The Magic City is full of great pizza places serving up everything from artisanal pies to good ol’ pepperoni pizzas, all of which delight the most discerning epicures, as well as broods of hungry kids! From Hawaiian barbecue pies with chicken and pineapple to Southern “soul pies,” featuring collards, black-eyed peas and Conecuh sausage, the mouthwatering creations from Birmingham’s pizzerias keep us coming back for more! Let’s check out six local pizza places worth their weight in cheese!
6 Birmingham Pizza Places to Visit
725 29th St. S., Lakeview • (205) 715-9300
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In 2011, before Lakeview became the bustling enclave it is today, the Bajalieh brothers, co-owners of Sol’s Sandwich Shop & Deli and Sky Castle Gastro Lounge, opened Slice Pizza & Brewhouse. Their concept was a twist on the classic pizza, using local, seasonal ingredients and always exploring new combinations with the freshest ingredients available, such as the Oyster Rockefeller pizza, which highlights fresh Alabama Gulf oysters, or the summertime Chilton pizza, which highlights Chilton County peaches. Slice partners with local purveyors through The Urban Food Project, an initiative of REV Birmingham, and works with more than 15 farmers in the area each week. Executive Chef Terrill Brazelton’s mouthwatering, scratchmade crust recipe ensures that diners will not treat the crust as a scrap. “We use techniques that enable us to get the most flavors out of our ingredients,” says Chef Terrill, “such as braising the chicken, curing the brisket in-house for our Reuben pizza and slow roasting all of our tomatoes.”
While the pepperoni pizza is always a crowd pleaser, Chef Terrill says that the BBQ pizza with smoked brisket gives the classic pepperoni a run for its money. “However, the Soul Pie is one that doesn’t get ordered as often,” says Chef Terrill. “But it has everything you love about the South — a white sauce base topped with turnip greens, black-eyed peas, Conecuh sausage, grilled red onion, pepper Jack cheese and cheddar cheese.” And if pizza’s not your speed, try the fire-baked wings. “It takes two days to make them to perfection, but once you try them, you won’t forget them,” says the chef.
5524 Crestwood Blvd., Crestwood • (205) 592-3455
Hours: Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Lifelong Crestwood resident Bobby Lorino spent years looking at the vacant gas station along Crestwood Boulevard, but when he eyed the spot, he envisioned a hopping gathering place, hip eatery and a familiar watering hole for the neighborhood locals. Eventually, Bobby and his business partner, Pat Sanford, made the dream a reality. The Filling Station opened just three months ago, and with its garage doors that open onto the sprawling patio during warmer months, its tap wall of 24 ever-rotating beers, a thoughtfully curated wine selection and creative menu offerings — all made from scratch — it’s poised to be a neighborhood favorite.
The dough is made fresh up to four times daily, which is what makes their most popular pies, the House Special and the Sicilian Meats, so outstanding. In addition to the mouthwatering pizzas, The Filling Station serves calzones, hoagies, paninis, creative salads, Mama Lorino’s Lasagna, as well as daily specials that feature different pastas, flatbreads, fresh seafood selections and a menu for the kiddos! If you’re not in the mood for pizza, try the wildly popular house burger or the Colossal Shrimp Martini appetizer of Gulf Shrimp served with a homemade key lime cocktail sauce and cherry bomb pepper.
209 41st St., Avondale • (205) 599-9900
Hours: Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
557 20th Ave. S., Tuscaloosa • (205) 632-5300
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to closing
Post Office Pies owner and Head Chef John Hall cut his culinary teeth in New York City, training under world-renowned chefs at Gramercy Tavern, Thomas Keller’s Per Se and Momofuku Ssäm Bar. And, seemingly unable to get enough of the kitchen by day, he ran a bicycle pizza delivery service out of his own apartment by night! When he returned to Birmingham, he ended up back in his hometown of Avondale, working at SAW’s Soul Kitchen, where he met co-owners Brandon Cain and Mike Wilson. The co-owners recognized Chef John’s culinary talent and liked his passion for pizza. From there, the idea just kind of blossomed. In March 2014, Post Office Pies was founded in the old Avondale Post Office, and the atmosphere has been magnetic. “You feel like family here, whether it’s your first time here or your 50th,” says Rachel Wallace, media relations and catering coordinator. And the food’s not bad either, most notably the Swine Pie, which includes a red base, pepperoni, housemade pork sausage, bacon and mozzarella.
Post Office Pies not only makes its own dough, but also many of their ingredients. Any ingredients not made in-house are locally sourced, which is what makes their seasonal salads — such as the brussels sprouts and kale in the winter, the corn salad and caprese salad in the summer — so outstanding! If you’re not in the market for a hot slice, they also offer housemade meatballs, cheese bread or Caesar salad. Or stop by on Wednesdays for their new weekly homemade pasta night. If you can’t get enough of Post Office Pies at their charming Avondale eatery, book them to cater your next party or wedding, or spice up your next large corporate meeting with a deliciously different lunch delivery!
2 Dexter Ave., Mountain Brook • (205) 414-7878
Hours: Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Nestled in picturesque Crestline Village, Mafiaoza’s has been a beloved neighborhood spot, perfect for family dinners, as well as dinner with friends or date nights, since 2008. “Everything is made in house from scratch, from the fresh mozzarella to the sauces to the dough,” says Patrick Randall, general manager. “And we use stone ovens, which gives our pies great flavor.” The Last Request is their version of a supreme pizza, with everything from extra cheese and fresh jalapeños to Fontanini Italian sausage and peppers. And the popular DeMartino pizza is a more gourmet pie, featuring high-quality ingredients, such as Salame Toscano, housemade mozzarella and fresh arugula, not to mention their award-winning wings and gorgeous charcuterie plates. But those watching their waistlines can also enjoy this eatery’s salads, including the most popular Pucetti salad — a spring mix with lemon poppy chicken, Marcona almonds, cranberries and their famous fried goat cheese buttons — or those adhering to the Paleo diet can choose from the Paleo menu, created with Mafiaoza’s Iron Tribe neighbors in mind.
“I love the atmosphere,” says Patrick. “We’re in a very community-oriented neighborhood. We have a lot of regulars who we love seeing a few times a week. Our restaurant is kid-friendly, but also offers a great beer and wine selection, making it perfect for a date-night spot. And the staff is so great. A lot of the customers and staff have less of a customer relationship and more of a friendship!” With its large covered patio, semiprivate “Mafia Room,” bar area and diverse menu, this crowd-pleasing neighborhood pizzeria is a must-visit!
1831 28th Ave. S., Ste. 160, Homewood • (205) 739-2212
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Everyone in Birmingham is curious about the new kid on the pizza block, so we put boots on the ground in Homewood’s SoHo Square to get the skinny on this new pie-making eatery. This pizzeria was inspired by one groom’s honeymoon to his wife’s home country of Italy. He came back to the states and founded the first Your Pie in Athens, GA. What sets this brick-oven pizzeria apart is the price point. For $7.99 plus tax, you have your choice of hand-tossed dough, sauces ranging from pesto to BBQ to marinara, fresh mozzarella to vegan cheeses and a wide range of fresh toppings. Panini, fresh chopped salads and the wildly popular gelato are also on the menu.
“Although Your Pie is a franchise, each of the Birmingham locations will look very different and have different offerings, like local ingredients and beers, which make them unique to each location,“ says local owner Lloyd Peeples. “Your Pie is intended to be a neighborhood restaurant that reflects its surroundings and immediate community. The Community Monday program donates a percentage of sales to a local school, charity, foundation or organization that directly impacts that community. This is one way, but not the only way, in which Your Pie can help the community it serves.”
2901 Second Ave. S., Ste. 150, Pepper Place, Birmingham • (205) 731-6499
Lunch Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
If you want to be transported to Italy, the cuisine at Bettola will do the trick. Award-winning Chef James Lewis’ signature Neapolitan pizzas are made from scratch, using caputo flour delivered directly from Italy. This authentic Italian dough is then hand tossed and wood fired in Bettola’s brick oven from Naples. The result is a beautifully thin crust with pillowy, crisp edges, always topped with locally sourced meats and vegetables.
Located in historic Pepper Place downtown, this culinary mecca of authentic eats from Italy’s Campania region also serves gorgeous charcuterie plates, authentic handmade pastas, porchetta, 65-day, dry-aged rib-eye, marrow luge, salads featuring farm-fresh produce, craft cocktails and fabulous wines that perfectly complement these beautiful dishes. If you want an authentic slice of Italy, Bettola is the place!
Let’s raise a cold brew to the fabulous pizzerias that make Birmingham great!