Ryan G. Rice
Ryan G. Rice
There’s no arguing that pizza is one of the most delicious and popular foods in America. But which city serves the absolute best? We set out to investigate, and based on our annual ranking of America’s best pizza, we’ve come to the conclusion that while one city stands apart from the pack, many others aren’t far behind.
There are dozens of different pizza styles to be found across the country. Some harken back to the original way of making pizza in Naples (the classic Neapolitan style), but most are products of the cities in which they can be found. New York, Detroit, St. Louis, New Haven, and, of course, Chicago all have their own trademark pizza styles, and other styles, including bar pie, grandma, and Sicilian-style, are popular from coast to coast.
What makes the perfect pie? Considering the varied pizza styles, that’s a loaded question. Suffice it to say, no matter your pizza denomination, the following is true about the ideal pie: a nuanced sauce, neither too sweet nor salty; quality, well-distributed cheese; quality and well-paired toppings; a flavorful, savory crust; and a judicious, well-balanced, and pleasing ratio of sauce, cheese, toppings, and crust that maintains a structural integrity no matter the style.
To name the best cities in America for pizza, we consulted our annual rankings of the 101 Best Pizzas in America, which this year was whittled down from nearly 900 pizzerias from every corner of the country. These pizzerias were assembled into a survey, which was then taken by culinary authorities as diverse as former longtime “Best New Restaurants” columnist for Esquire and author of Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet Newsletter John Mariani, Worst Pizza’s Craig Agranoff, Real Food, Fake Food’s Larry Olmsted, Barbara and Eric Cheifet of Barb and Eric’s Pizza Adventures, Taste of New Haven’s Colin M. Caplan, filmmaker Gorman Bechard, A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours’ Tony Muia, and Pizza Therapy’s Albert Grande. Click here to learn which 15 cities are home to the highest amount of pizzerias on the list.