Southern Living included the pizza at DeLuca’s Pizzeria on their list of the “South’s Best Pizza.” That is pretty high praise! Many locals say that this is the best pizza in Arkansas.
We love the pizza at DeLuca’s! The taste is a bit of Italy and a lot of New York.
But you don’t have to go to New York or Italy to get it! You only have to go to downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas to experience this thin crust, brick oven fired, perfectly topped, delicious pizza.
Where is DeLuca’s Pizzeria?
DeLuca’s Pizzeria is currently located in Hot Springs, Arkansas which is home to the only National Park in the state. This area is known for its healing waters and bathhouses.
The address is: 833 Central Ave, Hot Springs, AR 71901
There is usually street parking available nearby the restaurant or you can park in one of the paid lots in downtown Hot Springs and make the short walk to DeLuca’s Pizzeria.
NOTE: DeLuca’s plans to open a second location in Little Rock! I will keep you informed when that happens.
Let’s Talk About the Pizza!
We all know that the best pizza starts with an amazing dough. Unlike many other pizza places, all the pizza dough at Deluca’s is handmade in house. The dough is perfection and you can absolutely taste the difference.
It takes a while to make handmade dough and isn’t something that can just be thrown together on the spot. The restaurant makes a certain amount of dough for the day and when it is gone, pizzas are done for the day.
Obviously, they try to make enough for everyone and I have always been able to get a pizza at DeLuca’s. But I do know that they occasionally run out of dough. You can make a reservation to make sure that you will get one of these delectable pizzas.
UPDATE: Shortly after I published this post DeLuca’s Pizzeria moved to a new space right next door. The new restaurant is larger and has a beautiful bar. They were also featured on Barstool Sports and received a very high rating. This means that they have recently been very crowded so it is more important than ever to reserve your pizza dough!
Then there are the toppings. Oh my word…the toppings!
DeLuca’s pizza is topped with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Plus, they have just the right amount of cheese and sauce. I find that so many pizza places tend to overdo one or the other – not Deluca’s pizza – it has the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese to dough to toppings.
The pizzas are also cooked in super hot ovens.
The high heat yields a perfectly browned crust with a few darker spots. That is not burned, by the way, it is flavor!
TIP: If you like spicy food try our favorite pizza at DeLuca’s, the Patsy Searcy Pie. (The Patsy Search is the pizza pictured below.) It is a delicious and unusual combination of spicy soppressata, Calabrian chili oil, peppadew peppers and honey.
SO good, but, warning, it does have some spicy heat.
But Wait, There’s More than Just Pizza at DeLuca’s
DeLuca’s has also become known for having a delectable, huge, and juicy hamburger. Some people say that it is the best tasting burger they have ever had. The meat is a blend of aged beef specially sourced from a place in New York and flown in overnight.
Owner, Anthony Valinoti, says that it is more like a steak and that they treat it like one.
Besides the burger, I love the Caesar salad, and the meatball appetizer. Although it is not on the menu sometimes they also have a delicious focaccia bread which is in the photo below.
There will usually be some daily specials that are not on the regular menu that your server can tell you about.
TIP: Try the olive oil cake for dessert. It might sound strange, but it is moist and sweet and delicious.
The Story of how DeLuca’s Pizzeria came to Hot Springs
The proprietor of DeLuca’s is Anthony Valinoti. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York. As he traveled the US he always wanted to find the pizza that he remembered from his childhood, but nobody was making anything that lived up to his memories.
The story of how he came to Hot Springs is fascinating. He basically heard about it, visited the area, fell in love with it, never left, and started making pizza. He worked hard to create the perfect pizza dough and I think that he succeeded!
You can listen to him tell his own story in this youtube video.
One of the nicest things about visiting DeLuca’s is that Anthony is often at the restaurant. He is a busy man rolling dough or sliding a pizza into the hot ovens. But, you will also find him hugging and chatting with the regular patrons and meeting and greeting the newbies.
For me, it is almost always a sign that the food will be great and have a certain quality when the chef/owner is often in their own restaurant working and making sure things are done correctly.
Other Things You Might Need to Know
The pizzas at DeLuca’s are one size only and are very large. They are definitely shareable! Sometimes four of us share one pizza particularly if we are also having salads or appetizers.
However you know yourself and your own appetite!
I would suggest that you take a look at the menu before you go to make sure that you are comfortable with the prices. This is not inexpensive pizza, but in our opinion it is worth it.
Let us know if what you think about DeLuca’s Pizza!
Here are some more of our favorite Hot Springs Restaurants.
Thanks for stopping by!