HotBox Pizza’s cooks adorn three varieties of hand-tossed dough canvases with six savory sauces, cheeses, and 26 toppings to create a menu of dine-in, takeout, and delivery pies. The signature HotBox combines double spicy pepperoni and banana peppers, and Big Al’s Fredo fights off pernicious poultry cravings with a combination of chicken, roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, and banana peppers. Aspiring pizza architects can blueprint their own pies by laying down traditional, thin, or multigrain foundations and selecting from six varieties of sauce-carpeting. Doughy disks simmer with mozzarella, ricotta, Wisconsin cheddar, or fontina cheeses to hold down up to four toppings such as pepperoni and artichoke hearts. Circle-eaters can also save room in their knapsacks or hollow shoe-heels for fresh salad and bundles of breadsticks that come with nacho-cheese, pizza, ranch, or garlic sauce, and wash down stubborn bites with refreshing slurps of soda.
A staple of Hillsborough Street, Two Guys Restaurant fuses tasty American and Italian eats with its deep and varied menu. Instead of dousing drive-thru burgers in tomato sauce, visitors can sample Amer-Italian eats such as broiled chopped sirloin steak ($12.95), eggplant parmigiana ($11.75), lasagna ($12.95), and a shrimp calzone ($10.29). Hunger-addled diners can also opt to feast fangs on sandwiches such as a hot roast beef and gravy sandwich ($7.95) or a Wolfpack Special ($7.95), combining lean steak, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and the unbridled enthusiasm of Alexander Q. Holladay's ghost on a Kaiser roll.
Boasting more than 40 specialty creations, Gumby's Pizza dishes up a menu of warm eats, satisfying sauce cravings into the wee hours of the morning. Cooks handcraft a batch of dough every day, supplying pie-making artists with fresh canvases for their designs, such as the bacon cheeseburger pizza, brimming with bacon, beef, and extra cheese (12", $16.99), great for post-party cravings for Ninja Turtle–style concoctions. Sink teeth into an order of Pokey Stix, where hand-tossed pizza dough is smothered in butter, fresh garlic, and heaps of mozzarella cheese (10", $8.99), or opt for the pepperoni rolls, which marry zesty meat and mozzarella cheese with flakey dough, baked to a golden brown and topped with ranch or pizza sauce, and family blessings ($2.50 for two rolls). Diners can replace their circular cuisine for a serving of buffalo wings, prepared in their natural configuration or sans bones, and slathered in medium, hot, barbecue, or teriyaki sauce ($4.50–$35.96).
Bada Bing's menu features a plentiful selection of authentic New York–style pizza and Italian sandwiches. Sate burgeoning grumbles with a starter of mozzarella sticks ($6.95) and a slice of any specialty ($3.25), Sicilian ($2.95), or regular ($2.50) pizza, or sink your teeth into the three-dimensionality of a classic meatball parmigiana sandwich (meatballs, tomato, and mozzarella, $7.95). Split a gigantic 18" pie, such as the Godfather (meatball, pepperoni, sausage, onions, and peppers, $20.95) or Carmela's veggie (broccoli, spinach, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and black olives, $15.95), or start with a 12" cheese Sicilian ($11.95) and add toppings to create a monstrous-looking but noble-tasting Frankenpizza of your own design (toppings $1.00–$2.50). Call to have a hot, piping pie ready to carry out or head to Bada Bing for a festively foldable meal with slightly less foldable friends.
Moonlight Pizza Company doesn't settle for traditional pizzas. Instead, their artisan chefs sprinkle pies with more than 50 gourmet toppings, including avocado slices, pine nuts, and shiitake mushrooms, and construct gluten-free crusts upon request. They extend the same care to the rest of their menu, which spans a variety of casual Italian dishes, such as calzones, antipasto, and strombolis. Their salads come with a choice of six dressings that, like US ambassadors' gingerbread body doubles, are made from scratch each day. Their Farm to Fork Craft Menu presents guests with new entree options each month while continuing to use locally grown ingredients.
Outside, tree-covered outdoor seating on two recently improved patios complements mouthwatering slices and buttery crusts. Inside, bright-green walls create a vibrant backdrop for exuberant conversations or cooking shows with lots of special effects.
Ruckus Pizza and Bar's chefs have been satiating the immense hunger of NCSU's budding student body and esteemed faculty since 1999. They crown their fresh, made-to-order pizzas with garlic, roasted red peppers, and ricotta, and will even swap out traditional pizza sauce for ranch and spicy buffalo sauce. As their savory pies bubble in ovens, the kitchen team prepares a number of handheld foods, including gourmet philly cheesesteaks, meaty sub sandwiches, calzones, and spinach-stuffed harmonicas. Bartenders shake up fruity cocktails or pour beers and wine that complement the flavors of their hearty cuisine. On select nights, the staff welcomes guests to cheer and shout during trivia, participate in open-mic nights, and dance to the thumping beats of live DJs. They also unify their newly remodeled eatery's sports-themed decor with athletic flourishes such as jerseys, commemorative ballpark photos, and neon signs.
zpizza— voted best pizza in Raleigh by CitySearch and Best Pizza in Cary by WakeCary Magazine —is known for its inventive, California-style pizzas: think zesty Thai-style chicken pizza with peanut sauce and cilantro, or Mexican-style pizza loaded with taco fixings. But even a simple cheese or pepperoni pizza from zpizza is sure to be memorable. That's because the restaurant's cooks use only top-shelf ingredients in their brick-oven-baked pies, from the Montana winter wheat that goes into their hand-thrown crusts to the organic tomato sauce and Wisconsin skim mozzarella layered on top. Diners can customize pizzas with other toppings, including locally sourced meats, fresh produce, and gourmet ingredients such as truffle oil.