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Pizza City Fest Nashville Announced

Chicago pizza expert Steve Dolinsky’s festival will expand to its third city in the fall of 2024, bringing regional pies to Music City.

Steve Dolinsky

Steve Dolinsky is founder of Pizza City USA, a book, podcast, and a food festival. Photo: Todd Rosenberg Photography

Steve Dolinsky has announced Pizza City Fest Nashville, with a two-day celebration of all things pizza set for October 19-20, 2024 at First Horizon Park. The Chicago-based author, TV personality, and podcast host has held two Pizza City Fests each in his hometown and in Los Angeles, as we reported last year

“Pizza City Fest Nashville will celebrate the Southeastern U.S.’s unique pizza landscape, showcasing the diverse and exceptional talents of the region’s top pizza makers,” Dolinsky says in the announcement.

Nashville’s food scene already featured several of the U.S.’s best and most creative Italian restaurants in City House and Rolf & Daughters—both now more than a decade old. A recent influx of out-of-town and homegrown chefs have turned the city into an unlikely Italian hub over the past few years. NYC’s Andrew Carmellini (Carne Mare), Chicago expat Tony Mantuano (Yolan), and Brooklyn export Frankies have set up shop in Nashville. The pizza scene has also been ascendant.

The classic Vito sfincione from Michael Hanna's St. Vito Focacceria. Photo: Courtesy of St. Vito Focacceria

One of the names released on the schedule for Pizza City Fest Nashville is an Appetito favorite, Michael Hanna of St. Vito Focacciaria, who brought Sicilian-style pizza to Nashville a few years back. He’s a standout in a homegrown scene that includes Nicky’s Coal-Fired, Five Points, and Smith & Lentz Brewery, all of which are also on the two-day lineup at the inaugural Nashville Pizza City Fest. 

Dolinksy says he targeted not only Nashville pizzerias but those from throughout the region, including pizzas from Memphis, Chattanooga, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago. The festival will allow guests to sample a range slices and styles, including New York, Detroit, Chicago deep-dish, Sicilian, Neapolitan, and Roman.

Pizza City Fest also features panels about pizza and dough throughout its two days of programming, as well as live performances by pizza acrobat Luigi Primo, and, this being Music City, a lineup of DJs and bands.

Tickets will go on sale July 19 at with general admission pricing starting at $69 and VIP pricing starting at $150 (with discounts for 2-day passes). The announced lineup and schedule, featuring more than 40 pizzerias, is below, and Dolinsky will add updates through the Pizza City Fest website. 


Participating Pizzerias/Bakers:

312 Pizza Co

Bella Napoli

Calabria Brick Oven Pizza (Mt. Juliet)

Dicey’s Tavern

Five Points

Goodfellas (Chattanooga, TN)

Hog & Hominy (Memphis)

King Dough (Indianapolis)

Nicky’s Coal Fired

NY Pie

Pizza Friend Pizza

Pizza Lupo (Louisville)


Rock ‘n Dough

Sorelle’s Italian Restaurant (Eagleville)

Troup’s Pizza (Vestavia Hills, AL)

Uncle G’s Pizza (Birmingham, AL)

Union Loafers (St. Louis)

Salads: Ophelia’s Pizza + Bar

Snacks: The Secret Bodega

Sweets: to be announced

Panel Discussions and Demos:

2 pm: “The Dough Whisperers” 

Paulie Gee – Paulie Gee’s (Brooklyn, NY) 

Michael Hanna – St. Vito Focacciaria (Nashville)

Robert Garvey – Robert’s Pizza & Dough Co. (Chicago)

Moderator: Delia Jo Ramsey – “Dining with Delia Jo”

3 pm: “Pizza Night at Home” 

Alexandra Stafford – Author, “Pizza Night”

4 pm: Book Signings


12 pm: Jerry Pentecost (DJ)

2 pm: Jon Radford (DJ)

4 pm   Patrick Sweany’s Tiger Beats


Participating Pizzerias and Bakers:

Bar Vetti (Louisville)

Camacho’s Famous (Clarksville) 

Campione’s Taste of Chicago (Gallatin) 

Gio’s Chicago Pizza

Il Forno

Mag Mile Pizza

Original Valentina’s Pizzeria (Madison, AL) 



Pinky Ring Pizza (Madison, TN)

Pizza Grace (Birmingham)

PizzaVia (St. Louis)

Robert’s Pizza & Dough Co. (Chicago) 

Slim + Husky’s

Slim’s (Birmingham)

Smith & Lentz Brewery

St. Francis Apizza (Cincinnati)

St. Vito Focacciaria

Salads: To be announced

Snacks: Chauhan

Sweets: Fat Belly Pretzel


2 pm: “Pan Style Like a Pro”

Justin De Leon – Apollonia’s (Los Angeles)

Moderator: Mackensy Lunsford – Senior Dining Reporter, The Tennessean

3 pm: “Stop Using Store Bought Dough!”

Joe Carlucci – Original Valentina’s Pizzeria (Madison, AL)

4 pm: Book Signings


12 pm: Gordon Persha (DJ)

2 pm:   Megan Coleman (DJ)

4 pm:   Weird Pals

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