18 Of The Best Pizza Places In America
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
Aside from incorrectly guessing someone’s astrological sign or literally anything political, pizza styles and preferences are among the most controversial topics out there. This seemingly simple combination of dough, cheese, and sauce sparks Yankees vs. Red Sox-level rivalry between regions across the country.
We’re not here to settle any debates, but we can present you with this guide. You’ll find some of our favorite slices and pies from all over the US, including our top spot in NYC, Detroit-style pizza in its birthplace, and charred deep dish from Chicago that might be just as famous as Michael Jordan.
photo credit: Teddy Wolff
NEW YORK CITY
As the undisputed best place in the world to eat pizza, New York has many, many great pizzerias. But our favorite is Lucali, a cash-only restaurant in Brooklyn that requires you to line up at 4pm for dinner a few hours later. Once you embrace the wait, the brusque servers, and their one-bottle-per-table BYOB policy, you’ll appreciate Lucali’s complete dedication to the craft, and care less about their complete lack of interest in you. You won’t even mind that there’s only one option (not counting a calzone) to choose from, because it’s the perfect New York pizza: a thin, crunchy crust, a serious sprinkle of minced garlic, a shower of basil, and tomato sauce that’s a little sweet, a little tangy, and good enough to eat with a spoon.
photo credit: Kim Kovacik
A recent survey proved that Pequod’s was a contributing factor in people’s decision to relocate to Chicago. OK, not really, but this pizza is so good that it’s got us making up census data. Pequod’s serves pan-style pies with sauce underneath the toppings (unlike traditional Chicago-style deep dish, which has sauce on top). But what sets these pies apart from the average pan-style is its “caramelized” crust, also known as the burnt edges of crispy cheese surrounding the pizza. The crust itself is thick and airy with a great crunch, and the pies only have a little bit of sauce.
photo credit: Buddy's Pizza
Detroit-style pizza is no longer just popular in Michigan, as almost every city in America has come to realize how great this style is. With that, it’s important to point out where it started: Buddy’s Pizza. What makes these pies great is the balance of the crispy, thick edges on every slice—something you only get with a square pizza—and the soft, airy inside. This local chain has now expanded to 22 locations across Michigan, meaning you can get your fix of the rectangular, thick-crust pan pies wherever you are in the state.
photo credit: GAB BONGHI
Pizzeria Beddia used to be a counter-service spot where you had to stand outside in a two-hour line for a chance at a slice. Now, it’s a chic, airy restaurant with a long natural wine list, Italian small plates, and still, the city’s best pies. Our favorite, the No. 2, is topped with calabrian cream, mozzarella, gouda, and fresh greens, all on top of crispy yet bubbly dough. The two kinds of cheese are what really set this pie apart: the whole thing is so creamy, it tastes like there are mini fondue machines hidden around the edges.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
In LA, we’re skeptical of the Detroit-style pizza trend. These pan pies have pummeled the city, and it’s tough to tell which shops are doing the style justice and which ones are just cashing in on the fad. Quarter Sheets falls into the first camp. This shop is full-on '90s birthday party nostalgia, but with even better pizza. Their inch-high, focaccia-like crusts crackle and snap like that one cereal that has elven brothers as mascots. Inside, a pillowy middle soaks up sweet red sauce that’s striped across the top. The words “crunchy” and “gooey” don’t even begin to cut it.
photo credit: Sarah Newman
Antico is Atlanta’s Michael of pizza (any Michael: Tyson, Jordan, Jackson). They’ve nailed the perfectly charred, chewy doneness of the Neapolitan pie like no other. And like “flu game Jordan,” they never disappoint—probably since they keep a short menu and a strict no-substitutions rule. The service is also super speedy. Pizzas topped with imported Italian meats and cheeses come delivered to your table in near minutes after placing your order at the counter.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
For the longest time, people (mostly from a state with the word “New” in it) could rightfully talk down on Miami’s pizza scene. Then Miami Slice came into our lives, with a New York-style pizza so good, we’d slap any naysayers across the face to initiate a pizza duel. The slices at this tiny shop are crispy from corner to corner, perfectly ratioed with incredible toppings, and one of the very few foods we’ll cheerfully wait three hours in the sun to consume. The wait times are pretty intense, and getting your pizza to go can actually take longer than waiting for a seat at the small counter, so just brave the often chaotic line and eat it fresh from the oven.
photo credit: Carly Hackbarth
Outta Sight in SF nails every element necessary to a perfect slice. There’s a chewy yet crisp crust that’s foldable without getting soggy. Toppings are packed with flavor, whether you opt for the smoky pepperoni cups or slightly sweet vodka sauce paired with globs of gooey mozzarella. And a satisfying, bright orange grease drips out of the creases. Plus, you get to devour it all in the company of E-40 bobbleheads and Giants foam fingers on the wall.
photo credit: Holly Dirks
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk up to Side Eye Pie’s trailer at Meanwhile Brewing in Austin is the giant, wood-fired oven bolted onto the end. It’s what gives the pizzas their signature blistered and chewy crust and floppy center, while also making the whole place look like a tiny little rocket ship. The pies here lean Neapolitan in style, with classic mozzarella and basil toppings and a mushroom pizza topped with parma cream and some funky fontina cheese.
photo credit: Chelsea Thomas
Tiny Champions in Houston keeps the pizza simple and a little snazzy—it’s like the restaurant threw a blazer over a graphic tee before heading out of the door. Thin slices of ricotta pizza get topped with delightfully charred kale greens, and the crispy crust is just soft enough for the slice to fold over with ease. The compact dining room is full of mismatched chandeliers fit for a sophisticated fairy dinner party, with dainty slices of pizza.
photo credit: Nate Watters
When you’re looking for the best pizza within Seattle’s city limits, head to Dino’s Tomato Pie and order a Mr. Pink. This square pizza is topped with sweet vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, parm, and basil. The crust is thick and crunchy, and the whole bottom is so charred to a dark crisp that many Yelp users incorrectly assume it’s burnt. Let it be known that the thinner, round version of the same pie also hits just right, especially after 11pm alongside a negroni and fistful of garlic knots.
photo credit: Nina Palazzolo
DC isn’t known for being a pizza town, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great pies here. For the best, head to 2Amys, where they’ve been serving Neapolitan-style pizza for more than 20 years. The wood-fired pizzas come out charred and gooey, and while we love to keep it simple with their namesake pie that’s topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, there truly are no bad choices here. The simple, two-story restaurant is one of those places that works well for any occasion, whether you’re headed out for date night or having dinner with your parents.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
Razza is to Jersey City what The Eiffel Tower is to Paris or Britney Spears is to Kentwood, Louisiana. They’re iconic, and for good reason. The puffy, blistered crust is light enough that one person can easily finish a whole pie, and it’s salty and sweet enough that you’ll order another long after you’re full. And then there are the toppings, like mozzarella made from Jersey water buffaloes, specially-bred hazelnuts, and produce that proves “The Garden State” slogan isn’t sarcasm.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
The pies at Pizzeria Bianco launched Phoenix’s food scene into the orbit of national conversation. Seriously, these pizzas are so famous they moved to Downtown Los Angeles, where a new Bianco’s debuted in 2022. But there’s a reason the original location is still a place that people line up for: the dough is seriously flavorful on its own, having been fermented for 18-20 hours, giving it a delicious yeasty tang. Head to the original location for pies like the Biancoverde with mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, ricotta, and arugula before a Diamondbacks game, or a weekday lunch when there’s less of a wait.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
Sally’s should be your go-to when you want to try New Haven-style pizza, known locally as apizza. They’ve been around since 1938, have served everybody from JFK to Sinatra, and even though you’ll likely have to wait behind a bunch of tourists, the pies are well worth it. You should try at least one classic pie with the thinnest layer of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan, but you can also load up with toppings like pepperoni, hot peppers, anchovies, and more. Either way, it’ll come with a perfectly cooked crust that has plenty of bite and a nice even char.
photo credit: Tobin Voggesser
Denver may not exactly be known for its pizza (although there is something called “mountain-style” pie), but recently, there’s been something of a pizza boom happening throughout the city. Regardless of what time zone you live in, Cart-Driver makes exceptional wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pies with the perfect chewy, crunchy, cheesy, and tangy bite. And the toppings go beyond the classics—we’re talking wood-roasted chanterelles, littleneck clams, and lamb shoulder.
photo credit: Stu Mullenberg
Portland doesn’t have a history of strong pizza traditions, which means you’ll never be subjected to a Chicago deep dish vs. NYC slice debate (though everybody here loves eating pizza with ranch). If anything could represent Portland-style pizza, though, it’d be Lovely’s Fifty Fifty. Expect a tangy sourdough crust, no sauce, and seasonal toppings like cherry tomato confit, summer squash, and orange-infused olive oil. Don’t be surprised if you see a rainbow of edible flowers sprinkled on top, which is prettier than sliced basil anyways.
photo credit: Robert Alvarez
There are plenty of incredible pizza places around San Juan, but Fidela is the one you should try first. The restaurant used to be a food truck that would typically sell out around noon, but now it’s a full sit-down spot with the same exceptional pizza as before. All of their wood-oven, sourdough-crust pies are excellent, but the honey pepperoni and cacio e pepe are next level.