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PIZZA! In Chapel Hill or Durham

My birthday is happening next month, so I've been starting to consider where I'd like to eat.

I love pizza. But.

I usually make pizza myself or get it from a couple of places local to us in Hillsborough because they are close. I hardly ever order it when I actually go to a restaurant. I think Mellow Mushroom is my entire order-it-and-eat-it-at-the-venue restaurant experience with pizza. That's just wrong.

So can anyone direct me to places in the Chapel Hill or Durham that have great pizza? A nice beer and wine list and a nice atmosphere would be good also, but a place that is worth visiting just for the pizza would be just fine as well. I like just about every type and variety of pizza you can think of (except "Hawaiian" pizza - for some reason I HATE pineapple) so the type of crust, riffs on ingredients, etc. is all good to me.

Thanks!

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  1. The best pizza in Chapel Hill is at Italian Pizzeria III on W. Franklin. It is authentic NY style. As for atmosphere, well, there certainly is a unique atmosphere with the owners yelling in Italian at each other and at the soccer games on TV. But, the food is very good and they are great guys.

    1. I like the pizza at Panzanella in Carrboro (but very close to CH). The atmosphere there is also very nice, and they also have good salads, pasta, etc. Good beer and ok wine choices. The 4 cheese pizza is especially killer.

      1. I like the brick oven pizza at Bocci in Durham (of Fayetteville St. not far from Southpoint). It's in one of those wierd new neo-strip-mall-like places, but the interior is old-school American-Italian restaurant, darkish with booths and it's almost always packed, so it's a fun place to go. We always get the side of sauteed greens to pile on top of our sausage pizza - odd habit perhaps, but delicious.

        1. Pizza in the Triangle generally stinks. That being said, I second the votes for Panzanella and Bocci. N.B., Panzanella serves an upscale, Italian-style pie, not the standard NY style. Be prepared to spend somewhat more than pizza usually costs.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sinophile

            I've eaten at Panzanella before, but I've never tried the pizza. I have liked the other stuff I've had. Carrboro's traffic and parking situation generally makes me want to grind my teeth, though. Of course, this will be a Monday night, so maybe it won't be so bad.

            Drat - just looked and they're closed on Mondays.

            1. re: romansperson

              Open for lunch on mondays, but yes, disappointingly closed for dinner.

          2. You live in Raleigh, how have you not been to Lilly's? Very delicious, in my opinion. The atmosphere is . . . well "nice" isn't the word I'd use . . .it's not dirty or anything, just loud and smoky from the ovens. They have beer and wine, but it's an order-at-the-counter kind of place. BUT. Worth it. Best italian sausage I've ever had on a pizza.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dubedo

              Actually, I DON'T live in Raleigh, so my restaurant experience over there is very limited - it's an hour drive one way for us, so we don't go very often. The pizza photo on Lilly's web site looks pretty tempting though - I may have to plan a weekend thing that includes a lunch there ...

              1. re: romansperson

                Ah, my bad - I saw "Hillsborough" and my mind went to "Hillsborough Street." Scolding retracted!