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Durham, NC - Seeking decent pizza

Greetings 'Hounders,

Are there any good pizza places in Durham, preferably closer to Fayetteville Rd/Southpoint Mall area?

I'm looking for something different... definitely NOT the standard chains (i.e. I am not interested in places like Domino's, Pizza Hut, etc.) I have tried Randy's Pizza at several locations as well as Amante's. Both are decent, definitely several steps ahead of the typical chain restaurants, but nothing truly special. I almost hate to say it, but I do have a soft spot for I Love NY Pizza, though the freshness and variety of the toppings at Amante's put it to shame. Maybe it's the crust I like. Also gave Mellow Mushroom a shot...enjoy it very much, but it's too far away for a weeknight.

Any suggestions?

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  1. the best pizza in the area you're talking about is actually at University Mall in Chapel Hill - alfredo's pizza villa. about an 8 minute drive from southpoint. If you like the crust of I Love NY Pizza and long for fresh toppings (as well as pizza that hasnt been sitting around for hours and hours), go to alfredo's. I'm willing to bet that you won't be disappointed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: batdown

      Another vote for Alfredo's, especially when Alfredo himself is working there. Also, if you want their best effort, order a pizza, don't get one of their premade slices. A fresh made pizza always tastes better than something that's been sitting around. I also sometimes go by there and just buy their dough to make pizzas at home. Heating up a pizza stone on the gas grill does a very good job.

    2. Pops in Downtown Durham is the best I've had. They've even opened Pops Backdoor so you can order ahead and pick up a pie to take home.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jojo_kramer

        I really like Pops' backdoor. Great crust and an incredible topping selection. I've also solidly enjoyed the pizza at Brixx (Meadowmont, off 54, outskirts of Chapel Hill).

        1. re: statolith

          .Another vote for pop's backdoor. I just had my first this evening -- a #12 calzone with NC shrimp, bacon, red onion, and roasted red pepper. Cheese a plenty and traditional red sauce on the side. Twas awesome. Of course I had a ravenous appetite after moving brewery tanks all day...so just about anything might have hit the spot.

          I live only two miles from Ciao Bella in North Chatham county, which some people love, but I find the crust too sweet and cakey. It's not bad...but I just don't see it as a destination pizza place like some do. Perhaps because it's so close to home.

      2. Randy's is usually my first choice but I prefer it by the slice. I've been known to request a whole pie uncut and give it another blast on my pizza stone when I get home. The locations seem to vary. For some reason the MLK and Northgate stores seem better to me than the Woodcroft location? I really like the crust at Cinelli's and if I'm not mistaken it's the same as Bocci on Fayettville Rd. near southpoint.
        I've only been once but the pizza I had at Carmine's (Eastgate Shopping Center CH) was really good.
        You might want to give Rockwood (by Nana's & The Q Shack) a try too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LBD

          Rockwood has not gotten good reviews on this forum.

          Broad St. Cafe has good wood-fired pies.

        2. Pop's Salty Egg and Prosciutto pizza is awesome. All their pies are great. Rockwood Filling Station is catching up to Pop's with their gourmet wood-fired oven pizzas. There's a lot of good food to be had closer to (or in) downtown D-town.

          Randy's is the closest to NY style I've found. You're not going to get "real" NY or New Haven pizza here because no one has the ultra-high temp coal fired ovens they have up there.

          1. Try Bocci at Sutton Station on Fayetteville a 1/2 mile north of I40, I really like their Nonna's pizza and their Brick Oven (with prosciutto an basil). Definitely a cut above the standard stuff.