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 Portland, Ore.
Apizza Scholls has some of the best pizza in Portland, and some have argued, north of San Francisco — and that’s using an electric oven! But they do have some guidelines for patrons interested in composing their own topping combinations on their 18-inch pies: only three ingredients, and no more than two meats per pie. So choose wisely from a list of toppings that, in addition to classics like anchovies, red onions, garlic, pepperoni, sausage, and basil, includes capicollo, house-cured Canadian bacon, cotto salami, arugula, jalapeño, and pepperoncini. Heads-up: bacon is "not offered for build your own toppings." If you aren't up to building your own pie, there are 10 classics to choose from, including the signature Apizza Amore: Margherita with capicollo (cured pork shoulder). The signature Amore features a spicy kick offset a bit by the somewhat sweet mozzarella and well-balanced sauce.
It beat out the Margherita at neighboring Ken’s Artisan Pizza, as Apizza Scholls’ version came in at #19 on our list, while Ken’s pie came in at #88. So, while Ken Forkish and chef Alan Maniscalco serve an excellent example, Apizza Scholls gets the title of the housing the best pizza in Portland.