Karyn Wofford is a freelance writer in the fields of travel, eco-tourism, and wellness. She’s an avid traveler and Georgia native. She grew up with a passion for travel, exploring everything from the mountains to the ocean, and continues to find new and unique things to do in the places she travels.
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K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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Deep dish or New York style? Classic marinara or olive oil and garlic? Cheese or supreme? What defines a truly perfect pizza? It just depends on what you are looking for. We’ve tracked down the top-rated pizza joints in pizza-loving cities across the United States, and while not all the same style, you better bet you can get one killer slice of pie at these classic favorites. Pizza has become a beloved adopted favorite amongst Americans, so if you are in town, drop in for a taste of some of the best available.
New York is undoubtedly an amazing place to eat cheesy pie, but let’s be honest, the selection of great places to do this is overwhelming. Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street has stuck around since the 1970s and is a community staple, so it’s a solid choice that’s light on the wallet too. Nothing beats the simplicity of a generous New York-style cheese slice with just the right amount of sauce. Authentically cooked in a brick oven, the joint and the pizza are no fuss and totally tasty.
L&B in Brooklyn, New York has a refreshing take on the classic dish if you’re looking to shake things up a bit. The sauce goes on top of the cheese, totally jumbling the expected textures of pizza while preserving a phenomenal flavor.
Pequod’s Pizza is for all you deep-dish lovers out there, and naturally, it’s in Chicago. Cheese, sauce, and a caramelized crust fill the cast iron dish in which all “pan” pizzas come, and it’s something you’ll likely have to enjoy with a knife and fork. Deep-dish pizzas are indulgently amazing, and at Pequod’s, you’ll be tasting some of the very best. Appetizers and thin-crust pizza are well received at this cozy place, but truly, a deep-dish pizza with pepperoni is where it’s at.
Perhaps one day you’ll be browsing around Beverly Hills—don’t leave without grabbing a slice of thin-crust pepperoni from Mulberry Street Pizzeria. Laid back and surprisingly affordable, they cook up more New York-style variations while also having the best meatballs, which customers speak of regularly. You might even see a celeb or two munching on their favorite comfort food.
Portland, Oregon has its fair share of eclectic eateries, so you bet they have a selection of spot-on pizza places too. Ken’s Artisan Pizza fuses true Italian-style, wood-fired pizza with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The combinations are sometimes unexpected but quite refreshing. The Brooklyn features tomato sauce, mozzarella, Fra’Mani capicollo, pickled jalapeno, and that unexpected factor, a touch of honey. Perfection. Don’t miss out on the Affogato for dessert, which is a local cup of coffee topped with brown sugar ice cream.
Now to the other Portland on the East Coast, where you’ll find Slab, a Sicilian-style eatery with both pizza and street food. The dough is mixed by hand and cultivated “old world” style to reflect its true origins. Your typical slice comes with tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, and oregano, but you have the option for other toppings like picante provolone and sausage. Not deep dish nor thin crust, classic slab pizza is excellently in the middle.
A Texas pun would be too easy, so we will just say they have some of the biggest pies around at Big Lou’s in San Antonio. Not just a novelty, the place has some pretty cool flavor combos like barbecue with pickles. But having a pizza that engulfs the table and produces over foot long slices is pretty much everyone’s dream, right?
Atlanta has some pretty impressive pizza restaurants. Antico in Atlanta is a small, casual pizzeria serving super authentic Italian pizzas. Cooked in a wood-burning oven, the lovely, chewy crust has those delicate, browned dough bubbles that give the crust a lot more flavor. Several variations are on the menu, such as ones filled with spicy cured meats or veggies, but the Lasagna pizza, with vibrant crumbles of seasoned meat and ricotta cheese is a true gem unique to Antico. Topping substitutions aren’t really a thing here, and when you try a slice of any well-balanced pie, you’ll completely understand why.
Picco in Boston takes two whole days to prep the crust for the brick oven. The dough is fermented, which adds to its taste. Flambe sauteed onions, shallots, garlic, creme fraiche, bacon, and gruyere come atop the Alsatian, which may be the most popular pick at Picco. From the pizza to the salads, every dish is a beautiful work of art just popping with color and artisan ingredients. Even the ice cream is homemade.
Serving up downright delicious pizza, Razza Pizza Artigianale is based in Jersey City, across from City Hall. This award-winning joint competes with the best of the best in New York City, standing out from the crowd with its attention to detail and pizza with a flavorful crumb and enticing toppings. This charming wood-fired pizza spot has a menu with sourced ingredients, from its heirloom tomatoes and wild yeast and flour for the dough to the mozzarella and ricotta.
Detroit-style pizza can be enjoyed at Macomb, Michigan’s Cloverleaf Pizza, which was inspired in the 1940s. Pies are more in the shape of giant rectangles, and the sauce and cheese trade places. It’s highly recommended to top your pie with pepperoni.
Del Popolo is just one example of San Francisco’s Neapolitan pizza scene, and the whole thing started in a striking glass-enclosed freight container turned food truck. Now with a permanent store, they roll out hand-stretched, wood-fired pizzas with real Italian ingredients. Pair with antipasti or a glass of red wine.
Proof that Korean flavors flawlessly mesh with pizza, Minneapolis‘ Pizzeria Lola serves up combos like the Lady Zaza with Italian red sauce, kimchi, Korean sausage, serrano peppers, scallions, sesame, and soy-chili glaze, along with the Korean BBQ with beef short ribs, mozzarella, scallions, arugula, sesame, and soy-chili vinaigrette. Plenty of other interesting pies with odes to destinations like Boise and Hawaii reside on the elevated menu. Most pizzas can be made gluten-free!
At Rico’s Pizza Gulfgate, they say the secret is in the sauce, using an old-school Italian recipe combined with the freshest possible tomatoes and a perfect blend of spices to make what many say is the best New York-style pizza in Florida. The crust is hand-tossed, and you can order it by the slice or a whole pizza. With options for vegans and those who are gluten-free, few will be disappointed here with the love that goes into these pies obvious with every bite.
While Philadelphia may best be known for the Philly steak sandwich, soon after Pizzeria Bedia arrived, people were lining up for hours just to try Joe Beddia’s handmade pizzas, which couldn’t be ordered online or over the phone. After it was named the very best pizza in America by Bon Appetit, with Andrew Knowlton comparing it to the results of Japan’s finest sushi chefs, it became a bit too well known, leading to chef burnout. Fortunately for pizza lovers, it was revived, hidden in a back alley in the Fishtown neighborhood, a few blocks from the original spot. While long lines may be a thing of the past, a delicious slice here still ranks among the country/s best.
Austin is beloved for its BBQ, with plenty of controversy about who makes the best, but there is no debate when it comes to pizza. The expertly prepared Neopolitan pies at Bufalina Due, baked in a Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven, frequently earn rave reviews from diners and critics. They can be paired with natural wine and enjoyed both indoors and out. No matter how you indulge, you’re sure to be impressed with the complex flavors that are said to elevate a guilty pleasure to fine dining fare.
Dino‘s serves up New Jersey–style round and square pies created by Brandon Petit, who is said to have missed the Jersey pies of his youth. He decided to create a pizza joint from his memories, all red-lamped and moody, paying homage to the pizza taverns he fondly remembers. Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, locally sourced toppings, A Sicilian-style crust with caramelized cheese, and a zesty red sauce, best enjoyed with a classic northern Italian Negroni on tap, is an experience that’s sure to bring you back again and again.
A South Side Chicago institution, Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria goes way back as a family-owned business with roots in Sicily. Vito and Mary Barraco opened their first tavern a century ago and in 1946, with the help of Nick’s mom, the soon-to-be-famous establishment was birthed here at the 84th and Pulaski location. They say it’s the simple, consistent process that makes it a standout as the king of tavern-style pizza. The rare for Chicago crispy, well-done thin crust that may be blasphemy here, but that hasn’t stopped its passionate fans you’ll see sitting in the no-frills dining room indulging in cheese sticks with a pitcher of beer while waiting for the star attraction.
Pizzeria Mozza has set the standard in L.A. with just about every other pizza in the city compared to it. The crusts are full of air bubbles making every bite a chewy delight, topped with unique ingredients like squash blossoms and burrata, while meat lovers can dig into rich offerings with pancetta, pork and veal. While it might not be easy, you’ll want to save room for the sweet and creamy Italian butterscotch budino, one of the best desserts you’ve probably ever tried.
If you think it’s impossible for a small town in the U.S. to best even Italy’s finest pizza, think again. Brown Dog Pizza managed to win First Place at the 2015 Pizza World Championships in Parma, Italy. A popular local hangout, it offers a pub-style atmosphere where families can be fed for less than the cost of a lift ticket. You can load up your pie with unique toppings like broccoli or prosciutto di Parma, but no matter what your pick, you’re sure to be pleased. Even those who are gluten-free won’t be disappointed. A wide range of styles is on offer, from Detroit square to Sicilian, classic and thin crust.