Picture a pizza in your mind’s eye, and you’ll probably conjure a vision of a round pie, with a ring of crust around the edge and a gooey mélange of mozzarella and tomato sauce inside, maybe with some pepperoni tossed on for good measure. But in reality, some of America’s most legendary and delicious pizzas bear little to no resemblance to this standard pie, and we’re rounding up the best of the best.
Every year since 2012, we’ve tracked down the 101 very best pizzas in America, with some help from a wide-ranging panel of chefs, restaurant critics, bloggers, writers, and other pizza authorities. For this year’s ranking, we had our panelists take a survey and choose their favorites among nearly 1,000 pies from across the country, and while many of the pizzas in our ranking can be classified as traditional, there are plenty that certainly don’t.
Some of these nontraditional pizzas are cooked in unique ways, some have toppings that can be considered outlandish until you take that first bite, some embody unique regional styles, and others are wild inventions that have been proven over time to have been strokes of genius. But all these pizzas have two things in common: They’re about as different as can be from your standard no-frills slice, and they’re among the very best pizzas in America.