Today (February 9) is National Pizza Day. If you plan to celebrate the cheesy and delicious holiday, here’s our list of the best pizza restaurants in Alabama.
Post Office Pies (Birmingham)
While cooking at top-level restaurants in New York City, chef John Hall also ran a pizza-delivery service from his apartment. Upon returning to his hometown of Birmingham, Hall co-founded Post Office Pies in 2014 with Brandon Cain and the late Mike Wilson. The original is located in — you guessed it — a former post office. A perennial favorite among Magic City pizza fans, POP recently opened a second outpost in Mountain Brook Village. Made with dough that rises for 12 hours, the pies are cooked in wood-fired ovens.
Avondale: 209 41st St. South; Mountain Brook 270 Rele St.
Mata’s Greek Pizza and Grinders (Anniston)
Mata and William Rodopoulos ran pizzerias for decades, first in the 1970s near Boston and then in Anniston, Alabama, starting in the 1980s. Mata’s recipes for thick-crust pies have repeatedly earned kudos on lists of the best pizza restaurants in Alabama. Daughter Linda and her husband Rick Burke took over after her parents’ passing. The restaurant makes fresh dough at least a half-dozen times daily. The Extra Special Pizza, a customer favorite, has a little bit of everything — pepperoni, ground beef, sausage, Canadian bacon, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms, all covered in white cheddar.
1708 Quintard Ave., Anniston
Midtown Pizza Kitchen (Montgomery, Prattville)
Will Meachem opened the Montgomery location in 2011 (one in Prattville followed in 2015). The hearty Five Meat pizza, with pepperoni, pancetta, prosciutto, Italian sausage, and salami is their best-seller. Italian-style pizzas include the spicy Caldo e Piccante and the Genovese (pesto, mozzarella and chicken). Or build your own pie. Plenty of other Italian classics such as pastas, calzones, and Stromboli also are available in a casual, family-friendly setting.
Montgomery: 2940 Zelda Rd.; Prattville: 584 Pinnacle Place
Joe’s Pizza (Woodville)
Open for nearly 20 years in the northeast Alabama town of Woodville, in Jackson County, this tiny family-run restaurant with limited seating does a brisk take-out business. The pizza menu is simple, including cheese, meat-lovers, veggie, and Hawaiian, but the hands-down favorite is the Combination Supreme with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, green olives, black olives, and anchovies. The dough is made from scratch daily.
6582 U.S. 72 E, Woodville
Big Ed’s Pizza (Huntsville)
Big Ed’s was founded in 1961, and longtime owner Steve Denton took over two years later. Now his children run this institution, which also has built generations of fans. Big Ed’s moved into its current location in 2019. Tomato sauce and dough (hand-tossed) is made in-house for pies like the Big 8 with pepperoni, ham, sausage, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and both black and green olives. The Italian and White pizzas use olive oil for a base.
255 Pratt Ave. NE Huntsville
Mater’s Pizza and Pasta Emporium (Gadsden, Albertville)
Parts of Mater’s menu read like a tomato seed catalog — pizzas include Better Boy, Better Girl, and Burpee. Michele Atkins and Shelby Cochran opened the original in downtown Gadsden in 1978, and the Albertville franchise premiered in 2013. The 16-inch Better Boy (pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, olives, and extra cheese) weighs some seven pounds. You’ll seek an autograph after trying the thin-crust Celebrity, made with chicken, spinach, goat cheese, and dried cranberries.
Gadsden: 329 Locust St.; Albertville: 108 E. Main St.
Trattoria Pizza and Italian (Spanish Fort, Foley)
Jill and Greg Peterson both started in the restaurant business at age 14. (Greg also is a news anchor at WPMI NBC15 in Mobile; he has been a newsman for three decades). Their signature pizza, The Trattoria, has pepperoni, bacon, sausage, ham, onion, bell pepper, black olive, mushroom, and feta cheese toppings. For a different approach, try one of the pizzas made with house-made alfredo sauce, Chicken Alfredo, Philly Steak, or Chicken Philly.
Spanish Fort: 11611 U.S. 31; Foley: 100-F South Owa Blvd.
Broadway Pizzeria (Tuscaloosa, Northport)
Friends and baseball lovers Eric Wyatt and Rob Coons opened their original wood-fired pizza restaurant on Rice Mine Road in 2002. New York is the inspiration (Wyatt and Coons are Yankees fans) for pies like the Bambino, named after baseball icon Babe Ruth, with pepperoni, sausage, ham, beef, bacon, and cheese. Most of the menu is cooked in wood-burning ovens. Gluten-free pizza is available. A second Tuscaloosa store opened in 2016; now a third location is in Northport.
Tuscaloosa: 2880 Rice Mine Rd, 5400 McFarland Blvd.; Northport: 4550 Station Circle
Named “Bama’s Best Pizza” this year by the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, fan-favorite Carpenetti’s was lauded by judges for its chewy crust and balance of sauce and cheese. Owner Frank Carpenetti, the grandson of an Italian immigrant, opened the Moody pizzeria in 1997. Check out the Spinach Alfredo stone-baked pizza. Other options include Sicilian deep dish and stuffed pies. Carpenetti’s fresh-made dough also is utilized in calzones and meat-filled rolls.
740 Park Ave. Moody
Eric Velasco is a freelance writer based in Birmingham. He has written for local, regional and national publications for nearly four decades, and was a longtime contributor to Birmingham Magazine. When he’s not cooking, he’s eating.