101 Best Pizzas in America

Without a doubt, most of America’s best pies are still in New Haven, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix. Sorry, San Diego

101 Best Pizzas in America
Maya Noguchi
Pizza is about as varied and beloved a genre, as opinionated a subject, and also as accessible a food as there is, which makes determining the country's best pizzas a truly challenging task.

Pizza! If you grew up obsessed with it — postgame pizza, movie-night pizza, baby-sitting pizza, college dorm pizza, New York-, New Haven-, Neapolitan-, deep-dish-, St. Louis-, Detroit-style pizza, pizza! — and pursued that American passion for cheese, sauce, and bread with an adult fascination for seeking the best slice, the finest pie, the Platonic Neapolitan, then the idea of naming America's best is likely contentious. Who serves America’s best pizza? "My favorite spot, of course!" Americans will declare. Yes, pizza is tough to rank responsibly. But once again, that’s just what The Daily Meal set out to do.

View List: 101 Best Pizzas in America (Slideshow)

Pizza is about as varied and beloved a genre, as opinionated a subject, and also as accessible a food as there is. Even one pie at the country’s most expensive, remote, and esteemed pizza temples is within reach of the average person’s budget. And every red-blooded American, rich and poor, grew up with their regional style of this national fascination, knowing it as the best. Talk about setting up an argument! "A best pizza list? I know pizza," both sides will claim. "That's not great pizza!" Which pizzerias truly serve pies to seek out, return for, and be in awe of? It’s more difficult than ever to answer that question.

Which pizzerias truly serve pies to seek out, return for, and be in awe of? It’s more difficult than ever to answer that question.

One of the problems with even the most well-intentioned best pizza lists is their length, or lack of length actually. Lists mentioning 10, 15, 25, and even The Daily Meal’s own collection of 35 places last year just don’t do the topic justice. There are too many great places that deserve consideratioand mention. Out of necessity (and sanity), writers have and often do  exclude long lists of suggestions from locals, friends, and other experts. Some pick geographic representatives and select what they think are the best of each. And others have taken to declaring a list of the country’s best pizza to be impossible, noting as food writer Steven Coomes did recently, that the quality of pizza is "tied to particular ingredients chosen that day and put into the hands of a particular pizza maker." "To borrow a word from the wine industry," Coomes explained, "It's about the terroir."

It’s a challenging task. Unless you’ve personally visited some 200 of the country’s most storied and newest pizzerias, your list is going to be at best slightly flawed. Still, some are more flawed than others. So it was with great seriousness and deliberation that The Daily Meal set out to determine the 101 best pizzas in America for 2013. With more than 400 pizzas, from farther afield than those in 2012 — from the Western states, the Southwest and Texas, the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and New York City —  the group of pizzas we considered was bigger, badder, and better than ever.

We researched and called each pizzeria, identifying signature pies or best-sellers, and in the absence of one or the unwillingness of the pizzeria to comply, selected the margherita as a baseline or made an educated decision as to which pie to feature for voting.

Then we turned to a panel of experts to narrow the list down to America’s 101 best  — a formidable task, which is why we invited more panelists than last year, enlisting twice as many experts from across Americas. This panel included 46 American chefs, restaurant critics, bloggers, writers, and pizza authorities, most of whom — other than Thrillist's Adam Robb, Jason Feirman of IDreamOfPizza, Peter Reinhart of PizzaQuest.com, Marc Horowitz of HiddenBoston.com, and Nicole Danna, a food blogger for Clean Plate Charlie — preferred to remain anonymous.

What did we discover? What we think is a pretty great list. Sure, you’ll wonder how San Francisco’s Gialina didn’t make the cut, ask aloud where New York’s Pizza Moto is, and demand to know how Supino, Buddy's, and Green Lantern Lounge all missed. "Surely, Lucali and L&B Spumoni accidentally switched spots?!" Such is the challenge of trying to know the pizza good. But know the good you will.

Of the 101 best pizzas, 30 were from New York State (that includes Long Island). That being said, only three New York City pizzas made the top 10 and two of them were in Brooklyn. By contrast, two pizzas from Connecticut made the top 10, and three from California ranked among them. The takeaway? There are great pies being made in Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Seattle… and even some Southern states, but without a doubt, most of America’s best pies are still in New Haven, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix. San Diego’s a nice place, and local food personality Sam Zien is a great guy, but even he would not likely name that classy city among the top 10 spots in the country for pizza (seriously, TripAdvisor?).

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, right? To find out how the pizzas all ranked, you’ll want to pull up to the table, pick up a slice, and check out the list

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. He has been to 42 of the pizzerias on this 101 list. Read more articles by Arthur, reach him by email, or click here to follow Arthur on Twitter.

View page 2 to just read the list in full. 



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28 Comments

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2nd Avenue Pizza in Sandpoint, ID. Best pizza I've ever had by far.

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I have had pizza in dozens of Italian cities. The best was in Mantova-- very thin crust, pumpkin sauce, and local sausage. I agree that Pepe's in New Haven deserves the crown as America's best.

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LaCasa and Sortino's pizza in Omaha smash Zio's by a landslide, if you don't believe me check out the patronage. LaCasa and Sortino's always packed 20 to 30 tables filled, Zio's , 3 or 4 tables occupied.

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You need to try SHORTYS in Delaware ohio. I have eaten pizza all over this country and its the best I ever had.

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The best pizza in the country is where you like it from. Not from a certain city. Just because it comes from a certain city doesn't mean that it is the best. Enjoy eating pizza but still keep an open mind and give it a try wherever you go.

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Pizza is the best where you like it from. It isn't a city. Pizza is a taste, a flavor. It is what you like, not where someone else is from.

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Pizza is the best where you like it from. It isn't a city. Pizza is a taste, a flavor. It is what you like, not where someone else is from.

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Pi (actually like the 3.14 symbol) in St Louis area would go up against anything in this list and probably be preferred.

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This list is insane. There is no way you can rate the top 101 pizza shops in the country.

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I am sure because it is located in Dayton, Ohio, you might not even give trying Marion's Piazza a second thought, but it has nine locations in the Dayton area (all seating around 500) and has been in business for 49 years! Marion's Piazza's claim to fame is that it was rated the nation's top rated independent pizza chain by Pizza Today Magazine (October, 2013). Might want to send someone to Dayton, Ohio for your next "Best Pizzas" list.

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marion's is ok. i live in dayton, but never order it bc there are better here in dayton.

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If your ever in Daytona Beach, Fl you gotta try Don Vito's for the best Pizza around.

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If your ever in Daytona Beach, Fl you gotta try Don Vito's for the best Pizza around.

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Pizza is too subjective to judge the best for anyone or everyone. I have eaten at every one of the Chicago places mentioned and didn't like a single one of them. Though the midwest has best pizza i have ever eaten, Milwaukee and Chicago areas.

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From your list it is obvious you don't have any clue as to what constitutes a great pizza. Anyone who lives in Chicago or New York has a much better idea of what real pizza is like. There are places just about anywhere in both cities that would blow away 98% of the places on your list. And for your 10 best cities for pizza not to include Chicago is nothing short of a travesty. Merely proves you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm sorry but between these two articles, I cannot possibly take you seriously.

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You people obviously do not know what constitutes a good pizza.
There are pizza places in Chicago and, I'm sure, New York that would blow away 95% of your choices. Nobody who hasn't lived in Chicago and New York should think they know what what pizza is supposed to be.

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It's retardo that Buffalo is home of the Chicken Wing - and yet, never is recognized for some of the best pizza parlors on the East.

After having lived in the Tri-State area for 6 years sampling some of the best between CT, NY, and NJ... I still have to rate Bocce Club Pizza in Buffalo among the best.

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My mom used to say "ignorance is bliss".... all you white clam pie haters until you have had a fresh Pepe's white clam pie hot out of the oven....simply the best pizza Ive ever tasted. Daily meal - You got it right! - JC in Phila

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I can't believe that Angelo's in Lakewood, Ohio didn't make the list. Try it.......you'll love it. Nothing better

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really good stuff.... But donot eat too much pizzaaa otherwise u wud gain weight..... and to reduce your weight i have some delicious tips for ladies in my site <a href="http://howtoloselovehandles.biz/how-to-lose-love-handles-for-women" title="http://howtoloselovehandles.biz/how-to-lose-love-handles-for-women">http://howtoloselovehandles.biz/how-to-lose-love-handles-for-women</a>

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i wanted to surprise my wife,and took her to what was supposed to be the best soul food place in atlanta.so i set the alarm clock early and we went to this place,all expecting.the milk was sour egg runny,toast burnt.it was horrible. after tha ti never believe a top anything list.
i love mellow mushrooms in atlanta and tried the 'ny' style in ny and really did not think it was all that great.

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This is comical. The top two pizzas are clam pizzas? Gimme a break.

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Never heard of any of these pizza place....I really like Casey's General Stores pizza....why didn't they make the list?

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Tonys Pizza Waupun, Wisconsin 53963

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I guess I've never had a "good" pizza and might never have one since those are the UGLIEST pizzas I've ever seen, and many of them were burned!!! If you can't do a better job of rating food, maybe you should search for a new occupation! The security word below for me spelled it right out "foul play". Stop taking bribes and give honest ratings!

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You guys need to visit Antonio's Pizza in Amherst, MA. Spicy chicken, peppers and onions.

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Wow Pizzeria Bianco is still on the list. An hour wait to get a pizza. That is overpriced & meh. They don't even make my top 10 list of pizza places. There are so many better pizza places in Phoenix. Next time look into Federal Pizza, La Grande Orange, Spinatos and Pizza a Metro.

Carmelo Pappalardo's picture

WTH! How much were you paid to write this article? Half of these joints should not even be on this list. What did they do, slip a hundred dollar bill under the pizza slice you ate? Metro pizza? Pizzeria Uno? A clam pizza is number one? I have eaten at many of these restaurants. I asked for my money back, or told them to stop playing games and give me a real pizza. What a joke of a list. Next time ask someone who actually knows what a pizza tastes like.

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