A Smoky Mountain local ranks his favorite pizza places in Gatlinburg
There are times when pizza is a function and you need to just get something quick and easy. Then there are other times that pizza is a destination, a reward, a celebration. Good pizza is easy, but great pizza is an art. When looking for great pizza in Gatlinburg, here are your best chances for transcendence:
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1. Best Italian
There are some high stakes involved when you choose to name your restaurant “Best”. And yet, despite the pressure Best Italian has brought upon itself, it still somehow manages to deliver (pizza pun). What I’m trying to say is, Best Italian has great pizza. Their New York-style pizzas are known for their homemade taste and fresh ingredients. And their calzones are nothing short of humongous. Plus, they even offer gluten-free options for those with special dietary needs. Pro-tip: Don’t leave without trying the garlic rolls. Best Italian has two locations in Gatlinburg – one in Elks Plaza and the other on the main strip downtown on the Parkway.
2. Smoky Mountain Brewery
Beer and pizza go hand in hand. Therefore, I recommend you go to the Smoky Mountain Brewery, either in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, and order the Baker’s Choice and a few microbrews. Alternatively, order the T-Rex and spend the rest of the evening pretending you can’t reach the pizza in the middle of the table because of your implausibly short arms. The Gatlinburg location is at 1004 Parkway, Ste 501.
3. Big Daddy’s Pizza
The pizza game is crowded. As a result, it’s important to have a niche, an edge. Welcome to Big Daddy’s, featuring a 550-degree, wood-fired flame inside a one-of-a-kind brick oven. Big Daddy’s is so committed to freshness that they don’t own a freezer. As for the pizza, a thing Big Daddy’s does that I really like is a tier topping system for the build-your-own options. Silver toppings are mostly veggies, gold toppings are mostly meat and platinum toppings include things like prime rib, prosciutto and anchovies. It’s like a little gated community for your pizza. The Gatlinburg location is at 714 River Road.
4. Solorzano’s Pizzeria and Bistro
Solorzano’s is a chain that has somewhat recently made its way to Gatlinburg, located in the former Taste of Italy location. But Solorzano’s also offers a “taste of Italy” with its family origins beginning near Naples, Italy. The menu offers salads, calzones, subs and various pizza pies. I recommend going with one of the classics, like the Hoboken Heart Attack with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs and bacon. It’s located at 1235 East Parkway in Gatlinburg. Like many others on the list, they also have a location in Pigeon Forge.
5. Mellow Mushroom
The variety of pizza at Mellow Mushroom is creative and fantastic, and I’ve never had anything less than an excellent pizza there. But I love the Mellow Mushroom for letting my son eat real pizza. He was born with food allergies. As a result, when we order pizza, he usually gets breadsticks or crust with a little butter and parmesan. But the Mellow Mushroom has dairy-free pizza. When they brought it out, JP looked like a king at a banquet being presented with the finest food in the land. That’s why they will always have a special place in my heart, and the pizza is pretty good, too. The Gatlinburg location is located right along the main strip at 903 Parkway.
Where’s your favorite place to grab pizza when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains? Let us know in the comments!