BY Staff

If theres one thing we can all agree on its this: pizza rules! Whether you pine for thin crust thick crust or deep dish extra cheese veggies pepperoni or pineapple pizza is the one meal the whole family adores. Weve all got our favorite pizza place and weve all got our prized personal pies. Here at WBM we simply couldnt decide who made the best pie in town. We couldnt even narrow it down so we elected to present as many as we could and let you make up your own minds. Stay calm readers because what follows is the perfect storm of pie a veritable … Pizzapalooza.

By Sarah Brehm Sim Jackson Brian Freskos Jenny Yarborough

I Love NY Pizza / 28 North Front Street (910) 762-7628

“We Toss em Theyre Awesome” is the slogan on the menu of this authentic New York-style pizza parlor. With the New York skyline in every mirror I NY Pizza serves authentic Big Apple slices that defy the law of gravity (you have to fold them to keep all that great cheese and sauce on the pie). With 15 specialty pizzas five calzones five strombolis and nine pizza rolls to choose from theres no way to go wrong in this cool downtown eatery. I Heart uses family recipes and makes their own sauce melts only top quality cheese and tosses the very best dough. “If you want it right its right ” says manager Antonio Grippi. I Heart has been an icon on N. Front Street for many years. Is there a better pie anywhere else? Fuggetaboutit. SJ

Vitos Pizza / 8 N. Lumina Avenue (910) 256-5858

When UNC-Chapel Hill student Keith Norris broke his leg he moved in with his brother Drake who lived on Wrightsville Beach. It was here that he discovered Vitos the iconic open-late full-service wildly popular pizzeria so close to the ocean that a trail of sand meets you at the door. In 2006 he bought the place and with the help of his brother transformed the space into a more contemporary spot including cool colors skate/surf and local band stickers on the fridge doors and surfboards mounted on the walls (the staff actually takes them down to surf when theyre not spinning pies). Next year Vitos celebrates its 25th anniversary! Though some of the recipes come from the original Vito Drake is the real mastermind behind the homemade sauce and dough both made fresh in-house each day. Although the top-sellers are cheese and pepperoni Keith and Drake take pride in their specialty pizzas: the Sweetwater Red Dawg and Neptune named for friends across the street. The Sweetwater is Vitos spin on a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple ham and green peppers; the Neptune is the veggie; and the Red Dawg the spiciest of the three is topped with Italian sausage pepperoni and banana peppers to give it some bite. JY

Osteria Cicchetti / 1125 Military Cutoff Road (910) 256-7476

If pizza is served on Mount Olympus the crust comes from Osteria Cicchetti. Layered on the oval-shaped thin crust of its top-seller the Stagioni is a house pesto base topped with a thick layer of fresh mozzarella. Piled on top of the cheese are fresh-baked zucchini tomato mushrooms roasted peppers and artichokes left in the oven just long enough to allow the full flavor of every veggie to burst with each bite. No matter your preference of toppings all pizzas are baked to perfection in the brick wood-fired oven. Though its a fine dining Italian eatery with Tuscan-like cobblestone floors ironwork and streetlights when youre sitting with friends eating their out-of-this-world pizza Osteria Cicchetti gives you that warm family feeling of home. “A lot of people come in here after visiting Italy and say this is the closest theyve come to being back there ” says manager Todd Parisi. JY

Antonios Pizza & Pasta /
5120 South College Road (910) 792-0000

8211 Market Street (910) 686-7774

1107 New Pointe Boulevard (910) 383-0033

Sounds easy right? Step into Antonios Pizza & Pasta walk up to the glass display counter and pick your slice. The problem is that all the pizzas look so good you cant just pick one. Antonios thin crispy New York-style crust will please any pizza lover. Try Antonios amante di carne (meat lover) which comes with plenty of pepperoni sausage meatballs and ham. “All of our customers love the New York style ” says Monkey Junction location store manager Mike Mingoia. “You can watch us hand-toss the dough while you eat!” SB

Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza / 6801 Main Street (910) 256-9677

When you enter Brixx Pizza in Mayfaire Town Center the delectable aroma of pizza cooking in a 700-degree oven will get your stomach growling. This bright upbeat and expansive restaurant is a popular destination for hungry shoppers movie-goers families looking to feed the kids and college students wanting to kick back. Everyone enjoys the fresh made-daily ingredients piled onto thin delicious white or wheat crust. With 24 taps a full bar and a versatile kitchen Brixx offers drink and food specials daily including a unique combination of toppings carefully compiled by kitchen manager Chris Walcott. Try the buffalo chicken pizza with white crust. Layered with freshly made mozzarella cheese and moist pieces of grilled chicken its a combination uniquely Brixx. Vegan cheese is available and the staff will always try to accommodate food allergies. BF

Brooklyn Pizza / 6932 Market Street (910) 395-5558

Anthony Leuci is 100 percent Italian. He grew up making pizza in his fathers Brooklyn NY pizzeria Del Mar established in 1957. “I was working there since I was 11 and then I moved here and opened this place ” Anthony says. “Ive been doing this it feels like 100 years.” Born and bred to make killer pies that will make you sing New York New York like Sinatra Anthony says his top-seller is classic cheese. His super-fresh toppings include homemade sliced meatballs eggplant and grilled zucchini. Its a no-frills kind of place ” Anthony says. “We dont buy anything pre-made boxed bagged frozen we do everything here.” If you want pizza you want Brooklyn. JY

Elizabeths Pizza / 4304 Market Street (910) 251-1005

Shameer Lookman of Elizabeths Pizza has been serving up slices pies and smiles to Wilmingtonians since 1987. On any given Thursday Friday or Saturday night more than 200 local loyal pizza lovers can be found waiting for one of his made-to-order masterpieces. Two fully manned kitchens and 12 servers and hosts on the floor handle the crowds with ease. The staffs casual gracious good humor creates an atmosphere that everyone enjoys but its the pizza that steals the show. The variety is endless 10 meats 20 veggies and four cheeses and everything is fresh and homemade. Elizabeth Pizza serves perfect pie in an atmosphere that keeps em coming back for more. SJ

Fat Tonys Italian Pub /
131 N. Front Street (910) 343-8881

250 Racine Drive (910) 452-9000

Looking for something special? Head to Fat Tonys Italian Pub and try their tasty Barbecue Pizza soft fluffy crust and tangy barbecue sauce piled with plenty of chicken crunchy onions and delicious cheese. Conveniently located on Racine Drive with a second location on N. Front Street in Historic Downtown Wilmington Fat Tonys is sure to please college students beachgoers and everyone in between. Its great for a business meeting families or just to kick back. What makes Fat Tonys pizza so great? “We make our own dough and mozzarella cheese ” says Tom Register kitchen manager for the Racine location “and use the freshest ingredients for our sauces and toppings.” And dont forget: Every Thursday at either location from 5-10 p.m. the all-you-can-eat buffet is just $6! SB

Gumbys Pizza / 1414 S. College Road (910) 313-0072

Gumbys pizza was founded by college students in Florida in 1985. Since then the franchise has spread through 13 states. In North Carolina theres one on College Road near UNCW; theres one on Franklin Street near UNC-Chapel Hill; and theres one on Hillsborough Street near NC State. Wilmington owner Lisbeth Masoua says that although Gumbys is reminiscent of a fast-food pizza she uses nothing frozen and prepares her own dough from scratch daily. Gumbys is probably best known for being the late-night college pizza and for its Pokey Stix (cheese bread) the most popular menu item. Located a fast two minutes from UNCW and open until 4 a.m. Gumbys hand-tossed crust rich marinara and extra cheese get high grades from the university crowd. JY

Incredible Gourmet Pizza / 1978 Eastwood Road (910) 256-0339

The name says it all. Located just before the Heide Trask Drawbridge Incredible caters to the beach area by offering an overwhelming number of pizza possibilities. Hoping for a unique blend of herbs 100-percent whole-milk mozzarella awesome and endless toppings? Incredible Gourmet Pizza has all that and more. Here theres no need to settle for marinara sauce (unless youre in the mood for an amazing homemade batch) when you can choose homemade sweet almond pesto basil pesto BBQ or sun dried tomato to name a few. When it comes to crust Incredible has white or wheat thin or thick take your pick. Owner Stuart Emory says specialty pizzas are his restaurants niche. From the Viva Cuba featuring a spicy black-bean base salsa cheddar jalapenos and other fresh ingredients usually found on a burrito to the Buffalo Chicken (a Superbowl hit) with a creamy ranch base and hot BBQ sauce to the endless vegetarian options theres no way to go wrong when youre going Incredible Gourmet. JY

Kornerstone Bistro / 8262 Market Street (910) 686-2296

“Thank you for supporting your local bistro” is a sign you see when leaving Kornerstone Bistro. And after eating their fabulous pie your response is likely to be “My pleasure. See you again real soon.” With a friendly family upscale feel thats perfect for everyone this Mediterranean-style bistro uses all hand-selected organic and local ingredients for their incredible Neopolitana-style pizza. Kornerstones chefs have fine-tuned the hand-tossed pie and the wood-fired oven gives the crust a flavor you have to taste to believe. Choose from one of 13 specialty pies or create one yourself from a long list of toppings. Everything here is homemade and Kornerstone delivers. We asked manager Joshua Daily for an inside scoop. Heres what he said: “Try the Diavola spicy shrimp roasted red peppers goat cheese and tomato.” We are so there. SJ

Krazy Pizza & Subs /

1616 Shipyard Boulevard (910) 392-7040

417 South College Road (910) 791-0598

The original Krazy Pizza has expanded to a larger location on Shipyard Boulevard but what hasnt changed is the pizza. Using the same recipe and quality ingredients for nearly 20 years Krazy Pizza makes their dough and sauce in-store daily. “Our loyal customers appreciate it ” says Taylor Nagel general manager. “They know theyre going to get the same great-quality food every time.” And the pizza is delicious with a robust sauce cheese and spices piled on a soft thin crust. The family-friendly atmosphere includes an arcade for kids of all ages and Whistles the Clown makes an appearance every Friday. Stop by the Krazy Pizza on Shipyard or visit their additional location on South College Road and get Krazy today. SB

Lucianos / 3926 Market Street (910) 362-4103

“Your pizza reminds me of home: Queens New York.” “Buonissimo!” “Fantastico!” “Bravo!” These glowing reviews are just a drop in the bucket of the praise written on a massive wall inside Lucianos pizzeria. But living up to the hype doesnt faze manager Michael Mason. The self-proclaimed “new guys in town ” Lucianos prides itself on the quality of the pizza made by their “authentic Italian chef with real New York flavor.” A native of Italy before moving to New York and then Wilmington Lucianos chef is the real deal. His large “foldable” slices with tangy sauce delicate cheese and delicious crust make it easy to see why Lucianos is described as “fantastically fabulous.” With Lucianos pizza the writing really is on the wall. SJ

Mellow Mushroom / 4311 Oleander Drive (910) 452-3773

Step into Mellow Mushroom and enter a world where guests sit under giant psychedelic mushrooms in the bar watch big games on multiple flat-screen TVs listen to live music and eat fantastic pizza. With 50 or so different toppings to choose from including all the usual suspects and some unique items like portabella mushrooms tempeh and turkey youre certain to find something to make you happy. “Everybody here always has fun ” says owner Robert Ray. “And with a long-time proven recipe we make a great pizza.” Did you say spicy? Try a pizza topped with jerk chicken and pineapple. The sauce is sweet the pineapple juicy and the chicken absolutely delicious. SB

Michaelangelos Pizza & Subs / 228 Eastwood Road 4-A (910) 790-3163

5617 Carolina Beach Road 110 (910) 392-5651

9 South Lake Park Boulevard 1A (910) 458-4100

Do not be intimidated by the size of the slices at Michaelangelos Pizza & Subs. Sure the New York-style pie means theyre bigger than the plate theyre served on but one bite and youll be glad for the generous portion. Youll also know why Michaelangelos has been a wildly popular pizza place for nearly 10 years. “The sauce is homemade ” says manager James Long “and its our goal to make the best pizza we can make including a crispy crust and fresh toppings.” The chill atmosphere comes complete with several flat-screen TVs to catch the big game. Located next to Kohls on Eastwood Road with two additional locations in Monkey Junction and Carolina Beach Michaelangelos is a convenient stop for everyone. Lunch is served every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dont miss the $4.99 all-you-can-eat special. Michaelangelos also delivers. SB

Old Chicago / 5023 Market Street (910) 796-0644

Old Chicago going strong since its grand opening in August 2005 has an atmosphere that the entire family will like: upbeat music comfortable booths two pool tables two arcade games and five televisions at the bar. “Well we dont want you to go to sleep ” says manager Jason Hall. They dont want you to leave hungry either so Old Chicago has perfected the balance between fun and food. A thick but light buttery crust (made with cornmeal) combines with a “high-grade low-moisture mozzarella” to make each bite of their delicious pizza an adventure of yum. SJ

Princess Pizza / 201 Princess Street (910) 772-8006

“We like to be different ” says Sam Ryan manager of Historic Downtown Wilmingtons Princess Pizza. Whether its their homemade sauce or the fusing of fresh chicken with their special combination of spices and herbs or the baklava and gyros or the juicy chicken wings Princess Pizza has thrived for two years and is getting more popular by the day. Using family recipes this warm and authentic pizza parlor boasts a relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel like youve entered an authentic neighborhood New York pizzeria. From the red tabletops to the thick green seat covers on the wooden chairs to any of their specialty pizzas especially the Chicken Caesar (croutons included) store manager Ryan thinks the more options the better and he delivers in a big delicious way. SJ

Rafaella Restaurant and Bar / 6722 Wrightsville Avenue (910) 256-0702

Northern style merges with Southern hospitality at Rafaella Restaurant and Bar. Serving pies since 2007 youll feel right at home in this two-story Charleston-style abode literally a two-minute drive from Wrightsville Beach. Here youll find oven-baked pizza prepared by a New York chef with a penchant for chunky sauted vegetables and a light buttery crust. Pizza-lovers will enjoy exchanging stories with co-owner Julie Kablouti while her husband Mo the head chef tosses crust and layers the freshest toppings in town. Thursday nights you can enjoy great local music from saxophonist Benny Hill. Sunday to Thursday from 5-7 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 9-11 p.m. pizzas are $5. Theyre delicious and super fresh and they easily feed two. BF

Rudinos Pizza and Grinders / 6801 Parker Farm Drive (910) 256-1099

Rudinos is famous for its bread especially its pizza dough. Located between Mayfaire Town Center and Wrightsville this fun and comfortable restaurant is a hot spot for lunch catering to events and businesses in the Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach area. Their lunch buffet comes with a half dozen pizza choices salad and a drink for $5.99. On Mondays food orders are one-half price and on Tuesdays Rudinos offers a buy-one-get-one-free special. Our recommendation? Try the Parmesan Chicken with perfectly seasoned chicken and parmesan pepper dressing or the Chicken Sophia with chicken tomatoes fresh sprigs of mint and feta. BF

Siena Trattoria Pizzeria and Restaurant / 3315 Masonboro Loop Road
(910) 794-3002

“Whatever you want to make ” are words head chef Steve Hotz and professional pizza craftsman Dave Crainshaw often hear at Siena. In this mellow candlelit restaurant on the edge of Masonboro Sound the professional pizza duo have developed a dedicated set of pizza-loving clients who come for Sienas creativity and flavorful use of farm-fresh locally grown in-season ingredients. Want a mouthwatering example? Picture this: super-thin crispy crust with a base of fig preserves under layers of poached pears fontina cheese crumbles of gorgonzola and caramelized onions held together by thin slices of prosciutto. Awesome is the first word that comes to mind. Hotz and Crainshaw still offer all the classics including a build-your-own option but even “plain cheese” is finely tuned in Sienas professional gourmet fashion. BF

Slice of Life / 1437 Military Cutoff Road Suite 101 (910) 256-2229

122 Market Street (910) 251-9444

“This is the best pizza Ive ever eaten. Why would I go anywhere else in Wilmington?” is the usual response from the loyal patrons of the Port Citys popular Slice of Life. “It all starts with the dough ” says Craig Funk general manager. “We make it in-house and only use the freshest ingredients.” Spicy Italian sausage and pepperoni cheese and a rich sauce are heaped on a delicious crunchy crust. Open until 3 a.m. everyday Slice of Life is a great place to go watch the big game every seat has a view of a flat-screen TV. With two locations one on Military Cutoff and one in Historic Downtown Wilmington a perfect slice from Slice of Life is always right around the corner. SB

Terrazzo Trattoria / 1319 Military Cutoff Road (910) 509-9400

If theres one word to describe Terrazzo Trattoria it is perfecto. The warm intimate atmosphere including a gorgeous glass wall of cascading water is ideal for a date night or the start of a fun night-on-the-town with friends. The gourmet pizza is fantastic and with more than 30 specialty pizzas to choose from youll get hungry just reading the menu. Try the tomato garlic and basil white pizza made with a ricotta-based four-cheese blend topped with large slices of fresh tomato. Youll thank us later. SB