R.I.P.—Nashville’s DaVinci’s Gourmet Pizza

DaVinci's Pizza - RESIZE

It embarrasses the Snob to admit that there was a time in his life when he was not involved in serious pizza eating.  This period of lost opportunity existed during my vegan years when my family and I stopped eating all meat and dairy. The dairy part eventually came to an end when I realized that pizza and ice cream were just too good to give up. Fowl and fish later returned to my diet, but unless you like weird toppings, that has nothing to do with pizza.

During these desperate years, I still ate a lot of pizza using soy cheese as an alternative to good old mootz.  The family and I would make our own homemade pies with readymade crusts for weekend movies nights. Back in these days before Whole Foods took over and standardized their menu, master chef, “Bawb,” at the old Wild Oats in Green Hills made a killer soy cheese slice. But, the real go-to place for a great soy cheese pie was the late DaVinci’s Gourmet Pizza.

Running from 1986 through 2010, they resided in an old converted house in Midtown. DaVinci’s pie was really not the true classic style, and they were more known for their topping-laden gourmet pies. They used excellent ingredients, however, and cooked a nice thin and tasty pie. They would even let us bring our own soy cheese if they had run out! In later years, I got to try their real cheese pizza, and it was a tasty treat.

Sadly, some things happened, and they are not with us anymore. The Nashville Scene reported on DaVinci’s demise here.

Here are a few old photos of the kids with some DaVinci’s pies out on their front patio. Back then, our toppings of choice were red peppers, black olives and onions. Oh, how things change!


Colin - RESIZE


DaVinci’s Gourmet Pizza
1812 Hayes
(off West End Avenue between 18th and 19th)
Nashville, TN 37203



  1. drew claiborne · · Reply

    It was nice to see this I remember making your pizzas,I worked at DaVincis for 12 years and was the kitchen manager there for the last 7.

  2. Sure wish they were still around – a classic part of Nashville’s history.

  3. drew claiborne · · Reply

    Absolutely, I m actually searching for funding to get it started back up.

  4. Wish you the best.

  5. Pam Feller · · Reply

    drew did anyone ever reopen daVinci’s? We were just talking about them? Who was the owner?

  6. Never reopened and I do not know the owner. Look at the previous comments from the former cook.

  7. Tom Pelosi · · Reply

    My name is Tom Pelosi. I am the original creator of the Original DaVincis Gorment Pizza 1985-86. I wrote the menu, designed the kitchen and was head chef, the rest is history. I sold the restaurant 12 years later. That’s when some changes took place.

    My Wife & I ran DaVincis with our amazing staff of 33 loyal “DaVincites”, with our young daughters Monica & Rose Aline.
    Many of our nights we were so popular our loyal customers would wait 2 hours to be seated or get a “signature” pie. And what I often heard was well worth the wait.

    What an amazing clientele. From young to old, music stars to homeless.

    Garth Brooks, Allen Jackson, Dove Music awards, are a few of the folks, “ God Bless the boys that make the noise on 16th ave” that we’re regulars.

    Thank you Nashville for a GREAT RUN !!

    Tom Pelosi

    1. Thanks so much for commenting. I’ve only lived here for 22 years but there is sure a lot of my “old Nashville” that I miss and DaVinci’s is one of them. See those pictures of my young boys there brings back some great memories. Thanks again.

  8. Chad May · · Reply

    Tom! This is Chad May, and I have such fond memories of my time working with you and Maureen. I tried to find Vaz…. I’ll send you an email. My boys remind me “You told us that already” whenever I tell them about what a great place DaVinci’s was. I was hired as part of the crew that helped the opening, and I stayed for maybe 6 months before moving on to some other work. You two were so dedicated, and took a tremendous chance on Nashville and I don’t think your pizza success has even been matched. Or, maybe it was just too unique to be compared 🙂 . Anyway…. look for my email or Facebook as I’m the only Chad May in Nashville. Peace….

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