A friend who grew up working in a Chicago pizzeria shared with me that they made him wait 6 months before they’d even allow him to make dough by himself. That’s the kind of care for pizza we look for in a great pizzeria. That’s the sort of place you know makes great pizza. There’s something truly special about the mom and pop pizzeria. The love and passion that goes into each pie is what makes the magic happen. Here’s our list of the 6 best pizza places in Jax. There are a few I’m sure you expect and a couple that we think will come as a surprise to all but the most discerning pizza lover. Note that for this list we stuck to only locally owned places and did not consider any chains.
#6 Mama Q’s Pizza
We’ve been a fan of Mama Q’s Pizza since the first day we walked in their door and were met by the smiling face of their owner RJ. When you talk with RJ you know without a doubt the man eats, sleeps, and breathes pizza. If you’re a regular Jax Restaurant Reviews reader you know that we love their speciality pies, in particular the Mashed Potato Pie. If you live in Mandarin skip the chains and call Mama for delivery.
Catullo’s food truck has taken Jacksonville by storm in their first year, becoming one of the most popular food trucks in town. They make all their pasta from scratch and in our opinion have the best Italian food in Jax. Their pizza is high quality and they don’t skimp on toppings. We recently tried their pizza side by side with a couple of other trucks and it wasn’t even close.
Picasso’s serves up a variety of pizza styles from traditional New York style to the St. Louis style ultra thin crust pizza their regulars know them for. If you’re a thin crust fan you’ll find true love in just one bite of the St. Louis style pizza. If you’re in the mood to indulge we recommend “The Gourmet” topped with pancetta, caramelized onions, brie cheese, and truffle oil. Each slice is creamy and bacon-y and overwhelming in the best kind of way.
You want the best deep dish pizza in Jax? Carmine’s is the spot. Every Chicago transplant we know in Jacksonville swears their deep dish in the best in town. We concur. Want top notch New York style pizza? They’ve got that too. If you’re disappointed in Carmine’s pizza the problem’s not the pizza, it’s your taste buds.
#2 V Pizza
After a monthlong trip to Italy with their mothers where they enjoyed pizza nearly everyday, V Pizza’s owners came back to the states with an idea and a dream. What if we could bring this exact same experience to Jacksonville and one day all over the United States. They had authentic wood fired ovens created by craftsmen in Italy and shipped over. Then they sourced the highest quality meats and veggies from Italian farms. Then they found the right chef. Shortly after that V Pizza was born. We think they’ve created one of the most authentic napolitano style pizzas you’ll find anywhere in America.
#1 Biggie’s Pizza
The smallest pizza place on our list is also the best. Located in the space formerly occupied by Burrito Gallery Express, Biggie’s Pizza has just a couple indoor tables. I’m sure you see Biggie’s Pizza as our choice for #1 and think “Huh? What? Who?”. If that’s the case it’s likely because you’ve never tried their pizza. They’re less than 6 months old so we suspect most Jax residents who don’t live at the beach haven’t. If you have tried their pizza you understand why they’re number #1. They truly are the best New York style pizza place in town. The name started out as a way to describe their pizza by the slice. It really is BIG. After more discussion they decided the name could also pay homage to the late rapper Biggie Smalls and his love for Brooklyn. From there the name took on a life of its own with the restaurant becoming almost completely themed around Biggie Smalls, Brooklyn, and his lyrics. Every trip I’ve made to Biggie’s I’ve watched person after person snap a photo next to the floor to ceiling mural of Biggie painted by local artist Mobarick Abdullah. Biggie’s Pizza has that perfect “snap” that all great New York style pizza has. The crust is spot on and is made fresh in house, never frozen. When you walk in you’ll notice the largest selection of pizza by the slice in Jax. They’ve got all the basics, plus a traditional grandma’s pizza, a white pizza named the Benny Blanco from The Bronx Pie, Buffalo Bleu Cheese Pie, and a whole lot more. As I was trying to understand why this place is so incredible I asked the owner, Gazmir, what makes his pizza so special. He said, “Every pizza I make is made with love.” Love, that’s the secret ingredient. Opposite the giant Biggie mural on the wall there’s a quote from Biggie Smalls, “Make love. It’s the Brooklyn way.” If you need a pick me up… If you need to experience something that was made with love just for you… then go to Biggie’s and grab a slice.
I’ve had Mama Qs, Picasso’s and V (luckily all in Mandarin where I live!) as well as Carmines and I agree completely that they are the best in Jacksonville! Can’t wait to try Catullos and Biggies!
Makes a great pie
What about Tommy Brick Oven? It’s awesome!
Yes, most definitely. Great cheese and Pepperoni is in sheets…very flavorful.
I live in New York and as far as I’m concerned I would travel to Florida any day for a pizza at Vs.My favorite is QuattroFormaggio with red sauce and pepperoni. Try one of these and the I-95 will be jammed Southbound.😂
Surprised Party’s didn’t make the list?
You mean Paddy’s Pizza on San Jose Blvd?
Please provide links to the places you recommend for easy and instant access to their websites. Thank you.
Also surprised Renna’s didn’t make the list! Where is Biggies located? Would
Like to give therm a try
Renna’s is awesome. Better than Picassoa, my opinion
Where biggies pizza?
biggies pizza…come on…its good at 2am but def not the best @ the beaches…
Moon River gets my #1 vote 💗
Moon River is closer to gourmet “American style” pizza, as in delivery joints. It’s good, but nothing in comparison to authentic Italian style or New York style pizza.
Moon River is mediocre at best. Canned ingredients, nothing special.
Moon River is THE best!
Moon River is THE Best…….. other than tutoni’s in Coney Island
Try crispys pizza in springfield
Seems to me it’s kind of dumb to tell people about these places, and not tell them where they are located.
99% of the human race knows how to Google a restaurant for a location.
Do not forget about Tony D’s New York Pizza and Restaurant 8358 Point Meadows Dr for real New York pizza. Being from South Florida was hard to find real New York style pizza in Jax, Tony D’s and Tommy’s Brick Oven definitely is authentic…
I agree Tony D’s pizza is great
Tony D’s is New York pizza at its best…..
I prefer DiGiornos myself.
7185 Crane Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32216
I went to Biggies based on this review – as did a table next to me. It wasn’t the worst pizza I’ve had in town, but it was far from the best. I had a slice with meatballs and mushrooms. The meatball slices were more than a half inch thick and were cold. The mushrooms were very thin and didn’t appear to have been cooked. I was excited to see Brooklyn Lager on tap – but oops, they were out. Service was decent, but I didn’t feel wowed.
No reason to go back.
How about when I went, they were out of plain cheese slices, with no intention of making another pie anytime soon! That would never happen in a real NY place
You have to tell them you’re there to review the place. Then you’ll get treated like royalty.
We try our best to fly under the radar when we show up to review a place but that’s becoming increasingly difficult due to the growth of the website. From time to time restaurants do invite us out and we fully disclose this on the review page when that’s the case.
I tried Biggie’s yesterday. It’s not close to Carmine’s. I’m a native New Yorker who has eaten pizza at hundreds of places in Manhattan,and most place in Jacksonville. Carmines is much better that BBiggie’s.
Stopped on a Saturday night about 11:30. Front case was full of the largest variety of by the slice I have ever seen in a Pizza place. I agree great pizza. The crust has the right “crack or crunch” when you bite. If you like the under cooked soft chain pizza then this is not the place for you. I took a extra slice home and “nuke” it the next day and it still had the crunch. By the way if the pizza was not hot way not ask them to heat it some more. I am sure they would have done it and apologized for the problem. They can’t fix it if you don’t tell them
Biggie’s was good, large slices, but I would have to shift around the rankings so that V’s was #1. Always loved any of V’s pizzas with those spicy Calabrian peppers!!
WHY DIDN’T PIZZA HUT MAKE THE LIST?
Joseph’s Pizza on Main Street is the best in my book they have two locations one on Main Street and the other at the beach been In business sixty years so they must be doing something right
The artist that painted the Biggie mural is Mobarick Abdullah, not “Mo Barrick.” Just figured you would want to fix that (and that he would appreciate the correction).
Thanks for the info. We’ve now corrected it.
Mon Dog Pie House in Fruit Cove has the very best Red Suace,….their food overall is the best!
Moon dog was started by the same guy who started Carmines (and then sold it). The pizza is good, but the service is often lacking.
I think one of the best is Milano’s pizza . Everything is perfect !
They are a few pizza joints missing. Renna’s , Loop, Pizza Palace, Vino’s, Salvino’s Toscona. All of them are contenders and should not be over looked.
All have diverse menus. And are serious about the product they present. Just because there not glorified fern bars or cater to the craft beer crowd.Is reason enough to list them.
Totinos classic pepperoni party pizza $ 1.59. And beer. Money left to take your cheap date 2 Red Carpet Inn. Yeah buddy.
Not a fan of v pizza, been there 2 times and was let down both times. Carmines is great however, 1.50 slices at lunch during the week?! That’s REAL Ny style?! Yes pls! Having lived here for a while from NY, it was great to see a place like carmines with fantastic pizza.
I’m going to have to try the mashed potato pizza. I ate at Bonci Pizza in Italy because it was featured on Anthony bourdains show and they too had a mashed potato pizza which was amazing, side note they charge by weight and cut the size you want w scissors lol
Love Tommy’s Brick Oven Pizza on Southside Blvd.
Rennas is the best !
I went to Biggies based on this review and I have to say that I can’t for the life of me figure out why it made any “best” list. I actually went twice and both times ordered their basic large cheese. Dry, tasteless crust, slightly overcooked and did not have that true “New York” style thin, oily feel or taste. Honestly, it might be the worst pizza I ever had. But to each his own. I tried Tony D’s and Renna’s for the first time within the same basic time period and they were both better, especially Tony D.