wine lemon cream sauce, shrimp, garlic chips, and pickled red chilies), or rethink your pizza entirely with the pizza dough bites that are seriously addicting.
Family-style Italian food with Neapolitan pies and natural wines.
Since they opened last year, Renzo has been the talk of the town. Their quirkily-named pizzas are simple in description but droolworthy in execution. Their pizzas run the gamut from the standard Margherita to the more complex and memorable “Fancyboy” with oyster mushrooms, sharp provolone, farm egg, and escarole salad. They also offer pizza on their Sunday brunch menu, proving that pizza doesn’t have to be on a bagel to be considered a breakfast food.
Casual pizzeria & brewpub serving deep-dish pies
Famulari’s is a locally owned chain that’s beloved by residents and tourists alike. As one of the only places in Charleston that offers both New York-style thin crust and a Chicago-style deep dish pizza, it really does the Windy City justice. Each of its five local locations (with one more on the way) offers a delicious mix of pies, appetizers, salads, and sandwiches that vary slightly by location, but are all perfect for delivery, takeout, or dining in.
Wood-fired pizzas served from a food truck
The Dough Boyz food truck was quick to establish its pies as some of the greatest in the Holy City. When one of its chefs studied at ALMA in Italy, you expect great things, and Dough Boyz definitely does not disappoint; you can find them slinging pies at pop-ups at various bars and restaurants in Charleston, including Bar Mash, Elliotborough Mini Bar, and Cooper River Brewing. The menu varies but has been known to features wild creations -- like a paella pizza with house-made chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp, and saffron aioli -- alongside more traditional offerings, like margherita.
Italian racing-themed Neapolitan-style brick-oven pizzas
Monza is an Italian racing-themed restaurant that specializes in gourmet Neapolitan-style brick oven pizzas, and its space just got a new 2019 glow-up. Like DeSano, it also has many of its ingredients and equipment imported from Italy, but it has a focus on sourcing ingredients and flavors from local suppliers as well. Try the Vanwall Special made with pesto, mozzarella, shrimp, and seasonal tomatoes.
Casual, New York-style pizzeria ideal for lunch and late night
At 2am, you’ll see a line of not-so-sober college students forming on Market Street with people waiting to get one of these giant slices of New York-style pizza to eat as they stumble home. We’re talking super-thin crust, lots of cheese, and lots of grease on slices that require two hands to hold. It's open during the day, too, so you can get a cheap slice whenever the mood strikes.
No-frills neighborhood pizza joint
Established by Philly natives, D’als (as it is lovingly referred to) is a neighborhood favorite located just south of the crosstown in the heart of Elliotborough Downtown. The menu is filled with unique and creative options for hand-tossed pizzas, calzones, salads, and caljoes (panini sandwiches). You can also find its frozen pizzas around town at places like Bull Street Gourmet & Market for a take-and-bake option. Our favorite: the Chauncinator, a margherita with double pepperoni.
Traditional and custom pizzas joint perfect for eat-in, delivery, or takeout
If you’re a fan of pizzas with a lot of wacky toppings and flavor combinations, and thicker crust, then Paisano’s is definitely for you. Feeling adventurous? Try the Speedy Gonzalez, topped with cheddar cheese, ground beef, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Cheese lover? The Colbert has a blue cheese base topped with chicken (grilled or fried), blue cheese crumble, and hot sauce. Want to stick with a classic? Opt for the Zeus, topped with basil, spinach, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
Upscale pizza spot with creative and seasonal combinations
If you prefer your pizza on the fancy side, then Crust is where you should go to satisfy your craving. Its wood-fired artisan pizzas are made with fresh and local ingredients, and are unlike any other pizza you’ll find in Charleston. Because it sources many of its ingredients locally, there are always a few daily specials, so each trip to Crust can feel like the first time. Our favorite menu standard is the butternut squash pizza with mushrooms, caramelized onion, goat cheese, mozzarella, arugula, and truffle oil.
A mix of classic and creative wood-fired pizzas and Italian fare
Indaco’s wood-fired pizzas are exquisite, with a crust that’s thin, but hearty enough to support the upscale and creative mix of toppings. Favorites include the Brussels sprouts pizza topped with honeycrisp apples, ricotta, dark honey, and pancetta, or the classic Cerignola olives pie with mozzarella, Calabrian chili, basil, parmesan, and olives.
Northern Italian-style pizzas, pastas, and dishes
Located in an unassuming shopping center in Mount Pleasant, La Pizzeria is the definition of a hidden gem. Seriously, if you blink, you might drive right on by. Specializing in Northern Italian-style cuisine, La Pizzeria brings a little taste of Boston’s famed North End to Mount Pleasant. Our favorite is the prosciutto pizza, layered simply with prosciutto, spinach, and Parmigiano cheese.
Oven-baked pizzas with custom crust seasonings
Fiore’s offers a number of specialty toppings for its oven-baked pizzas and grinders. But its true claim to fame is the free (and tasty) crust seasonings. Those of you who usually discard the crust for being tasteless should prepare to have your world turned upside-down. Choose from butter, garlic herb, Cajun, cheese, ranch, or sesame, and start treating your crust with the respect it deserves.
Neighborhood spot with wood-fired pizzas and a fully stocked bar
A long day of shopping tends to work up an appetite, and Community Pizza House -- which serves creative combinations to satisfy any craving -- is conveniently located within the Tanger shopping center in North Charleston. Favorites include the potato & bacon (with roasted garlic oil, smoked provolone, fingerling potatoes, applewood-smoked bacon, sweet onion, and a farm egg), and the chicken & pesto (fresh basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, roasted natural chicken breast, sweet & sour peppers, whipped ricotta, grated Parmesan). And, since pizza tastes best with beer, CPH has a healthy draft and bottles list, full of local and national favorites.
The perfect breakfast pizza, raw bar, pastas, and brunch
Obstinate Daughter is known for its fantastic brunch and French, Italian, and Spanish-influenced offerings, but it also had the brilliant idea to serve pizza for breakfast (fact: If you add an egg to anything, it automatically makes it breakfast food). One of our favorites (for breakfast or otherwise) is the Old Danger topped with pancetta, mozzarella, white sauce, farm egg, scallion, black pepper, and Parmesan. It kind of tastes like spaghetti carbonara on pizza.
Wood-fired pizzas and fresh seafood
Sister restaurant to local favorites Langdon’s and Opal, Wood & Grain premiered in the Shelmore Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant earlier this year to a fully packed dining room, and hasn’t slowed down since then. With only eight pizzas on the menu, the offerings are simple but packed with flavor; chef Patrick Owens has a flair for marrying atmosphere and taste, and his pies are just as beautiful to look at as they are to eat. We recommend the Salsiccia pizza, which comes topped with tomato, fennel sausage, garlicky greens, and ricotta.
Casual kitchen making Neapolitan-style pies
The team at GlowFisch Hospitality had already successfully cracked the code to burgers and sandwiches in Charleston at their other popular restaurants, Five Loaves and Sesame Burger, so they decided to take their talent to the pizza oven. Ember combines “Neapolitan style pizza and California inspiration” at their Belle Hall restaurant, offering a number of wood-fired options, like sandwiches, veggies, and (of course) pizza. Be sure to save room for dessert when you visit Ember, because the Nutella S’mores Pizza (with toasted marshmallows, almonds, caramel sauce, and powdered sugar) is no joke.
Super-casual slice joint and bar
If you’ve ever been in the mood for a slice of pizza as long as your torso, Benny Palmetto’s is the place to satisfy such a craving. The New York-style slices here are a whopping 14-inches long (longer than some human babies), and require two paper plates side-by-side in order to fit. In addition to its massive slices, Benny Palmetto’s also offers whole 28-inch pies for when you need to feed a small army, with all the usual toppings. Pair that with $1 PBRs all day, every day, and you’ve found pizza paradise.
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