Who can resist gooey, melty cheese and the perfect blend of toppings on a piping hot pizza?
It has been well documented over the years that Knoxville is the restaurant capital of the United States with more eateries per capita than anywhere else. In honor of National Pizza Day, we thought it fitting to celebrate five of our favorite local pizza shops. You won’t find any toga wearing mascots or stale frozen pizzas on our list!
Known for generations as the proprietor of the New York style pizza shop at East Town Mall, Elidio opened a dine-in and carryout pizza restaurant on Central Avenue Pike near Powell. People travel from all over Knoxville to grab fresh pizza by the slice, whole pies, stromboli and pasta. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but we love the pepperoni by the slice like we used to get as kids at the mall.
Pizza Palace has been a mainstay in Knoxville restaurant culture for over 50 years! Featured on Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, this Magnolia Avenue establishment made its way to fame with a menu of made-from-scratch pizzas, fresh onion rings and their secret spaghetti sauce. The restaurant remains on the site originally purchased by the Peroulas brothers with a few additions and remodels over the years. This is one of the must-eat experiences for anyone visiting Knoxville.
A Dopo Sourdough Pizza is a dinner only pizzeria in downtown Knoxville’s Old City specializing in wood-fired sourdough, Neapolitan style pizzas. Using many fresh, locally sourced ingredients, the team led by Brian Strutz creates artisan pizzas and and gelatos to die for. We love the Bianca with its blend of cheeses, garlic, honey and olive oil.
With two locations in west Knoxville (Hardin Valley and Bearden), Hard Knox Pizza is one of the up and coming pizzerias in town. Built on Dean Bastian’s vision of “neo-Neopolitan” pizzas, Hard Knox Pizza cranks out red and white wood-fired pies while providing under-resourced schools and communities the opportunity for education and experience in the restaurant industry.
Just a short drive to Oak Ridge gets you some of the best pizza in East Tennessee! Big Ed’s Pizza is simple – just pizza and drinks, including beer. The shop was opened in 1970 by “Big Ed” Neusel in the old Service Drug Store in Oak Ridge, TN. Although Ed passed away in 1998, the family maintains the same quality and care Neusel put into his original pizzas on day one. Even with plenty of seating, a line forms regularly outside this landmark restaurant to get a slice of their award winning pizza. Don’t forget to pick up one of the iconic t-shirts!
You Can’t Go Wrong…
These are just some of our favorite pizzerias in the area with so many more we could have added. Did we leave your favorite off? Drop a comment below and let us know who is your go-to pizza kitchen.