Pizza master Jeremy Denno, now of Rock ‘n' Dough, created the Trolley Stop’s signature New York-style crust and sauce. Its direct line to Whitten Farms and other local farmers provides a host of fresh farm-to-table toppings that please all manner of pizza lovers (but especially the vegans and vegetarians).
Aldo’s Midtown location’s rooftop patio is the premiere place to enjoy a slice and a pint in Memphis, weather permitting. This New York-style pie is commonly ordered with Aldo’s famous vodka sauce, which is a go-to for those looking to branch out from regular tomato sauce.
Hog & Hominy delivers a taste of Italy to your table with the city’s most authentic pizza. Its margherita is damn near pizza perfection, with simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. The chewy, lightly charred crust can easily be overwhelmed by some of the heavier toppings, but the flavors and textures work so well that they quickly become addictive.
Strano’s pizza excellence comes from the crust: it’s thin, but not floppy, crispy, but not crackly, and tastes like the dough’s recipe comes from someone’s Sicilian grandmother (fact: it does). This is the city’s most expensive pizza, so order at lunch if you wanna save a few bucks.
Midtown (& other locations)
Memphis Pizza Cafe has crowd-pleasing, super-crispy, thin-crust pizza that can hold its own against any toppings. Its thinness also allows you to eat twice as much as you could at other pizzerias. It makes a mighty fine buffalo chicken pie, but the local favorite is the Alternative, a simple pizza with no sauce -- save for olive oil -- topped with garlic, tomato, crushed basil, and cheese.
University District and Germantown
Rock 'n' Dough is steadily taking over the Memphis pizza scene with its new and improved restaurants. It now has a full menu that includes grinders, burgers, wings, pizza bowls, and beignets, and it’s not unusual to see a line out the door. The style is a hearty, New York-style pizza that can be topped with all manner of fresh and delicious toppings.
For a taste of authentic Italian New York-style pizza in an unassuming atmosphere, you're headed to Little Italy. Choose the cheese pizza or add pepperoni for an extra kick of spice (and grease). You're getting a pie with slightly sweet tomato sauce, precisely melted cheese, and whatever toppings you add. The flaky, thin crust gets those perfect blackened bits and cracks just right when you fold it up, because folding is basically required at Little Italy.
Broadway Pizza is a Memphis institution. It served pizza and soul food from an unassuming joint on Broad Ave for decades before opening a second location in East Memphis in 2014. While it's certainly no deep dish, Broadway offers a thick crust and heavy portions of sauces & toppings, all baked in and under the cheese. You’d be hard-pressed to eat more than a slice or two. Call ahead to reduce your wait time -- it takes more than a hot minute to cook these monsters.
Midtown Crossing Grill offers oven-fired crusts that hit that sweet spot between thin & thick, and crispy & chewy. MCG offers a variety of off-the-wall combinations, but you should make note of the Hangover. It’s like a big, bold breakfast on said crust, with Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce, plus crispy bacon, caramelized onion, a melted blanket of medium cheddar, and a fried egg or two plopped right down in the middle.
High Point is your quintessential neighborhood pizza joint, located right near the access point to the Shelby Farms Greenline. (Biking to/from your meal is not required, but highly recommended). The menu offers a great selection of standard and specialty pizzas, and the daily special always brings the wow factor (i.e. Pize Toscano: olive oil sauce, manchego, Asiago, crimini mushrooms, arugula, and prosciutto, and finished with a balsamic truffle glaze). The crust is thin and foldable, and is brushed with a mouthwatering garlic butter.
When the party is winding down and everyone has had plenty of Wiseacre Tiny Bomb, it’s time to call Camy’s for a late-night delivery. Sure, it has a dine-in area and other tasty sandwiches and salads, but when you need hand-tossed, super-cheesy, fat & tasty late-night pizza transported directly to your face, Camy’s is it.
Many pizza places in Memphis and around the country offer a "barbecue pizza," but Coletta’s is where to go for the original real deal. It fires up a traditional cheese pizza in its burning-hot pizza oven, and then adds a generous layer of house-smoked pulled pork shoulder after it’s done, so the meat stays tender and tasty. Pour on a dose of Coletta’s barbecue sauce, and you’re ready to eat BBQ pizza from the place that invented it.
Pete and Sam’s is an institution. While pizza isn’t its main focus, it is certainly worth a trip just to try it, especially if thin crust is your thing. This is the one and only place where you can actually get a “baby pizza” as a side dish to your entrée. The baby pizza is about 5-6in wide, and is crispy like a cracker. Pizza is also available in standard sizes, but the baby pizza is where it's at. Just don't put it in a corner.
1. Trolley Stop Market704 Madison Ave, Memphis
2. Aldo's Pizza Pies752 S Cooper St, Memphis
3. Hog & Hominy707 W Brookhaven Cir, Memphis
4. Strano! Sicilian Kitchen & Bar948 S Cooper St, Memphis
5. Memphis Pizza Cafe2087 Madison Ave, Memphis
6. Rock 'n' Dough Pizza Co.3445 Poplar Ave Ste 1, Memphis
7. Little Italy Pizza1495 Union Ave, Memphis
8. Broadway Pizza2581 Broad Ave, Memphis
9. Midtown Crossing Grill394 N Watkins St, Memphis
10. High Point Pizza477 High Point Ter, Memphis
11. Camy's3 S Barksdale St, Memphis
12. Coletta's Restaurant1063 S Parkway E, Memphis
13. Pete and Sam's3886 Park Ave, Memphis
Trolley Stop Market -- which sits adjacent to the Orleans trolley stop on Madison Ave., hence the name -- is part market, part restaurant, and part bar with a penchant for pies. Farmers-turned-restaurant owners Keith and Jill Forrester make pizza crusts from scratch, and source ingredients for toppings from nearby Whitton Farms, among other farms, where they grow their own produce and herbs. Go for the Margherita pie, topped with just-plucked tomatoes, chunks of Mozzarella, and freshly picked basil, and stay for the various artisanal goods on offer: crafts, sauces, breads, jams, eggs, and the like.
Aldo’s is a gourmet pizza joint with two locations (one Downtown and one in Midtown). It's famous for its Trippy Truffle and vodka sauce, plus there are delicious sandwiches that can hold their own. Unlike its sister, this Copper Young location has a rooftop patio, the premiere spot to enjoy a slice and pint in Memphis.
Hometown boys Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman's restaurant has a homey feel thanks to a bright & airy atmosphere, a wood-burning pizza oven in plain sight, and waiters dressed in plaid. They not only serve incredible pizzas, like the Fontina, boudin, and scrambled egg-topped Prewitt pie, and cocktails, but also have outdoor seating and bocce ball. Looking for late night dining and brunch? Stop searching, they have that here too.
Strano! in the Cooper Young district is a neighborhood joint serving gourmet Italian with an emphasis on simple Sicilian recipes. Its pizza brilliance comes from the crust: thin but not floppy, crispy but not crackly, and tastes like the dough’s recipe comes from someone’s Sicilian Grandmother (it does). Let the fresh, quality ingredients speak for themselves as you hang out in the casual, brick-lined dining room.
With 20 years in the biz and five locations across Memphis (East Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, Southaven, and this one in Overton Square), MPC has a dedicated following to its crowd-pleasing, super-crispy, thin-crust pizza that can hold its own against any toppings. Its thinness also allows you to eat twice as much as you could at other pizzerias. The famed local favorite is the Alternative Pie, a simple pizza with no sauce -- save for olive oil -- topped with garlic, tomato, crushed basil, and cheese.
Rock ’n’ Dough is dishin’ out freshly made dough and sauce daily topped with hand-shredded cheese, in-house smoked meat and hand-grown basil and tomatoes. What started as a food truck traversing Memphis has become one of the area’s favorite brick-and-motors. Head to Rock ‘n’ Dough’s small restaurant for big pizzas with big flavor: the slices are big and floppy, with melty cheese that stretches when you pull the slice from the pie. Cheer on the USA! USA! pizza, which comes topped with pepperoni, seasoned sausage, black olives, onions and bell peppers, and mushrooms. Stick around for dessert because you don't miss beignets.
Little Italy Pizza in Midtown is an unassuming Italian spot for quick bites. But don’t let the orange walls distract you: for absolutely authentic Italian New York-style pizza in Memphis, LIP is the place to be. Pies are made with a slightly sweet tomato sauce with precisely melted cheese and just about any topping you could want. The flaky, thin crust gets those perfect blackened bits and cracks just right when you fold it up, because folding is basically required at Little Italy.
Broadway Pizza served pizza and soul food from an unassuming joint on Broad Ave for decades before opening a second location in East Memphis in 2014. While it's certainly no deep dish, Broadway offers a thick crust and heavy portions of sauces and toppings, all baked UNDER the cheese. The locals' fan favorite is the Cheeseburger pie, which has everything you'd get on a cheeseburger minus the bun: the cheese, beef, pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and yes, ketchup and mustard.
Far from your average pizzeria-sandwich dive, the pies at Midtown Crossing serve up some serious flavor. Expect the usual fare -- barbecue-smoked chicken wings (it’s Memphis, lest you forget) and BLT’s -- with the added twist that meatless substitutions are available for bites like potato skins, bahn mi sandwiches, and most importantly, “The Artist,” sporting vegan mozzarella, tomato jam, and caramelized onions. Come for the food, stay for the community stand-up nights.
High Point is your quintessential neighborhood pizza joint, located right near the access point to the Shelby Farms Greenline. The menu offers a great selection of standard and specialty pizzas, plus creative daily specials . The crust is thin and foldable, and is brushed with a mouthwatering garlic butter. Local favorites include the buffalo chicken supreme (High Point's most popular pie), Italian Christmas, and wild mushroom. Hot, doughy zeppole round out the menu.
When you need hand-tossed, super-cheesy, late-night pizza and you need it now, Camy’s is one of the very best quick-Italian in Memphis. Get hearty portions of fresh sandwiches, salads, pastas, and wings as delivery (service extends to Midtown and Downtown Memphis) or visit the joint on Barksdale Street at the carryout window.
Colette’s has been serving Memphis since the 1920s, and—like the delicious recipes— the place hasn’t changed much. Walk in and you’ll feel like you’ve gone back a few decades thanks to the picnic-table set up and decor (red and white checkered tablecloths, light-washed wood, and yellow tea lights. But don’t underestimate this South Memphis spot: Coletta’s invented the real, original BBQ pizza. It fires up a traditional cheese pizza in its burning-hot pizza oven, and then adds a generous layer of house-smoked pulled pork shoulder.
Pete and Sam’s in East Memphis is a family-run eatery with a real old-school decor (think dim yellow lighting, striped wallpaper, and argyle tablecloths). The menu is mostly Italian-influenced with favorites like lasagna, spaghetti and thin crust pizzas, but also offers American staples like chicken, steaks and seafood. The standout item is BBQ Pizza, lauded by everyone from Memphis locals to Food Network chefs.