There's Domino's and Papa John's, and then there's pie lovingly crafted by pizzaiolos who've dedicated hours upon hours to learning the art of pizza-making. These chefs obsess over details and push the boundaries to serve patrons mouthwatering meals that both honor and take pizza to new heights. They're creative and passionate, and we're so blessed that there are too many to mention. Don't come at us if you don't find your chosen pizzeria below—take a moment to feel gratitude for the abundance of ooey gooey cheese, balanced flavors, and satisfying crusts.
New York City is Italian American central and was once the king of pizza cities. But if blasphemous mumblings are anything to go by, the pizza at Razza in Jersey City beats anything you'll find in NYC. Dan Richer tops his pizzas with heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and hazelnuts from the Garden State, among other top-notch ingredients, and it's a 10/10 eating experience. The Margherita and the seasonal corn pies are delish.
Three of the pizzaiolos featured in Chef's Table: Pizza operate in the U.S., and the James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco is one of them. His eatery in Arizona is renowned and has inspired many a pizza chef. High-quality ingredients and attention to detail culminate in a pizza beloved by critics and the public. Think homemade mozzarella cheese, Sicilian oregano, and a perfect dough made from organic flour. The menu is short and sweet, and the limited seating capacity means you may have to camp outside the restaurant for four hours. But the Rosa is a religious experience, so what's a little time in the face of the divine?
This gem in Portland occupies rarified air. Sarah Minnick was featured on Netflix's Chef's Table: Pizza for her unconventional and gorgeous toppings from the city's gardens, the only millennial in the lineup. Minnick is an artist, and her organic gourmet pies are masterpieces. Lovely's Fifty Fifty is in the running for the best pizza place in the country so expect an hour-long wait time in the evenings. Lovely's specializes in ice cream, too, and we guarantee two thumbs up. Try the peach or the mushroom pizza.
There's no way the Big Apple wouldn't feature in a Best Pizzeria article. This eatery opened in 2022 in NYC's Lower East Side and skyrocketed to the top of the critic's list. It didn't just happen overnight, though. Chef Anthony Mangieri has been operating pizza places in New Jersey since 1996. There's an intimate ambiance, and the authentic Neapolitan pizzas have crusts with crispy exteriors, cloud-like insides, and a sweetish sauce. Follow it all up with some exceptional gelato.
Pizzeria Lola and the woman who helms it appeared in Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, as well as Chef's Table: Pizza. Ann Kim is a James Beard Award-winning chef who serves humble kimchi on pizza, and it's fabulous. The wood-fired pies at this Minneapolis restaurant include Korean BBQ pizza for the carnivores and a range of tasty vegetarian options like the chateau pie. The soft serve is also a treat.
Modernist Pizza is a three-volume exploration of all things pie-related. The authors, Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya are experts on the subject. They trekked to some of America's esteemed pizza cities, ate at 250 pizzerias, and deemed Portland, Oregon, the mightiest of them all, thanks to establishments like Bryan Spangler's unpretentious Apizza Scholls. There's a focus on fresh-as-can-be ingredients that burst with flavor, and the customer service is on point. Arcade games help you pass the time while you wait. The New York White, Paulie Gee, and Margherita are some of the favs.
Thin crusts not for you? Chicago deep-dish pizza doesn't get much better than the ones at the legendary family-owned franchise business, Lou Malnati's, open since 1971. You can expect tangy crushed plum tomatoes, unapologetic amounts of mozzarella, a sausage patty, and a thick, rewarding crust that gives your teeth something to sink into. Gluten-free pies are available, and the company ships pizza nationwide.
After years of serving average pies, LA has a growing reputation as an innovative pizza city. One place that will leave you wanting more is Pizzana in Brentwood. The chef Daniel Uditi is from Naples and knows how to marry the classic with the modern. The cacio e pepe is a must-try, and the decadent desserts here are worth the extra calories.
The burrata pizza special at Pupatella is heaven-sent and will be on your mind long after you've left this strip mall eatery in Virginia. The genuine Neapolitan pizzas here are a feast for the eyes and yummy, and you won't go wrong with a charred Margherita or a salami-laden Diavola. As a bonus, you can watch your pizza being made on a live TV feed and the wait times are relatively short.
This is a mom-and-pop store with loads of history where you can get greasy value-for-money pies without insane wait times. The Sicilian-style pizza is flavorful, and room-temperature slices go down well. There are Italian cookies and cannolis on sale, too, which will probably put a huge smile on your face.
Another pretty new pandemic-era pizza place, this to-go spot, is making waves in Miami. David Foulqiuer serves up Brooklyn-style and thick cheeseless Sicilian pies with a spicy, peppery sauce and great texture. The wild shroom pizza is a taste sensation, and the hot honey pepperoni is another highlight. You should order some garlic knots too.
Las Vegas can be overwhelming with its indulgent OTT buffets. Keep it simple; stick to large portions of pizza, and you'll thank us. Vincent Rotolo's pizzeria in the Art District caters to multiple pizza style preferences. If you're keen on Detroit's famous take on the pie, the caramelized cheese crust here will transport you. The gluten-free pizza is particularly impressive compared to other iterations elsewhere.
If you're not a pizza aficionado, you might not know that New Haven is a longstanding pizza mecca built for pie cravings. But the city is revered among fundis and has its own term for pies. Locals call it apizza, pronounced "ah-beetz." The oblong pizzas have a chewy crust, and there's less tomato sauce and cheese to contend with. Pepe's white clam pizza is simple but so, so good—you have to try it!
Wisconsin brick cheese is a thing of beauty, and at this nostalgic spot, the cheese goes right to the edge of the pan. The Detroit-style squares here are greasy but flavorsome and oh-so-filling—the leftovers will give you something to look forward to during lunch the next day. There's also deep-dish pizza if you lean more toward Illinois than Michigan.
Come for the pie, and stay for the Pizza Museum at this casual, family-friendly Philly institution. The seasonal menu has artisanal pizzas with exciting ingredients like shrimp, pureed potato, and corn, and they're not all tomato-based. The affordable pricetags deserve mention, and you won't go without food if you're a vegan or lactose-intolerant.
When the musicians and cowboy boot-donning folks need to fuel up, Folk coaxes some across the river. Philip Krajeck of Rolf and Daughters makes pizzas that aren't boring. The optimally-fermented dough is baked to perfection and topped with intriguing ingredients like lemon, fennel pollen, and bonito.
The Neapolitan pies at this hip pizza restaurant are good-looking and taste as good as they look. Flavor profiles are exciting if you're in the mood for something a bit different in addition to the tried and tested. Try the harissa pizza with salsa verde and eggplant.
Thanks to a soldier who tried to recreate pizza he saw in Italy, Ohio Valley serves some unique pizza that could throw you for a loop if you're not expecting it. DiCarlo's serves Ohio Valley pizza across its franchise. It's foccacia-like, but that's not what perplexes newbies—the raw toppings and semi-melted cheese do that, and the locals are keen after years of exposure. It could grow on you. Ohio also dishes up fruit pies.
Pizza is so versatile that, of course, salmon pizza in Alaska makes total sense. Capri Pizza stands out for being halal. Raheel Chaudry learned how to make pizza at a Swedish Italian restaurant, and his salmon pie is topped with fish sauce, red onion, peppers, tomatoes, and mozzarella for a moreish meal. Capri Pizza is definitely a superior choice to local pizza chains.
In Greenville, Delaware, and hungry for pizza? Pizza by Elizabeths is the place for you. The pies are named after various well-known Lizzies and the homage to John the Baptist's mom, Saint Elizabeth, is notable. Sweet blue crabmeat in an artichoke and Parmesan sauce dots the pie, and the crust is thin, crisp, and chewy.
Varasano's sourdough thin-crust pizzas are beloved by Atlantans. The herbs are grown in-house, and the pies feel true to Italy, which is a shock because the prices are also easy to digest. Sample the Nana pizza with red peppers—it will delight your tastebuds. There's a nice atmosphere, but parking can be a bit of a schlep.
Quad City pizza has malt in the dough, so it's nuttier and not as blonde as other pizza bases. This regional style skips a liberal application of tomato sauce and layers fennel sausage and mozzarella on top before baking and cutting the pizza into 14 strips with scissors.
Rhode Island also has a distinct style of pizza. You'll struggle to find so-called "bakery pizza" outside the Ocean State. The pizza is also known as "red strips" because it's made up of just dough, tomato sauce, and olive oil. You'll find a quintessential example at D. Palmieri's.
No American pizza list would be complete without including a purveyor of St. Louis-style pizza. The unleavened cracker-like crust makes this pizza variety very nacho-like. Instead of Mozzarella, processed Provel blankets the whole concoction. Locals love eating St. Louis pizza at Imo's, and you might too.
Chef John Hall learned the ropes in New York before making his way down South to Alabama. This stylish pizzeria is situated in a former post office, and the pizza is worth writing home about, with a crispy crust and ingredients sourced for their freshness.