From your local pizza house to the gourmet wood-fired pizza restaurant, the national chain to your kitchen, pizza is everywhere. With the elevation of the traditional pie, new ingredients are used as toppings that wouldn't have even found a place on menus a few years ago. Some traditional toppings still are the best, while other new toppings have entered the pizza world and stolen some of the spotlight. As an intern at a fast-casual custom pizza chain, I've certainly seen my fair share of unique toppings. Here's a list of the 10 best pizza toppings, ranked.

10. Arugula

Renee Chiu

Although this topping is slightly bitter, it adds a nice crisp contrast to the heavier nature of pizza. Fresh arugula sprinkled on a pizza pairs best with creamy sauces, like a white sauce, and a salty topping, like mushrooms or prosciutto.

9. Mushrooms

If cooked decadently, with garlic and butter, anyone will like mushrooms on their pizza. They provide an earthiness and richness that no other vegetable can, pairing well with fresh or caramelized red onions.

8. Pesto Chicken

Pesto dresses up the basic chicken breast and adds a ton of flavor without overwhelming the pizza. Use leftover rotisserie chicken, mix with pesto, and you have a perfect protein pizza topping.

7. Caramelized Onions

While normal red onions are delicious on pizza, caramelized ones take pizza to another level. Because the onions are slightly sweet, they pair well with earthy flavors, like mushrooms and swiss chard, and tangy flavors, like ricotta and fontina. 

6. Sun-dried Tomatoes

It's best to hide these bites of flavor underneath the cheese so they don't burn, but they're a delicious surprise in each bite. They have a richness unlike fresh tomatoes and add a rustic charm to pizza.

5. Roasted Corn

Best in the summer, but great year-round, roasted corn is an unexpected pizza topping. It is delicious with fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil in the warmer months or bacon and white sauce when you're looking for a heartier pizza.

4. Mama Lil's Peppers

These pickled peppers based out of Seattle have a bit of a kick, but it's tempered by some sweetness. Paired best with a thick red sauce, meatballs or spicy sausage, and dollops of ricotta. 

3. Goat Cheese

basil, cheese, pizza
Sasha Kran

Goat cheese is much more diverse than people think. It adds smoothness to savory toppings like bacon, a nice touch to a variety of toppings like roasted vegetables, and even pairs with fresh fruits like figs and pears. 

2. Fresh Basil

Basil adds a sweetness and freshness to the simplest of pies, like a classic Margherita made with only three ingredients: fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, and fresh basil. It pairs the best with fresh tomatoes, but basil can be added to any pizza for a pleasant finish.

1. Prosciutto 

This cured meat adds a delicate salty flavor without overwhelming the pizza like its fellow meat toppings, a topping some non-meat eaters may even enjoy. It pairs fantastically with a spicy honey or finished with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Whatever way you eat it, prosciutto wins the award of the best pizza topping.

From meats to cheese, with a garden of vegetables, this list has some unique and some classic pizza toppings. Next time you eat pizza out or make it on your own, make sure to try one of these 10 best pizza toppings.