Pizza Rio Wine & Bar

Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Situated within a renovated church, Pizza Rio Wine & Bar is a unique addition to the Pigeon Forge dining experience that offers a Rodizio-styled Brazilian dining experience. This means rotating pizzas served within a unique five-course meal. Go here when you're starving and leave feeling very satisfied!

- The Local Expert Team

Pizza Rio Wine & Bar is a Brazillian-styled pizzeria that’s renowned for its cozy atmosphere and fresh ingredients. This is the place to go if you want a savory premium pizza baked right.

You will find Pizza Rio Wine & Bar located just north of downtown Pigeon Forge, off Showplace Boulevard. This Brazillian pizzeria is a newer addition to the area and interestingly, the building it is housed in was once a church. This gives the exterior and interior a unique and beautiful open look. It also means that you’re always going to find parking, as the lot is plenty large and accommodating! This church-turned-restaurant also sits nicely on a hill beneath a larger mountain to the west. It’s a picturesque location that affords great views for those seats near windows. There is also select outdoor seating when weather permits.

This restaurant describes itself not just as a pizzeria, but as a Brazilian pizzeria. This add-on term may be confusing for those who have never eaten at a Brazilian-styled restaurant as it does denote a different way of eating. Here, the front house offers a Rodizio type of continuous Brazillian dining which means that throughout your meal, servers will bring various slices of hand-crafted pizzas for you to choose from. You are welcome to take a slice or pass and consider the next hand-crafted pizza and its available slices to come around.

Now wait, we can hear you say, isn’t this just a pizza buffet under another name? Yes and no. Technically, you do pay one price and enjoy all of the pizza you want, but the selection of handcrafted pizzas here combined with their premium ingredients really takes this type of dining experience to the next level. In other words, it would be pretty insulting to compare Pizza Rio Wine & Bar to a certain pizza chain that’s known for its buffet offerings of pizzas beneath heat lamps.

Plus, there is something else that makes the dining experience at Pizza Rio a step above the rest. Here, you aren’t just ordering pizza when you sit down for a meal. Rather, a dining experience here equates to a unique five-course meal. That meal begins with a house-made Picanha and Yucca soup which is followed by a mixed greens salad. Once these are cleared and just as the specialty pizzas are about to be brought out, your server will also bring a plate of meatballs made by the chef and served with a specialty sauce. A selection of dessert pizzas round out the meal at the very end. Examples of that dessert pizza include Nutella and Strawberry on a lightly baked crust, a strong local favorite.

The last thing to note about Pizza Rio Wine & Bar is the last part of their name. This restaurant does have a full wine, beer, and liquor selection. This selection includes all of your popular domestic beers as well as Brazilian and other imported beers (they even have Brazilian soda drinks that can be served as they are or mixed with your favorite cocktail). On any given day, Pizza Rio Wine & Bar will also have its own specialty cocktails highlighted.

Insider Tips:
-Pizza Rio Wine & Bar looks and feels like a more high-end pizzeria that’s ideal for a romantic date or an otherwise upscale dining experience, and yet they are remarkably kid-friendly. Kids pricing is available on their menu and, best of all for parents, all kids three and under eat for free.
-Note that Pizza Rio Wine & Bar is styled as a buffet place and thus does not offer individual dining menus. That’s to say that you cannot go in and order whatever pizza you want for a price other than the buffet price. As of this writing, that price is $28.50. This is a fair price for what they are offering, but, because of this flat price, we don’t recommend going here if you’re not very hungry. Instead, consider Mellow Mushroom around the corner or the more casual Big Daddy’s Pizzeria a couple of miles north on Parkway.