Looking for great pizza in County Rutherford? Here are 9 places to try
One of Good Eats ‘most frequent restaurant requests on the’ Boro (and Beyond) Facebook page is, “Where’s the best pizza?” It is a very controversial subject, very subjective, but which comes up quite often.
My favorite pizza place is no longer open in Murfreesboro. Mellow Mushroom did not survive COVID-19 and closed in 2020.
There are still many other pizzerias to visit.
Most people are looking for New York style pizza. Traditional, hand-made New York pie will be crisp on the edge, but thin and flexible enough to fold in half and easy to eat on the go. But there are those who prefer the crispy thin crust.
I’m a self-proclaimed pizza snob. The taste is subjective, but here is a list of my favorite places in County Rutherford, ranked in no particular order (because variety is the spice of life).
Sal’s Pizza Murfreesboro
536 N. Thompson Lane (Oaks Mall)
Long before the late Sal Oliveri opened a store in Murfreesboro, he and his family operated the iconic Pizza Picnic in the Hickory Hollow Mall. Sal’s arrived in Murfreesboro in the mid-2000s and closed, but then reopened in 2013 at its current location.
Oliveri was born in Sicily and immigrated to New York when he was young. New York style Italian pizza – you can’t get more authentic than this. Sadly, the pizza artist passed away in 2016, leaving a legacy behind him. He was like a grandfather to my children and a wonderful, friendly person.
Sal’s offers a homemade, hand-made dough that’s thick and crisp only along its edge, yet soft, thin and supple enough under its fillings to be folded in half for eating.
I could mention that Salvo’s, 701 President’s Place in Smyrna, is part of the same family and tradition of pizza making. But I only went there once.
2658 New Salem Highway, Suite A5B, Murfreesboro
If you’re looking for authentic New York-style pizza, Pizzeria Luca should be on your must-see list. Everything is made from scratch and you will find this traditional collapsible crust that attracts devotees. There is also a daily buffet with lots of other Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Luca’s is comparable to Sal’s.
901 Rock Springs Road, Smyrna
Owner Andy Hassan, originally from Egypt, attended cooking school and studied French and Middle Eastern cuisine before learning how to make pizza in New York City. This guy knows what he’s doing. It is this fatty, cheesy goodness that makes his pizza a success. Don’t let this be a hidden gem anymore. Try Giorgio.
Looking for a New York style pizza? :You will find it at Giorgio’s Pizza in Smyrna
Two Boots Pizza
450 Sam Ridley Parkway, Smyrna
This place is legitimate. Two Boots was born in New York’s East Village in 1987 and has grown to seven locations. It’s named after the boot-shaped geographic shapes of Italy and Louisiana by founders Doris Kornish and Phil Hartman, independent filmmakers who loved pizza, beer, and Cajun dishes.
The specialty pizzas are quite creative, with a nod to the film and television industry. Each is named after quirky pop culture icons, like “The Dude” from “The Big Lebowski,” played by Jeff Bridges, and Cleopatra Jones, the iconic crime fighter in the movie of the same name.
Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beer
2314 Medical Center Parkway, Murfreesboro
Scratch paste, local ingredients prepared daily, an exclusive blend of four cheeses and a range of toppings allow you to create your own masterpiece at Slim & Husky’s. You go down the line and choose what you want on your pizza or go for one of the restaurant’s creations. There’s also cold beer, and you can’t leave without one of the ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls in five flavors. It’s not New York style, it’s Nashville style – and a must try.
2314 Medical Center Parkway, Murfreesboro
Similar to Slim & Husky’s assembly line, Blaze Pizza lets you make your own pizza. Then it is baked in a brick oven and ready in three minutes. There is also a cauliflower crust pizza which is pretty good. This place is the one my whole family loves.
Sami’s brick oven pizzeria
129 SE Broad St., Murfreesboro
Sami Ihmaidan is a one-man show and serves a hand-made crust that makes Sami’s Brick Oven Pizzeria a top choice for diners. Its buffet offers pizzas and a variety of other Italian dishes, as well as flavors from the Mediterranean.
Boombozz artisan pizza and tapas bar
2839 Medical Center Parkway, Murfreesboro
Over a dozen designer pizzas (five of them won awards) are available on handmade, thin crust, or cauliflower (gluten-free) crusts, or you can make your own. I think most people prefer the thicker crust. I love the restaurant’s gourmet creations. My favorite is the Tuscan chicken. I don’t go there very often, but it’s a great pizza and really, the closest I’ve found to my all-time favorite, Mellow Mushroom.
I have been going to Sir Pizza since I can remember and my family have at least once a month (sometimes more). Really, it’s like no other pizza in town. The truly Americanized pizza includes a thin crust, a sweet sauce, toppings cut into small pieces, and slices cut into squares.
Locations in Murfreesboro can be found at 1902 E. Main St., 3219 Memorial Blvd. and 110 Veterans Parkway. There is also one at 1925 Madison Square Blvd. at La Vergne.
Contact journalist Nancy DeGennaro at [email protected] Keep up with restaurant news by joining Good Eats in the ‘Boro (and beyond) on Facebook and follow Murfreesboro Eats on TikTok.