October is National Pizza Month, and to celebrate we combed through the internet, reached out to our journalists for recommendations, and consulted the various Top-10 lists from around the nation in the hopes of finding America’s best pizza. There were 15 pizza shops that seemed to be recommended over and over again. What makes this list so unique is that many of these restaurants are loved for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s history, cultural significance, great vegan options, or a unique menu,one thing is for sure, these are some of the best places to get pizza in the USA!
Mystic Pizza is your classic American small-town pizza shop. They’ve been known for serving up delicious pies for decades and became the setting of the famous Julia Robert’s movie, Mystic Pizza. The house specialty is a supreme pizza filled with meatballs, sausage, green pepper, mushroom, and onion. But Mystic doesn’t forget its New England roots, and also offers pizzas like the Seafood Delight, which comes loaded with shrimp, clams, and scallops, seasoned with garlic, oregano, and parsley. And don’t forget to try some of their much-loved appetizers like the fried pickles and garlic bread.
PLANT BASED PIZZERIA
Vegan pizza doesn’t need to taste vegan…and Plant Based in Atlanta has come up with some awesome pizzas that everyone can enjoy. Not only do they do vegan options of classics like pepperoni and Meat Lovers, but they also serve up Southern-inspired Georgia flavors, like their Georgia Peach, which is topped with spicy Beyond Sausage, red onions, jalapenos, and of course, a hefty portion of peach slices.
JOHN’S PIZZERIA OF BLEECKER STREET
New York City
Located in New York’s trendy Greenwich Village, John’s has been serving pizza since 1929 in one of America’s most famous pizza towns, so you know they’re good. They cook their pizzas the old-fashioned way, in a coal-fired brick oven. The menu isn’t big, and none of the toppings are crazy or unique, but that’s the entire point. John’s is all about making classic pizzas the right way. And with huge crowds every night of the week, it’s obvious that they know how it’s done.
Ranch, in hip and trendy Portland, takes pizza to the next level. They serve square pizzas designed for dipping. Pizza choices are standard favorites (as well as their famous “#4 pizza” which comes topped with spicy sausage, Calabrian chilies, Ricotta, aged mozzarella, red sauce, pecorino, and fresh basil.) but the real star is their house-made ranch dipping sauce, because every pizza here is designed to be dunked…They’re called Ranch for a reason!
Basta is an upscale Boulder eatery dishing out artisan pizzas that both residents and visitors love. Popular pizza toppings at Basta include lamb sausage, fennel pollen, chili honey, prosciutto, and fontina cheese. One of our favorites is their Clam Pizza, topped with (of course) clams, as well as garlic, chili, herbs, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Located in San Francisco’s famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, Bizza is a winning pizza joint for everyone. They prepare traditional pizzas, vegan pizzas, and even gluten-free pizzas! A crowd-favorite is the falafel pizza, topped with tahini, green olives, pickles, shatta (traditional Mediterranean hot sauce), and homemade falafel. It’s a pizza that brings the ingredients of both ends of the Mediterranean together to create something epic and delicious.
For years, the thick, square Detroit Pizza flew under the radar, but recently the style is seeing a rush of popularity in culinary institutions around the world. It’s the kind of pizza where the crust is as delicious as the toppings. Cloverleaf’s owner, Gus Guerra, is credited with originating the style back in 1946. To this day, pizza-lovers line up for this midwestern classic known for its hearty, chewy crust with crips edges.
For a tropical interpretation of pizza classics, a visit to Sophie’s in Hawaii is a must. The pizza shop offers a build-your-own menu, but with a Hawaiian twist. Diners can ask for a guava-infused pizza crust and even a macadamia nut cream pizza sauce. The restaurant also offers tons of Hawaiian toppings like Kalua pig, and of course, pineapple. Hawaii also has a big Asian influence, and that’s also shown at Sophie’s, where pizza toppings include things like char siu, choy sum, and even kimchee.
Blackbird serves up gourmet vegan pizzas that even meat-lovers can enjoy. Some of the house specials include the Funghi, which comes loaded with assorted mushrooms that are seasoned with garlic “butter”, thyme, and truffle oil. And, being Philly, they of course offer a cheesesteak pizza, but substitute the cheese and steak for seitan and vegan cheese. For those looking to have dessert, they also prepare fresh vegan cupcakes and whoopie pies!
What list of epic pizza places would be complete without a mention of Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza? Bartoli’s is known for having one of Chicago’s original deep dish recipes, created by Fred Bartoli. The restaurant’s famous pizza, the Chicago Classic, is two inches deep and is loaded with Italian sausage, mushroom, onion, and green pepper, all mixed together with homemade pizza sauce and loaded with cheese. It’s the best way to warm up from the frigid Chicago winters.
The award-winning Pizza Rock in Las Vegas, headed by restauranteur Tony Gemignani, is known for dishing out all types of pizza classics, from thin crust, to Detroit style, New York style, and even traditional Italian. What makes this place truly special though is that it does each of these extremely well. It’s the perfect pizza joint for people with varying tastes. Plus, in classic Vegas style, the restaurant is a visually stunning playground for the senses.
LA is known for its funky, eclectic food scene, and Hail Mary brings that carefree attitude to the world of pizza with classics like the Lord Cheesus, which is loaded with a whopping six kinds of cheese: mozzarella, gorgonzola, parmesan, raclette, ricotta, and feta. For another unique pie, try the Guist-Oh, loaded with potato, chard, feta, lemon zest, and freshly ground black pepper. There’s a reason why Hail Mary is ranked as one of Southern California’s best pizza spots.
Nicky’s serves up some of the best traditional pizza to the Music City. Baked in a coal-fired oven lovingly named Enrico, Nicky’s pizzas are a taste of old-warm charm in a young, modern, up-and-coming town. But they’re whipping up more than just pizzas, their sourdough breadsticks and homemade meatballs are also must-eats, and for dessert, you can’t resist the house special, tiramisu!
Bayside, New York
If you’re looking for some really insane pizzas, Krave It is the place to go. Their famous Cheeseburger Pie is literally made by placing 16 bacon cheeseburgers onto an 18-inch pizza. Not weird enough? How about a gyro pizza, a grilled cheese pizza, a General Tso’s pizza, or the Love At First Sight, which is filled to the brim with buffalo chicken, mac n’ cheese, and cool ranch Doritos? When regular pizza just isn’t enough anymore, you gotta’ head over to Krave It.
Key West, Florida
Key West is home to Duetto, a restaurant that has been ranked as one of the Top 10 pizza places in America. Duetto makes their pizzas with their famous sauce, and the recipe is a closely-guarded secret. Customer-favorites include the traditional Italian eggplant pizza and the Tricolore, which mixes diced tomatoes, fresh arugula, and mozzarella, creating a smooth and slightly peppery taste in each bite. They also make their own gelato—perfect for an after-pizza walk along Duval Street.