The Great Franklin Street Pizza Tour

Why are there so many pizza restaurants on Franklin Street? Every year a new one moves in. What is the logic? It’s like gas stations that move in across the street from one another and compete by the penny for price per gallon. Let’s mix it up. Can I get a Chopt?? Can I get a Cookout????

Anyways, rant complete…

I decided to figure out what was so special about all these joints. In a stroke of genius investigative journalism, I spent the last couple months touring every pizza place on Franklin. Starting from IP3 and eating my way up to Benny’s, one slice at a time.

Drum roll please…

Below are the final rankings from The Great Franklin Street Pizza Tour:

#7 Italian Pizzeria III

Overall, I was not impressed by IP3. It took forever to get our pizza and when it finally came, it was not good. More like a thick, tough piece of toast with some cheese on top than pizza, we regretted our Sicilian crust choice. Honestly, would not recommend. It was pretty cheap but not significantly different than other options located much closer to campus, offering a much better product. Avoid unless a drunk night out takes you nearby and you need the carbs. Even then… 4/10

#6 I Love N.Y. Pizza

A fun little hole-in-the-wall joint. It was cheap and the pizza was fine. We were served quickly, but the slices were obviously just reheated. I questioned how long those pizzas had been sitting in the window. If you’re in a hurry for lunch one day, this isn’t a bad option. 6/10

#5 MidiCi Italian Kitchen

With an aesthetic for date night, that is about the only time I would consider paying MidiCi’s steep prices. The pizza was definitely yummy, with fresh ingredients and stone fired to order, but I couldn’t get over our final bill. You are definitely paying for the classy atmosphere here, so it could be a good option the next time your wealthy friends or family are in town and craving pizza. 7/10

[Update 11/11/19: MidiCi’s went out of business – no surprise in a town of broke college students]

#4 The Pizza Press

I love The Pizza Press theme and aesthetic, but I could be biased as a Media and Journalism major. Styled after 1920’s Americana newspapers, The Pizza Press offers thin crust, hot and ready pizzas. Build your own style and served on funky wooden pallets, eating here was casual and fun. What lost me was the price. Lotsa down the street is basically the same idea, creating your own personal pizza, with a better crust and lots of discounts and deals. The Pizza Press slipped in ranking for me when I got the check. However, they do offer an assortment of cool, unique beers to accompany your pizza for all the 21+ crowd out there. 7/10

#3 Benny Cappella’s

Benny’s is known for their MASSIVE slices. At $4 for cheese, it’s a pretty sweet deal. A Tar Heel staple, I love this authentically-college spot. Visit after 1 a.m. and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a party. Their thin, greasy pizza tastes good in the day and even better late at night. It’s a bang for your buck and a good time. What more could you ask for? 8/10

#2 LOTSA Stone Fired Pizza

I’m not gonna lie, I have a girl crush on the Lotsa’s Bianca pizza. My boyfriend swears by the Buffalo Chicken, but you can go try any one of Lotsa’s amazing combinations and decide for yourself. Or, make your own! Made hot and fresh to order, this personal pizza is the bomb.com. They also have daily lunch specials (the Bianca is Tuesdays) that brings their prices down to us college students’ level. Without the special, it is a little pricey at $8.99 a pizza, but honestly worth the spend once in a while. I usually stick to the specials, so Bianca Tuesdays are my new favorite holiday. 9/10

#1 Mellow Mushroom

There is no question why Mellow Mushroom is a national brand. Amazing crust, fresh ingredients, super fun and funky atmosphere and more. This pizza is just so good. Not the cheapest option on Franklin, but definitely worth the splurge. Mellow Mushroom pizza is good when it’s hot and fresh, when it’s cold the next morning, when it’s warmed up for lunch the next day… whenever! I just think about their crust and get hungry. I think I’ll go get some now. 9/10

*Check out my Instagram for the full tour story and photos!*