Pizza! The word alone just made your mouth water, right? And for good reason – Whether it’s deep dish, thin crust, big enough to fit a hula hoop around it or covered with every topping imaginable, the cheesy pie is never a bad choice. But with pizzerias getting more creative with ingredients and methods or perfecting the classics, the hunt for an even better pizza is an ongoing one. That is why we’re glad The Daily Meal came up with its list of the best pizzas from all over the country.
Out of the 140 pizzerias considered, and after hundreds of votes by 20 American chefs, restaurant critics and pizza authorities (oh yeah, those exist), 35 pizzerias were named the nation’s best.
We have the top 10. Check to see if one from your city is on the list. As for us, we know what we’re having for lunch today. And dinner tonight. And breakfast tomorrow.
10. Fireside Pies (Dallas)
This pizzeria got its start in an old cottage in Dallas nearly a decade ago. Since then it has added a handful of restaurants around the city that serve up artisan-style pizzas. The pies are cooked in a wood-fired oven and include ingredients such as house-made chicken sausage, balsamic roasted chicken, and prosciutto and Parmesan.
9. Co. (New York City)
Find this spot in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, where Jim Lahey opened up Co. (pronounced Company) to offer customers a fresh new spin on Roman-style pizzas, and a unique communal dining experience. What gives Lahey’s pies their flare? Try ingredients like mushroom with jalapeño, or ham and cheese with delicious pecorino, Gruyère, mozzarella, prosciutto, and caraway. What about Eggs? He’s got those too!
8. Gino’s East (Chicago)
This environment is as much an experience of this Chicago spot as the pizzas are. The graffiti-covered walls come courtesy of dedicated patrons who follow the tradition of carving out their names around the pizzeria. The pies themselves come with buttery crusts, and are stuffed with a layer of fillings such as sweet Italian sausage and pineapples. The toppings include very generous amounts of mozzarella chees and crushed vine-ripened tomatoes.
Although most of this pizzeria’s locations are in Chicago, neighboring Wisconsin also gets in on the party with a Gino’s of its own.
7. Frank Pepe (New Haven, Conn.)
Considered a checklist destination one of the acclaimed pizzas this place serves up is the clam pie. The Daily Meal says Pepe’s makes the best of this Northeastern pizza with “freshly-shucked, briny littleneck clams, an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated cheese atop a charcoal-colored crust. The advanced move? Clam pie with bacon.” And everything is better with bacon.
6. Joe’s (New York City)
Joe’s has landed a spot on nearly every Best Pizzas list out there and it owes much of this fame to its traditional New York City-style pizza. Joe’s has been serving this pie which comes with a thin crust, great sauce, and just the right ratio of cheese, sauce, and crust since 1975. Be sure to check out this spot at least once (though we’re sure you’ll be back for more).
5. Vito & Nick’s (Chicago)
Chicago is known for its deep-dish pies, but this spot might make you feel like you’re in New York instead. The family-owned restaurant serves us think crust pizzas and has been doing so for decades. The generous cheese and sauce on their thin crusts will likely make a fan out of you…even if you’re a dedicated deep-dish Chicago person.
4. Pizano’s (Chicago)
This is another Chicago spot that offers thin crust pizza, but it stays true to its deep dish roots, offering up the revered Rudy’s Special. This monster of a deep dish pizza is topped with cheese, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers and requires patience from the customer as it takes up to 30 minutes to cook through all the way. As the fourth pizzeria on the list, we’re comfortable saying the wait is well worth it.
3. John’s Pizzeria (New York City)
This place has been cooking its pizzas in a coal-fired brick oven since 1929. Included in the delicious toppings are ingredients such as pepperoni, sausage, sliced meatball, garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms, ricotta, sliced tomato, anchovies, olives, and roasted tomatoes. This is another place where graffiti is welcome and you can scratch your name right into the walls. One thing to keep in mind: Go with an appetite. This is a pies-only place, no slices.
2. Motorina (New York City)
At this famed spot, you can go safe with the traditional marinara and Margherita pizzas, or you can be adventurous with one of its more exciting pies, such as one with cherry stone clams, or another with Brussels sprouts. The Daily Meal also recommends Motorino’s octopus appetizers, which the site says are the best in the city. We’ll take their word.
1. Di Fara (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Domenico DeMarco is has owned and operated Di Fara since 1964 and is considered a celebrity in this Brooklyn neighborhood. Locals and tourists that are willing to wait in line can devour either one of Domenico’s New York and Sicilian-style pizza Wednesdays through Sundays. This is another spot where you want to come with an appetite or friends as you can’t get individual slices and have to get the whole pie. Seeing as how Di Fara is the best pizzeria in the country, we’re sure that won’t be a problem at all.
For more of the list, click here.
Feature Image: Fireside Pies