Must-Try Pizzas in the United States

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In a compilation of the best pizzas in the US we wrote recently, we gave you fifty must-try pies you can find around the better part of the United States. In this article, we will give you some more. We hope you will be able to tick them off your checklist soon enough and enjoy each bite, as we all did.

The Margherita of Coalfire Pizza in Chicago, Ill.

<p>You don’t expect pizza restraint in a city known for deep dish, but that’s what <a href=""><strong>owners Bill Carroll and Dave Bonomi advise on the menu</strong></a> at their coal-oven Neapolitan pizzeria: “Due to the delicate nature of our crust, and the care we take to ensure maximum quality, we recommend: one to two toppings per pizza, no more than one vegetable topping, and evenly balanced toppings (i.e. half toppings are not recommended).” Crowds of customers have been heeding that advice now for more than seven years, enjoying the thin crust that emerges slightly charred and bubbly from <a href=""><strong>Coalfire’s</strong></a> 800-degree clean burning coal oven. </p>

 The Classic Pizza of Emily in Brooklyn, NY

<p>If you’re not a fan of romantic movie plots, keep in mind that this one ends with you eating pizza. What are we talking about? Probably <a href=""><strong>one of the cutest pizza love stories ever</strong></a>. Boy and girl's first meal together was pizza. Girl looks across pie and knows she will marry boy. Girl and boy's first date is at grilled-pizza icon <a href=""><strong>Al Forno</strong></a> in Providence. Boy goes to culinary school, is invited to help open Brooklyn pizzeria, finds pizza calling, collaborates on successful pizza restaurant, then sets out with girl to launch own Kickstarter-funded, family-run successful pizza spot — which über-pizza blogger Adam Kuban promptly honors by opening a bar-pie pop-up, <a href=""><strong>Margot’s</strong></a>, within. Everyone lives happily pizza after. Oh, and it all happens in Brooklyn. See? You almost can’t take the good vibes. Well, tough tomato sauce, because Clinton Hill pizzeria <a href=""><strong>Emily</strong></a> and its co-owners Emily and Matt Hyland produce some of New York City’s best new pies, and if you haven’t been yet, you should hightail it over to taste the bubble-and-char-blistered “Classic” (puréed Jersey tomatoes, mozz, and basil). </p>


The Pepperoni and Mushroom of Home Slice Pizza inAustin, Texas 

<p>What do you get when you combine a former food editor of the Austin Chronicle with a passion for pizza? One of the most heralded pizza spots in Texas. Jen Strickland must have had to forget everything she’d learned about the pitfalls and craziness of opening a restaurant <a href=""><strong>during the decade she spent covering them for the Chronicle and Texas Monthly</strong></a> in order to take a leap of faith and try to open one with her husband Joseph Strickland and partner Terri Hannifin. Or maybe she just knew the New York City slices she ate while attending NYU would inspire her own pizzeria to greatness (there is a certain invincibility those slices can make you feel while eating one walking down the street Saturday Night Fever style). The end result at <a href=""><strong>Home Slice Pizza</strong></a> has been a South Austin smash hit: New York-style Neapolitan thin crust slices and pies (try the pepperoni and mushroom) that just might inspire a South Congress strut, Tony Manero-style.</p>


The Margherita of Punch Neapolitan Pizza in St. Paul, Minn.

<p><a href=""><strong>Described by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine</strong></a> as home of “the area's definitive authentic Neapolitan pizzas,” <a href=""><strong>Punch Neapolitan Pizza</strong></a> combines a thin crust, “a modest amount of toppings, and a luscious San Marzano tomato sauce to make a restrained but satisfying pie.” Punch (which was almost named Bruni until the owner’s wife stepped in) was a success soon after John Soranno founded it in Highland Park in 1996, and it has since become a Minneapolis-St. Paul pizza icon, partly because Caribou Coffee co-founders John and Kim Puckett fell in love with it <a href=""><strong>and partnered with Sorrano</strong></a>; there are now 9 locations of what they’ve called their favorite restaurant. But don’t hate on success. Punch is all about quality, and it turns out excellent pies. Peruse the menu and you’ll see that they have had some fun with it, detailing the anatomy of a Neapolitan Pizza (frame-blackened blisters, fresh mozzarella, crushed tomatoes), and laying out their pies under headings like, “For Those Who Get It,” “Those Who Really Get It,” and “Double Your Pleasure.” But know that the most popular pie is the Margherita Extra (fresh mozzarella di bufala, crushed tomatoes from Campagna and Mt. Vesuvio), and that the newest pizza is the Bufalina with mozzarella di bufala, arugula, and prosciutto (no crushed tomatoes).</p>

The Chicago Classic Deep Dish with Sausage and Crust Made with Butter and Mozzarella of Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in Chicago, Ill.

<p>Does it say something that the first Chicago deep-dish pizzeria on this list of the 101 best pizzas in America ranks number 61? Sounds like a question a New Yorker would ask. Maybe because deep-dish pizza isn’t actually pizza, but a casserole? All quibbling aside, even the most ardent anti-deep-dishites have to hand it to <a href=""><strong>Lou Malnati’s</strong></a> — the first Lou Malnati's Pizzeria opened in 1971 to much acclaim, and it’s now a Chicago, and national, institution. Lou died of cancer just seven years later, but his family kept his dream alive, expanding it to <a href=""><strong>some 36 locations</strong></a>.</p><p>The Lou Malnati’s deep-dish experience comes in four sizes: six-inch individual (serves one), nine-inch small (serves two), 12-inch medium (serves three), and 14-inch large (serves four). So you most likely will just be ordering one or two if you plan to finish them, even with a few friends (unless you’re not planning to eat anything else that day). Make sure one of those picks is <a href=""><strong>The Malnati Chicago Classic</strong></a>: a casserole made with Lou's lean sausage, some extra mozzarella, and vine-ripened tomato sauce on buttercrust. "It's authentic Chicago!"</p>



The Roasted Pepper and Provolone of Serious Pie in Seattle, WA

<p>You’d expect no less than pizza greatness from Seattle star chef and James Beard award-winner <a href=""><strong>Tom Douglas</strong></a>, and at his three <a href=""><strong>Serious Pie</strong></a> spots in Seattle that’s exactly what you get. These are thin-crust, cornicione-centric oblong pizzas about a foot-long and imbued with serious soul. Consider the pizza mission statement that greets you when visiting their website: “Serious Pie: a pizzeria with a bread baker's soul, serves up pies with blistered crusts, light textured but with just enough structure and bite. Our attentiveness to each pizza in the 600°F stone-encased applewood burning oven preserves the character of housemade charcuterie and artisan cheeses from around the world.” The menu features seven pies including pies with Yukon gold potato, soft-cooked free range eggs, clams, and burrata, but you’ll want to try the sweet fennel sausage, roasted pepper, and provolone pie that was voted one of the top 60 pizzas in the country this year.</p>


The Regina Margherita of Scuola Vecchia in Delray Beach, Fla.

<p><a href=""><strong>Scuola Vecchia</strong></a> brings a host of traditional Italian pizzas to Delray Beach, Fla., with a ton of different options for every pizza lover. Guests can choose from more than 20 different pizzas, from the traditional Margherita pizza to more complex pies like the capricciosa with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, Italian ham, artichokes, mushrooms, and extra-virgin olive oil. But if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, there’s the option to build your own pie, starting with the foundation of either a marinara or Margherita.</p>


The Cheese Pie of Galleria Umberto in Boston, Mass.

<p><a href=""><strong>Galleria Umberto</strong></a> in Boston’s North End is generally lost among Boston’s more well-known pies like <a href=""><strong>Santarpio’s</strong></a> and <a href=""><strong>Regina</strong></a>. That’s probably fine as far as most locals are concerned, because there’s usually a line outside for these thick, over-the-edge-of-the-pan cheesy, saucy, completely over-the-top and enjoyably so Sicilian slices anyway. That’s right, that’s the only pizza option, the Sicilian. And while they open at 11 a.m., they close at 2:30 p.m. (or whenever they run out of dough), so don’t delay.</p>


The Sausage Pizza of Denino’s in Staten Island, NY

<p>Residents of the Forgotten Borough have long known what the rest of the city, and more recently the country, are just beginning to understand: when it comes to pizza, Staten Island doesn’t play around. And <a href=""><strong>Denino’s</strong></a> has led the charge <a href=""><strong>since 1951</strong></a>, when Carlo Denino took over the tavern his Sicilian father John Giovanni opened in 1937. After his father passed away Carlo introduced pizza at the tavern, and locals have been ordering bar pies and downing them with pitchers of beer ever since. A third generation of Denino’s runs the operation these days (and opened a second spot, in New Jersey), and they keep pulling regulars in for their sweet Italian sausage pie, tossed in crumbles over a light, pliant crust.</p>


The Margherita of Pizza Moto in Brooklyn, NY

<p>Dave Sclarow hasn’t gotten nearly the recognition he deserves since he first welded together a portable pizza oven able to withstand New York’s unforgiving asphalt and went into business for himself in 2008. But if you’ve attended one of the many events where he’s served his signature slightly-smaller than average Neapolitan pies, you’ve seen the lines of people who have gleaned this truth: he’s serving one of New York City’s most underrated pizzas. The made-to-order, wood-fired pies have always had a very personal touch — like your best friend happened to be a pizzaiolo and was making a mini-pizza just for you. There are now four mobile ovens, which can be found all over Brooklyn and Manhattan between April and November, but this fall he and partner Anna Viertel may make it much easier for New Yorkers to pin the accolades on what has thus far been a moving target. There are plans for the first <a href=""><strong>Pizza Moto</strong></a> restaurant <a href=""><strong>to open soon on Hamilton Avenue in Red Hook, Brooklyn</strong></a>. The team is restoring a turn—of-the-century oven found in an abandoned South Brooklyn storefront, and will be firing up gas deck ovens in <a href=""><strong>Berg’n Beer Hall</strong></a> to serve their version of a “classic New York slice shop”</p>




The Artichoke Slice of Artichoke Basille, New York, NY

<p>In 2008, sing what they learned while working at their family’s restaurant Basille’s in Staten Island, pizzaiolos, cousins, and best friends Francis Garcia and Sal Basille took a party dip, put it on a pizza, and turned a <a href=""><strong>sliver of a shop on New York City’s 14th Street</strong></a> into a pizza icon and cash cow. They now have <a href=""><strong>five other locations</strong></a> (two others in Manhattan, two in Queens, and <a href=""><strong>one in Berkeley, Calif.</strong></a>), and there is still a line out the door, pizza fiends standing outside trying (unsuccessfully) not to burn the roof of their mouths on the creamy, cheesy signature artichoke slice (artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano, to be precise).</p><p><a href=""><strong>They’ve made it to The Tonight Show</strong></a> and even landed <a href=""><strong>their own show on Food Network’s Cooking Channel</strong></a>. Not bad at all. There are some who might argue that the artichoke slice has lost a step and that the crust isn’t what it used to be, but you can’t argue it’s not a major landmark of New York City’s pizza scene.</p>

The Fire & Smoke Pizza of Matchbox in Washington, D.C.

<p>Once upon a time in Washington, D.C., the word “pizza” held very little meaning. Twenty, even 10 years ago, you really couldn’t talk about the city as seriously even knowing what the word meant. It was like talking pretzels to a New Yorker who’d never been to Philadelphia or a hot dog expert who’d never been to Chicago: wasted breath. Sure there was something ridiculous and fun about the <a href=""><strong>Jumbo slice</strong></a>, but when people use <a href=""><strong>Ledo</strong></a> as a benchmark, well, let’s move on. Times have changed in D.C. in many ways, and pizza is a big one. Where once there was barely more than <a href=""><strong>Manny & Olga’s</strong></a>, now, besides <a href=""><strong>2Amys</strong></a> there’s <a href=""><strong>Pizza Paradiso</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Ghibellina</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Graffiato</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza</strong></a>, and <a href=""><strong>Seventh Hill </strong></a>(all were in the running to make this year’s list). There’s even an “upscale” jumbo slice place <a href=""><strong>Italian Kitchen on U</strong></a> (context is everything). Seriously though, along with the aforementioned pizzerias, <a href=""><strong>Matchbox </strong></a>numbers one of the D.C. pizza spots that has helped start putting the city on the map when it comes down to seriously discussing the nation’s best pizza. And now there are five additional locations besides the flagship pizza joint in Chinatown that launched in 2002 where you can find the seriously-singed signature Fire & Smoke pie with fire-roasted red peppers, Spanish onions, chipotle pepper, tomato sauce, garlic purée, smoked Gouda, and fresh basil.</p>

The Americana Personal Specialty Pizza of Rizzo’s Fine Pizza in Queens, N.Y.

<p>The menu at <a href=""><strong>Rizzo’s Fine Pizza</strong></a> has undergone quite an extensive evolution considering that when brothers Joseph and Salvatore Rizzo and their brother-in-law Hugo Lupi opened the small pizza shop in Astoria, Queens, in 1959, they made only one type of pie: their square rendition, no toppings allowed. While there are now three locations (two in Manhattan) and they’ve considerably expanded the options (there are now more than 30 pie options), their commitment to the thin, crisp, sauced slices that made them famous has not flagged (their Twitter hashtag is #thinisin). Out of all the different pies offered, consider the classic pepperoni, which has served Rizzo’s and all its fans well for a long time.</p>


The Funghi of Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, CO

<p>It shouldn’t be surprising that <a href=""><strong>Frasca</strong></a>, one of <a href=""><strong>America’s best restaurants</strong></a>, launched an offshoot that serves some of the best pizza in the country. What happens now that it’s out in the open that restaurateurs Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson have <a href=""><strong>teamed up with Chipotle</strong></a> to launch the restaurant as a fast-casual concept, however, remains to be seen. There seems to be a thought out there that America needs a high-quality fast-casual Neapolitan pizza chain. Maybe they’re right that there’s a gap in a market dominated by somnabulant pizza chains that have been content to churn out doughy, overly-sweet sauced gut bombs for years. Maybe there’s really nothing wrong with the idea of rotational hearth ovens powered by gas and infrared that largely take the human element out of cooking. Or maybe Americans will think the pizza from a fast-casual spot should be able to be eaten with one hand and without a knife or fork, you know, like what New Yorkers would call, “a slice.” What has been made clear so far, is that this self-described contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, knows how to bring it. At <a href=""><strong>Pizzeria Locale</strong></a> there are 11 red pies and six white pizzas including a four-cheese, cippolini and speck, squash blossom, corn, and escarole, but the “Funghi” is the one they pointed out to us as their signature, topped with mozzarella, Pecorino, Fontina, porcini, roasted white mushrooms, garlic, and shallot.</p>


The Queen Pizza of Milkflower in Astoria, Queens, NY

<p><a href=""><strong>Milkflower’s</strong></a> story has yet to be written, but its owners, New Jersey-raised brothers Peter and Danny Aggelatos, are off to a strong start. Their wood-fired Neapolitan-style pies with homemade mozzarella are so good that Astoria residents have been promoting Milkflower as the place their Manhattanite friends have to come visit to finally prove how cool they are to live there. Though at this point, they’d probably rather their friends stayed home so it’s easier to snag a pie. The Aggelatos brothers (<a href=""><strong>who have said</strong></a> they most admire <a href=""><strong>Motorino</strong></a>) haven’t been around long, but the 11 pizzas on their menu, including the Queen (their Margherita) have made a strong case for quick consideration as one of the country’s best pies.</p>



 The Sicilian of Sal’s Pizza in Mamaroneck, NY

<p><a href=""><strong>Sal’s </strong></a>has been around for 50 years, it has a line out the door, and while the round pies are some of the most exemplary you may have ever had, they’re not the point. You’re here for the Sicilian — a thick and heavy, cheesy mess with a significant crunch outside, a touch of grease, and a delicate, pillowy bite. <a href=""><strong>According to The Journal News</strong></a>, this is where Joe Torre would stop by after home games to pick up a pie on the way home — and he’s supposedly lactose-intolerant. What else could you possibly want to know if you haven’t been there other than the directions? Sal DeRose opened on Mamaroneck Avenue in 1964. There have been lines ever since. Now go! Can't get there anytime soon? Pizza delivery is never a fair way to judge a place, but <strong><a href="">you can order their pizzas from across the country</a></strong>.</p>


The Parma Pizza of Osteria in Philadelphia

<p>Nominated for the Best New Restaurant award by the James Beard Foundation in 2008 and home to James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Mid-Atlantic 2010, <a href=""><strong>Osteria</strong></a> has some super credentials, and quite a bit of hype to live up to. Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Jeff Benjamin conceived the idea while on a trip in Tuscany, and you have to be glad they followed through. The pizza at Osteria is very traditional (and you’ll want to order a Margherita as your baseline (tomato, basil, and mozzarella), with a gourmet twist, offering pies like Polpo, made of octopus, tomato, red chile flakes, and smoked mozzarella, or Lombarda, with baked egg, Bitto cheese, mozzarella, and cotechino sausage for a creamy and mild flavor. And the wine list isn’t half bad either, with more than 100 Italian wines to accompany your award-winning pie. Osteria’s success and acclaim just recently spawned <a href=""><strong>Pizzeria Vetri</strong></a> a 30-seat restaurant in Philadelphia's art museum district, the first of the Vetri family restaurants dedicated exclusively to the art of authentic, Italian pizza-making. Expect it to get consideration in years to come.</p>


The Pepperoni Pie of Delancey in Seattle, WA

<p>Those critical of the Pacific Northwest pizza scene need to back up. Let’s put this in context. Washington became the 42nd state in 1889, 16 years before Gennaro Lombardi opened America’s first pizzeria… in New York City. Washington and Oregon (though Oregon has 30 years on its neighbor) deserve some credit working without a century-long tradition backing them up. Not their pizza-loving denizens need cheesy handicaps. Not now. Consider Seattle’s <a href=""><strong>Delancey</strong></a>, which Brandon Pettit, a former New York music student, opened with his wife in 2009.</p><p>The idea for Delancey (named for Pettit’s favorite subway stop in Manhattan), grew out of his longing for the pizzas he grew up with in New York and New Jersey. <a href=""><strong>As The New York Times noted</strong></a>, “the dough has an intense, slightly sourdough-like flavor from Mr. Pettit’s two-day fermentation process, and the topping combinations offered are basic but use the freshest seasonal ingredients available.”</p><p><a href=""><strong>There are 9 pies on the menu</strong></a> including the “Brooklyn” inspired by <a href=""><strong>Di Fara’s</strong></a> cheese pie, and the white pie (with house-made ricotta, slivered garlic, and grana Padano), but Delancey noted (and panelists voted for) the pepperoni pie as the one you should seek out. And just in case you still don’t get the Pacific Northwest pizza claim, you may want keep in mind that not only is one of their pizzerias the best in the country, but it has ties to one of the most-read food bloggers in the world. Just who is Pettit’s wife? <a href=""><strong>Just Molly Wizenberg of Orangette</strong></a>. So there.</p>

The Detroit Zoo of Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit, Mich.

<p>Detroit’s signature square pizza style is like a Sicilian slice on steroids. There's some crisp, thick, deep-dish crust action going on here, often formed from the process of twice-baking the pizza in square pans that have been brushed with oil or butter, and a liberal ladling of sauce spread out across the top of the cheese surface. It supposedly all started at Buddy’s Rendezvous in 1946, a neighborhood tavern that had been run for a decade by owner August “Gus” Guerra. Since 1953, <a href=""><strong>Buddy’s</strong></a> has had several owners. Gus sold Buddy’s to Jimmy Bonacorse and Jimmy Valenti, and opened <a href=""><strong>Cloverleaf</strong></a> (a pizzeria featured on last year’s list). They in turn sold it to Billy and Shirlee Jacobs in 1970 (their son Robert Jacobs is at the helm now). But the different stewardships have had the same result — a passionate following for cheesy, chewy pies — the difference being that there are now 10 locations and the rest of the country is finally starting to catch up. You may think that Detroit-style is just confined to its home region, but consider that just a few years ago, Alan Richman of GQ singled out Buddy’s as one of the <a href=""><strong>25 best pizzas in America</strong></a>; that California pizza royalty Tony Gemignani serves his version on the menu at <a href=""><strong>two of his restaurants</strong></a>; and that another of this year’s 101 best in America, Austin’s <a href=""><strong>Via 313</strong></a>, specializes in the style. It’s coming for us all, and if you’re going to join the masses, do it right: go to Buddy’s. You’re going to want at least two pies here: the cheese pizza (four or eight squares) from the Detroit's Original Square Pizza collection, and the signature Detroit Zoo pie from the Motor City Pizza Collection: Motor City Cheese blend, roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, pine nuts, tomato basil sauce.</p>


The Zoli of Cane Rosso in Dallas, Texas

<p>Good pizza in Dallas? Are you kidding? Nope. <a href=""><strong>Cane Rosso</strong></a> owner Jay Jerrier is serving some bar-raising Vera Pizza Napoletana-certified stuff, and as the menu declares by highlighting just four ingredients — sea salt, water, yeast, and imported double-zero flour — great pizza can be all about simplicity. You’ll want to order the Zoli with sausage, hot soppressata, hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes, housemade mozzarella, and basil, and you’ll enjoy it for sure. Just mind your wallet while you’re there. Cane Rosso will serve vegan cheese, but <a href=""><strong>they draw the line at topping your pizza with ranch dressing</strong></a> — you can incur a $1,000 charge for demanding a side of it (it’s a joke… but don’t try it anyway just in case, okay?). You want ranch dressing? Go to Pizza Hut.</p>




 The Detroiter of Via 313 in Austin, Texas

<p>One of three Austin pizza spots to narrowly miss last year’s list that made it this year (<a href=""><strong>The Backspace</strong></a> and <a href=""><strong>Home Slice</strong></a> also ranked), <a href=""><strong>Via 313</strong></a> specializes in the Detroit-style pizza that its owners, brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt, loved eating at <a href=""><strong>Cloverleaf</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Loui's</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Niki's</strong></a>, and <a href=""><strong>Buddy's</strong></a> (where the style originated) when they were kids. They opened their customized pizza trailer on East 6th and Waller (in front of the Violet Crown Social Club) in 2011 and haven’t looked back. For the uninitiated, consider Detroit-style like a Sicilian slice — semi-thick, but with a light and airy crust (similar to focaccia) formed from baking it in industrial steel pans that also allow for the cheese to be baked all the way around. There’s a delicious caramelized edge and two large strips of crushed red tomato sauce that add an immediate flavorful touch. Via 313 offers 16 different pies with all the classic toppings you’d imagine, but they suggested starting with The Detroiter, which hosts mozzarella, white Cheddar, tomato sauce, and a double portion of pepperoni.</p>


The Calabrese of Domenica in New Orleans, LA

<p>Would you expect a Mississippi-born, Louisiana-bred, former Marine Corps reservist to be serving one of America’s best pizzas? Probably not, but chef John Besh does just that at his New Orleans restaurant <a href=""><strong>Domenica</strong></a> (Italian for "Sunday") in the renovated and historic <a href=""><strong>Roosevelt Hotel</strong></a>. You’ll have a hard time choosing between the 17 pizzas made in the Pavesi pecan-wood-fired oven. <a href=""><strong>Just look at the photos</strong> </a>— the slightly imperfect circles ringed with light, puffy, and black-blistered crusts, the center of the pie sauce-speckled and beautifully topped with stellar (and fun) ingredients like cotechino (sausage made from pork, fatback, and pork rind), bacon and eggs, apple and pecans, mortadella, spicy lamb meatball, roast pork shoulder, and duck with sweet potato — ordering just one pizza is a tough call. So don’t. Order Domenica’s most popular pie, the Margherita (tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella), then wild-card your second and third choices with the Tutto Carne (fennel sausage, bacon, salami, and cotechino), the Roasted Carrot (with goat cheese, red onion, Brussels sprouts, beets, and hazelnuts — wow!), or give the clam pie a shot. It may not beat Pepe’s, but whose does?</p>


The Grandma of Williamsburg Pizza in Brooklyn, NY

<p>Sometimes it’s better to let a place speak for itself. So consider <a href=""><strong>what could easily be described as a pizza mission statement</strong></a> as posted by pizzaiolo Nino Coniglio and the rest of the team behind <a href=""><strong>Williamsburg Pizza</strong></a>: “We consider pizza one of the most important foods on earth. The soul of a true Brooklyn-style pizza doesn't reside in fancy gimmicks or a host of bizarre toppings. The key to an authentic New York City pie is an obsessive devotion to ingredients of the highest quality and consummate freshness. Our delicious pizza is handcrafted using only the finest and freshest ingredients beginning with our old school Brooklyn thin crust; to our homemade San Marzano tomato sauce; to our Grande Mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese — made fresh daily or imported directly from Italy. And when tossed together, the result is absolutely delicious.” </p>


The Margherita Extra of Zero Zero in San Francisco, CA

<p>“Pizza continues to go upscale, and what the <a href=""><strong>French Laundry</strong></a> is to fine dining, San Francisco's <a href=""><strong>Zero Zero</strong></a> is to pizza.” That was the San Francisco Chronicle executive food and wine editor <a href=""><strong>Michael Bauer kicking off a review</strong></a> of owner and executive chef Bruce Hill’s San Francisco pizza spot Zero Zero (named for the type of fine Italian flour dedicated to pizza-making). Wow, right? Try a bite of the chewy, black-blistered crust on the Margherita Extra and disagree. Triple-pizza dare ya.</p>

 The Sausage Pie of Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, NJ

<p><a href=""><strong>Lombardi's</strong></a> may generally be considered to be "America's first pizza," but as Nick Azzaro, owner of <a href=""><strong>Papa's Tomato Pies</strong></a>, isn't shy about telling you, Papa's — founded in 1912 — is actually America's oldest continuously owned family-owned pizzeria. With so much tradition, it makes sense that Papa’s made this list of 101 Best Pizzas in America, especially since this year Papa’s celebrated its 101st anniversary. For Papa’s, the family behind the pie is just as important as the slice, as the recipe has been passed down through generations and with <a href=""><strong>their 2013 move to Robbinsville from Trenton</strong></a> to a new location as well. The Azzaro family cooks up the made-to-order pies that can be customized in a variety of ways. Customers can choose from everything from garlic to mushrooms and pepperoni to meatballs, or add some anchovies for the extra kick. But for the Azzaros, it’s the tradition that makes their restaurant unique, so you’ll be ordering the tomato pie. But since you’ve made the trip, brought friends, and are hungry, you’ll also be ordering a Papa's tangy original, <a href=""><strong>the mustard pie</strong></a>. It sounds crazy, but it works. You’ll crave it.</p>




The Plain Pie of Roseland Apizza in Derby, Conn.

<p>Is <a href=""><strong>Roseland Apizza</strong></a> the greatest pizzeria you’ve never heard of? At the very least, Roseland is probably one of Connecticut’s most underrated pizzerias — and this in a state known for its famous pies. Imagine the good nature and good will of a pizzeria that starts your meal off with a bread basket. Now follow that good will and sorely lacking amount of national notoriety with the words “shrimp pizza” and the knowledge that this neighborhood parlor has been slinging pies since 1935. That’s tradition. In fact, New Haven pizza intransigents may feel right at home at Roseland — <strong><a href="">the décor</a></strong> has a Formica-counter-and-crowded-booth feeling of decades-gone-by that echoes the one at the more-pilgrimaged Sally’s of Wooster Street. In point of fact, Frank Pepe opened just eight years before and Sally’s opened just three years later. Regardless, the point is that if this is your first time, you’re in the right place. Start off with a plain tomato pie (no cheese). But don’t shy away from having leftovers. You’ll likely want to try the Roseland Special (sausage and mushrooms), the fresh-shucked clam pie (white), and one of the special shrimp pizzas (<a href=""><strong>one that’s said to include two pounds of shrimp — no joke</strong></a>). And if you really feel like splashing out? Well, look into Roseland’s “most elite pie,” the "Ponsinella,” which is loaded with lobster, shrimp, and scallops and has <a href=",0,"><strong>been known to cost $65 at market price</strong></a>.</p>


The Forbes Waggensense of Pizza Brain, Philadelphia, PA

<p>“Increase the piece!” It’s <a href=""><strong>the world’s first pizza museum</strong></a>, for heaven’s sake, and those in the know, know that when you’re craving <a href=""><strong>great pizza in Philly</strong></a> you need go no further than the nineteenth-century brick building in the Kensington neighborhood to eat thin-crusted pizza cooked in the double-deck gas-fired oven at the cash-only joint Kickstarted by Ryan Anderson, Joseph Hunter, Brian Dwyer, and Michael Carter. As you wait for the crew to cook your pie, you can bask in <a href=""><strong>Pizza Brain's</strong></a> unique ambience, check out their pizza memorabilia museum (featuring what the Guinness Book of World Records called the largest collection of pizza memorabilia in the world), or rummage through their pizza tattoo book for a few laughs. Pizza Brain’s "Jane" is their version of a Margherita, a cheesy trifecta of mozzarella, aged provolone, and grana padano blended with basil, and that’s a good place to begin, but the salty and satisfying Forbes Waggensense is the move: mozzarella, fontina, grana padano, basil, smoked pepperoni, and tomato sauce. </p>


The Special Pizza of Gino’s of Long Beach in Long Beach, NY

<p>It’s tough to explain <a href=""><strong>Gino’s</strong></a> better than <a href=""><strong>Esca</strong></a> chef Dave Pasternack did to Ed Levine in his book Slice of Heaven when he gave the following advice: "Buy a round-trip ticket to Long Beach. The ticket includes a beach pass, so it’s a really good deal. Get off the train, and walk across the street to Gino’s for a slice. Nice, crisp crust, not too thick and not too much cheese." This is a place with amazing murals inside, a place that still packs during the winter, a pizzeria that families come into from the beach during the summer that serves something for everyone, and has been for some 50 years, but most singularly pizza. There’s the Special with sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, onion, mozzarella, and tomato sauce, but the grandma is exemplary, and the Crostino, a thin-crust pan pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze isn’t a pizza you’ve likely experienced anywhere else.</p>


The White Pizza of The Original Tacconelli’s Pizzeria in Philadelphia, PA

<p>"Please keep in mind we are a one-man, one-oven operation," <a href=""><strong>notes The Original Tacconelli’s website</strong></a>. "Waiting time may vary." Indeed, this is Philadelphia’s pizzeria célèbre, so expect a wait to match. Especially if you haven’t reserved your dough, in which case you may be waiting until the next day (<a href=""><strong>Tacconelli’s advises that the best time to call is between Wednesday and Sunday after 10 a.m.</strong></a>). It may not always have been this complicated to get a <a href=""><strong>Tacconelli’s</strong></a> pie (you have to assume times were simpler back in 1946 when it started serving pizza), but most who have had it will tell you it’s worth the effort.</p><p>There are four pies listed on the menu: Tomato (no cheese), Regular (a little cheese and sauce), White (salt, pepper, cheese, and garlic), and the Margerita (fresh basil and mozzarella). These are wide crusts, liberally sauced and topped, and not uniformly presented. You can choose from a list of toppings to customize your pies (spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage, sweet peppers, anchovies, onions, prosciutto, basil, and extra cheese), just keep in mind that there’s a three-topping max on each pie, and that some have noted that the owner sometimes prefers to limit it to two. The move here may be the "Signature," which may not be listed: white pizza with spinach and chunks of tomato and garlic. Either way, you may want to bring more folks so you can order more pies. Just a thought.</p>

The Eddie’s Special of Eddie’s, New Hyde Park, NY

<p>Ah, the bar pie. Along with grandma pizza, it may be one of the most unappreciated styles of pizza in the Northeast. And <a href=""><strong>Eddie’s</strong></a> in New Hyde Park is a master of the genre. Established in 1941, Eddie’s doesn’t go overboard on décor or service. This is a bar, and a very unimpressive-looking one from out front at that — you know, the kind at which you really intend to go drink. Not have a drink, but drink. Bar up front, tables in back, pies sent to tables fairly quickly because they’re so thin, moon-crater speckled cheese and grease and meat toppings scattered out to the very edge of a crust barely wide enough for you to get a non-cheese finger-grip. Cracker-thin without being crackery is a cliché when it comes to discussing bar pies — suffice it to say that Eddie’s serves a supremely satisfying thin slice of pizza heaven, especially when laden with more ingredients than it should ever be able to support, as is the case with the Eddie’s Special: sausage, meatball, pepperoni, pepper, mushroom, and onion</p>




The White Clam Pie of Lee’s Tavern in Staten Island, NY

<p>There have been some beautiful things written about <a href=""><strong>Lee’s Tavern</strong></a>, which is impressive considering how seldom clams and garlic have been called “beautiful.” But they are beautiful and the words are true nonetheless. Consider Connor Kilpatrick’s <strong><a href="">New York Magazine description</a></strong>: “Host to hundreds of firemen/police retirement parties, softball-team postgame blowouts, and local civic groups, Lee’s Tavern is something of a community hub with the Palemine family acting as live-in landlords (they reside upstairs) since 1969,” and also <a href=""><strong>Brooks of Sheffield’s track suit riff</strong></a> that ends with him declaring, “If I could call Lee's my local pizzeria, I'd be kinda proud too.” Need further elaboration? Try this pizza haiku: Staten Island ‘za, Flat and unsauced at its edge. Crunch, beer, laughs, one more. </p>


The Margherita of Ammazza in Atlanta, GA

<p>Instead of limiting themselves to Neapolitan- or New York-style pizzas, <a href=""><strong>brothers Jason and Hugh Connerty</strong></a> decided that they were more interested in combining the characteristics they liked from each style to create a truly unique pizza experience at <a href=""><strong>Ammazza</strong></a> in the Old Fourth Ward. That began with three-day-risen dough cooked in their 900-degree-F wood-fired oven, but also meant not limiting themselves or their menu to ingredients from a single region in Italy — Ammazza makes their own fresh mozzarella daily and uses meats cured and prepared by <a href=""><strong>The Spotted Trotter</strong></a> in Kirkwood (and yes, count sprinkles for the kid’s pie among non-Italian region derived ingredients). And whether you order the Margherita, the sausage-laden Ammazzare, or one of the other <a href=""><strong>14 pizzas on the menu</strong></a>, the result has been one of the South’s most successful pizza spots, and a true Atlanta favorite. </p>


The Bottarga of Pizzeria Paradiso in Washington, D.C.

<p>Bottarga isn’t the first ingredient you’d expect on a self-described signature pie, but that’s what you get at <a href=""><strong>Pizzeria Paradiso’s</strong></a> three D.C.-area locations, and you’ll be glad you sampled it. Salty accents to the slightly-sweet tomato touch, a nice garlic edge, and light herb touch, Paradiso’s Bottarga pie might just be showing off by adding its egg finish, but you probably won’t mind. </p>


The Deluxe of Imo’s in St. Louis, MO

<p>There are styles of pizza so particular to the area they’re from that many outsiders will forever struggle to comprehend the reason for their existence. For New Yorkers that’s Chicago deep-dish, for late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, apparently that’s St. Louis-style. Not long ago he had St. Louis native and Mad Men star Jon Hamm on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, <a href=""><strong>during which he told Hamm</strong></a> that <a href=""><strong>Imo's</strong></a> was terrible, a "terrible, terrible pizza place." Hamm defended the pizza, noting that the middle slice is the best one, and saying you could "taste the Gateway Arch" and its 11 World Series titles in an Imo’s slice (square cut, of course) and going so far as to say he’d take Imo’s over Kimmel’s own. If you haven’t tasted it for yourself, you’ll need to before weighing in. While its thin and unleavened crackery crust is almost like one you’ll find in a bar pie, it’s generally known to be a bit sweeter than typical bar pies, and meant more than anything else to act as a vehicle for the unique cheese topping that makes St. Louis style unlike any other slice you’ll have ever tried.</p><p>Maligned (and often unknown) outside St. Louis and beloved by residents of the city, the key to St. Louis-style pizza is Provel, a white processed cheese <a href=""><strong>said to be a combination of Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone invented in the city’s Italian neighborhood</strong></a> shortly after World War II. Just as you’ll get different stories about who exactly invented Provel, the origin of the style is also debated. Imo’s is widely credited, but Farotto’s, which is said to have opened in 1956, eight years before Ed and Margie Imo opened Imo’s, <a href=""><strong>has its own claim</strong></a>. Whichever story you choose to believe, you can’t deny one thing: Imo’s, with its more than 90 stores, has popularized a unique, love-it-or-hate-it pie you have to try at least once. Menus vary because each location is independently owned, but the Deluxe should be pretty easy to find, and is a good place to start: sausage, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, bacon, and of course, Provel.</p>

The Margherita of Via Tribunali in Seattle, WA

<p><a href=""><strong>Via Tribunali</strong></a> opened its first pizzeria in Capitol Hill in 2004 to great success and praise, serving Neapolitan-style pies hot and fast with beautiful and puffy crusts and a variety of toppings (more than 20 combinations). The forces behind Via Tribunali’s success are caffeine king Michael McConnell (<a href=""><strong>he of Seattle Cafe Vita fame</strong></a>) and pizza masters Nico Calzone and Gennaro Nasti, who Tribunali jokes they met down a dark Neapolitan street and then whisked to the airport. But the pizzas do all the talking. While perhaps not quite as puffy on the outer rim as a <a href=""><strong>Motorino</strong></a> or <a href=""><strong>Co.</strong></a>, these personal-sized pies are delicious whether you order the Margherita or the namesake specialty pie featuring provola, ricotta, rapini, sausage, cherry tomatoes, arugula, fresh mozzarella, basil, and Grana Padano.</p>




The Sausage Pizza of Pelham Pizza in Pelham, NY

<p>Where is <a href=""><strong>Pelham Pizza</strong></a>? In Pelham, of course, a town in Westchester not far from Mount Vernon where you’ll find another local pizzeria that local experts obsess over: <a href=""><strong>Lincoln Lounge</strong></a>. <a href=""><strong>Pelham Pizza was opened in 1978</strong></a> by two brothers from Italy, Luigi "Gino" and Ettore "John" Ruffolo. Gino ran the pizzeria after John passed away in 1988 until his own death just a few years ago. Since 2009, Gino's son John and son-in-law Pino Mancini have kept up the tradition of soul-satisfying, thin-crust, family-pleasing New York-style pies that deliver without the fuss. </p>


The Margherita of Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland, Ore.

<p>Ken Forkish and chef Alan Maniscalco co-founded <a href=""><strong>Ken’s Artisan Pizza</strong></a> in 2006 after the success of Monday Night Pizza at <a href=""><strong>Ken’s Artisan Bakery</strong></a>. It’s been cultishly loved ever since. There are gigantic Douglas Fir beams, sliding glass windows, and an open kitchen with a Le Panyol wood-fired oven, which guests can marvel at while digging in at tables made from salvaged wood from the late Jantzen Beach Big Dipper roller coaster — once they get inside, that is (as with several other great spots on this list, there tends to be a line). The thin-crust pies, baked in about two minutes and inspired by the co-founders’ visits to Europe, are <a href=""><strong>known for their tangy, orange-red sauce</strong></a>, featuring heat and savory notes, and a style that, as the name of the restaurant states, is more artisanal than Neapolitan. Toppings include soppressata, Calabrian chiles, anchovy, arugula, and prosciutto, but panelists voted for Ken’s Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil as the country’s 88th-best pizza.</p>

The Pepperoni Americano of The Backspace in Austin, Texas

<p>With a pedigree that includes a degree from the CIA, and stops at <a href=""><strong>The French Laundry</strong></a> and <a href=""><strong>Café Boulud</strong></a>, it’s not a huge surprise that chef Shawn Cirkiel’s restaurant <a href=""><strong>Parkside</strong></a> has been a huge success, but culinary degrees and high-falutin’ restaurant experience doesn’t necessarily mean you can make a great pizza. Lucky for Austin, Cirkiel does, serving pizza cooked in a wood-fired brick oven from Naples at a temperature of 900 degrees. There are six pies on the menu at <a href=""><strong>The Backspace</strong></a> featuring toppings like fennel sausage, roasted peppers, picante salame, and roasted mushrooms, but according to the restaurant, the most popular pie is the Bianca, a pizza with arugula, mozzarella, ricotta, and Pecorino Romano. Whether it's downed with an aranciata just like in Naples, or Texas-style with a glass bottle of Mexican Coke, well… that’s up to you.</p>

The Margherita of Del Popolo in San Francisco, CA

<p><a href=""><strong>Apart from being visually stunning</strong></a>, this food truck from Jonathan Darsky, the former pizzaiolo of the acclaimed <a href=""><strong>Flour + Water</strong></a> in San Francisco (he left in 2010), is <a href=""><strong>one of the first to offer a wood-burning mobile pizza oven</strong></a>. The truck is crafted out of a 20-foot transatlantic shipping container that’s been fitted with glass windows and doors on one side so that diners can watch their pizza being made in <a href=""><strong>the 5,000-pound Stefano Ferrara oven</strong></a>. Del Popolo is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and its schedule sometimes changes at the last minute, so you’ll want to <a href=""><strong>check for its daily updates</strong></a> <a href=""><strong>on Twitter</strong></a> before seeking out its four signature pies: Margherita (tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella), Bianca (fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta, basil, garlic, and olive oil), Meat (tomato, mozzarella, fennel sausage, and Hungarian goathorn peppers), and Potato (fresh mozzarella, French fingerling potatoes, and rosemary). Along with <a href=""><strong>Pizza Moto</strong></a> and <a href=""><strong>Roberta’s</strong></a> in New York City, and other up-and-coming mobile pizza operations that have been popping up over the past five years, Del Popolo shows you don’t need to be brick-and-mortar to make great pies, you just need the bricks.</p>


The Farm Egg of Café Bottega in Birmingham, AL

<p>Over the past 30 years, <a href=""><strong>chef Frank Stitt</strong></a> has been credited for significantly raising the bar in Alabama’s culinary scene. As if the success of his restaurant <a href=""><strong>Highlands Bar and Grill</strong></a> and the roster of culinary talents that have launched their own successful careers after spending time in his kitchen weren’t impressive enough, he’s now going ahead and doing the same thing for the state’s pizza scene. While devoted regulars may have trouble steering themselves away from Stitt’s classic dishes at <a href=""><strong>Café Bottega</strong></a> like the seared beef carpaccio, Niçoise salad, and chicken scaloppini, they’ll find themselves particularly rewarded by any of the eight pizzas on the menu. There’s a white pie with fennel sausage, a grilled chicken and pesto combination, and even a pizza with okra and corn. But the signature pie that the restaurant pointed to as the biggest crowd-pleaser is the “Farm Egg,” topped with mushrooms, guanciale, Taleggio, and porcini oil. </p>



The Avalanche of Moose’s Tooth Pub And Pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska

<p>Ask anyone where to go for pizza in Anchorage and you’ll likely be directed to the renowned Midtown Anchorage nightlife spot <a href=""><strong>Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria</strong></a> — the same pizza place that has been locals’ go-to since the late 1990s when fellow rock climbers Rod Hancock and Matt Jones, despite having virtually no restaurant experience, launched a 30-table restaurant <a href=""><strong>serving draft beer</strong></a> and stone-baked pizzas. Now, Moose’s Tooth is regularly noted by publications looking to cast a wide net as among the best pizzerias in the country. These days, the menu features almost 40 pizzas with names just as creative as their topping combinations, but the Avalanche is their most well-known, featuring barbecue sauce, mozzarella, provolone, Cheddar, red onions, blackened chicken, and bacon — a pizza that will need a similarly signature beverage, say the house-brewed and assertively hopped Fairweather IPA.</p>

The Margherita of Pizza Rock in Las Vegas, NV

<p>This <strong>Vegas outpost</strong>, one of the five pizzerias <a href=""><strong>California pizza king Tony Gemignani</strong></a> owns, doesn’t skimp on pizza preparation. There are at least four ovens (a 900-degree-F wood-fired Cirigliano Forni oven, a Rotoflex gas brick oven, a Marsal gas brick oven, and a Cuppone Italian electric brick oven) the pizza champ uses to send out his signature pie styles (Napoletana, classic Italian, classic American, Sicilian, and Romano) of which there are many impressive iterations in each category. You’re going to want to try to score one of the only 73 Margherita pies made daily using Tony’s award-winning recipe, or for something perhaps even more exclusive, try to order the Sausage & Stout pie made with honey-malted Guinness dough, housemade mozzarella, beer sausage, caramelized onions, Fontina, green onions, crushed red peppers, beer salt, and Sweet Guinness reduction (23 per day).</p>


 The Prosciutto, Gorgonzola, and Arugula Pizza of Slice in New Orleans, LA

<p>Don’t make any mistake about it, you’re not visiting <a href=""><strong>Slice</strong></a> for the ambience, but for the significant reason that it may be one of the few places in the South that gets how to serve thin and crispy, charred-under, quality versions of the single-serving size for which it’s named. Opened by the owners of <a href=""><strong>Juan's Flying Burrito</strong></a>, the spot features some 15 types of signature slices including the one that both they and this year’s judges singled out: the PGA, topped with prosciutto di Parma, imported gorgonzola, organic arugula, and honey (by request).</p>

 The EBF of Zaffiro’s Pizza in Milwaukee, Wis.

<p>If there’s anything scientific to discovering the best pizza in America it may very well involve an equation like this: Italian-Americans plus Milwaukee and cheese equals heralded pizza at <a href=""><strong>Zaffiro's</strong></a> since 1954. First-generation Italian American Liborio "Bobby" Zaffiro opened Rock-a-Bye Tap where he started serving thin-crust pizza with the help of his brother John before they opened Zaffiro’s in 1956 to make a go of it full time. It all worked out beautifully for the Sicilian-blooded brothers until John's 1988 retirement. Bobby died the year after, at which point his wife and two sons took over. Zaffiro's has stayed in the family, helmed by Michael Zaffiro. However, <a href=""><strong>the tradition</strong></a> of a thin-crust Milwaukee pie topped with three to four times the cheese lives on at this Wisconsin icon where among the 11 pies on the menu, you’ll find two “E”-centric menu items with one difference between them; the “E” has everything (toppings-wise at least), and the “EBF” has everything but the fish, delicious (yet divisive) anchovies. If you’re not an anchovy devotee, Opt for the latter and appreciate one of Milwaukee’s pizza gifts to the nation.</p>

The Ciccio of Monza in Charleston, SC

<p>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. <a href=""><strong>Monza</strong></a> 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, <a href=""><strong>and no less than chef Sean Brock</strong></a> of two of America’s best restaurants, <a href=""><strong>Husk</strong></a> and <a href=""><strong>McCrady's</strong></a>. </p>



The Deburgo of Gusto Pizza Co. in Des Moines, Iowa

<p>You can practically envision the folks behind <a href=""><strong>Gusto Pizza Co.</strong></a>: Friends Josh Holderness, Joe McConville and Tony Lemmo sitting down over a few beers before opening their fresh and imaginative Des Moines pizza shop in 2011, and coming up with their menu as an hours-long snort-inducing punfest. “Thai Kwon Dough” with peanut sauce and chicken? “Seoul Food” pizza with Korean-style marinated skirt steak and Sriracha mayo? “Vincent Van Goat” with goat cheese and fried sweet peppers? “Fromage-A-Trois”? Very fun. But don’t mistake the levity for anything less than a serious approach to some delicious pizzas featuring some crispy-chewy thin crusts.</p>

The Capricciosa of Pupatella Neapolitan Pizza in Arlington, VA

<p><a href=""><strong>Pupatella</strong></a> originated as a food truck in 2007 and went brick-and-mortar three years later. This two-room storefront with the sign out front that warns "Pizza Addicts Only" is the D.C. culmination of Enzo Algarme’s experience hanging around the some 200 or so pizzerias in Naples where he was born. Pupatella, a name borrowed from a late relative ("what everybody called my grandmother in Italy," <a href=",1178462.html"><strong>he told The Washington Post</strong></a>), is run by Algarme and his life (and business partner) Anastasiya Laufenberg. Their oven’s bricks were built using volcanic ash from Vesuvius — hard to get more authentic than that outside Naples.</p><p>They offer red and white pies — mostly the former — with accoutrements like ham and mushroom, prosciutto and arugula, chorizo, sausage and onion, eggplant and red pepper on top. But Pupatella’s most popular pie is the Capricciosa featuring sautéed mushrooms, marinated artichokes, prosciutto cotto, and fresh mozzarella. Algarme’s website is charming enough to win over even the most skeptical — <a href=""><strong>his FAQ explains</strong></a> what bufala mozzarella is, why there are leopard spots on your crust, why a real Margherita is wet in the middle and never crispy, and why you'll never see a Neapolitan tossing dough. And they "love foodie bloggers."</p>

The Prewitt of  Hog & Hominy in Memphis, Tenn.

<p>What can you say about Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman except, “Man, do these guys get it”? Whichever of the iterations on the theme most resonates with you (“Italian dining with a Southern drawl,” “Italian cooking, Southern roots”), the inescapable fact is that whether it's a beef and Cheddar dog in a pretzel bun with yellow mustard, an order of sweetbreads with peanut agrodulce, poutine with neckbone gravy, or an amazing burger topped with pickled lettuce, American cheese, onion, and mustard dedicated to one of the country’s best food writers, you’re going to have an amazing meal at <a href=""><strong>Hog & Hominy</strong></a>. Now factor primetime pizza into the equation. There are some 11 pies on the menu, which are tended to in a painstakingly monitored oven on the side of the restaurant, among them The Prewitt with Fontina, tomato sauce, boudin, and scrambled eggs. Try it, Mikey. You’ll like it. </p>

The Pancetta and Egg of Vero Pizza Napoletana in Cleveland, Ohio

<p>Iron Chef Michael Symon and Jonathan Sawyer may be among the most well-known Cleveland chefs nationally, but if you asked them about <a href=""><strong>the Ohio pizzeria that deserves attention</strong></a>, they’d likely single out <a href=""><strong>Vero Pizza Napoletana</strong></a> helmed by Marc Aurele. This Cleveland Neapolitan pizzeria (open Tuesday through Saturday until 10 p.m. and Sunday through 9 p.m. or until dough runs out) is serving a leopard-spot charred Neapolitan crust that should be the envy of many a Naples-obsessed American pizzaiolo. The 13 pies on the menu are garlic, sausage, and egg heavy — as if that’s something to complain about. </p>

The Red of  Ghigiarelli’s in Old Forge, PA

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