Food & Drink

All the Best Pizza Joints in Nashville

Chris Chamberlain Published On 10/08/2014 Published On 10/08/2014

The pies, they are a-changin'. As Nashville continues to up its pizza game with the addition of Donato’s, the total number of pizza joints in the mile between Pizza Perfect and DeSano is now at an even half-dozen. And that's just in that mile. If you've got a craving for a big baked bread circle topped with sauce, cheese, and whatever else -- look no further.

NY Pie

West End

While many Nashvillians claim to prefer Napolitano-style pizza, these same folks often complain that the middle of their pies get too soggy. Actually, this is a natural side effect of the VPN’s process of using fresh tomatoes and a very short trip through the oven. What they probably really want is a cracker-crisp crust that is more like a New York-style pizza. NY Pie even offers a NY Sriracha chicken topped with “hipster ketchup.”

DeSano Pizza Bakery

DeSano Pizza Bakery

Music Row (& other locations)

This popular pizzeria has more than doubled its seating area with the addition of a new bar and dining room, but crowds still pack the joint on weekend evenings. Fortunately, since the pizzas come out of the screamingly hot stone ovens within a couple of minutes, you still won’t have to wait long for one of its premium pies, like the San Gennaro with San Marzano tomato sauce, sausage, peppadews, garlic, caramelized onions, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, and Pecorino Romano cheeses.

Angelo's Picnic Pizza

Antioch

The ancient city of Antioch was one of the capitals of the Roman Empire, and there’s definitely an Italian influence over this modern-day Antiochian pizzeria. There’s nothing fancy about the plastic cutlery and styro plates, but its crispy, NY-style pie is worth the trip to the ‘burbs.
As a bonus, you can hit the daily buffet and you won’t need to make a choice of just one pizza variety.

Porta Via Ristorante e Bar

Porta Via Ristorante e Bar

West End and Williamson County

Porta Via recently changed its name to emphasize that it is more than just a pizza spot. However, it still trades on its status as a VPN (Vera Pizza Napoletana)-certified pizzeria with super-traditional, Old World-style Italian. Add a menu of excellent pasta dishes and many varieties of gelato, and you’ve got lots of reasons to visit.

Two Boots

Music Row (& other locations)

The two boots in the name of this NYC-based pizzeria refer to the shapes of the state of Louisiana and the country of Italy, so it’s no surprise that spicy Cajun flavors meld with Galbani whole milk mozzarella to create piquant pies. The pizzas are cheekily named after pop culture icons, so you’ll have to read the menu closely to figure out the difference between “The Newman” and “The Dude.” [Hint: the Dude really ties the room together.] A local favorite is “The Kitty,” featuring hot chicken from Two Boots’ neighbors across the street at Hattie B’s.

Pizza Perfect

Pizza Perfect

Music Row (& other locations)

A Nashville favorite for more than 30 years, Pizza Perfect has fed generations of hungry Vandy students, specializing in NY/NJ-style pizzas along with pasta, sandwiches, salads, and calzones. The calzones are especially filling, so don’t be afraid to ask for a box if your eyes are bigger than your stomach... because those overstuffed cheese bombs are bigger than your head.

Bella Napoli Pizzeria

Music Row (& other locations)

Tucked away in the middle of the Edgehill Village complex, Bella Napoli may have one of the quaintest courtyards in town. Enjoy a couple of slices and some Italian vino (by the glass) while live music entertains you under the lights of the patio. Particularly popular is the classic margherita, where the mozzarella di bufala holds up well to the infernal 800-degree oven that puts the perfect amount of char on the bottom of the salty crusts.

Five Points Pizza

Five Points Pizza

East Nashville

Sometimes you need a perfectly greasy slice served up on a paper plate. The walk-up window at Five Points Pizza is the perfect equivalent of a culinary disco nap when you need some extra fuel to continue your bad idea exploits from bar to bar in East Nashville. To accentuate the NY vibe, there are NO SUBSTITUTIONS allowed on those slices.

Manny's House of Pizza

Downtown

At Manny’s in the Arcade Downtown, they’ve got that authentic Noo Yawk attitude in spades. The décor is nothing to phone home about (except the front of the building), but the pizza is legit, with thin crust or Sicilian styles available hot out of the oven. Its stromboli and calzones are also worth a try. Pro tip: you can park in the Arcade alley between Church and Union, and they’ll bring your carryout order right to the car.

Joey's House of Pizza

Downtown

Joey’s brother Manny split off from the family biz to open his own House of Pizza in an old sandwich shop right off of I-40 at Fesslers Ln. Originally from Brooklyn, Joey brought his family and its recipes with him, and it shows. Get anything with meatballs on it: pizza, pasta, hell...order 'em on a plate.

April Bowers/Pizza Company

312 Pizza Company

Germantown

If you’ve got some time on your hands and a hankering for some Chicago-style pizza, 312 Pizza Co. is the place to go. Good things come to those who wait, and the crowds and long cooking times of these deep-dish cheese bombs pretty much guarantee that you’ll have to stretch your lunch hour to get in and out at midday. When your boss asks where you've been, blame it on the traffic.

Soulshine Pizza Factory

Music Row (& other locations)

If you can get past the fake Foghorn Leghorn/Dr. John love child voice actor that Soulshine uses for its radio commercials, you’ll actually find some decent pizza. Despite the fact that Two Boots -- just across the street -- also features down-home Southern ingredients in its pies, Soulshine goes further south (Bob Marley style) with Caribbean pulled chicken and jerk seasoning. Soulshine also earns a nod for its great selection of regional craft beers and nightly schedule of live entertainment upstairs.

Donatos Pizza

Donato's

Music Row (& other locations)  

Midwestern transplants to Nashville swear by this chain out of Columbus, OH, and for once, locals are actually listening to them. Thin crust pies are covered from edge to edge with tasty toppings and then cut into party-style square pieces for easy sharing. The Founders Favorite with heritage pepperoni, family recipe sausage, shaved ham, and banana peppers is particularly addictive. Don’t keep count of how many slices you eat, since 12 sounds like a lot. And in a nod to its Music City location, Donato’s actually features live music Thursday-Saturday nights.

Sign up here for our daily Nashville email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the Music City has to offer.

Chris Chamberlain is a lifelong Nashvillager who loves all sorts of pies: pot, apple, or pizza. A three-pie dinner would be a dream come true. Follow him at @CeeElCee.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. NY Pie 6800 Charlotte Pike, Ste 105, Nashville, TN 37209 (West End)

Located in the far West End in suburban Nashville, NY Pie serves cracker-crisp crusted slices and pies with the option to add NY Sriracha chicken glazed in “hipster ketchup.” This pizzeria prepares home-made dough from scratch daily, bakes the hand-tossed thins in a brick oven (no conveyor, no screens) and tops each with fresh sauce that’s made daily from imported Italian tomatoes.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. DeSano Pizza Bakery 115 16th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 (Music Row)

This popular pizzeria on Music Row has a bar and dining room, but crowds still pack the joint on weekend evenings. Fortunately, your thin-crust Neapolitan pies come out of three screamingly hot stone infernal ovens within a couple of minutes, you still won’t ever be waiting long. The pies are made with imported ingredients: flour and tomatoes from Italy, sausage from Chicago. Bonus: this spot is BYOB, so spend that extra cash on another round of pies.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Angelo's Picnic Pizza 2713 Murfreesboro Pike, Antioch, TN 37013

Angelo’s in Antioch is a longstanding neighborhood favorite for NY-style pizza, lasagna, stromboli and other Italian staples. There’s nothing fancy about the plastic cutlery and styrofoam plates, but the crispy, thin pie is worth the trip to the ‘burbs. As a bonus, you can hit the daily buffet and you won’t need to make a choice of just one pizza variety.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Porta Via Italian Kitchen 21 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37205 (Williamson County)

Porta Via is one of the greatest pizza spots in Nashville, trading on its status as a VPN (Vera Pizza Napoletana) certified pizzeria and serving super-traditional, Old World-style Italian dishes like house-made pasta and gelato in a contemporary, art-filled surrounds.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Two Boots 1925 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Two Boots in Midtown is first Southern outpost of the New York City pizza chain. The “boots” in the name refer to the shapes of the state of Louisiana and the country of Italy because spicy Cajun flavors meld with Galbani whole milk mozzarella to create piquant pies. The local favorite here is "The Kitty,” a white pie topped with hot chicken procured from neighbor Hattie B's, jalapeños, and blue cheese.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Pizza Perfect 1602 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212 (Music Row)

A Nashville favorite for more than 30 years, Pizza Perfect on Music Row has fed generations of hungry Vandy students and other locals, specializing in NY/NJ-style pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads, and calzones. The calzones are especially popular and filling, so don’t be afraid to ask for a box if your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Bella Napoli Pizzeria 1200 Villa Pl, Ste 206, Nashville, TN 37212 (Music Row)

Tucked away in the middle of the Edgehill Village complex, Bella Napoli may have one of the quaintest courtyards in town. Enjoy a couple of slices and some Italian vino by the glass while live music entertains you under string lights on the patio. Particularly popular is the classic margherita pie— the mozzarella di bufala holds up well to the infernal 800-degree oven that creates the perfect amount of char on the bottom of salty crusts. Pies are left uncut when they are delivered to the table—the traditional Italian way to serve a pizza— to keep the crust and cheese fresher.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Five Points Pizza 1012 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206 (East Nashville)

Five Points Pizza is the closest thing you can get to New York-style pizza in the Nashville area. The crust is thin, flaky, and topped with thick house-made tomato sauce. True to NY style, there are NO SUBSTITUTIONS allowed on those slices. The walk-up window at Five Points Pizza is perfect when you need some extra fuel to continue your crawl from bar to bar in East Nashville. But the unsung heroes are the garlic knots: soft, cheesy, and so damn good you’d be forgiven for making the trip just for them.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Manny's House of Pizza 15th Ave, Nashville, TN 37219 (Downtown)

At Manny’s Downtown location, they’ve got that authentic New York attitude in spades. The décor is nothing to look at, but the pizza is legit, with thin crust or Sicilian styles available hot out of the oven. Stromboli and calzones are also worth a try.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Joey's House of Pizza 897 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37210 (Downtown)

Originally from Brooklyn, Joey brought his family and its recipes with him to Downtown Nashville, along with an old school NYC attitude that keeps the dining room lively. This pint-sized counter service shop specializes in all things meatball related: get 'em on pizza, pasta, hell...order 'em on a plate.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. 312 Pizza Company 371 Monroe St, Nashville, TN 37208 (Germantown)

Anyone who has spent time devouring pies in the Windy City can attest that this Germantown craft brew bar and restaurant is the real deal when it comes to Chicago-style deep dish pizza, even if you do have to usually wait awhile to get a table. Good things come to those who wait, though-- the long cooking times of these pan pies pretty much guarantee melty, cheesy satisfaction.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Soulshine Pizza Factory 1907 Division St, Nashville, TN 37212 (Music Row)

Despite the fact that the Two Boots Pizza just across the street also features down-home Southern ingredients in their pies, Soulshine earns a nod for its great selection of regional craft beers and nightly schedule of live entertainment upstairs. Oh, and it's got some solid pizzas-- check out the Bob Marley style pie with Caribbean pulled chicken and jerk seasoning.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Donatos Nashville 1915 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203 (Music Row)

This modern mini-chain (originally from Columbus, OH) slings thin crust pies in a hip, industrial space. Go for a classic pie (all the bascs like pepperoni, veggie, and cheese are covered here), or create your own, toppings edge to edge with your choice of add-on's like sriracha, banana peppers, or jalapenos. In a nod to its Music City location, Donato’s also features live music Thursday-Saturday nights.

Clickbait