Do you hunt for the best pizza in the world (or, at least, your city)? It is a big task, but I have a feeling it is completed in the first months of moving to a new area for most. My taste for pizza varies and I truly like every variety of pizza…New York style, Italian style, Sicilian thick style, Chicago deep-dish style, etc. Really…love them ALL!
This local highlight is for one of my favorite Italian pizzerias, Alino Pizzeria. You’ll find this adorable spot in the corner of the Merino furniture & antique old mill building. Don’t be afraid to bring a crowd, there is plenty of room.
As you walk to the door, you’ll pass their beautiful display of planters and plants, Vespas & bikes. They have covered outdoor seating with family style tables. Walk inside & the interior has the same family style tables. Sharing tables with others, is highly encouraged and sometimes necessary, as it can get very busy. Napolitano ovens cook your pizza in 90 seconds, so don’t worry about the crowd, it turns over quickly.
As you walk in, you’ll order at the counter to the right. You can drool over the desserts & gelato, as you decide your pizza. One pizza will feed two people. It is thin, chewy crust & the perfect amount of toppings. Be sure to venture to the toppings bar at the back near the ovens. You’ll find minced garlic, olive oil and spicy olive oil, parmesan, pepper flakes & peppers (HOT!!). If you want to try something the Italians like to do, drizzle some of the spicy oil over your pizza. YUM!
In the back corner, you can watch them making the dough. They also have kid parties and you can reserve tables for a special gathering. Alino uses only the finest Italian ingredients straight from Italy. Some with gluten intolerance say that they have no problems eating Alino pizza…maybe the best testament to their ingredients 😉 Try the Diavola pizza for a spicy option.
After pizza, march to the spinning Gelato case. Feel free to drool, it is covered. My favorite is the pistachio or caramel. Visit the dessert case for cake, tiramisu or the best cannoli & sfogliatelle around.
The owners are not Italian, but they’ll have you fooled, for sure. Fall in love with Alino and I’d love to hear about your experience there. Not a fan of Italian pizza? What’s your favorite pizza in the Lake Norman/Charlotte areas, any style? Tell us where and why…compel us to love them too (wink, wink). 🍕