Is there a more thoroughly American—or at least Americanized—Food than pizza? While its Italian origins are inarguable, the pizza pie might be the most beloved and wholly naturalized “foreign” food on the American table. Here in Chattanooga, we have our fair share of great pizzerias, so we set out to dig in and share our favorites.
A Broad Street fixture since 1996—ℹ Lupi’s boasts four additional locations and a catering operation. Practicing a true farm-to-table ethic, beef and sausage are sourced from owner Dorris Shober’s North Georgia ℹ Flying Turtle Farm, and much of the fresh ingredients are locally grown. Fresh and local are more than just buzzwords at Lupi’s. They back it up with high quality ingredients and friendly, familiar service. The flagship Broad Street location is currently expanding into the former Greyfriar’s Coffee space next door, roughly doubling their existing footprint.
The crust here is hand tossed-white, wheat, or gluten free-and layered from a deep roster of toppings that makes almost any imaginable combination possible. Uber fresh salads, calzones and lasagna share the menu with bruschetta, fresh baked bread, cookies and brownies. Trouble deciding? Pick from one of over twenty of Lupi’s favorite topping combos. The Supreme is a good place to start with pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, white onions and ground beef. The pizzas, calzones, bruschetta and lasagna are each available as take and bake options that make a carry out order feel more like home cooking—perfect for the mid-week dinner dilemma. For locations, contact information and more visit lupi.com.
Want a large slice of nostalgia with your pizza? Children of the nineteen seventies and eighties will eat up the decor at ℹ Crust—the tables are adorned with images of Garbage Pail Kids and the Six Million Dollar Man. Retro concert posters hang on the walls and the menu is laden with vintage Saturday morning television references. As the name implies, Crust Pizza has its own spin on pizzas. They call their crust “super famous cracker thin.” It is thin, and sports a cracker crispness around the edges and a bready softness in the middle. Toppings range from traditional to adventurous. We fell hard for the Master Blaster with its smoky bacon, tangy barbecue sauce, chicken and mozzarella.
Crust’s lunchtime buffet is a hot spot and features an all-you-can eat assortment of their house pizzas. Pair the buffet with a salad and one needn’t choose between a quick lunch and good one. The House Salad is a large bowl of fresh lettuces, spinach, sun flower seeds and garbanzo beans that will make that last slice of pizza feel a little less of a guilt trip. Crust’s pizzas can be ordered as full pies or by the “Quad,” their quarter pie size. An assortment of pastas and side items round out the menu. Couch potatoes will appreciate the take and bake pizzas. Crust has locations on South Broad and Signal Mountain Road. For more information visit crustpizza.com.
The menu at ℹ Fiamma on North Market Street is svelte. Thin Neapolitan pizzas and deep dish Sicilian pies. Antipasti, four salads and three sandwiches. What Fiamma may lack in menu pages, they more than make up in flavor. Their wood burning oven is red with oak and reaches nearly a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Customers often try to phone in orders to save time, but there’s no need. Their wood oven can bake a pizza from start to finish in as little as two minutes, making Fiamma a perfect lunch choice for diners on their lunch hour. That extreme heat makes for a chewy, slightly crispy crust with a touch of char and draws out the flavors of the cheese and other toppings.
Our pick, the Bianci, eschews the usual red sauce for olive oil. The cheeses—creamy ricotta, nutty parmigiano and mild buffalo mozzarella—meld perfectly with the thin crust and fragrant basil leaves. The downstairs bar, adjacent to the main dining room offers additional seating for dining and lounging and features a bocce court, craft beers and wine. For menus and more visit fiammapizzacompany.com.
At the corner of Market Street and MLK Blvd, ℹ Community Pie also boasts a wood burning pizza oven, churning out New York, Neopolitan, and Detroit-style pizzas. The former are thin crust pizzas, the latter sports a thick and crispy crust that upends traditional pizza building methodology. The cheese and toppings go on the crust first with the hot tomato sauce being spooned over the top before baking. It’s the Motor City’s answer to thick Chicago-style pizza and is unique to the Chattanooga area.
The signature pizzas at Community Pie offer both traditional combinations and more inventive interpretations featuring ingredients such as chipotle glazed pineapple, chorizo and slow cooked pork shoulder. The Sweet Fig is unlike any other pie in town with its sweet fig preserves, salty prosciutto, tart gorgonzola and creamy goat gouda cheese. It is topped with sharp, peppery arugula greens and has a rich, complex flavor profile. Community Pie is open during the morning hours offering breakfast plates, teas, coffee drinks and grab-and-go breakfasts for downtown office workers. See communitypie.com for more information.
Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom
ℹ Old Chicago Pizza is a national chain under the Craftworks’ umbrella of brewery and restaurant concepts. Craftworks—parent company of longtime downtown fixture ℹ Big River Grille and Brewing Works—has its restaurant support office headquartered in Chattanooga. Old Chicago pairs its pizzas with craft beer, an expansive food and beverage menu, and a sports bar atmosphere that’s suitable for the whole family. A kids’ menu is included along with a long list of tavern bites and cocktails. Craft beer enthusiasts will appreciate national, regional and local beers—sample flights are available and a one-hundred-and-ten brew “World Beer Tour” features top beer selections from around the globe. Multiple flat screen televisions air various sporting events and are always a draw on game day.
Obviously, thick windy city style pizzas are a staple at Old Chicago, although they offer thin crust pies as well. Hardcore carnivores will appreciate the “Meat Me” which is loaded with Italian and Andouille sausage, Canadian bacon and pepperoni. A salty green olive garnish and fragrantly fresh basil elevate each slice to a meaty, cheesy level of pizza nirvana. Old Chicago has a restaurant at Northgate Mall and a recently opened location near Hamilton Place Mall. Visit oldchicago.com for more information.
Having just opened on East Main Street, this pizzeria seems destined to become a local favorite for the rapidly growing neighborhoods nearby. Southside’s dining room—which seats a couple dozen patrons—has the casual air of a comfy neighborhood joint. The expansive patio outside provides additional seating and a perfect spot to lounge with friends while you enjoy your pie. The pizzas at ℹ Southside are enormous and are best enjoyed folded, New York-style. A single slice is practically a meal in itself and a full pie will please a crowd. Slices can be dressed up with additions like prosciutto or truffle oil.
Southside has all the toppings you would expect from a good pizza joint, but the crust is the star here. It’s thin and just a bit chewy, with a snappy crunch around the edges—you don’t want to overload a crust like that. Feeling adventurous? Try The Anchovy. With roasted garlic, capers, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, green olives and pungent anchovies, it’s a salty, complex delight. Southside’s menu includes a pair of salads and four sandwiches as well as meatballs and gravy (that’s Italian speak for pasta sauce, not the gravy that comes to mind for most Southerners). Check out Southside Pizza’s Facebook page for more details.
Eat some pizza!
Visit your favorite local pizzeria, take a picture and share it on Instagram #chattmagpizza.
Our social media team will watch to see who gets the most likes by March 31st—we’ll send you on your way with a gift card to that spot!