The prosciutto and arugula pizza from Pizzeria Cortile. (Photo: Staff)

Friday is National Pizza Party Day (yes, a real thing) when millions of pizza lovers across the nation enjoy partying with pizza and friends or co-workers. But you can’t just have any pizza. It has to be special.

In Chattanooga, The Chattery will host an official National Pizza Party Day gathering at Douglas Heights Bakery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Guests will enjoy slices and whole pizzas during the event. The night is also a benefit for Chattanooga Area Food Bank. Attendees are encouraged to bring either nonperishable items for cash to donate.

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More information is here.

Of course, pizza is highly subjective. Some prefer thin crust to thick crust, crunchy bites to a gooey texture … and let’s not get started on toppings. Pineapple and ham, anybody?

Fortunately, the Chattanooga region has a bunch of great pizza places to choose from. We’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

Where do you get your favorite pizza? Tell us in the comments.

Bob’s Brick Oven — 8009 US-27, Rock Spring, Georgia
Do you want a good pie? Bob makes good pies. Bob’s Brick Oven’s fired pizzas are among the best pizzas we’ve had in the region. Two items immediately catch the eye when entering Bob’s restaurant. The first is the enormous wood-fired brick oven. The second is a large shelf to the left with lettuce, basil and other greenery underneath heat lights. The Primero Pesto is our pick: whole milk mozzarella, housemade pesto (using the basil on the shelf), rough-chopped smoked bacon, red onion and bell pepper. Trust your gut on this one. (Tip: if you leave without trying the ice cream, you are a fool).

Community Pie — 850 Market St.
If you’ve spent any time in Downtown Chattanooga, you’ve probably had a slice or two of the New York-style pizza at Community Pie. Maybe you’ve even tried one of their signature Neapolitan pizzas. But there is a new pizza in town that might take the top slot at the restaurant: Detroit-style pizza. It has a thick, airy crust that is crispy on the bottom and edges. Unlike other hand tossed styles, this one is cooked in a metal pan. You can get the pizza in two sizes—14-inch or 19-inch—and in all the same varieties as their New York-style pizzas. We love the “Drunk Pig,” but you do you.

The Bianco left and Spicoli slices at Southside Pizza. (Photo: Staff)

Southside Pizza — 612 E. Main St.
Look, sometimes you don’t want to eat a whole pizza. Although a “pizza party” implies a whole pizza, I think, consumed by multiple people in a party atmosphere, such as an office breakroom. But you can have a single slice and be done with it. That’s fine. Just make it a damn good slice. Southside Pizza is relatively new, but their slices are already becoming one of our favorite quick bite lunches. Southside Pizza is kind of like a version of a slice house, a place where you can walk up anytime and get a slice or two, a drink and be on your way. I like the “Spicoli,” sausage and cheese, and the “Bianco,” a white sauce-based pie with fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, dollops of fresh ricotta and parsley.

Pizzeria Cortile — 4400 Dayton Blvd.
You don’t have to drive to Rock Spring to get good brick-oven, wood-fired pizza. In Red Bank, the new Pizzeria Cortile has become one of our favorite neighborhood pizza shops. If you’ve ever had Local Slice pizza from the food truck, then you know what you’re in for. The pies are named after their ingredients. Pies include sweet Thai chicken, the “Hot Hawaiian,” “Jimmy Pesto,” “Brussels and Bacon,” the “Hot Chick” and Margherita. Our favorite is the “Fancy Pants,” with olive oil, a cheese blend, arugula, lemon juice, salt and Tennshootoe (prosciutto). They have local beer, too.

Lupi’s — Various
The Downtown Lupi’s is closed for renovations right now, but you can still get Lupi’s pizza (some of the best in the city) at their Hixson, Ooltewah and East Brainerd. In addition to dining in, we highly recommend Lupi’s “take and bake” option. They make up the pie you want and all you have to do is bake it off in the oven. And I know this is National Pizza Party Day, but not a person will fault you for eating a delicious Lupi’s calzone instead. Lupi’s is Chattanooga pizza legend.

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