Pizza. It is one of, if not the, most hotly debated foods out there. So, to celebrate National Pizza Day, I wanted to share my personal favorites.
To qualify, a restaurant must be within a 30-mile radius of Little Rock. Sorry, Deluca’s fans. Also, no chains, although I did include some reader’s choices below, which is comprised of restaurants folks chimed in about on my personal blog. You will see a few chains sprinkled into the mix.
Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Pizzas in Central Arkansas (in no particular order).
Some people enjoy Vino’s pizza by-the-slice because it gets a little crispier in the oven, but I am still a fan of ordering an entire pie, typically one covered in Italian sausage or the supreme. The dough can be a little inconsistent, sometimes leaning towards a thicker texture, but there is no denying that Vino’s still churns out some of the best pie in town.
Raduno Brick Oven & Barroom
Raduno’s pizza just recently got back into my good graces with a killer Spicy Honey and Soppressata pie, a perfect combination of sweet and heat. The crust is thin, chewy, and easily foldable, so no matter what toppings you choose, this pizza is sure to impress. Just save a little room for a beer, Caesar salad, and burrata.
One of our only Neapolitan style pizza places in town, The Pizzeria has excelled for the past several years with a slightly charred crust and limited toppings, so as not to overwhelm the entire pie. The wood-fire oven makes all the difference, achieving 800-degree temps that has the pizza done in about two minutes.
While gyros are the heart and soul of business, Layla’s pizza is quietly some of the very best in Little Rock. That includes a 9-inch, plain cheese pie for $6.50 and the inventive Yazoo Pizza, a double crusted concoction filled with, you guessed it, cheese. If you have never had the Yazoo, make it a priority to go try it out.
My Little Pizzeria
My Little Pizzeria in Benton is the only true New York-style pizza I’ve come across in the area. Heck, I think the maker is even from Brooklyn. With thin crust that folds just right, this pizza is best topped with ricotta, ground beef, mozzarella, Parmesan, and house-made tomato sauce (better known as the Lasagna Pizza).
Certified Pies is one of the newest pizza shops in Little Rock but has jumped onto my personal favorite list because of two features: a rich dough and a subtly sweet tomato sauce that both hit my taste buds just right. When the dough is at the top of its game, expect a thin crust with slightly doughy edges.
Valhalla Restaurant & Axe Throwing
Congrats, Benton, you have yourselves a darn good pizza place. What I wouldn’t give for a Valhalla in Little Rock, but alas, the 25-minute drive is a small price to pay for elite pizza. Expect a huge, 18-inch pie with charred edges and a crust that is both crisp and just doughy enough to withstand plentiful toppings like mozzarella, Parmesan, jalapeno, Soppressata, Italian sausage, and spicy honey (The Fenriz Pizza).
Get the Clean the Floor Pizza at Iriana’s. I’m guessing it is their most popular offering and comes topped with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms and black olives. Iriana’s is not stingy with the toppings and makes a crust that resides right smack dab in the middle of thick and thin. All and all, this is a consistent pie with its fair share of fans, including me.
Bruno’s Little Italy
While it has been a hot minute since my last Pizza Mista, there is not denying its greatness, thanks in large part to a heavy hand of sausage, pepperoni and beef, along with black olives and red onions. The Mista is a beautiful pizza with a thin crust that travels well, if you’re into takeout.
Old Mill Pizza
North Little Rock is now on the pizza map with the addition of Old Mill Pizza. This thin, crispy-bottomed crust is only trumped by the braided edges, which are wonderful with some accompanying honey. This pizza will remind you of Pizza Café, but in my book, it’s just a tad better.
Damgoode Pies, Pizza Café, Paxton’s Pizza, Larry’s Pizza, ZAZA Fine Salad + Wood-Oven Pizza Co, Grady’s, US Pizza, Lost Pizza Co., Shotgun Dan’s, Hideaway Pizza, Pizza D’ Action, Luigi’s, Jim’s Razorback Pizza, Gusano’s, Brooklyn Pizza, Sauced Bar and Oven
*Raduno pic courtesy of the restaurant