Coal’s Artisan Pizza – It’s certainly in the upper crust of Louisville pizza joints

My husband is currently addicted to reality shows about auctions. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but they’re everywhere. There’s auction hunters and seekers and finders and wars…and they’re all on our dvr at the moment.

This new found love of auction related shows naturally led the hubby to seek out auctions here in town, where I assume he was either looking to miraculously bid $25 for a Picasso and win, or perhaps find an original copy of the declaration of independence hiding in an old chest. Spoiler alert…neither of these things happened. We did, however, get a leather couch and a bar for a steal, along with a few gift certificates for local restaurants for pennies on the dollar. Dining out for pennies on the dollar?? It’s not a Picasso, but it’s close enough for us.

Unfortunately we’ve been running into some snafus with the certificates. It turns out whenever we try to use them they turn out to beĀ  not valid on a certain day, or at a certain place, or for food, etc., and we end up paying full price for dinner somewhere else. Lucky for us, that somewhere else last Saturday happened to be Coal’s Artisan Pizza. Ahhh the silver lining.

We walked into Coal’s at 7pm on Saturday and they were packed. The wait for a two top was about 30 minutes but we were happy to eat at the bar which cut our wait down to seconds. P.S. They don’t take reservations.

One bartender immediately cleaned our area and took our drink orders while another told us about the pizza specials for the evening. From the get go the service was as friendly as could be.

We perused the wine, beer and booze list and were torn between cocktails and a single glass of wine with dinner, or buying a whole bottle of wine and making an evening out of it. Nick is defenseless against the call of bourbon so we went with cocktails to start. All of the cocktails, wines and beers were very reasonably prices around $5 – $7 each/per glass, and I’m pretty sure I heard someone behind me order a Miller Light for around $1.50.

Before we could even make a dent in our drinks our appetizers arrived. We decided to split two appetizers and only order one pizza. Because the pies are on the smaller side I recommend either ordering a few things like we did, or two pizzas for two people. We chose the Arancini($7), which were fried risotto balls, and a Gorgonzola wedge salad($6).

The Arancini were amazing. I mean, how can you go wrong with cheesy fried risotto balls? The contrast of crunchy, golden outside and creamy gooey inside was great. The portion size was also perfect.

Nick and I practically never order salads to start, but it was hot as fried risotto balls outside Saturday and a crisp wedge of iceberg covered with creamy blue cheese just sounded so refreshing. Guess what? It was. And it was plenty of salad for two.

Now for the star of the show…the pizza. Coal’s has, surprise, a coal burning pizza oven. The secret, I hear, to a fantastic pizza is heat. Ideally you want to cook your pizza on the surface of the sun.

The hot oven allowed the crust to be crispy on the outside and amazingly, wonderfully chewy on the inside. I could have eaten the outer ring of the crust alone and left the toppings on my plate.

Speaking of the toppings. Unfortunately, I had a small issue in that department. We ordered one of the specials of the night. It was described as having artichoke hearts, black olives and ham. Yum right? When it came out it was covered with a lot more. With a delicate, thin crust like they make at Coal’s it’s better to avoid overloading the pizza with toppings in order to avoid soggy middle of the pie syndrome. Whoops. Our pizza had said syndrome.They even make a note on the menu where they recommend adding no more than 3 toppings to your pizza to avoid such a problem. I wish they had taken their own advice.

In the end, however, the amazing quality of the crust lifted this pizza to the top of the Louisville pizza scene…in my opinion anyway. It’s the best pizza crust I’ve had in Louisville to date, hands down. Next time I will order a simpler pizza, and I’m sure it will be a home run.

Let’s recap shall we? They don’t take reservations so I recommend eating early or late. The prices were very reasonable. We had two cocktails, two appetizers and a pizza for around $45. The service was very friendly and quick. Actually, it was a little too quick as our pizza came out while we were still munching on our apps and we didn’t even have time to order a glass of wine with the pizza, so perhaps make a note of telling the waitress to hold off putting your pizza order in if you want to eat at a more leisurely pace. The atmosphere was cozy, a little tight, but welcoming. It seemed to be the type of place where you could wear shorts and a t-shirt OR dress up a bit and not look out of place.

All in all I think Coal’s is the type of place Louisville needs. Reasonably priced good food is always welcome, and dressed up pizza is just a fun concept. There’s no two ways about it.

Coals Artisan Pizza on Urbanspoon



  1. Peggy

    I love the new look! And I’ve been meaning to try Coal’s (we tried to go for lunch on a Sunday, but they weren’t quite open yet), so definitely will have to put it on the to-do list for this weekend!

  2. Sarah O

    Great review! Going to try it for sure.

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