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There’s all kinds of new pizza available across Charlotte, including wood-fired Neapolitan, Detroit-style, St. Louis-style and more. Shown here is Inizio’s, which recently expanded into Birkdale Village.

Editor’s note: Our reader’s guide to the best pizza in Charlotte in 2021 is coming up soon. Email us at charlottefive@charlottefive.com and tell us your favorite pizzeria, plus what you order there — we may use your response in upcoming coverage.

Clearly, we’re big pizza fans in Charlotte. There’s no shortage of delicious pizzas to sink your teeth into all around the city, but that hasn’t stopped fan favorites such as Benny’s and Inizo from opening more locations and newcomers like Emmy Squared and Rocket Pizza nudging their way into the scene in 2021.

Now, we’ve really got restaurant options — Connecticut style, Detroit style, New Jersey style, St. Louis style, Virginia style and brewery style — wait, is brewery-style pizza a thing? In Charlotte, it seems to be:

Charlotte, we are an Italian-food-loving city: Before COVID-19, we also saw a huge boom in Italian restaurants.

And surely, there’s more to come. Here are 14 of city’s newest pizza shops that have either already opened in 2021 or let us know they’re on the way:

800° Woodfired Kitchen

6815 Phillips Place Court

The restaurant, founded in 2011 by chef Anthony Carron, offers a clean-eating promise, which includes careful sourcing of local and organic ingredients and cooking only with extra virgin olive oil. It plans to open Memorial Day weekend.

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800° Woodfired Kitchen is opening at Phillips Place in 2021. Courtesy of 800° Woodfired Kitchen

Benny Ferrovia’s

340 W. Tremont Ave. (opening 2021)

Benny’s offers some of the largest slices around, boasting 28” Virginia-style pizzas. Now, the East Coast chain where each location carries a different name is branching out into South End, near Common Market and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.

What to try: A slice of cheese — you can’t beat the price at $4.

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The pizza slices at Benny Pennello’s are bigger than your face. Melissa Oyler CharlotteFive

Eight + Sand

135 New Bern Street Retail A

The restaurant has been open since 2019, but its dinner menu — aka pizza menu — is new. On March 31, the restaurant began its evening service (Wednesday-Sunday), offering pizza, poutine, salads, charcuterie boards and craft cocktails.

What to try: Go for the pan style. We recommend the Crisp Edge Vodka Pesto: Brick style cheese edge, vodka tomato sauce, mozzarella, fior di latte, and pecorino cheeses with a walnut pesto drizzle.

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Eight + Sand began a dinner service in March 2021, with pizza on its menu. Shown here is the Crisp Edge Vodka Pesto. Brandon Dionne

Emmy Squared

1510 Central Ave. (Opening summer 2021)

Brooklyn-based Emmy Squared will bring Detroit-style pizza (yes, you read that right) to Plaza Midwood this summer. In addition to its square-shaped pizza, look for sandwiches, salads and appetizers at the New York-based restaurant’s first North Carolina location.

What to try: The Roni Supreme, with Ezzo pepperoni and Calabrian chilis.

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Emmy Squared will open at 1508-1510 Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood in Charlotte serving Detroit-style pizza. Emmy Squared

Inizio Pizza

6627 Birkdale Commons Pkwy., Huntersville

A third location for Inizio Pizza Napoletana opened Feb. 15 in Huntersville’s Birkdale Landing Shopping center across from Birkdale Village, near Summit Coffee’s new location. Since 2016, Inizio has been bringing Neapolitan wood-fired pizza to Charlotte, and it now has locations both in Dilworth and in Providence Commons, too.

What to try: The Pistachio, with rosemary, sea salt, ricotta, Buffalo mozzarella, garlic, pistachio pesto sauce, and pistachios.

Jets Pizza

1800 Rozzelles Ferry Rd Ste 1808

Todd Martinez, owner of Jet’s Pizza in Huntersville and Mooresville, is expanding into Five Points in the Historic West End, QC Metro has reported. Jet’s Pizza is known for its Detroit-style pizza, based in square steel pans, with toppings to the edge. It also offers hand-tossed, New York-style, thin crust, cauliflower and gluten-free options, sure to satisfy every pizza fan in the house. Rita’s Italian Ice will open next door, so save room for dessert.

What to try: Detroit-style deep dish, Aloha BBQ Chicken (if you dare add pineapple), with a side of Jet’s Triple Cheese Turbo Sticks.

Margaux’s Wine, Pizza & Market

316 Main St., Pineville

Margaux’s opened in Pineville in March, bringing St. Louis-style pizza, along with fresh salads, sandwiches and charcuterie boards to the area, along with a focus on old world wines.

What to try: The Mayor’s Wife, with roasted eggplant, red pepper, marinated tomatoes and basil.

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The historic building in Pineville that is home to Margaux’s is 100 years old. Sara Douglass

Orto

424 E. 36th St.

Paul Verica, the two-time James Beard Award semifinalist chef and owner of The Stanley, opened Orto in NoDa in late Feburary. On the menu you’ll find pizza and pasta, along with cocktails from mixologist Amanda Britton.

What to try: The pizza with local mushrooms, caramelized onions, fontina, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce

Renaldo’s Culinary Experience

1540 West Blvd.

Chef Renaldo Norris, known for the past few years for his pizza, wings and other specialty foods, opened his West Boulevard location of Renaldo’s Culinary Experience in March.

What to try: The Shrimp Chorizo pizza is an experience like no other. It has shrimp, mozzarella cheese, chorizo red peppers and chili sauce.

Rocket Pizza

1213 W. Morehead St. (opening 2021)

2501 The Plaza, Suite 1 (opening 2021)

SouthPark spot (opening date TBD)

Rocket Pizza’s first location near the edge of Wesley Heights and Third Ward neighborhood is set to open soon, serving up 10-inch and 14-inch New Haven, Connecticut-style pizzas with a thin, crisp, cracker-like crust. The Plaza Midwood location should open later in the year, with a SouthPark spot to follow. Plans for a brewery are also in the works.

What to try: The Rocket Special with Rocket’s Original Sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and green olives.

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Rocket Pizza’s first location is at 1213 Morehead St. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Sal’s Pizza Factory

2212 Park Road

Sal’s Pizza Factory, known for its Jersey-style pizza with thin, crispy crust and plethora of toppings., opened its second Charlotte location April 7. It shares a shopping center with Inizio’s Pizza, which serves a Neapolitan-style pie.

What to try: Chicken Parm pizza, featuring chicken cutlet with tomato sauce and mozzarella.

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Pizzas are lined up on display at Sal’s Pizza Factory for daily lunch slices. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

The Sidekick

3701 N Davidson St., Suite 201

The Sidekick is a permanent food truck posted outside of FreeWill Brewing Co. (which shares a building with Divine Barrel), so you can pair your wood-fired pizza with your wine or beer of choice.

What to try: High-waiian, with Monterrey cheddar blend, topped with bacon, jalapeno, and pineapple. “We’re putting an end to the great debate. PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA 2021,” the menu states.


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Melissa Oyler is the editor of CharlotteFive. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her running, practicing hot yoga or snuggling with her rescue dog, X. Find her on Instagram or Twitter: @melissaoyler.

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Heidi Finley is a writer and editor for CharlotteFive and the Charlotte Observer. Outside of work, you will most likely find her in the suburbs driving kids around, volunteering and indulging in foodie pursuits.