America’s 25 Favorite Pizza Joints

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Pizza is America’s favorite food. According to a survey conducted last year by The Harris Poll for the California Pizza Kitchen chain, some 21% of the 2,000-plus American diners questioned named pizza as the food they’d pick if they could only eat one thing for the rest of their lives. Pizza beat out steak (16%), burgers (13%), both tacos and pasta (11% each) — though strangely enough, only one pizza operation made our recent list of America’s favorite regional fast food chains: Seattle-based MOD Pizza, which is also the fastest-growing fast-food chain in America.

Every man, woman, and child in the nation eats an average of 23 pounds of pizza annually — that translates to around 46 slices — adding up to a total of about 3 billion pies. To break the pie chart down another way, about 350 slices get consumed every second of the day.

24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of the 25 best pizzerias in America according to Yelp reviewers.

A lot of that pizza — 59%, according to one recent estimate — gets eaten at home, and while some ambitious cooks doubtless make their own from scratch (or with a premade crust), it’s safe to say that a large portion comes out of the supermarket freezer case. (Americans spend about $4.4 billion on frozen pizza annually, and it’s said that two out of three households consume it regularly.)

On the other hand, there are reportedly more than 61,000 pizzerias around the country, and while an immense quantity of pizza gets delivered to residences and offices — especially though not exclusively by the big chains — a lot of pizza-eaters go out for their pies.

Their favorite pizza joints around the country run the gamut from holes-in-the-wall to sleekly designed modern eateries, with menus ranging from the strictly traditional to the wildly imaginative. Some have gas ovens, others burn wood or coal. Some serve almost nothing but pizza, while others offer at least a small selection of appetizers, salads, pastas, and/or sandwiches. None qualify as among the best restaurants in America, but behind them all are people who are passionate about pizza and try to make it the best way they can.

24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of the 25 best pizzerias in America according to Yelp reviewers. Some of the country’s most famous names are missing — Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Frank Pepe’s in New Haven, John’s of Bleecker Street in Manhattan, Di Fara and Roberta’s in Brooklyn, etc. — and Chicagoans will doubtless be outraged (or bewildered) to find no entries from their city here.

But these are the pizzerias most favored by the pizza-lovers who post their reviews online, and every one produces pizzas of quality and distinction, whatever the style.

In compiling this list of America’s 25 favorite pizza joints, 24/7 Tempo considered only establishments listed on Yelp. We regarded only pizzerias located in or near one of America’s 1,000 largest cities by population, and only places with at least 100 ratings. The ranking is based on the total number of ratings and on the average rating score.