Top Pizza in the US
Pizza is a ubiquitous favorite. Cheese, tomato sauce, dough, what’s not to like? But people have very strong opinions about what constitutes the BEST pizza. It’s an argument that will probably never be settled. The classic case is New York versus Chicago. Neither side will ever give an inch. But let’s take a step back to simply honor the greatness that is pizza. Whether you’re a fan of deep dish or thin crust, Sicilian or Neapolitan, toppings or a purist, everyone can appreciate a quality slice of pizza pie and here are some of the best places in the country to get it.
1. Di Fara (Brooklyn, NY)
Operating since 1964, the pizza at this Brooklyn institution is still handmade Wednesday through Saturday by the 72-year-old original owner. The pizzas come in regular or square sizes or by the slice. The plum tomato sauce is made fresh daily. The line for a pie goes out the door and the prices are a bit steep, but Di Fara has consistently rated the #1 pizza in New York by Zagat for the past 8 years. And if you know New York pizza, that is saying something.
2. Pizano’s (Chicago, IL)
Chicago is all about deep dish. It’s what separates the second city from the other pizza mecca in the US: New York City. Pizano’s comes from the son of the Pizzeria Uno founder, a Chicago deep dish institution. Pizano’s serves both classic deep dish and thin crust. The Rudy’s Special comes with mozzarella cheese, sausage, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers and requires at least 30 minutes to cook through but is well worth the wait. The restaurant also has a full service Italian menu, but why get calamari when you can have a world famous pizza pie.
3. Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix, AZ)
The owner is a New York City transplant who opened his own place 20 years ago, and it still has a line out the door every day. The restaurant has great antipastos and salads and plenty of topping choices for its pizza, but you can do no better than the classic Marinara made with organic flour and fresh, handmade mozzarella and baked in a wood-fired oven.
4. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven, CT)
This New Haven institution has been in business since 1925. It has now opened more locations around Connecticut, but nothing beats the original. Baked in coal-fired ovens, the menu offers a selection of toppings, but you really only have two choices: Frank Pepe’s Original Tomato Pie or the specialty White Clam Pizza.
5. Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles, CA)
The combo of master Italian chefs and bakers, the Pizzeria Mozza serves up 20 different kinds of pies, ranging from classic tomato with mozzarella and fontina to the more inventive squash blossoms, tomato, and burrata. The pizzas are Neapolitan style, and the owners even opened up Mozza2Go, so you can order ahead a get your pizza on the run to avoid a wait.
6. Al Forno (Providence, RI)
Home of the original grilled pizza, today Al Forno still offers its classic grilled Margherita with homemade Pomodoro, fresh herbs, two kinds of cheese, and olive oil, as well as wood-oven pizza and full sit down Italian menu.
7. Flour + Water (San Francisco, CA)
A new addition to the world of pizza, this housemade pasta shop serves up thin crust pizza baked in an 800-degree wood-fired oven imported from Italy. The ingredients are seasonal so toppings will change, but their Margherita is a staple.
8. Gino's East (Chicago, IL)
Of course a second Chicago deep dish spot had to make the list. Gino’s East has been around for 50 years. The order is crust, toppings, cheese, sauce, and don’t you forget it. The place looks a bit joint-y with customer’s names graffitied onto the walls, but that’s all part of the ambiance. And the pizza speaks for itself.
9. Motorino (New York, NY)
Motorino took over the space of another classic pizza palace in the East Village and has since expanded abroad. The pies range from classic Margherita to stracciatella to cherrystone clam to house favorite brussel sprout pizza.
10. Sally’s Apizza (New Haven, CT)
Sometimes considered to be the ugly cousin to Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s Apizza was opened by Frank’s nephew in the 1930s and has since been forced to earn its keep in living up to the original. Many argue that the paper-thin crust pizza at Sally’s topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese is better than Frank Pepe’s Original.