Winston-Salem, a city known for its rich history and vibrant arts scene, has another hidden gem – its pizzerias! If you’re anything like me, the mere mention of pizza gets your mouth watering. But with so many options out there, how do you find that perfect slice in Winston-Salem? Whether you’re a local, just passing through, or planning a visit, I’ve got you covered.
Over the years, I’ve embarked on a delicious journey, exploring every nook and cranny of this city to find the best pizza places. From the bustling downtown streets to the quiet corners, I’ve tasted, critiqued, and savored slices from numerous spots. And let me tell you, the pizza scene here is nothing short of spectacular.
In this guide, I’ll share my personal experiences, tips, and of course, the top pizza joints that have made it to my favorites list. So, grab a napkin (because things might get drool-worthy) and let’s dive into the world of Winston Salem pizza!
Top-rated pizza restaurants in Winston-Salem
Among its many gastronomic offerings, the Winston Salem’s pizzerias stand out, each promising a unique and delectable experience for pizza aficionados.
Here are a few that I love:
|Name||Contact Info||Price Range||Notable Features|
|Mission Pizza Napoletana||707 N Trade St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, (336) 893-8217||$$||Authentic Neapolitan pizzas, Wood-fired oven|
|Cugino Forno||486 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, (336) 448-0555||$$||Vera Pizza Napoletana certified, Imported oven|
|Elizabeth’s Pizza||3278 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, (336) 768-0605||$||Wide variety, Family-owned since 1987|
|Mario’s Pizza||266 Harvey St, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, (336) 701-5550||$||Generous toppings, Flavorful crust|
|Stoked Woodfired Pub||5312 Robinhood Village Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106, (336) 815-8000||$$||Wood-fired pizzas, Cozy ambiance|
Mission Pizza Napoletana
Tucked away in the vibrant Arts District of Winston Salem, Mission Pizza Napoletana has been a local favorite since its doors opened in 2014. Founded by Peyton Smith, who was inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, this spot has quickly earned a reputation for its authentic Neapolitan pizzas.
From the moment I stepped in, I was greeted by the rustic charm of the place. Exposed brick walls, wooden tables, and the centerpiece – a wood-fired oven where the magic happens. The ambiance is reminiscent of a cozy eatery in Italy, making it a perfect spot for both casual lunches and intimate dinners.
What I Loved:
- The Authenticity: Their pizzas are Neapolitan-style, cooked in a wood-fired oven, giving them that perfect char and smoky flavor.
- The Ingredients: Fresh, locally sourced, and of the highest quality. The San Marzano tomatoes and creamy mozzarella were standout stars.
- The Creativity: While they offer classic favorites, their unique creations like the “Pistachio Pesto” were a delightful surprise.
- Address: 707 N Trade St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
- Phone: (336) 893-8217
- Website: missionpizzanapoletana.com
Located in the historic Bailey Power Plant, Cugino Forno is a gem that brings the flavors of Italy to Winston Salem. Established by three cousins with a passion for pizza, this pizzeria boasts of authenticity, with every pizza being Vera Pizza Napoletana certified.
The interior is spacious with high ceilings, giving it an industrial yet cozy feel. The large windows allow for ample natural light, making it a great spot for daytime dining.
What I Loved:
- The Oven: Imported directly from Italy, their oven cooks pizzas in a mere 90 seconds, ensuring a perfect crust every time.
- The Ingredients: They use Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes, staying true to Neapolitan traditions.
- The Vibe: The place has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it great for families and groups.
- Address: 486 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
- Phone: (336) 448-0555
- Website: cuginoforno.com
A staple in Winston Salem since 1987, Elizabeth’s Pizza offers a blend of traditional and modern Italian dishes. Situated in Thruway Center, this family-owned pizzeria has a warm and inviting atmosphere, adorned with Italian-themed decor.
When I walked in, I was welcomed by the delightful aroma of baking pizzas and simmering sauces. The staff was friendly, and the menu had a wide variety of options, catering to all pizza lovers.
What I Loved:
- The Variety: From classic Margheritas to specialty pizzas like “The Godfather,” there’s something for everyone.
- The Pasta: Apart from pizzas, they also serve some of the best pasta dishes in town.
- The Legacy: Being in business for over three decades, they’ve perfected the art of pizza-making.
- Address: 3278 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
- Phone: (336) 768-0605
- Website: elizabethspizzawinston.com
Burke Street Pizza
Nestled in the heart of Winston Salem, Burke Street Pizza has been serving the community since 2003. Known for its New York-style pizzas, this pizzeria offers a casual and laid-back setting, making it a popular choice for both locals and visitors.
From the moment I walked in, the bustling atmosphere and the aroma of freshly baked pizzas set the tone for a delightful dining experience. The walls adorned with vintage posters and neon signs add to the nostalgic charm of the place.
What I Loved:
- The Crust: Thin, crispy, and perfectly baked, their crust is a testament to the authentic New York-style pizza.
- Generous Toppings: Whether it’s the pepperoni or the fresh veggies, they don’t skimp on the toppings.
- Friendly Staff: Quick service combined with a warm and friendly staff ensures a pleasant dining experience.
- Address: 1140 Burke St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
- Phone: (336) 721-0011
- Website: burkestreetpizza.com
Zito Pizzeria & Grill
A hidden gem in Winston Salem, Zito Pizzeria & Grill is known for its authentic Italian flavors and a warm, family-friendly environment. Located on Healy Drive, this pizzeria has been serving the community with passion and dedication for years.
As soon I walked through the door, the aroma of freshly baked pizzas and simmering sauces fills the air, promising a delightful culinary experience. The decor is simple yet inviting, with Italian-themed artwork adorning the walls.
What I Loved:
- Traditional Recipes: Zito’s prides itself on using age-old Italian recipes, ensuring that every bite is packed with authentic flavors.
- Diverse Menu: Apart from their delectable pizzas, they also offer a range of pasta dishes, subs, and salads.
- Family-Friendly: The ambiance is perfect for family gatherings, with a dedicated kids’ menu to keep the little ones happy.
- Address: 3030 Healy Dr, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
- Phone: (336) 765-9486
Honorable Mentions: Other Great Pizza Places in Winston-Salem
Here is a list of even more amazing pizza places you should try the next time you’re in Winston Salem, NC.
- Mario’s Pizza
- Description: A beloved spot in Winston Salem, Mario’s Pizza is known for its generous toppings and flavorful crust. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic pepperoni or something more adventurous, Mario’s has got you covered.
- Address: 266 Harvey St, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
- Phone: (336) 701-5550
- Website: mariosbigpizza.com/stratford-rd/
- Stoked Woodfired Pub
- Description: A unique blend of a pub and pizzeria, Stoked offers wood-fired pizzas with a twist. Their innovative toppings and cozy ambiance make it a must-visit.
- Address: 5312 Robinhood Village Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
- Phone: (336) 815-8000
- Website: stokedwoodfiredpub.com
- The Pizza Place
- Description: A staple in the community, The Pizza Place offers a range of delicious pizzas that are both hearty and satisfying. Their commitment to quality ingredients shines through in every slice.
- Address: 1155 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27127
- Phone: (336) 722-0021
- Website: thepizzaplacews.com
- Pie Guys’ Pizza and More
- Description: As the name suggests, Pie Guys offers more than just pizza. However, their pizzas, with their perfect crust and fresh toppings, are the main attraction.
- Address: 3425 Kinnamon Village Commons, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
- Phone: (336) 893-7331
- Website: pieguys.com
- Est Est Est
- Description: A modern pizzeria with a nod to tradition, Est Est Est offers a gourmet pizza experience. Their curated menu and chic setting make it a favorite among locals.
- Address: 633 N Liberty St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
- Phone: (336) 917-3009
- Website: roarws.com
These honorable mentions are just a few more of the many fantastic pizza places that Winston Salem has to offer. Each brings its unique flavor and style to the table, ensuring that there’s something for every pizza lover in the city.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Pizza Restaurant in Winston Salem
Winston Salem, with its rich history and diverse culinary scene, offers a plethora of pizza options. But how do you choose the best spot for your pizza cravings in this city? Here are some factors tailored to Winston Salem’s unique landscape:
Winston Salem is a city steeped in history. Some pizzerias, like those in the Arts District or near Old Salem, are housed in historic buildings, offering a blend of culinary delight and a trip down memory lane.
Recommendation: Mission Pizza Napoletana in the Arts District is set in a renovated warehouse, giving you a rustic feel combined with authentic Neapolitan pizzas.
The Piedmont Triad region, where Winston Salem is located, is known for its fertile lands and fresh produce. Pizzerias that source their ingredients locally not only offer fresher and more flavorful pizzas but also support local farmers and the community.
Recommendation: Cugino Forno prides itself on using local ingredients, ensuring a fresh and flavorful pizza experience.
Cultural Events and Festivals
Winston Salem hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Some pizzerias participate in these events, offering special menus or discounts.
Recommendation: During the RiverRun International Film Festival, check out Mozzarella Fellas. They often have special deals and a movie-themed menu.
Proximity to Local Attractions
If you’re planning a day out exploring the Reynolda House Museum of American Art or strolling through the Wake Forest University campus, consider choosing a pizzeria nearby.
Recommendation: After a visit to the Reynolda House, head to Burke Street Pizza for a delightful meal.
Craft Beer Pairings
Winston Salem has a burgeoning craft beer scene. Many local pizzerias have caught onto this trend and offer craft beer pairings with their pizzas.
Recommendation: The Porch Kitchen and Cantina not only offers delicious tacos but also a range of local craft beers to pair with your meal.
Local Reviews and Recommendations
While online reviews are helpful, there’s nothing like a recommendation from a local. Winston Salem residents are proud of their culinary scene.
Recommendation: Locals often rave about Elizabeth’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria for its cozy atmosphere and delicious pizzas.
Specialty Pizzas Unique to Winston Salem
Some pizzerias in Winston Salem offer pizzas that are unique to the city, incorporating local flavors or traditions.
Recommendation: Hutch & Harris offers a Southern BBQ Pizza, giving a local twist to the classic pizza.
The Pizza Legacy of Winston Salem
Winston Salem is a city deeply rooted in history and culture, with a lesser-known, but equally rich, legacy when it comes to pizza. The origins of pizza in Winston Salem can be traced back to the early 20th century when Italian immigrants began settling in the region. Bringing with them age-old recipes and a passion for authentic Italian cuisine, these immigrants laid the foundation for what would become a thriving pizza scene in the city.
As the years went by, the fusion of Italian culinary traditions with local Southern flavors gave birth to a unique style of pizza that Winston Salem could call its own. The city’s tobacco and textile industries attracted a diverse workforce, and with it, a demand for varied dining experiences. Pizzerias became communal spaces where workers from different backgrounds came together, sharing stories over slices of pizza.
The growth of universities and colleges in the area further fueled the demand for affordable and delicious food options, with pizza being a top favorite among students. This led to a surge in pizzerias, each trying to outdo the other with their unique toppings, crusts, and flavors.
Today, Winston Salem boasts a plethora of pizzerias, from traditional wood-fired ovens producing Neapolitan-style pizzas to modern establishments experimenting with global flavors. The city’s commitment to preserving its history is evident in its pizzerias, many of which have become institutions in their own right, passing down recipes through generations.
In essence, the abundance of exceptional pizza places in Winston Salem is a testament to the city’s rich immigrant history, its evolving culinary landscape, and its residents’ undying love for this iconic dish.
Why is Winston Salem considered a hub for authentic pizza in North Carolina?
Winston Salem’s rich history of Italian immigrants, combined with its diverse workforce and student population, has cultivated a unique pizza culture. The blend of traditional Italian recipes with Southern flavors, along with the city’s commitment to preserving its culinary heritage, has made Winston Salem a go-to destination for pizza enthusiasts.
Are there any pizza festivals or events in Winston Salem that pizza lovers should be aware of?
Yes! Winston Salem hosts several food festivals throughout the year, and many of them feature local pizzerias showcasing their specialties. One notable event is the “Winston Salem Pizza Fest,” where local pizzerias compete for the title of “Best Pizza in Town.” It’s a great opportunity for residents and visitors alike to sample a variety of pizzas and celebrate the city’s vibrant pizza scene.