Pizza is arguably America’s most varied and beloved dish, one whose devotees are some of the most opinionated, and yet it remains one of the most accessible foods there is. Even the country’s most expensive and esteemed pizza temple is within reach of the average person’s budget. Every red-blooded American grew up with his or her preferred regional style of this national fascination, knowing it as the definitive best. Today, there’s better pizza, more knowledge about it, and interest in it everywhere. That accessibility and loyalty makes for some tremendously spirited debate.
Considering the passion pizza inspires, responsibly declaring America’s Best Pizza can be challenging. But The Daily Meal doesn't shy away from the challenge. For our third annual pizza ranking, we again sought the nation's best pies and slices, considering more places than ever in our quest for the best. We researched and added 275 more pizzas and recruited a group of 30 more experts to weigh in than for our 2013 list. Some 700 pizza spots were considered by 78 panelists, comprising The Daily Meal’s in-house pizza experts and city editors, American chefs, restaurant critics, bloggers, writers, and pizza authorities. We compiled the data, and although there could only be one winner, there is plenty of seriously good pizza being made across America, including in Charleston, S.C.
The Northern-Italian town of Monza in the region of Lombardy houses an historic Italian speedway where, every year since 1922, owners of the finest cars, from Alfa Romeo to Ferrari, drive around the curves of the 6.25-mile track. Monza in Charleston, S.C., feeds off the history of their namesake city to offer their handcrafted pies to city residents. Monza uses imported San Felice wheat flour, Neapolitan yeast, and filtered and pH-balanced water to develop their version of the most traditional-style pizza possible. The pies are baked in the wood oven at a sweltering 1,000 degrees F, allowing for a thin and crispy crust, and are topped with mozzarella and fresh and usually regional ingredients that have earned the praise of locals, visitors, and renowned chef Sean Brock of two of America’s best restaurants, Husk and McCrady's. Our meu recommendation is the Ciccio, comprising Mozzarella, Ricotta, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and garlic – it’s very cheesy, but in the best way possible.