Vote now to name Triangle Pizza Bracket’s best pizza
There is no bad pizza.
In the wide array of pizzas, from premium wood-fired pies with blistered crusts to three-tier gas ovens warming up a slice of plain cheese, every pizza has its place of perfection.
The Triangle is home to world-class pizza of all kinds, from true Neapolitan-style versions to stack-ordered pizza heroes, and tasty inventions in between.
Our Triangle Pizza Bracket narrowed down the area’s vast pizza scene to 16 of the best and most popular pizzerias, putting these wood-fired stores up against decades-old neighborhood parlors. There are countless beloved pizzerias in the Triangle, but these 16 acclaimed shops offer a variety of styles and geographies.
Here’s how it works: In the first round, pizza lovers can vote for up to eight of their favorite pizzas. The slate will be cut in half for the second round on Friday, March 4.
500 E. Davie St., Suite 107, Raleigh. benchwarmersbagels.com
Anyone who stops by the Transfer Co. Food Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights knows that this full-time bagel shop and part-time pizzeria cooks pizza like no other. Baked in the same wood-fired oven as the bagels, these rectangular odes to Detroit always feature slices of pepperoni and cheese and a dish of the week.
Capital Creations Gourmet Pizza
1842 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh. 919-836-8000 or capitalcreations.com
A short drive from downtown Raleigh, this pizzeria is a neighborhood favorite. Capital Creations cooks pizza that’s perfect for the holidays and pays special attention to vegetarian toppings and a pizza menu of over two dozen creations.
Frank’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant
2030 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh. 919-231-8990 or frankspizzainraleigh.com
Many pizza lovers think Frank’s is their best kept secret, but everyone knows about those perfect pizzas. For nearly 50 years, Frank’s has been a Raleigh favorite, bucking pizza trends and offering timeless pies fresh from the oven.
402 W. Geer St., Durham. 984-219-6578 or facebook.com/hutchins-garage
Originally billed as a bar with pizza on the side, Hutchins Garage exploded onto the Pizza Triangle scene in 2018, offering a full range of traditional round pies and a simple yet satisfying rectangular grandma’s pie. Spicy vodka pizza has become a Durham icon while Hutchins has quickly become the neighborhood shop that seems to have been there forever.
Italian Pizzeria III
508 Franklin Street West, Chapel Hill. 919-968-4671 or italianpizzeria3.com
This Franklin Street icon could cover Chapel Hill with its daily pizza production. Beloved by UNC students and Chapel Hill residents, this New York-style pizzeria is one of the busiest restaurants in the Triangle and on game days, there’s no place more warm than a stand at IP3.
1813 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh. 919-833-0226 or lillyspizza.com
This Five Points icon has been a favorite Raleigh pizza for over 20 years. Pies bake with a thick crust and creative toppings, and the restaurant is always a bustling pizzeria.
Milton’s Pizza and Pasta
14520 New Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. 919-570-9099 or miltonspizza.com
8853 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. 919-847-0604
Milton’s is a North Raleigh beacon for pizza lovers, serving Greek pies for over 30 years.
105 E. Main St., Carboro. napoliarboro.com
530 Foster St., Durham in the Durham Food Hall. 919-448-8638
230 S. Nash Street, Hillsborough. 919-245-8566
Starting out as a food truck with a 1,000 degree oven, this trio of pizzerias offer true Neapolitan-style pizza, where pies are cooked in seconds and best eaten in the moment, while cheese is still bubbling and crusts are filled with hot air.
Oak wood pizza box
610 N. Person St., Raleigh. 919-594-1605 or oakwoodpizzabox.com
Although it sounds simple, everything fun and loved about pizza is on the menu at Oakwood. From a basic gas oven, the pies start as a red sauce or white garlic pizza, then build from there, with rolled up pepperoni, premium olives, sautéed mushrooms, etc
117A W. Main St., Durham. 919-294-8408 or piepushers.com
What started as a favorite of festivals and Farmer’s Market food trucks has become a downtown Durham pizzeria, with Pie Pusshers serving sliced options that venture beyond pepperoni and cheese, including the iconic breakfast slice.
215 E. Chatham Street, Cary. 919-377-8244 or pizzeriafaulisi.com
This wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzeria helped launch the idea of downtown Cary. Faulisi bakes at the pinnacle of pizza art, with fluffy, airy crusts and bright, flavorful toppings. This soulful dough also led to Big Dom’s Bagels, a sister shop across the parking lot.
408 W. Weaver Street, Carrboro. 919-967-2277 or pizzeriamercatonc.com
Run by Gabe Barker, named one of the country’s top young chefs a few years ago by Eater, Mercato explores the seasonal side of pizza with endlessly creative pies, but never turns its back on the classics. The brilliant Margherita is a year-round mainstay and as good as it comes, but in summer watch out for corn to end up on the pizza menu.
105 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham. 919-908-6936 or pizzeriatoro.com
This pizzeria in downtown Durham is built around a wood-fired oven. Toro has been around for almost a decade but still feels fresh, where the best pies include spicy lamb meatballs, clam pizza and a simple Margherita.
pies by the pool
428 S. McDowell Street, Raleigh. 919-803-8660 or ac-restaurants.com/pooleside
Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen opened this wood-fired pizzeria next to his signature restaurant, Poole’s Diner, hence its name. A gigantic tiled pizza oven was lifted through the roof and into the kitchen when Poole’side opened in 2019, unveiling a mix of classics and pizza creations.
Eight locations in the Triangle. randyspizza.com
To walk through a door with a stack of Randy’s pizza is to become the hero of any room. This Triangle chain offers tried-and-true party-worthy pizzas, as well as the biggest pizza you’re likely to find, at 30 inches wide.
Brasserie & Pizza Trophy
827 W. Morgan St., Raleigh. 919-803-4849 or trophybrewing.com/brewing-pizza-menu
One of Raleigh’s best breweries is also one of the city’s most popular pizzerias. Trophy offers one of the most creative pizza menus in the Triangle and pioneered the Detroit-style pies that are now all the rage.
This story was originally published March 2, 2022 2:10 p.m.