Food & Drink

This new wood-fired pizza joint’s quirks make it good for laughs and tasty food

If laughter is the best medicine, and the stomach is the quickest way to the heart, then Pizza Hyena of Surfside Beach has cooked up a winning recipe. Having only opened its doors earlier in the summer, this wood-fired pizza joint is already on its way to becoming a local favorite.

Sitting in front of the Surfside Pier, the remodeled building seems like it’s meant to invoke the feeling of a cabin in the jungle. Tropical vegetation encloses the front and back patios, while stringed lights ensure visibility won’t be a problem. Even for customers approaching without knowing what the restaurant’s specialty is, the neat stacks of wood offer some hint.

Inside, the rustic atmosphere continues yet always feels clean and tidy, which is especially important considering the cozy size of the dining area. The bar serves both inside and outside guests, depending on weather, and offers local craft beers and creative cocktails.

When looking through the menu, diners will no doubt crack a smile at the names, if not offer a fitting cackle. The unique personality of Pizza Hyena is flawlessly accentuated here, but also the team’s dedication to excellence becomes even more apparent.

The food choices aren’t extensive because quality over quantity is more important to Pizza Hyena. The team does its best to utilize locally sourced ingredients while hand making much of everything else, from the dough to the sauce. As a love letter to the wild, the business uses as much recycled and compostable products as possible.

Pub grub can get the party started here, including wings and pimento cheese dip, although the Hyena Balls shouldn’t be missed. A combination of Kobe beef, lamb, and veal, these meaty creations are perfect as an appetizer or as a topping.

Visible from the dining area, the impressive wood-fired oven bakes the pies in a decent amount of time. All the pizzas are Neapolitan style and 10” which helps keep the cooking time down, and can easily be shared or guarded to be personally devoured.

These tasty combinations include the Clucked Up, with shredded barbecue chicken and sauce topped with red onions, or the Funny as Shiitake, piled up with, of course, the mushroom, sausage, fresh mozzarella, and arugula. Crusts can be upgraded to gluten-free cauliflower version for only $3 extra.

From the décor, to the funny and delicious food, to the smiling service, Pizza Hyena is off to a strong start, and it’s hard to imagine the hunt will be anything but successful. The character of this up and coming eatery is definitely what grabs the attention of its prey, but once guests sink their teeth into the wood-fired pizza and satisfy their appetite, they’ll be howling for more.

If you go

What: Pizza Hyena

Where: 13 South Ocean Blvd, Surfside Beach

Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily

Information: pizzahyena.com, 843-945-9025

Price: $5-12 starters, $8-14 entrees

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