Image by @fitcalimamma
The Gulf Coast is known for seafood, of course. But man cannot live by seafood alone. (Or so we’ve been told.) So, when your vacation party is crying out for pizza, these are the best local restaurants and pubs to feed your pizza people.
Local flavors, crazy toppings, wood-fired traditions, you can find it all in Pensacola pizza!
Lillian’s Pizza, Perdido Key
Eventually someone in your vacation crew is going to get tired of Gulf seafood. (I know! That seems crazy! But I have seen it happen…)
That’s when you head to the Lillian’s Pizza in Perdido Key.(The best part? They have Pizza Scampi covered with Gulf shrimp, so the rest of you can keep on seafooding on!)
Lillian’s is where the locals go, and they offer locally inspired pies such as the Perdido Pass Special. Or try Greek, Taco or BLT pies.
And if someone in your vacation party gets tired of pizza (I know! That seems crazy! But I have seen it happen…) you can just keep going to Lillian’s for hot sandwiches, burgers, nachos, wings, whatever!
There is no way for someone to get tired of Lillian’s. I have never seen it happen.
Photo by @fotogmamainthesouth
Hopjacks Pizza and Taproom – Downtown Pensacola
Nothing kicks off a night on the town like beer and pizza. Throw in live music and, well, you may spend and end your night right where it started!
Hopjacks Pizza and Taproom offers hot, made-to-order pizzas with about 40 different toppings, from artichokes and anchovies to maraschino cherries and boiled eggs. These endless options almost guarantee deadlocked disagreement for any table of two or more, but whatever you order it’s served fresh and delicious.
And don’t fret about pairing a drink with your toasted-pine-nuts-bacon-and-crumbled-bleu-cheese pizza (I just came up with that and now must go order it…), Hopjacks has at least 112 beers on tap every day. Yes, that’s right. 112.
Is it Italian fine-dining? Noooooo. It’s a bar with a stage and dark corners and irresistible Belgian fries cooked in duck fat. But if you’re looking for a downtown spot to hang with locals and pull a slice (or four) with friends, Hopjacks has you covered.
Photo by @ellyanneee_
Ozone Pizza Pub – East Hill Neighborhood, 12th Ave., Pensacola
Is anyone keeping a list of the weirdest places to order and eat a pizza? Ozone Pizza Pub should be in the top 10.
The pizza pub is located in the demi basement of a long-shuttered, Gothic Revival hospital, giving diners a one-of-a-kind ambiance. (And thanks to its thick sandstone walls, just about zero cell phone reception. People didn’t worry about such things when the hospital was built in 1915. But, your mouth will be full, so you won’t care.)
Decorated with local art, band flyers and classic posters, Ozone is a top hangout for its East Hill neighborhood where residents burn off a little mozzarella by walking or biking to its doors.
While their any-way-you-like-it pizza is the star attraction, Ozone also serves grinders, appetizers, salads and calzones.
Behind the bar, diners can find a wide variety of beers, from highbrow craft to PBR, poured in 20-ounce Imperial pints. Ozone also has a full bar with cocktails and its neighborhood favorite whiskey flights.
Tuscan Oven Pizzeria, Pensacola
Like so many of the best things in Pensacola, Tuscan Oven Pizzeria’s wood-fired pizzas are here thanks to the Navy.
Owner Ted Lamarche was inspired by time spent in Italy as a child when his dad was stationed in Gaeta. Ted and his co-owner, wife Deanna, even imported their two-ton, stone-and-brick oven from Italy for true Italian flavor.
While Tuscan Oven doesn’t have some of the kooky toppings you’ll find at other pizza joints, they do have tried-and-true combinations. Trust their taste – they know what goes well with wood-fired. But diners can also customize their pies.
They also offer a wide range of appetizers, soups and salads, all created with the same traditions in mind. Be advised: Salads are not wood-fired.
On your way to the mall? Stop off in Italy. Headed to the movies at Carmike Bayou 15? Stop off in Italy! Tuscan Oven lets you have two vacations in one!
Papa’s Pizza, Pensacola Beach
A day at the beach; a night eating pizza on the boardwalk. Sun, surf and sauce.
Sounds like something right out of a Beach Boys song. But it’s real at Papa’s Pizza!
Located on the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk, Papa’s Pizza offers old-school pizza parlor ambiance (with a little beachy-ness thrown in) and serves pizza pies named for famous Italians – Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, to list a few.
They make their own dough, grate their own cheese and whip up a fresh batch of sauce every morning, using recipes that are nearly 1,000-years old for the perfect combination of freshness and tradition. The same care is taken with their other Italian favorites, including calzones and Stromboli.
Papa’s also delivers, so if you’re too beached out to move from your vacation digs, they’ll bring it right to your door.
But you should really venture out on the boardwalk. It’s the perfect place for pizza and people-watching just steps from the water.