10 Best pizza in Raleigh 2023

Raleigh is fondly nicknamed the city of Oaks and is the capital of North Carolina in the United States. The second most populous region in North Carolina it is also its fastest-growing city. This place is unique from other cities as it is a planned city and was planned in a grid pattern.

This neat and well-laid city has a culture of its own and people from all places throng this region either for work or pleasure making it a cosmopolitan city and home to a lot of people who have their own stories to tell. In this thriving and robust metropolis, the food culture is also present which speaks volumes and is a testament to the people’s way of life here.

Pizza a dish which was first invented in Naples, Italy is available here and many people enjoy this dish and it has become part of their staple diet. Hence, in this post, I discuss Raleigh city, its history, and some of the best pizza places in the capital city offering a bite of this delectable dish.

History of Raleigh

Raleigh has the unique distinction of being a planned city that was built to become a state capital. Unlike other cities that were built after they got a mill or a plant and attracted people to work and live there, Rayleigh city was to become the capital right from the beginning and its future was set.

Raleigh City

After the United States got its independence Rayleigh was chosen as the state capital and the county seat as its location prevented any attacks from the coast and was officially established in 1792. There was no other city or town existing at this place at that time and the city was named after Sir Walter Raleigh sponsor of the Roanoke the “lost colony” on Roanoke Island.

Rayleigh Map

The city grew over the years and today this sprawling megalopolis has been featured many times in Forbes, MSNBC, and Money magazine due to its quality of life and favorable business climate. It boasts of having some of the largest and biggest buildings in the United States and is home to many prestigious Universities including Duke University.

Old Raleigh City Panorama

Now, you know how this city was first established and how it is distinct from other cities in the United States. But to make it more interesting I have also given some fun facts about the capital city of North Carolina which will keep you in good humor.

Fun Facts about Raleigh City you didn’t know

  • Andrew Johnson the former United States President was born and brought up in this city and was a tailor before joining politics.
  • The Capitol building was originally a tomb for the wife of the then Governor Montfort Stokes, but the building was built on the wrong scale hence state officials used it as a meeting place which eventually led to it becoming the capitol building for the state legislature!
  • The city of Raleigh has a flag that is double-sided which means both the front and back have different designs.
  • During the American Civil war, Raleigh city was the headquarters of the Confederate until the Union troops under William Tecumseh Sherman occupied the city without resistance on April 13th 1865.
  • The first Historically Black university in the South was started here called the Shaw University in 1865.

I hoped you enjoyed reading the facts about this city as much as I enjoyed writing them. Rayleigh is a special place that has quite a history and is now a scene of great cultural diversity. Pizza a humble dish has made quite an impact on this city and I discuss its history with this metropolis.

History of Pizza in Raleigh

Just like the city the history of pizza is also different from other states. Can you believe Pizza became popular here only in the 1980s and until then it was considered a foreign food? Yep, when pizza parlours started sprouting everywhere all over the United States, people here were still steeped in their Southern cooking and didn’t care for pizza much.

Only pizza parlors near university campuses got some patrons (students mostly from the north) who had a hankering for Pizza. They were the only ones who demanded them and craved them. Seeing this general trend many pizza parlors soon started adding toppings to the menu which resembled southern cooking which made pizza finally a hit.

Now there are more restaurants than you can count and many specializing in authentic Italian pizza. Raleigh city finally embraced Pizza and hasn’t looked back since then. Now not only people of Italian origin but people of all ethnicities have opened their own pizzerias and are serving their take on this dish to the people for a long time.

I have made a list of some of the best places in Raleigh city for pizzas that are mouth-watering and the best in this city. So, without further ado!

List of the best pizza in Raleigh NC

Following are the list of best pizza in Raleigh NC.

01. Oakwood pizza box

Oakwood pizza box is a simple and fun pizzeria that makes some of the most delicious pizzas. Owned by the pie maker Anthony Guerra this pizzeria was opened in 2017 and focuses on making the type of pizza that people grew up eating and is all about nostalgia. You can select the base, the sauce, and the toppings to make a pizza of your choice to enjoy.

02. Pizzeria Faulisi

Pizzeria Faulisi is a family-owned pizzeria that specializes in making thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizzas. The wood-fired pizzas are made from milled flour along with Caputo flour. Their toppings are made from locally sourced fresh ingredients and the menu is changed daily depending on market availability. Located right next to a brewery you can always make your experience better by combining the beer with the pizza from this restaurant.

03. Benchwarmers

Benchwarmers is a wildly popular breakfast spot here in Raleigh city and are known for its amazing wood-fired pizzas that are created in Detroit style. Available only on Thursday and Friday nights from 5:30 to 9:30 PM these pizzas are thick, cheesy, and bursting with flavors. Their bagels too are top-notch and you can get a taste of both when you visit this eatery.

04. Poolside Pies

Poolside Pies is next on my list and is owned and run by the famous award-winning chef Ashley Christensen it is her 6th eatery in Rayleigh city. Dedicated to pizza this eatery makes its delectable pizzas from local flour which is then topped with sauce and house-made cheese. It is baked in a Marra Forni wood fire oven for 90 seconds over 800 degrees. These thin-crust pizzas are then served to the customers. They have a big menu and include other foods as well. You can try some of their amazing desserts after finishing your delicious pizza.

05. Frank’s Pizza

Frank’s Pizza is the oldest Pizzeria in Raleigh city and has become part of the city landscape. Any long-time Raleigh resident will swear by their pizzas and their eatery certainly doesn’t disappoint. A family restaurant, this hidden gem is a well-kept secret among the locals of this city. They have been in business for the past 30 years and are still going strong. Do not miss this eatery as it has quite a legacy here.

06. Lily’s pizza

Lily’s pizza has a quirky history and has been serving pizzas to its patrons for a long time. Despite that, it hasn’t diminished their fervor to experiment and invent new styles of pizza frequently. It first started as a carry-out and delivery restaurant. Now it has located in the historic Five Points area and is the most awarded restaurant in Raleigh city. It is also a haven for vegetarians and vegans as they have many options for them too.

07. Gino’s Pizza

Gino’s Pizza is the place if you want to try authentic New York style pizza. Chef Gino Romano certainly knows his stuff and this eatery is one of the most popular places for lunch. You can get 2 one-topping slices and a drink for just $5 and his pizzas are so good even New Yorkers rave about them. Do check out this place and get the pizza of your choice from their friendly staff all under $5.

08. Milton’s Pizza & Pasta

The best pizza in Raleigh NC is Milton’s Pizza & Pasta according to me. This locally operated restaurant is set up in 2 locations Raleigh and Wake Forest and has been serving yummy pizzas since 1983. Here they specialize in making Greek-style pizzas that are made from scratch, hand-stretched, and baked in traditional deck ovens that result in medium thick crust pizza. You can couple their pizzas with unique handcrafted beers that enrich the experience and leave you craving for more.

09. Anna’s pizzeria

Anna’s pizzeria is on my list because their pizzas are absolutely delicious and are made with family recipes that have been passed down for generations. This place has a family-friendly vibe and gives you the small-town pizza experience. Their signature dish is Grandma’s Pizza which is so good that a few slices will fill you up but still leave you craving for more, that you will regret throwing the towel.

10. Bella Monica

Bella Monica is a popular pizzeria in Raleigh city that was launched 20 years ago by Chef Corbett Monica and his wife Julie. This restaurant is centered on the concept of family and celebrates family gatherings around food. This is a fun place for you to bond with your family and friends over tasty pizzas and it has rave reviews from locals and tourists alike. If you are a wine lover then you can certainly pair it with your pizza as they have a great selection of wine. You can also try other dishes of Italian cuisine like Stromboli and calzones and not just pizzas.

I hope you check out the restaurants that I have listed as each restaurant has its own style which is inimitable ad provides for a delightful and special experience. By visiting these restaurants not only do you get to taste some of the most wholesome scrumptious pizza but you also get to participate in the culture of the city and enjoy all that it has to offer.


Raleigh is a beautiful city with a long history. One of the first planned cities in the United States this city was built to achieve great potential. No, wonder this megalopolis has a thriving culture and is welcoming to all. The city has amazing museums and picturesque parks that are not only free but make for a great learning experience as well.

Though the main fare here is Southern cooking many award-winning pizzerias have opened here hardly depriving the people of the simple but flavourful dish. Do, check out the restaurants here and soak in the culture of this vibrant place and hopefully my post has helped you a little in doing just that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Raleigh so famous?

Raleigh is very famous because it is the state capital of North Carolina and is a planned city. It has many important government offices including the state legislature. It is also an economically sound city and is the fastest-growing city in the United States.

Why is Raleigh city nicknamed the city of oaks?

It is nicknamed the city of oaks because it has a huge number of oak trees that line the city streets.

Why Raleigh city is often called the research triangle?

Raleigh city is often called the research triangle because it is hosts 3 prestigious universities; the universities of Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University.

When did pizza become mainstream in Raleigh city?

Pizza became mainstream in the 1980s and was considered a foreign food until then. Most people still preferred Southern cooking over pizza until pizzas were customized to cater to the palate of southern fare.

When was the first pizzeria opened in Raleigh city?

The first pizzeria was opened in the late 1950s near the universities in Raleigh city when pizza started getting popular among the Italian immigrants. Most of its customers were university students from the North who had cravings for pizza. It became mainstream and famous much later.

Also read,

  1. Best Pizza in Cincinnati
  2. Restaurants in Medora
  3. Best Pizza in Kansas City

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