Carmine’s Pie House in the Riverside section of Jacksonville is an Italian eatery with a host of calzones, Stromboli’s, salads, pizzas and other assorted Italian dishes. An extensive menu of quirkily named pies includes Da Bomb, offered as crispy diced chicken and onions with crumbled blue cheese, mozzarella and hot sauce, or the Bad Ass BLT, which lands applewood smoked bacon, mozzarella and ranch dressing atop a pizza. There’s also the traditional lasagna, baked ziti and lobster ravioli to choose from, while snatching a seat at one of Carmine’s oversized oak booths. Funky wall décor, colorful art and metal hanging lanterns round out the eclectic and jazzy feel, making the space feel like a relaxed trattoria, rather than an upscale Italian experience.
Marco's Pizza founder Pasquale "Pat" Gianmarco began helping out at his family’s pizzeria when he was just a boy. The eatery provided a taste of home to the Gianmarco clan, who moved to the United States from Italy when Pat was 9 years old. Together with his father, young Pat learned the secrets to creating exceptional pizza sauce: three types of vine-ripened tomatoes and spices that can only be imported from Italy or the moon.
The perfected sauce recipe continues to guide Pat’s kitchen operations—although, these days he has considerably more help. Marco's Pizza has 350 locations in more than half the states as well as in the Bahamas, each store tossing fresh pizza dough daily before sprinkling on a trio of fresh, never-frozen cheeses.
Big Pete’s Pizzeria is a brick behemoth in the heart of downtown Jacksonville, offering up New York-style pies in a homey pizza parlor reminiscent of a classic Brooklyn joint. The red walls, vinyl floors and a TV give the pizzeria a decidedly casual vibe. The large ordering counter houses self-serve soft drinks and teas, while simple black chairs and tables fill the space. The menu is a mix of traditional pizzas and specialty pies like the Taco Pizza, Eggplant Parmesan Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Diners can also nosh on a host of subs and sandwiches, from pan-fried meatballs to Italian sausage. Pasta dishes, wraps and wings round out Big Pete’s Pizzeria’s selection, where the service is quick and friendly.
Domino’s Pizza, located on the west side, is a national take-out/delivery chain pizzeria. This location delivers to Naval Station Jacksonville, where many military personnel take advantage of ordering lunch and dinner while on duty. The small shop accommodates an order counter with a few scant seats for waiting. The menu is extensive offering customized pizzas as well as a number of specialty options, from Chicken & Bacon Carbonara Pizza to spinach and feta. Dominoes provides four pizza sizes, five varieties of crust from hand-tossed to gluten-free and has sandwiches, breads, pasta and chicken dishes on the menu. Delivery times are speedy and the food is hot and tasty.
If you haven’t yet embraced the concept of build-your-own take home pizza, it’s time to check out Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake. The festive storefront sports yellow counters, red walls and a warm wood floor, while the menu reads like a typical pizza joint: cheese, veggie and Hawaiian pies are among the popular choices. You’ll also find stuffed pizzas and creative offerings like the Chicken Bacon Artichoke “deLITE” on their exclusive low-calorie thin crust, but the real craziness is in the concept. Papa Murphy’s will help you build your own pizza, using handmade dough, creamy mozzarella, sliced vegetables and butcher-quality meats, then send you on your way with the unfinished pie to be baked in your own home oven. A cross between pre-made frozen-aisle pizzas and waiting an hour for your local delivery place, Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake is a fun, easy way to nab a pizza for the whole family on the drive home.
In the early 1900s, when firewood was a valuable commodity, a resourceful baker's head sprung a light bulb: why not try coal? Hence was born a different kind of pizza––one with a smoky, barbequed flavor and the pure heart of a coal miner's daughter. Pompeii Coal Fired Pizza takes this idea and gives it a modern pep talk, marrying oak wood and Pennsylvania-shipped anthracite coal to bake up new old-style pizzas in a stifling 850-degree brick oven.
Electricity takes a vacation as these furnaces evenly smoke thickly-sauced pastas, deli-style sandwiches, and house-made pizza dough. If Italy's anthem doesn't ring in your ears after eating golden focaccia bread and Italian-imported ingredients, you can grab a gondola oar and help the chef pound out a night's worth of juicy 8-ounce burgers.