Warm weather is here, people are getting vaccinated, and the good vibes are back! The first thing that comes to mind for me is sitting outside with friends, beer, and a big pizza in the middle. In no particular order, here are our favorite pizza spots in Louisville!
Parlour opened its first location in Jeffersonville, IN in 2017. Located steps away from the Big Four bridge, this spot provides you with an excellent beer garden and patio right across the river (check out our Best Patios blog post). Since then, Parlour has opened locations in Louisville, KY on Frankfort Ave., New Albany, IN on State St., and plans to open a fourth location in Downtown Louisville in April 2021. All locations are owned by Craft Culture Concepts, a Louisville-based development group that owns other restaurants in the area like Napa River Grill and Smoked on Second.
This popular Kentuckiana pizzeria offers craft pizza and cocktails, beer, and live music. Try a New York-style pizza made in their state-of-the-art pizza oven, or other delicious items like their smoked wings and garlic breadsticks served with three house-made sauces. With different pizzas and cocktails of the month, Parlour always keeps it exciting. If you’re looking for a family-friendly environment and delicious pizza, give them a visit soon!
Saints Pizza Pub
Located in the heart of St. Matthews, Saints has been serving Louisville for more than 17 years. If you’re a sports fan, this is definitely a go-to spot for any game. They have plenty of TVs and extra space on their huge patio that are calling your name!
This pizza pub is way more than your average sports bar. They feature a variety of BBQ, pizzas, pastas, and adult beverages to suite every taste. With homemade pizza and made-to-order pasta sauces, you’ll never leave unsatisfied. Since their chef creates tasty specials daily, you can always try something new when you eat at Saints.
Wick’s Pizza Parlor
When you dine at Wick’s Pizza, you will always feel as if you are part of the family. The concept started over 28 years ago in the kitchen of Michael Wickliffe’s mother. Founded in 1991, the original location sat in Eastern Louisville before moving to its current location in the Highlands in 1993. A second location opened in Goose Creek before expanding and relocating to Hikes Point in 2018.
At both Wick’s locations, customers can find a friendly and comfortable atmosphere for all. Their pizzas range in size from 10” to 18” with the option of creating your own or choosing one of their specialty pizzas. Pile your favorites toppings and sauce on their thick crust that is made fresh daily. Next time you’re looking for an easy lunch, head to Wick’s for some great lunch specials Monday – Friday from 11am to 3pm.
Benny Impellizzeri began his pizza career far before developing the well-known restaurant or Louisville “landmark” that is loved by so many today. Years prior, Benny worked in two different pizza restaurants in the area before his father moved his butcher shop to the old Mr. A’s Pizza on Bardstown Road. With pizza ovens left behind, Benny made pizzas at night until business picked up and his father retired. Benny was then left to take over the whole location. Now, they offer four different locations in the Louisville area for all to enjoy.
Impellizzeri’s is the creator of “Louisville style pizza” meaning each pizza has two layers of toppings and two layers of cheese. I don’t know about you, but this is right up my alley. The more cheese, the better! They also have a full Italian inspired menu offering appetizers, salads, hoagies, and pasta dishes made from their own family recipes. Grab a cocktail and dinner while you experience the local neighborhood vibe of the Original Impellizzeri’s Pizza.
Hog Father Pizza Shop
Hog Father Pizza Shop recently opened this year and is located in the Butchertown neighborhood. Local developers, Andy Blieden, Jon Leslie, and Steve Clephas co-own the new eatery after taking over the former Butchertown Pizza Hall building. Stepping foot into this restaurant is like going back in time to the 1970s. Their vibe is unmatched with the vintage décor and awesome pizza box design.
When looking at Hog Father’s menu and logo, you’ll notice how they were made to be Butchertown appropriate. They feature items like pork grinds, crispy brussels sprouts with pork belly, and a pork chop parm sandwich which you normally wouldn’t find at a pizza place. You can even try, “The Don” which is a cast-iron cooked, deep dish pizza with shop red sauce, mozzarella, pork belly, shop meatballs, pepperoni, country ham, sausage, bacon jam, caramelized onions and smoked cremini mushrooms for $38. If you can finish it in an hour by yourself, you get it free and a picture on the Don Wall. Good luck!
DiOrio’s Pizza & Pub
Back in 2010, Saints Pizza and the now-closed Naked Pizza were the only two pizzerias operating in St. Matthews. Victor and Laurie DiOrio saw this need and opened their first location on Wallace Ave. After doing well for some years, the second location on Baxter Ave. opened in 2013. Both locations emphasize sports entertainment and gatherings with numerous TVs across the restaurant.
DiOrio’s is more than just a restaurant or bar, it’s a pizza pub. They offer New York-style pizza with by-the-slice options as well. Each pizza is made with their fresh dough, homemade mozzarella, and vegetables cut fresh. If the crust is your favorite part of a pizza, DiOrio’s hand rolls and slow proofs theirs to make it perfect. Pair your favorite pizza with a cold beer or cocktail and enjoy!
Check out DiOrio’s happy hour in our Best Happy Hours in Louisville blog!
Before their grand opening in 2015, The Post operated as the Louisville VFW Post #3593. Owners, Laura and Nash Neely spent a year and a half renovating this historic building to transform it into the hip, casual pizzeria we know today. The restaurant name and menu items still reflect the building’s heritage because what better place to appreciate history than the Germantown neighborhood?
Specializing in New York Style pies, The Post does not disappoint with their thin, large, foldable slices. They have a variety of pizza choices in three different sizes or the option to build your own. If you don’t feel like committing to a whole pizza, they also sell them by the slice which is just as delicious and HUGE!
Coals Artisan Pizza
Coals Artisan Pizza was first introduced in April of 2011 as the first coal-fired pizza in the state of Kentucky. It may be tucked in a strip mall, but its prime location in St. Matthews still provides a modern and upscale experience. After much success, a second location in Middletown opened in 2015.
Both locations pay close attention to the dough that inspires their American Neapolitan pizzas. Made using a proprietary mixing process and then cold fermented for 2 days creates their light and crispy crust which is thin and puffy on the end. Since they are a Louisville-based business, their pizzas are named after local neighborhoods which are all topped with locally sourced ingredients. I definitely suggest trying the Waverly or the Highlands!
Built into an 1860 brick building, Pizza LUPO sits in the Butchertown neighborhood. They are family-owned by husband and wife, Adam Turla and Sara Balliet, with the executive chef being Sarah’s brother, Max Balliet. Max spent years working in the restaurant industry before opening his own taco food truck in 2011. With this, he expanded his culinary experience before leading the Pizza LUPO kitchen to showcase culinary traditions of different Italian regions.
At Pizza LUPO, you can enjoy tasty Neapolitan pizza cooked at a traditional 900-degree wood-fired temperature. They pride themselves in making naturally leavened Sourdough crust 7 days a week. Not only does Sourdough have a great flavor, but it can also be digested easier. If you want to try something new, their Pizza Fiore is a margherita pizza with ricotta-stuffed crust pockets (YUM!) and available every Monday – Thursday.
BoomBozz Pizza & Watch Bar
First, you might be thinking, what is a boombozz? “Boombozz” comes from Italian slang which means wild, crazy, and fun. Founder, Tony Palombino, puts these ideas into the flavor of their pizzas and restaurant atmosphere. Dating back to 1998, he combined personal recipes with knowledge from his family to develop this fun, upbeat pizza and brew pub. There are now 4 locations in the state of Kentucky as well as others in Indiana and Tennessee.
Award-winning craft pizzas are the specialty at Boombozz. Using premium ingredients, they offer an array of famous pizza pies including the option to create your own Classic Pie, New York Style, or White Pie. Each of their pizzas are also available as individual pies if you want a smaller portion or stopping by for lunch. The menu presents other delicious items like calzones, sandwiches, and pasta bakes which can all be enjoyed with a craft beer or bourbon.
Derby City Pizza Co.
With a main focus on “great food at a better value”, Derby City Pizza dates all the way back to 2005. Owner, Larry Davis, opened his first pizza parlor, called PRP Pizza, which has since expanded to six locations across the Louisville area. After years of success, Davis realized it was time to refocus and rebrand with the help of Juan Lopez-Bonilla, a local designer and brander. PRP Pizza was transformed into Derby City Pizza to still reflect the same commitment to all Louisville neighborhoods.
Derby City Pizza serves some amazing southern style pizza and Italian food. Quality is key with their fresh ingredients and signature sauces. They have choices from thick crust pizzas to creating your own to some unique healthy choices. I recommend the BBQ chicken or buffalo chicken southern style pizzas, but you seriously can’t go wrong with anything on their menu!
Jake and Elwood’s
If Chicago-style pizza is what you’re looking for, Jake and Elwood’s is the no-brainer. Owner John Thurlow came from Chicago and brought deep dish pies to the ‘Ville under this great Blues Brothers namesake. John opened Jake and Elwood’s on March 16, 2020 – yes, the same day that KY restaurants were ordered to shut down indoor dining. John and his team responded promptly by promoting their carry-out options and managed to still get the word out during a tough time.
Jake and Elwood’s took the location of what was once Steve-O’s and before that, Cliftons Pizza Co. While deep dish is their specialty, Jake and Elwood’s has plenty to offer. They have hand tossed pies, Chicago-style dogs, sandwiches, and plenty of salads and apps. In the words of the Blues Brothers “everybody needs somebody to love” and Jake and Elwood’s has something for everyone to fall in love with.
A Nulu staple, Garage Bar is known for its beautiful outdoor space, ping pong tables, and the hams that hang curing over the bar. What you don’t see is the custom-built wood-fire pizza oven that cranks out some of the best pizzas in town. Garage Bar got its name based on the building’s previous owner – an auto body shop. Gas pumps, big garage door, and wrecked cars out front really make you feel how special this place is. As great as the location and environment are, the food and drinks do not disappoint either.
From classic Margherita to brussel sprout pies, Garage Bar puts their flare onto everything that they push out. If you prefer the wood-fired Margherita style pizza, this is your place! They also always have an awesome cocktail list and HUGE bourbon selection. This is one of my favorite spots to go hang out with friends. Grab pizza, cocktail, and ping pong paddles on a nice day and you’re guaranteed to have a blast at Garage Bar!
ZA’s Pizza Pub
Another staple, but this one on Bardstown Road. Sitting about a block away from the Doo Wop Shop, Za’s Pizza Pub is nestled right in the heart of Bardstown Road. Owner Jim Rigby opened Za’s in 1996 and has not looked back since. Even after a drunk driver drove through the front of their building, Za’s didn’t give up. The 80 year old stonework on the building was repaired and the Highlands kept one if it’s iconic storefronts! Let’s take a look at this pizza pub’s menu:
At first glimpse, Za’s menu looks pretty standard for a pizza pub: pizza, salads, sandwiches, and calzones. But, if you haven’t been here, you’re missing out on some great pizza. Their classic pub-style pizza is a Louisville favorite and I’ve not had it, but I heard they have the best calzone in town! They also are always running some awesome daily specials and happy hours. Make sure to download AppyHour and check out their profile to see what they are currently running!