Big Ed’s, a popular pizza restaurant in Oak Ridge, has been recognized as one of America’s 51 great pizza parlors.

pizza-big-edBig Ed’s, a popular pizza restaurant in Oak Ridge, has been recognized as one of America’s 51 great pizza parlors.

Big Ed’s Pizza features a dimly lit-but-friendly dining room, and it is described as “a no-frills kind of place” on a USA TODAY travel list of great pizza parlors.

“You watch staffers toss the dough high in the air and cut a steaming pie with a sharp pair of scissors, and then you eat a slice on a small paper plate with a plastic fork,” the list states.

“While waiting for your pizza to bake, walk around and enjoy what Big Ed’s has collected from autographed sports memorabilia to photos of the former Miss Tennessees.”

USA TODAY asked local experts to name one great pizza parlor in each state and the District of Columbia. Big Ed’s was recommended by Nicky Reynolds of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The late Edward Benjamin Neusel opened Big Ed’s in Jackson Square in January 1970.

“The restaurant had a long list of steady patrons, including many who left the area but who always included a trip to Big Ed’s on their way home,” according to an article on Neusel’s passing published several years ago in The Oak Ridger.

“His trademark T-shirts, which he frequently gave away, were spotted in locations across the country.”

A destination even for international guests, Big Ed’s is now owned by Neusel’s son, David. The restaurant is known for its tradition of hiring teenagers.

The list of 51 great pizza parlors is available at

Source: The Oak Ridger
Photo: USA Today