There’s no arguing that pizza is one of the most delicious and popular foods in America. But which city serves the absolute best? We set out to investigate, and based on our annual ranking of America’s best pizza, we’ve come to the conclusion that while one city stands apart from the pack, many others aren’t far behind.
There are dozens of different pizza styles to be found across the country. Some harken back to the original way of making pizza in Naples (the classic Neapolitan style), but most are the products of the cities in which they can be found. New York, Detroit, St. Louis, New Haven, and of course Chicago all have their own trademark pizza styles, and other styles, including bar pie, grandma, and Sicilian-style, are popular from coast to coast.
What makes the perfect pie? Considering the varied pizza styles, that’s a loaded question. Suffice it to say, no matter your pizza denomination, the following is true about the ideal pie: a nuanced sauce, neither too sweet nor salty; quality, well-distributed cheese; quality and well-paired toppings; a flavorful, savory crust; and a judicious, well-balanced, and pleasing ratio of sauce, cheese, toppings, and crust that maintains a structural integrity no matter the style.
To name the best cities in America for pizza, we consulted our fourth-annual ranking of the 101 Best Pizzas in America, which started with 800 pizzerias from every corner of the country. These pizzerias were assembled into a survey which was then taken by culinary authorities as diverse asBizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern, Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila, food writer John Mariani, and chefs Elizabeth Falkner and Wylie Dufresne. Read on to learn which nine cities are home to the highest amount of pizzerias on the list
The Portland dining scene is centered on local and sustainable fare, which also happens to make for some spectacular pizza. Examples can be found at restaurants including Ken’s Artisan Pizza (pictured) and Apizza Scholls.
If you think the pizza scene in Washington revolves around nothing more than those comically large “jumbo slices,” think again. While those homespun slice joints are actually serving some very good pizza for the most part, you can find truly spectacular pizzas at restaurants including 2Amy’s (pictured),Pete’s, Pizzeria Paradiso, and Matchbox.
San Francisco, California
The classic Neapolitan style of pizza has taken root in San Francisco in a big way, with restaurants including Flour + Water, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Una Pizza Napoletana, and Pizzeria Delfina (pictured) serving some of the finest examples you’ll find outside of Naples.
Boston’s Little Italy is one of America’s most renowned, and the Italian community who’s put down roots in the city have opened some spectacular pizzerias including Santarpio’s,Galleria Umberto (pictured), Regina Pizzeria, Coppa, and Ernesto’s.
New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is a small city, but it’s renowned for its unique, slightly oblong style of thin-crust pizza, with a chewy texture and slight char. The best interpretations of this pizza style can be found at Ernie’s, Bru Room at BAR,Zuppardi’s (technically in West Haven), Modern Apizza, Sally’s Apizza, and of course Frank Pepe (pictured), which was named America’s top pizzeria in our ranking.
The dining scene in Philly continues to get better and better, and they have some truly great pizza to show for it, to be found at Lorenzo’s and Sons, Tacconelli’s, Osteria,Beddia, Pizzeria Vetri (pictured), and Tony’s Place.
Los Angeles, California
Great food of nearly every persuasion can be found in Los Angeles, and it’s certainly no slouch in the pizza department. Noted restaurants serving spectacular pizza in LA include Pizzeria Mozza, Gjelina, Barone’s,Sotto, and 800 Degrees (pictured).
While Chicago may be renowned for its signature deep-dish style pizza, there’s also no shortage of traditional thin-crust pizza to be found there, making it a certified double threat. If you’re looking for a good representation of true Chicago pizza, we suggest you visit Piece, the original Pizzeria Uno, Lou Malnati’s,Geno’s East, Pequod’s (pictured), and Coalfire Pizza.
New York, New York
America’s best city for pizza is, and always has been, New York. Not only can you find spot-on versions of just about every pizza style known to man there, every neighborhood is home to a seemingly countless number of corner pizzerias, slinging those classic New York slices that are often copied elsewhere but never perfectly replicated. The city’s top pizzerias include Di Fara, Roberta’s (pictured), Totonno’s, Paulie Gee’s, Grimaldi’s, and Lucali in Brooklyn; Joe’s, Patsy’s,Co., Motorino, and Lombardi’s in Manhattan; Louie and Ernie’s in The Bronx; Amore in Queens; and Denino’s on Staten Island. While you don’t need to go to New York to find good pizza, there’s a higher concentration of truly great pizzerias in New York than in any other American city.