New York City: Roberta’s
Picking the best pizza in New York is like choosing the most-beautiful beach in the world — it’s impossible. The city’s pizza offerings range from dollar slices to meticulously wood-fired Neapolitans, with a pie for every occasion. Dive into our dedicated guide or just scout out a table at Roberta’s in Bushwick. The New York-Neapolitan hybrid-style pies creatively combine local ingredients for unique and comparably affordable pies like the chile oil-topped Famous Original, with tomato sauce, mozzarella and caciocavallo cheese.
Los Angeles: Pizzeria Mozza
Pizzeria Mozza is unlike any other pizza joint. Chef Nancy Silverton runs the kitchen using the same techniques that made her La Brea Bakery world-renowned, creating a crust that’s the perfect crisp, barely charred vessel for pies with creative toppings like squash blossoms. For those that feel like splurging, pizzas can be topped with black truffles, and the wine cellar has no ceiling. For a full meal, start with a chopped salad and finish with a silky butterscotch budino.
Chicago pizza is the stuff of legend and although Gino’s East’s reputation might have spread nationally with franchised locations, it doesn’t come more authentic and storied than Pequod’s. The Pequod’s legend began in 1970 in Morton Grove, Illinois, with a pan-style caramelized crust pizza. They added a thin crust in 1986, and although a fire at their Chicago location in 2006 set the business back five months, they rebuilt updating the interior, but keeping a neighborhood atmosphere that fits right in with their Lincoln Park community. And that pizza? It’s not as deep as some Chi pies, but what it lacks in depth it makes up in the crust, perfectly crisp with an almost-burnt exterior. And they don’t skimp on the cheese — there’s way too much of it, it’s so stringy that it’s almost problematic, but also, perfect.
Houston: Pi Pizza
Houston is the most-diverse city in the country, so it only makes sense that their best pizzeria would think beyond just Italian-American classics. What began as a food truck evolved into an ’80s rock and roll neighborhood joint with skate boards hanging from the wall and some of the most-innovative pies in the Lone Star State. Toppings like bacon and mac and cheese aren’t all that unique, but who else puts wild Texas venison sausage on pizza? And a soft egg isn’t unusual for Neapolitan joints, but you’ll never see them scrambled, especially alongside breakfast sausage, potatoes, cheddar cheese, and cream gravy in their AM/PM, proof you don’t need it to be on a bagel to eat pizza anytime.
Philadelphia: Square Pie
Tucked just across the river from New Jersey, Philadelphia has many great pies, but none are quite as distinctive as the ones at Square Pie. Chef-Owner Gene Giuffi, a native Brooklynite who’s long called Philadelphia home, prepares namesake square pan pizzas with crisp edges and legions of fans. The plain pie’s always a winner, but the house specialties are clever, including porchetta with garlic, spinach, provolone and cream.
Phoenix: Pizzeria Bianco
Chris Bianco wrote the book on pizza. Well, one of them. Bianco: Pizza, Pasta and Other Food I Like was a huge hit, drawing an invite to Jimmy Kimmel’s show, where Bianco taught Aziz Ansari the fine art of wood-fired pizza. He launched his first operation 30 years ago out of an old corner grocery store and has since expanded to two pizzerias and three other restaurant concepts. The perfection of his margherita earned him a James Beard Foundation Award back in 2003, but he’s also pushing the bar with innovative combinations like the Rosa, with Parmigiano Reggiano, Arizona pistachios, onions and rosemary.
San Antonio: Dough Pizzeria Napoletana
Fresh mozzarella made daily, an authentic wood-burning oven from Italy and seasonal pies crafted by a chef with a Culinary Institute of America pedigree all help make Dough stand out in the booming San Antonio restaurant scene. Founded with just 10 employees in 2007, the restaurant now has over a decade under its belt in a space nearly three times the size of the original, plus a new location in Plano. They boast the best all-Italian wine list in the city, with crisp southern whites making an excellent pairing for the spring pie, with spicy sausage, leeks, kale, roasted mushrooms, creamy fontina and house-pulled mozz.
San Diego: Blind Lady Ale House
San Diego is an oasis for beer lovers, and nothing goes better with a pint than a slice. Blind Ladyexcels at both. One of their founders has a degree in brewing science, another is certified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, and the third, well, he’s an artist who did an album cover for Blind 182 (and has also studied beer for 20 years). Since they are a brew-pub, there must be bar snacks (Belgian frites, spicy beer nuts), but the pizza is king, from the classic margherita to more experimental options like the house chorizo with poblano chiles, fontina, epazote, and cotija (soyrizo swaps available upon request).
Dallas: Cane Rosso
This locally beloved pizza fired its way into locals’ hearts with just 90 seconds and 900 degrees. Also, house-made burrata and a spinach-artichoke dip in a bread bowl named in honor of former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. But mostly, this place is about the pizza. The Neapolitan recipes were envisioned by owner Jay Jerrior, who fell in love with pizza on his honeymoon to Italy (Don’t tell his wife!), then trained under master pizzaiolos and started a slice catering business. It was so successful, it launched a brick-and-mortar space in Dallas’s hip Deep Ellum neighborhood, eventually expanding to six locations in the Dallas area (plus outposts in Houston, Austin and Fort Worth).
Austin: Via 313
Between classic New York-style (Home Slice) and Neapolitan (Bufalina), Austin has two of the main pizza bases covered, but the most-craved of them all is Via 313, a gluttonous Midwestern Detroit-style alternate. The four-slice square pies aren’t quite Windy City-style casseroles, but three are enough to destroy the biggest appetites (finish all 4 and get ready for a nap). Every pizza has a perfect pillowy crust with just a hint of cheesy caramelization on the outside. And since the only thing better than pepperoni is more pepperoni, the Detroiter has you covered with two styles, one over the cheese and one hiding underneath.
Mesa, Arizona: Venezia’s Pizza
Ever wonder what kind of pizza Walter White threw on his roof during Breaking Bad? It came from Arizona (where the show was filmed), but more specifically Venezia’s, a family-friendly joint that’s consistently voted Best in the Valley. For the best deal go with the New York-style slice of the day (you can’t go wrong with the spicy, meaty Italian Stallion on Monday and Wednesday), but aside from the classic big slices they also experiment with a dish designed specifically for the carb-averse and gluten free: zero crust pizza bowls.
New Orleans: Pizza Delicious
Started by a pair of New Yorkers, these phenomenal pies were actually born at a Sunday night alleyway pop-up. They became so successful that they sold 100 pizzas every week until opening their proper restaurant in 2012. Legit Italian meats like prosciutto, speck and pancetta are stand-out toppings, but in addition to serving authentic classics, the duo is not afraid to go wild with a combination of sriracha and pineapple. Bonus points for their homemade cookies.
Washington, D.C.: Timber Pizza
Timber Pizza Co. wouldn’t exist without farmers’ markets. First, their local-only approach to ingredients relies heavily on D.C.-area purveyors. Second, they actually got their start serving their “Neapolitan-ish” pies out of a 1967 Chevy C10 at those very same markets. Working with farmers led to unique creations like the Norman, a white pie topped with nectarines, jalapenos, bacon, spicy jam and cilantro. Their unique pizzas earned them such a following that it only took two years for them to graduate to a brick-and-mortar operation, where ovens don’t just burn during lunch and dinner: they also serve wood-fired breakfast biscuits and bagels.
San Jose, California: A Slice of NY
When the owner of A Slice of NY couldn’t find a decent piece of pizza in San Jose, he took matters into his own hands and went back to his childhood pizza shop in Manhattan to learn the secrets of a perfect New York City pie. He doesn’t import NYC water, but otherwise his resulting pie is as close as it gets. Pepperoni is the most-popular and classic cheese is excellent, but they’re the only place in the world to find the ASONY Margarita, their own spin on the Italian classic which includes a garlic and olive oil base, pureed Italian plum tomatoes, basil, garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil. The pies taste amazing, but ASONY also prides themselves on treating their employees right: As of July 2017, they became the first South Bay-area worker-owned cooperative.
The secret of Detroit-style pizza is out and although it doesn’t get the love of New York or Chicago, the Motor City’s signature style deserves just as much attention. Buddy’s is the innovator, selling square pies since 1946. The city’s working-class character is built into the pie — each is cooked in a steel pan that was originally used to hold nuts and bolts at manufacturing plants, resulting in a pizza that resembles thicker Sicilian-style pies. Their pride and joy is the Detroiter, which blends fontinella, Wisconsin brick and Parmesan cheeses with tomato-basil sauce, pepperoni and Buddy’s special Sicilian spice blend. And although Buddy’s is as old-school as it gets, they’re not afraid to change with the times, offering both vegan and gluten-free pizzas that are endorsed by the Tri-City Celiac Support Group.
Atlanta: Amalfi Pizza
You know a pizzeria means business when its ovens must be installed via crane. It took a serious crew to get Amalfi Pizza’s two 6000-pound wood-burning ovens into the second-story restaurant, but all that effort would be a waste if they didn’t know how to use them. So the operating partners staged at a pair of legendary Napoli pizzerias to perfect their craft. The pies are traditional, sometimes to the point of obscurity, like with their Carnavale pizza formed in the shape of a star with a ricotta-stuffed crust. It might sound like something dreamed up for Instagram, but it’s actually a special occasion pie served in Italy during Easter.
Jockamo’s most-popular pie celebrates local native son Kurt Vonnegut. Named for his novel Slaughterhouse Five, it has everything a meat-lover could want: pepperoni, sausage, ham, sliced beef and bacon. The family-friendly pizzeria isn’t just for hardcore carnivores: They cater to all tastes, including international crowds with the Bollywood (spicy masala sauce), and Louisiana ex-pats with the Creole (crawfish and etouffee sauce), all curated with the care of an owner who spent 16 years training in another local pizzeria before breaking out on his own.
Seattle: Serious Pie
Sometimes we forget that every pizza maker is actually a baker. Serious Pie started from that mentality, growing out of revered local chef Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Bakery. Take an Applewood-fired stone-encased oven, plus that baking mindset and the result is a lightly textured pie with just the proper char, topped with imported and well-chosen ingredients like buffalo mozzarella and sweet fennel sausage. Plus, their dedication to meat, cheese and bread extends beyond just pizza to excellent charcuterie boards.
Denver: Hops & Pie
Colorado has an incredible number of craft beer bars, but only one serves a pizza topped with fried chicken and waffles. Hops & Pie laughs at mere pepperoni pies, coming up with insane creations out of a 100 percent scratch kitchen, where they even make their own sausages and pickles. The dining room looks inspired by a hip thrift store, full of Denverites chomping on those creative signature pies, including a duck confit pizza with cherries, goat cheese, rosemary, caramelized onions, bacon and baby arugula, which is even better paired with the nearly 30 carefully curated craft beer taps.
Tucson, Arizona: Grandma Tony’s
Grandma Tony’s nearly has a monopoly on Tucson pizza. Their pies, made with brewer’s yeast dough and all-natural Italian grande mozzarella cheese, are available not only at their three locations, but also their 1950’s-themed diner (Little Anthony’s), as well as the Gaslight Theatre and Gaslight Music Hall. In addition to being able to find their pizza just about anywhere, customers seem to want everything when they order – the supreme pie is the hands-down favorite.