28 of the Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Keste Pizza and Vino in New York
Photo: Photo courtesy of Keste Pizza and Vino

Top chefs and legendary bakers are among the new breed of pizzaiolos who are just as fanatical about the temperature of their ovens as they are about the provenance of their ingredients. Here, F&W names the best places for pizza around the country from these new guard spots — including a Bay Area pizzeria that uses locally milled flour — to century-old East Coast institutions.

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Pizzeria Vetri (Philadelphia)

Best Pizza Places: Pizzeria Vetri

© Steve Legato

At this pizza spot by Marc Vetri, one of the country's renowned Italian chefs, the Neapolitan pies come with thick, chewy crusts and toppings like prosciutto crudo and roasted fennel. The rotolo, not to be missed, are pink, fatty slices of housemade mortadella and ricotta wrapped in pizza dough, topped with Sicilian pistachio pesto.

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A16 Rockridge (Oakland, California)

Best Pizza Places: A16Rockridge

© Natalie Compton

What separates the Oakland outpost from the A16 flagship in San Francisco is the massive Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven — which cook pizzas in 90 seconds — and a few different pies such as the Montanara Rockridge (lightly fried pizza dough topped with smoky tomato sauce, burrata, and basil).

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Milo & Olive (Santa Monica, California)

Best Pizza Places: Milo & Olive

© Emily Hart Roth

Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan's burgeoning food empire includes this bakery cum pizzeria featuring Nathan's excellent breads and whole–grain pie dough, topped with seasonal — and often unconventional — combinations like butternut squash, caramelized onion, Fontina cream, 25-year-aged balsamic, and thyme.

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Pig Ate My Pizza at Nouvelle Brewing (Robbinsdale, Minnesota)

Best Pizza Places: Pig Ate My Pizza

© Courtney Perry

This small-batch brewery in a suburb just outside Minneapolis pulls off its funky, unorthodox pies with brio. Toppings range from chicken tikka masala and tomato curry to crushed Doritos.

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Del Popolo (San Francisco)

Best Pizza Places: Del Popolo

© Matthew Millman

In 2012, Jon Darsky, a former pizzaiolo at San Francisco's excellent Flour + Water, repurposed a 20-foot shipping container to create his impressive mobile pizza restaurant. The setup included a handmade wood-burning oven from Naples that was protected with massive airbags during transit. The truck no longer operates, but the restaurant has been in its brick-and-mortar location since 2015.

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Don Antonio by Starita (New York City)

Best New Pizza Places: Don Antonio by Starita

© Anthony Bianciella Photography

Roberto Caporuscio, of New York's Kesté, has partnered with his mentor, Antonio Starita, a third-generation Italian pizzaiolo. Their Midtown pizzeria serves more than 45 pies — including fried montanara — and is now helmed by Caporuscio's pizzaiola daughter, Giorgia.

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800 Degrees (Los Angeles)

Best Pizza Places: 800 Degrees

© 800 Degrees

From the folks behind Umami Burger: fast artisanal pizza. Each pie is made to order and cooks in 60 seconds. 800degreespizza.com

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Al Forno (Providence, Rhode Island)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island

Courtesy of Al Forno Restaurant

In 1980, Johanne Killeen and George Germon launched a new era of ambitious cooking in Providence with their thin-crusted grilled pizzas topped with super-fresh ingredients. Their signature margarita pizza is topped with house-made pomodoro, fresh herbs, two cheeses, and extra-virgin olive oil.

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Forcella (New York City)

Best New Pizza Places: Forcella

Courtesy of Forcella

Though it sounds like an abomination, montanara, or fried pizza, is a Neapolitan tradition. The dough is deep-fried, then topped and baked, adding a depth of flavor. In 2011, Giulio Adriani introduced New Yorkers to the delicacy at Brooklyn's Forcella; he's since opened two Manhattan locations.

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Casey's Pizza (San Francisco)

Best New Pizza Places: Casey's Pizza Truck

© David Karvasales

East Coast transplant Casey Crynes was making pizza on the street, using a modified 18-inch Weber grill, before outfitting a former laundry truck with a gas-fueled oven in 2011. His Casey's restaurant on 4th Street has been open since 2017.

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Sottocasa (New York City)

Best New Pizza Places: Sottocasa

© Luca Arrigoni

The old floors of this Brooklyn pizzeria couldn't handle the weight of the 4,000-pound pizza oven that owner Luca Arrigoni had ordered, so he hired a crane to lift it three stories over the building and into the backyard. Arrigoni then built walls around the hearth, where he now makes the Neapolitan-style pies he mastered at Kesté.

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Via Tribunali (Seattle)

Best New Pizza Places: Via Tribunali

Courtesy of Via Tribunali

Seattle espresso-and-pizza-empire builder Mike McConnell opened two local branches of his Via Tribunali pizzeria. The Neapolitan-style pizzas have puffy crusts that cook in just 45 seconds in an oven made with imported bricks — from Naples, of course. The house specialty is a stuffed pizza: dough wrapped around sausage, mozzarella, smoked provolone, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli rabe.

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Ribalta (New York City)

Best New Pizza Places: Ribalta

Courtesy of Ribalta

At Ribalta, all of the ingredients are Neapolitan, including the flour blend, yeast, cheese, and tomatoes. Partner and executive chef Pasquale Cozzolino was a student of Gaetano Esposito at culinary school in Naples — the great-grand-nephew of the chef who invented the Neapolitan pizza Margherita.

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Santarpio's Pizza (Boston)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Santarpio's Pizza in Boston

© Amy Swan

Super-traditional pizzeria Santarpio's, with wood-paneled walls covered with pictures of famous athletes, has been around for more than a century and serves outstanding pizzas, like the signature housemade sausage pie.

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Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles

© Larry Sales

Powerhouse team Joseph Bastianich and Nancy Silverton combine the best California ingredients (squash blossoms and super-juicy tomatoes, for example) with Italian tradition (big wood-burning ovens and house-made mozzarella) to form some of L.A.'s best pies at Pizzeria Mozza.

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Flour + Water (San Francisco)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Flour + Water in San Francisco

© Lesley Kao

At Flour + Water, the phenomenal pizza Margherita (tomato sauce, Fior di Latte, and extra-virgin olive oil) has delicious puffy and charred cornicione (end crust), the result of just two minutes in the 800-degree wood-burning oven imported from Italy.

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Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven, Connecticut)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, CT

© Doug Schneider Photography

This longstanding classic, considered ground zero for New Haven-style "apizza," was started by Frank Pepe in 1925 and is now run by his grandchildren. The Original Tomato Pie (without mozzarella) is still on the menu, but White Clam Pizza is the most popular.

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Motorino (New York City)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Motorino in New York City

Courtesy of Motorino

Chef Mathieu Palombino cooked at BLT Fish before he embarked on his pizza-tasting tour, traveling from Italy to California, trying pies to perfect his bready, well-salted crust. At his restaurant, Motorino, the signature item is his pizza with brussels sprouts, smoked pancetta, mozzarella, pecorino, and garlic.

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Pizzeria Delfina (San Francisco)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco

© Eric Wolfinger

An offshoot of Delfina restaurant, from Craig and Anne Stoll, Pizzeria Delfina boasts Neapolitan-inspired pies like the signature Margherita and variations with delicious toppings such as housemade fennel sausage.

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Paulie Gee's (Brooklyn)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn

© Evan Sung

Gregarious pizza legend Paulie Gee serves Neapolitan pies with inspired toppings like a cream sauce made with anisette, a sweet anise liqueur. His signature Regina pie is topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, olive oil, and basil.

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Tacconelli's Pizzeria (Philadelphia)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Tacconelli's Pizzeria in Philadelphia

© Helen Horstmann

This Philly pizza institution hasn't changed the recipe for its tomato pies (minimal cheese) since Italian immigrant Giovanni Tacconelli started serving them in 1946.

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Kesté Pizza and Vino (New York)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Keste Pizza and Vino in New York

Courtesy of Keste Pizza and Vino

Chef and co-owner Roberto Caporuscio worked as a cheese salesman in Italy before he opened Kesté, one of the best Neapolitan-style pizza spots in New York City. His signature Regina Margherita pizza is topped with tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, grape tomatoes, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.

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Lucali (Brooklyn)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Lucali in Brooklyn

© Eric Mueller

Chef-owner Mark Iacono's outstanding pies are served in a no-frills dining room. Brooklyn's Lucali was packed before he was even able to officially open and pull the brown paper off the windows.

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Rubirosa (New York City)

Best Pizza Places: Rubirosa

Courtesy of Rubirosa

Hard to believe, but it can be tough to find good Italian food in and around Little Italy. No more: Rubirosa, founded by Angelo "AJ" Pappalardo in 2009, specializes in a thin-crusted pie that dates back to a nearly 60-year-old family recipe from Staten Island. The Pappalardos also offer a gluten-free pizza dough on the menu.

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Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix, Arizona)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ

© Robyn Lee

The pizzas here are arguably America's best, with beautiful, wood-fired crusts made from organic flour and topped with fresh and house-smoked mozzarella. Star pizzaiolo Chris Bianco's favorite pie is his marinara pizza and there's almost always a line out the door at Pizzeria Bianco.

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Totonno's (Brooklyn)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Totonno's in New York City

© Robyn Lee

Coney Island institution Totonno's made its name with big, saucy Margherita Neapolitan pies.

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Di Fara (Brooklyn)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Di Fara in Brooklyn

© Shane Mitchell

Late owner Domenico DeMarco made pies at this Brooklyn pizza landmark well into his 80s, so they came out with the perfect balance of tomato sauce (made fresh daily), mozzarella, and Grana Padano cheeses. Di Fara is still family-owned and operated.

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Sullivan Street Pizza (New York City)

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Co. in New York City

© Squire Fox

Sullivan Street Bakery founder Jim Lahey is one of the country's elite bakers, so it makes sense that people can't stop talking about his chewy, crisp, ever-so-slightly tangy pie crusts at Sullivan Street Pizza, formerly Co. His signature pie, aptly named the Popeye, is topped with pecorino, Gruyère, mozzarella, black pepper, garlic, and spinach, of course.

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