A year or two ago, Charleston food-and-beverage scene insiders were lamenting how much pizza was planned for downtown, with seemingly every new restaurant embracing the form. And then the pizza places opened, and the griping stopped: The pizza was too good to protest.
587 King St.
International pizza consultant Anthony Falco, who rose to prominence as the lead pie guy at Brooklyn’s legendary Roberta’s, designed the fantastic bar pies at Uptown Social. The popular bar’s carefree attitude is contradicted by the seriousness invested in its crunchy thin crusts, which have a complex tang that’s likely to sear Uptown in your pizza memory.
Luke’s Craft Pizza
271 Ashley Ave.
There isn’t any seating at Luke’s, since nearly all of the restaurant’s space is reserved for the critically important work of producing great pizza. Although Luke’s dough is so accomplished that bread made from day-old stock regularly sells out, Luke Davis is also adept at assembling collections of toppings drawn from local farms.
Renzo Wood-Fired Pizza and Natural Wine
384 Huger St.
It would be a waste to order only pizza at Renzo, considering the loveliness that chef Evan Gaudreau is producing on a nightly basis. Yet it would also be a mistake to not order pizza, which Gaudreau calls neo-Neapolitan because it’s not made according to strict regional guidelines; the only master it serves is the palate.
624½ Rutledge Ave.
Pizza fans who believe the genre’s just an excuse to eat cheese could be converted to the crust camp by Ben Rabin’s pies, baked in an oiled pan and topped with a garlicky tomato sauce. Each squared-off slice is counterintuitively light, although its brilliance resides in its crispy edges: In other words, angle for a corner piece.
Monza Pizza Bar
451 King St.
The latest local entry in the “if it ain’t broke ...” rejoinder column, longtime favorite Monza was re-created earlier this year after subsuming the beer bar adjacent to it. Now the popular pizzas, while still recognizably Monza-style, are made with higher-quality ingredients and baked with greater care.