Perhaps the only thing hotter than a South Carolina summer are the brick pizza ovens turning out artisanal pies across the state. With hellish temps between 650 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, these wood-fired chambers can blister a crust and melt mozzarella before the first round of beer arrives at the table.
Creative toppings (often locally sourced), freshly made dough and finely honed technique make for serious pizza craft. Of the nearly 73,000 pizzerias in the US, South Carolina lays claim to 1,000 or more, with a growing number following the artisanal trend. Pie-curious? Experience the skills of master pizzaiolos at these and other brick oven eateries.
Wood-fired pizza is made here with locally and regionally sourced ingredients. Food Network named their pistachio-pesto pizza the best in South Carolina. Notable toppings: house-made sausage, heirloom pumpkin, Fresno chiles, Castelvetrano olives.
Aptly named, this eatery serves up house-made and locally sourced ingredients on a crust that is tender in the center and charred just enough around the edges to deliver a supremely satisfying crunch. Notable toppings: roasted squash, locally grown mushrooms, braised beef, farm egg, truffle oil.
Here, crispy, thin-crust pizzas are baked at 1,000 degrees in a wood-fired oven. In keeping with the Charleston aesthetic, there's a strong focus on locally sourced ingredients with a few select imports sprinkled in for exotic good measure. Notable toppings: San Marzano tomatoes, San Simon di Costa (Spanish smoked cheese), Brussels sprouts, apple, Calabrian chiles.
This mainstay on Restaurant Row draws the pizza-loving crowds with a lineup running the gamut from Southern Pizza - with grilled chicken and barbecue sauce - to Pizza del Pescatore - with baby clams and shrimp. Notable toppings: ricotta, prosciutto, Philly steak, feta.
This pizzeria brings a bit of Mount Etna to the South Carolina coastline with a fiery hot brick oven and imported Italian cheeses, tomatoes and cured meats. Notable toppings: capicola, clams, fried eggplant, hot cherry peppers, bleu cheese.