Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Co. in New York City
Photo: Photo © Squire Fox

Top chefs and legendary bakers are among the new breed of pizzaiolo 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.

01 of 28

Philadelphia: Pizzeria Vetri

Best Pizza Places: Pizzeria Vetri
Photo © Steve Legato

At this pizza spot by Marc Vetri, one of the country's best 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 house-made mortadella and ricotta wrapped in pizza dough, topped with Sicilian pistachio pesto.

02 of 28

Oakland, CA: A16 Rockridge

Best Pizza Places: A16Rockridge
Photo © Natalie Compton

Chef Rocky Maselli runs the kitchen here as well as at the A16 flagship in San Francisco. What separates the Oakland spot from the original 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).

03 of 28

Santa Monica, CA: Milo & Olive

Best Pizza Places: Milo & Olive
Photo © 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, which are topped with seasonal—and often unconventional—combinations like butternut squash, caramelized onion, fontina cream, 25-year-aged balsamic and thyme.

04 of 28

Robbinsdale, MN: Pig Ate My Pizza

Best Pizza Places: Pig Ate My Pizza
Photo © Courtney Perry

This pizza spot in a suburb just outside Minneapolis pulls off its funky, unorthodox pies with brio. Crusts include thin and deep-dish brioche, and toppings range from pulled pork shoulder to potato chips.

05 of 28

San Francisco: Del Popolo

Best Pizza Places: Del Popolo
Photo © Matthew Millman

Jon Darsky, a former pizzaiolo at San Francisco's excellent Flour & Water, has repurposed a 20-foot shipping container to create his impressive mobile pizza restaurant. The setup includes a handmade wood-burning oven from Naples that's protected with massive air bags during transit.

06 of 28

New York City: Don Antonio by Starita

Best New Pizza Places: Don Antonio by Starita
Photo © 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 50 different pies—including fried montanara.

07 of 28

Los Angeles: 800 Degrees

Best Pizza Places: 800 Degrees
Photo © 800 Degrees

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

08 of 28

Providence, RI: Al Forno

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island
Photo 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 superfresh ingredients. Their signature margarita pizza is topped with house-made pomodoro, fresh herbs, two cheeses and extra virgin olive oil.

09 of 28

New York City: Forcella

Best New Pizza Places: Forcella
Photo 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 a Manhattan location.

10 of 28

San Francisco: Casey's Pizza Truck

Best New Pizza Places: Casey's Pizza Truck
Photo © 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 crust, a recipe two years in the making, gets perfectly crispy after four minutes in the 700-degree oven.

11 of 28

New York City: Sottocasa

Best New Pizza Places: Sottocasa
Photo © 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.

12 of 28

Seattle: Via Tribunali

Best New Pizza Places: Via Tribunali
Photo courtesy of Via Tribunali

Seattle espresso-and-pizza-empire builder Mike McConnell now has four 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.

13 of 28

New York City, Atlanta: Ribalta

Best New Pizza Places: Ribalta
Photo courtesy of Ribalta

The first US location of an Italian chain has three ovens—a wood one for Napoletana, a convection one for Roman-style pizza and a brick one for other styles. It will also be home to New York's first branch of Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli, Italy's famed pizza school.

14 of 28

Boston: Santarpio's Pizza

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Santarpio's Pizza in Boston
Photo © Amy Swan

This super traditional pizzeria, 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 homemade sausage pie.

15 of 28

Los Angeles: Pizzeria Mozza

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles
Photo © Larry Sales

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

16 of 28

San Francisco: Flour + Water

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Flour + Water in San Francisco
Photo © Lesley Kao

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.

17 of 28

New Haven, CT: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, CT
Photo © 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 the most popular pie is the white clam pizza.

18 of 28

New York City: Motorino

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Motorino in New York City
Photo 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, the signature item is his pizza with brussels sprouts, smoked pancetta, mozzarella, pecorino and garlic.

19 of 28

San Francisco: Pizzeria Delfina

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco
Photo © Eric Wolfinger

An offshoot of Delfina restaurant, from Craig and Anne Stoll, with Neapolitan-inspired pies like the signature margherita and variations with delicious toppings like house-made fennel sausage.

20 of 28

Brooklyn: Paulie Gee's

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn
Photo © 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 Fior di Latte, tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, olive oil and fresh basil.

21 of 28

Philadelphia: Tacconelli's Pizzeria

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

22 of 28

New York: Kesté Pizza and Vino

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

Chef-co-owner Roberto Caporuscio worked as a cheese salesman in Italy before he opened Kesté, one of the best Neapolitan 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.

23 of 28

Brooklyn: Lucali

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Lucali in Brooklyn
Photo © Eric Mueller

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

24 of 28

New York City: Rubirosa

Best Pizza Places: Rubirosa
Photo courtesy of Rubirosa

Hard to believe, but it can be tough to find good Italian food in and around Little Italy. No more: Rubirosa, run by Angelo "AJ" Pappalardo, specializes in a thin-crusted pie that dates back to a 51-year-old family recipe from Staten Island. The Pappalardos also added a gluten-free pizza dough to the menu.

25 of 28

Phoenix, AZ: Pizzeria Bianco

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ
Photo © Robyn Lee

The pizzas here are arguably America's best, with beautiful, wood-fired crusts made with organic flour, fresh mozzarella 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.

26 of 28

Brooklyn: Totonno's

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Totonno's in New York City
Photo © Robyn Lee

The Coney Island institution made its name with big, saucy margherita Neapolitan pies.

27 of 28

Brooklyn: Di Fara

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Di Fara in Brooklyn
Photo © Shane Mitchell

Seventy-plus-year-old owner Domenico DeMarco makes all the pies at this Brooklyn pizza mecca, so they come out with the perfect balance of tomato sauce (made fresh daily), mozzarella and Grana Padano cheeses. A Di Fara spin-off called Tagliare opened in LaGuardia Airport in the fall of 2010.

28 of 28

New York City: Co.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.: Co. in New York City
Photo © 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. His signature pie, aptly named the Popeye, is topped with pecorino, Gruyère, mozzarella, black pepper, garlic and spinach, of course.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles