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“Gavino's is a diamond in the rough”

Gavino's Pizzeria and Restaurant
Ranked #153 of 1,233 Restaurants in Knoxville
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
Restaurant details
Reviewed 20 July 2016

We were in this part of Knoxville, and Gavino's was recommended to us by a friend. We were looking for a good pizza place that we had not tried before, and Gavino's came with a glowing recommendation. We stopped in, and the restaurant was really empty but we were really between lunch and dinner crowds. The waiter that served us was actually part of the kitchen staff, and he was helping out because one of the waitresses was out that day. Very friendly, and exceptionally knowledgeable about the menu and how things are done there. Being from the kitchen obviously helped that.

One note here, the ownership changed at Gavino's not too long in the past, so earlier comments about bad customer service and the owner not being friendly/helpful (etc.) may not apply now. I don't know when that changed happened, but some improvements were made in the quality of the foods. Higher quality cheeses and other ingredients were swapped when the new owner came in.

That said, Gavino's has a decent sized menu, but they essentially have three types of pizza. Neapolitan, Sicilian, and Grandma's. Both the Sicilian and Grandma's are pan style pizzas and the Neapolitan is a thin crust New York Style pizza. The day we were there, they were out of the Sicilian, so they obviously have a certain number of pies premade for the day. My wife ordered shared two slices off the lunch menu, and it was a decent amount of pizza. I could have ate two slices myself, but we decided to try some other things off the menu since we had never been there. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs, however we started with the "Famous Garlic Knots", and they were some of the best I have ever eaten (the best being New York Pizza on Hilton Head Island). These are not typical garlic knots, and more like rolls, however the garlic butter sauce makes you forget that in a hurry. I could have made a meal on these alone...and probably ended up in a coronary unit from the butter. Delicious!

I was very impressed with the spaghetti and meatballs, as it was very good. The pizza my wife ordered overshadowed the spaghetti though. We shared back and forth, and while Grandma's pizza was very good, the Sicilian New York style pizza was outstanding. I can definitely see us stopping by again to either eat in, or take a whole thin crust home. We had just straight cheese pizzas this round, and was very impressed. Looking forward to adding other toppings the next time.

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Thank ChuckyWoodchuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 - 48 of 100 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2016 via mobile

We dropped in after several strong recommendations over the years to try this place. It is amazing. Don't be fooled by the unprepossessing exterior. This is a small family operated place where they obviously put a great deal of attention and expertise into their foods. Our group had the baked lasagne, the shrimp momma mia, and the lunch special slice and salad. We also all shared the eggplant rollatina and garlic knots. Every single one of these was amazing. The plates are large and the food is fantastic. Our server was nice and the whole place had a welcoming and genuine atmosphere. We loved it!

Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2016

Had a mushroom and onion pizza, thin crust. Gavinos has the best pizza in Knoxville in my opinion. We also had calamari for an appretizer, and it was good too. Staff was friendly and attentive.

Thank rfirpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2016

Let me start off by saying, when I go out with friends for dinner, I like to be able to hear the conversation. This place is great for that. No overwhelming music. One TV.

Now the food. I had linguini with clam sauce. The linguini was perfect al dente and the sauce was loaded with clams. Very good! My wife had the grilled chicken Hero and it was superb; loaded with chicken, large slices of mozzarella and other goodies.

The perky young woman who served us was friendly, engaging and helpful.

This place is "a keeper".

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Thank GrampyW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2016

Our search for quality pizza in East Tennessee continues… Recently we received a recommendation for Gavino's from another restaurant owner so when we were in the neighborhood and it was time for an early dinner, we gave it a try.

Gavino’s Pizzeria is located in a strip shopping center. It’s a decent sized pizza/Italian restaurant and it was clean plus our waitress was very nice.

Basically there is only one size pizza on the menu although you can order by the slice. That size limitation was a negative in our mind… We decided to design our own pizza. We could add 3 – 5 toppings for $22.95. We stayed with our standard preferences…pepperoni and Italian sausage.

This was a good pizza, albeit a bit pricy. The crust was very good and the ingredients were of a decent quality. We both agreed that the pie was a little short on the pepperoni and sausage. Four or 5 additional pieces of each would have really popped up this pie to another level. In retrospect we should have asked if we could double the meats to get us up to 4 out of our 5 'allowed" toppings…

We will return to Gavino’s for another pizza. Even with the price, single size fits all menu and the ‘toppings’ issues, it was one of the best we’ve found here in East Tennessee.

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Thank BigDaddyDave55138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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