Ethan Hauck

The Best Pizza in Raleigh, NC: Top 5

Raleigh, North Carolina
Image courtesy of BryanRegan via Canva

Our international tour of the best pizza by the city continues - this time, we’re targeting Raleigh, NC. Each city we’ve inspected has offered a broad range of pies, with some cities keeping it truly new. While Raleigh isn’t quite as innovative as some of the cities in the Great White North, they’ve got pizza down to a science. And we've got some truly incredible spots tonight.

So - who has the best pizza in Raleigh?

Mellow Mushroom

BBQ pizza Raleigh, NC
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Mellow Mushroom is the hip younger sibling in the Raleigh pizza scene. While they offer far more than pizza, that’s the true highlight of the menu. It also helps that they have a massive (and very well-made) Tik Tok account that’s garnered millions of followers and views.

Whether you want something truly unlike any other pie you’ve ever experienced or a simple pepperoni pizza, Mellow Mushroom has you covered. Their specialty lies in “hippie” (i.e. extravagant, creative, and truly delicious) pizza creations, and it’s earned them quite the local and national fame. Perhaps more importantly, Mellow Mushroom is heavily involved in their community, highlighting incredible people in their neck of the woods - and that’s pretty freakin’ cool if you ask us.

If you want the best pizza in Raleigh, hands down, head to Mellow Mushroom.

Oakwood Pizza Box

Traditional pizza is an affair of simplicity; it’s meant to bring together a few incredible ingredients and marry them under the flames. This is a concept with which Oakwood Pizza Box is incredibly familiar - in fact, it’s their whole thing! While they’ve established a reputation for serving truly ingenious pies, they do so with a heavily limited menu.

While this may turn off some people, it’s a sign of masters - simple ingredients, simple instructions, and little else. You can select from a cheese, “white,” or square pie, adding from a handful of perfectly fresh produce, cheese, and meat. If you’re one of those who require a loaded pie, I encourage you to branch out - Oakwood has true masters of the craft behind the line, so trust them.

If you favor simplicity in your pies, Oakwood Pizza Box is the best pizza in Raleigh, hands down.

Manhattan Pizza

Manhattan Pizza is the exact opposite of the previous entry. Where our first selection chooses simplicity and a limited menu, Manhattan Pizza fights that concept tooth and nail. They have an incredibly extensive menu, offering far more than pizza - though the pies are the highlight.

The owners, Jack and Essa Azar, have created something that’s genuinely excellent. Pizza was Jack’s safe space as a child - and it shows in adulthood, coming out in the form of cheesy, oozy perfection. Manhattan Pizza serves massive, classic New York slices with innovative toppings alongside stromboli, calzones, and pasta, to name a few entries on their menu.

The next time you need greasy goodness delivered to your mouth, give Manhattan Pizza a call for the best pizza in Raleigh. 

Honorable Mentions

best pizza in Raleigh wood fire oven
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This next section is near and dear to my heart. We here at Dishcrawl love pizza - it’s no secret. But that makes lists like this incredibly difficult, not only because we have to actually evaluate pies that are all delicious, but because it means we have to leave out so many great spots.

That’s where this section comes into play. The honorable mentions down below just barely escaped making our top three - though they each offer something quite unique, new, or just plain delicious. So - who are our honorable mentions for the best pizza in Raleigh this time around?

(Psst - if you like these, check out our guides to the best pizza cookbooks on the market, or our list of the top pizza and baking stones for the year.)

Vivo Ristorante

Now, before the locals get up in arms, I know - Vivo Ristorante is an Italian restaurant first, and a pizza joint last. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not some of the best pizza in Raleigh. While they only offer a select handful of pies, each one is made to true perfection.

They insist on using only the freshest possible ingredients, opting for local and sustainably-sourced when possible. When it’s not possible, they import the best Italian produce they can find - and it shows. They’re family-owned, boast an extensive Italian wine list, and do their best to ensure each guest is treated like family.

The quality of their product is echoed in the food, service, and environment created and makes Vivo Ristorante truly deserving of a mention.

Benny Capitale’s

Last on our list is Benny Capitale’s. Benny’s opened its doors in 2017, aiming to bring authentic Italian pizza to little ol’ Raleigh - and they’ve been met with smashing success ever since. What was once a small NC-native joint is now a multi-state affair stretching from the Midwest into the American south.

This success comes from the quality of their pies, no doubt about it. While you can absolutely order a full pie, their distinguishing factor is the fact that they offer excellent pizza by the slice. The slices are massive, delicious, and quite reasonably priced (considering they’re larger than most peoples’ heads). 

The next time you need a quick slice of some of the best pizza in Raleigh, head to Benny Capitale’s - you won't be disappointed.

Ethan Hauck
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