May 6, 2022 - Food and Drink

Readers help break our "pizza curse"

The pepperoni pie from Smith & Lentz. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

Faithful readers know the sad truth: There may very well be an Axios Nashville curse.

🍕 So we turned to you to help us find the best pizza in Nashville, a pie so sturdy that it's curse-resistant.

Slicing the news: The response was overwhelming, and a clear winner emerged.

What you're saying: Reader Yitzi P. seemed to speak for the consensus by saying, "Smith & Lentz pizza is shockingly great."

  • Carl M., a New Jersey native, said it "might be some of the best pizza I've had in the U.S."

Between the pies: We suspect readers describe Smith & Lentz as a surprise because the establishment is best known for its craft beer. At some breweries, the pizza is perfunctory and mainly an afterthought.

Our visits: We took your advice and stopped by.

  • Nate brought two pizzas home for his family last month to rave reviews. The wood-fired crust and fresh mozzarella stand out.
  • Adam and Nate squeezed in some more slices on Thursday. Adam was nervous about adding a hot honey drizzle to the pepperoni pizza, but the flavors were a perfect balancing act.
  • And in this sea of craft breweries overloading us with heavy hazy IPAs and quirky sours, it was refreshing to see Smith & Lentz offer beers that are easy to drink. The beer menu is chock full of, as they describe it, "crushable" pilsners and lagers.

Smith & Lentz wasn't the only pizza place to get some love from our readers.

  • Five Points Pizza is the ubiquitous choice, for good reason, but you delivered on our request to dig deeper.
  • We're particularly grateful to the folks who shone a light on hidden gems in Middle Tennessee.

Chip W.: "NY Pie in Nashville West is awesome. Don't see it going anywhere."

Mark E.: "Donatos Pizza in Midtown has a hot chicken pizza that's actually delicious."

Greg K.: "The best pizza in the world is served at Folk."

Phil N.: "Get ready to drive a few minutes." He picks Nelly's Italian Cafe in Spring Hill, owned by Danielle Hall and her husband Ryan, who are part of the family that ran Joey's. "It's just as good as Joey's."

Alan B. and Barry T. both picked Manny's in the Arcade, which also has family ties to Joey's.

Justin T.: "If you don't mind driving a little north, Sanders Ferry Pizza & Pub is very good."

Lauren S. went with Angelo's Picnic Pizza in Antioch.

Jamie H.: "Joey's was my fav but great standbys are Mafiaozas and Desanos."


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