Pizza may have originated in Italy as a fast, tasty meal for working families, but it really shot to fame and favor among the masses when it got to America in the 1940s. Since then, pizza has become a staple of American cuisine and culture.
Here in the United States, we don’t just like our pizza – we crave it. Every day, more than one out of 10 people eat a slice (or two, or three) and there are more than 70,000 pizza parlors scattered around the nation. We pack away about three billion (yes, billion) pizzas every single year.
You’ve probably heard the saying that “even when pizza is bad, it’s good,” but good pizza is absolutely amazing. Luckily for you, Lexington is home to a variety of delicious pizza places that are perfect for a night out with friends or a casual dinner with family. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Pies & Pints
Need a pizza that’s lactose-free, gluten-free or vegan? Want a place with a comfortable atmosphere where you can grab a craft beer with your dinner and relax? Head to Pies & Pints, a popular pizza spot located in the heart of Lexington.
Their menu features a wide selection of creative and unique pizzas, with toppings ranging from fig and prosciutto to black bean and jalapeño. Every pizza is finished off with their signature garlic oil and kosher salt rub on the crust – which is part of the reason they have devoted fans. Guests are always encouraged to dine in and raise a pint or two while they share some great food with their friends.
2. Goodfellas Pizzeria
Goodfellas Pizzeria is another Lexington favorite, known for its delicious thin-crust pizzas that will absolutely make your tastebuds believe they’ve been transported to New York City. (You can even buy a piece by the slice right from the display case!)
The restaurant offers a variety of classic and build-your-own options – but it wouldn’t be Goodfellas without specialty pizzas like “The Don” or “Fuhgetaboutit” to keep them perfectly on theme. If you’re in the area, rustle up your crew and get over there because it’s time to eat!
3. Joe Bologna’s
Joe Bologna’s is a veritable Lexington institution that’s been serving up delicious pizzas since 1973. Located inside a former synagogue with stained glass windows as part of the decor, Joe’s offers a cozy, casual vibe that’s perfect for a first date or a night out with your spouse.
The restaurant offers a huge selection of specialty pizzas and sides, and this is also one of the few places in the area where you can find delicious Sicilian-style pizza with a thick, chewy crust and tart sauce – so head over there when you’ve worked up a hearty appetite.
4. Puccini’s Smiling Teeth Pizza & Pasta
Did you say you’re bored with the same old toppings? Well, Puccini’s Smiling Teeth Pizza & Pasta is a popular pizzeria that’s been serving little slices of heaven since 1991 – and they have a list of toppings that can surprise even die-hard enthusiasts.
You can put everything from vegan sausage to goat cheese or gouda on your pizza pie. or maybe just try one of their specialty combos, like the “King of Hearts” or the “Campfire,” (the latter of which took home the title of “Best Classic Pizza in America,” by the way). Puccini’s also prides itself on using all-natural flour, the finest Italian cheeses and sun-ripened tomatoes, so you know that you’re always getting a high-quality treat when you dine there.
5. MOD Pizza
MOD Pizza is a national chain that offers fast and affordable custom pizzas – and they have two locations right here in Lexington. Customers can choose from a variety of crusts, sauces, cheeses and toppings to create their own unique pizza, or they can get a MOD classic, like the “Lucy Sunshine” or the “Dillon James.”
MOD is known for its commitment to sustainable living and fair wages, so this is definitely food you can feel good about ordering and eating.
PieTana is family-run for family fun, with a very relaxed atmosphere, including outdoor dining in good weather. They have a little bit of everything on the menu, from salads to sandwiches, but the real draw is (of course) the pizza.
If you’re in the mood for something unique and vegetarian, try the “Becky B,” with goat cheese, spinach, a garlic cream sauce and homemade roasted corn relish. If you want to eat like a local, try the “Baber Beer Cheese Pizza” with Lexington-style whipped beer cheese on top of fresh mozzarella, plus bacon, chicken and green onion. Whatever you get, we think you’ll soon head back to try more from their menu!
7. Smashing Tomato
Their headline is simple: Pizza. Salads. Wine. What more could any pizza aficionado want, really? The good folks at Smashing Tomato have a real passion for pizza. Every pie they make is based on 400 years of Neapolitan tradition. Their dough is made locally from imported Caputo flour, and every pizza is topped with all-natural ingredients and rapid-baked in a blistering 900-degree wood-fired oven for absolute light, crispy perfection. If you want authentic Neapolitan pizza, this is where to go!
8. Mad Mushroom
The folks at Mad Mushroom are just mad about pizza, and it shows in every delicious bite they make. You can, of course, always pick your own toppings, but why not give one of their premium pizza creations a try? Their “Philly Cheesesteak” pizza, complete with thin-sliced roast beef and mozzarella is one local favorite, but nothing really tops their Bluegrass State-inspired “Kentucky Hot Brown,” with ham, hickory smoked turkey, crispy bacon and three kinds of cheeses.
9. Rolling Oven
You may have stumbled across Rolling Oven’s food truck, which has been in operation since 2014, but they now have three dine-in locations in Lexington and Versailles. This is one of those charming little places where you can actually watch your pizza go from creation to plate, all in the space of about 10 minutes.
Unless you have something specific in mind, you may want to try one of their unique specialties, like the “Loaded Baked Potato” pizza or the “Bourbon BBQ.” They even have you covered if you’re hungry for something sweet, with an amazing “S’mores” pizza that’s topped with real butter and milk chocolate, plus the requisite marshmallows and graham cracker crumbles.
Whether you’re in the mood for a classic cheese pizza or something more creative, these pizza places are sure to satisfy your cravings. So why not grab a slice (or a whole pie) and enjoy a night out with your besties or family?