25 Best Sausage Pizzas in America
Photo: Arthur Bovino / Graphic: Ravi Bangaroo
When it comes to pizza, sausage isn’t the most obvious topping choice, generally taking a backseat to pepperoni. But we think sausage is even better as a topping than pepperoni, and these 25 places are serving the best sausage pizzas in America.
From a textural standpoint, sausage becomes tenderer than pepperoni after it’s gone into a pizza oven; pepperoni becomes so tough it’s usually difficult to bite through. And while all pepperoni essentially tastes the same, sausage (even though it’s usually of the Italian variety) tastes a little different depending on the source. Every brand and style is different; If you see sausage pizza on the menu at a high-quality pizza place, there’s also a good chance that it’s been made in-house.
In order to assemble our ranking of the top sausage pizzas in America, we looked to our rankings of the 101 best pizzas in America, which we’ve compiled annually since 2013. These rankings start with a survey of hundreds of pizzas from around the country; this year 109 food writers, restaurant critics, bloggers, and chefs weighed in, among them such pizza authorities as Andrew Zimmern, S. Irene Virbila of the Los Angeles Times, Scott Weiner of Scott’s Pizza Tours, and James Beard Award-nominated author of How Italian Food Conquered the World John Mariani. Of the pizzas that rose to the top, these 25 have sausage as the primary topping.
These aren’t pizzas in which a little crumbled sausage is mixed in with pepperoni and a boatload of other toppings; there’s nothing wrong with that, but you can’t call those sausage pizzas. While most of these pizzas do have multiple toppings, it’s the sausage that’s really the star of these pies.
So read on to learn which 25 sausage pizzas are America’s best. From a D.C. pie that includes sausage, spicy tomato sauce, housemade mozzarella, spinach, and eggs to a no-frills Bronx pie topped with only sausage, tomato sauce, and mozzarella, these may have you rethinking pepperoni entirely.
#25 Rocky Slims, New York, NY (Sausage)
This modern Italian restaurant also operates as a New York slice shop through its side entrance, and chef Angelo Romano (who’s also manned the pizza oven at Brooklyn landmark Roberta’s) focuses on using the finest ingredients possible to create his pizzas, including organic flour. The small pies emerge from the pizza oven slightly charred and bubbling; The sausage pie, topped with tomato sauce, pickled cherry peppers, mozzarella, pecorino, and big chunks of fresh house-made sausage, is the one to order.
#24 Pizano’s, Chicago, Ill. (Rudy's Special: Mozzarella, sausage, mushroom, onion, green pepper)
With six locations and another one on the way, you know that Pizano's has a loyal fan following among Chicago's intense deep-dish market (The owner’ father, Rudy Malnati, Sr., was one of the founders of Pizzeria Uno). But Pizano's offers both deep-dish pizza and a thin-crust version that could make most New Yorkers happy.
For the deep-dish crowd, the restaurant offers the Rudy's Special, a pie that the restaurant requests guests' patience for in advance. This monstrous concoction, topped with cheese, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, takes up to 30 minutes to cook all the way through.
Additional reporting by Arthur Bovino.