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Coletta's Restaurant

Coletta's Restaurant

Memphis, TN
75% love this shop
Coletta's Restaurant

The Iconic Home of Elvis' Favorite BBQ Pizza, Since 1923

It’s difficult to imagine it nowadays, but once upon a time, not so long ago, entire cities didn’t have a single pizza place to call their own. Such was the case in Memphis back in the 1950s, when sailors from the local Navy base began asking Emil Coletta, who opened his eponymous Italian restaurant in 1923, for the now-ubiquitous dish, which had only really caught on in popularity in New York and Chicago by that time. So Emil sent his son, Horest, to Chicago to master the art of pizza making. Upon returning to Memphis, he decided to give his pizza a twist in order to entice locals to try it: he topped it with barbecue pork, a Memphis staple. And thus, BBQ pizza was born. Of course, Elvis was one of its biggest fans.

Today, Coletta’s is still owned and operated by the Coletta family, and it has the distinction of being the oldest restaurant in Memphis and one of its finest Italian restaurants. Horest passed the restaurant down to his son, Jerry, who currently runs the business with his wife, Diane, working alongside their children and grandchildren. Coletta’s famous pizzas, 100 year-old recipe lasagna, and cult-favorite homemade salad dressings are now being delivered nationwide for the first time!

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