If you love pizza, you’re not alone. A few years back, at the behest of the California Pizza Kitchen chain, the Harris Poll conducted a survey of attitudes towards pizza on the part of more than 2,000 U.S. adults. The study found that, if they could only eat one food for the rest of their lives, 21% of the participants would choose pizza – more than any other food by far.
Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in America each year, and we consume an average of 23 pounds (or 46 slices) per capita annually. A lot of that, of course, comes frozen from the supermarket or gets delivered from (or picked up at) one of the big multi-unit pizza purveyors, like Domino’s or Pizza Hut or some slightly smaller local chain. Some of these latter operations do a very good job.
In all, there are about 77,000 pizzerias and restaurants specializing in pizza in America. This includes the chains, large and small, but also a large number of individual establishments or operations with just a handful of outposts. (These are the American cities with the most pizza places.)
To compile a list of the best pizzeria in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted and extrapolated from lists, ratings, and reviews from websites including The Daily Meal, Eater, Food & Wine, Insider, Reader’s Digest, PBS, Far & Wide, Mashed, Thrillist, and Yelp, as well as numerous local and regional sites.
There are many different styles of pizza around the nation. One estimate mentions as many as 24 – though probably only 10 or 12 are common, among them Neapolitan, Sicilian, deep dish, New York-style, Detroit-style, and New Haven-style (named for the Connecticut metropolis that some consider to be the country’s pizza capital).
The pizzerias on our list represent many of the possible styles, and some serve several different styles to please a wide range of customers. Some of these establishments go wild with non-traditional toppings (corn, kale, barbecue sauce), while others specialize in simple cheese pizzas, or pies with only a few additions.
According to another Harris Poll, this one commissioned last year by Hormel, the most popular of those additions in the U.S. is the slightly spicy little salami-like cured sausage called pepperoni, which outscored the second most popular, sausage, by 38% to 15%.
Many of the pizzerias on this list serve other Italian fare as well, from panini to pasta to full-fledged main dishes, but pizza is their focus. As a reflection of current dietary preferences in the U.S., it might also be noted that many of these places offer gluten-free crusts and/or vegan cheese and sometimes even vegan pepperoni.
Alabama: Post Office Pies
> Locations: Birmingham & Mountain Brook
Chef John Hall worked in several esteemed New York City restaurants before coming to Birmingham to open a pizzeria with a friend in an old post office. Pies are topped with house-made mozzarella and cooked in a handmade wood-fired brick oven, which yields crisp, thin, char-edged pies.
Alaska: Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria
> Location: Anchorage
Fellow rock climbers Rod Hancock and Matt Jones had little restaurant experience when they started serving draft beer and stone-baked pizzas in the mid-1990s, but their pies have drawn lines ever since then. The menu features some 35 variations, but the Avalanche is the best known. It’s loaded with pepperoni, blackened chicken, bacon, red onion, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, and barbecue sauce.
Arizona: Pizzeria Bianco
> Location: Phoenix
From its origins in the back of a grocery store in 1988, this pizzeria has grown into an essential destination for pizza-lovers in the West. Pies come from both a wood-fired oven (among them a version with house-smoked mozzarella, wood-roasted onions, and fennel sausage, with optional add-ons including San Daniele prosciutto and Gaeta olives) and a classic New York pizzeria-style deck oven (producing New York-style pizzas, not surprisingly, including one with three cheeses — aged provolone, montasio, and local Rovey Farms sheep’s cheese). Founder Chris Bianco was the first pizzaiolo to win a James Beard Best Chef award. Order a signature Margherita by all means, but the Rosa, with red onions, parmigiano-reggiano, rosemary, and Arizona pistachios, is a delicious specialty you shouldn’t miss.
Arkansas: DeLuca’s Pizzeria
> Location: Hot Springs
“The South’s Best Pizza,” according to Southern Living Magazine, DeLuca’s was founded by former New York City trader Anthony Valinoti. The place specializes in wood-fired brick-oven pizza, created with handmade dough and a variety of Italian-inspired ingredients like calabrese, prosciutto, and homemade mozzarella.
California: Pizzeria Mozza
> Location: Los Angeles & Newport Beach
Award-winning baker and chef Nancy Silverton’s Los Angeles. hotspot Osteria Mozza also happens to be home to one of the city’s best pizzerias. Pizzeria Mozza, attached to the restaurant, turns out a wide range of pies topped with some of the finest seasonal ingredients you’ll ever see on a pizza, including corn, Fresno chiles, Meyer lemon, and squash blossoms.
Colorado: Pizzeria Lui
> Location: Lakewood
“All pizzas are cooked at 900 degrees and come slightly charred,” promises this rustic Denver-area roadside pizzeria. The pies are one size only (14 inches) and come in both red and white variations. The Margherita is classic. Less so the seasonal Peach Pit (fresh peaches, crispy prosciutto, mozzarella, ricotta, pistachios, arugula, and spicy honey) and the Street Taco (homemade chorizo, tomatillo salsa, mozzarella, red onion, cotija cheese, corn, and cilantro).
Connecticut: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
> Locations: New Haven & other locations
Hailed repeatedly by The Daily Meal as the home of America’s best pizza, Frank Pepe is a must-visit spot if you want to be able to talk about serious pizza. Opened in New Haven’s Wooster Square in 1925, it serves long, more-or-less oval, crisp-crust pizzas fired in the restaurant’s coal ovens. The fresh tomato pie, available only in the summer months, is a favorite, but the most famous offering here is the clam pie, topped with freshly shucked littlenecks, garlic, olive oil, herbs, and parmigiano-reggiano (no mozzarella).
Delaware: Pizzeria Mariana
> Location: Newark
The Neapolitan-style pizzas here – 12-inch pies cooked in a wood-burning oven at 600-plus degrees – range from a classic margherita to creations like the Besto Pesto (including house-made walnut pesto, shredded chicken, peppadew peppers, and red onion). A few appetizers and pastas are also offered, and the dessert menu features handcrafted gelato from Pennsylvania’s Gelato Jerks.
Florida: Scuola Vecchia Pizza e Vino
> Location: Coral Springs
Shaun Aloisio was one of the first pizzaioli in America to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which sets the standards for authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. That was at the original Scuola Vecchia (which means “old school” – a hint as to Alosio’s culinary philosophy) in Delray Beach. He moved the restaurant to Coral Springs in 2021, where he continues to turn out pies that are mostly traditional (including a classic margherita) – though he does offer a kid-pleasing variation topped with hot dog pieces and french fries.
Georgia: 04W PIzza
> Location: Duluth
You wouldn’t mistake this Atlanta suburb for New Jersey or Long Island, but Anthony Spina’s “Jersey-style” pizzas (made with hand-pulled mozzarella) and his accolade-showered New York grandma pie (a basic square pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella baked in a pan) are better than many you’d find in their states of origin.
Hawaii: Brick Fire Tavern
> Location: Honolulu
The only member of the authentic-pizza-defining Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Hawaii, Brick Fire Tavern was opened in Honolulu’s Chinatown in 2016 by Matthew Resich and the late Inthira Marks, both of whom studied the art of pizza-making in Naples with one of the Associazione’s founders. The restaurant closed in the face of COVID in 2020, but reopened a few months later in a new location and has been going strong ever since. Resich uses local ingredients in his array of classic and inventive pies (and his pastas).
Idaho: Casanova Pizzeria
> Location: Boise
The original Casanova – which claims inspiration from Naples, New York City, and the Connecticut pizza capital of New Haven – opened in 2004, but closed in 2015. Last year it returned, firing up its 700-degree oven in a new location, offering a wide range of specialty pies, including (in a nod to a significant ethnic presence in Boise) The Basque – adding chorizo to tomato sauce and sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers.
Illinois: Pequod’s Pizza
> Locations: Chicago & Morton Grove
Pequod’s late founder, Burt Katz, is legendary in Chicago’s deep-dish lore, and his tradition lives on with Pequod’s blackened caramelized crust, a chewy, nearly burnt cheese edge rimming a cheesy pool of sauce.
> Location: Indianapolis
This Indy pizza favorite prides itself on making not just its own pizza dough but its own pastas and sauces daily. The pizzas are 13-inch pies, available with thin or less-than-thin crusts (a gluten-free option is also offered), and are offered in 20 varieties (including a crowd-pleasing barbeque chicken version). For customized pizzas, the ingredients include peppadew peppers, brussels sprouts, and capicola, in addition to more usual offerings.
Iowa: Need Pizza
> Location: Cedar Rapids
With a name that sounds like a plaintive cry from a hungry frat boy, this local favorite in Iowa’s second-largest city doesn’t offer pre-made combinations – diners concoct their own. Pies, available with gluten-free and cauliflower crusts as well as the usual, are offered in three sizes (12-inch, 16-inch, and “massive”). The crusts all come with olive oil, garlic, oregano, and grated parmesan, and after that it’s up to the customer. All the usual choices are available (plus vegan cheese and meats).
Kansas: Limestone Pizza Kitchen Bar
> Location: Lawrence
The crust is Neapolitan-style and the ingredients are largely sourced from northeastern Kansas at this popular establishment specializing in what a travel website once described as “wood-fired ‘neo-prairie’ style pizza.” The margherita is much praised, but the menu also offers such variations as a pie with local asparagus and others featuring house-made Canadian bacon and Moroccan-style lamb sausage.
> Locations: Louisville area (four locations)
“Louisville-style pizza?” That’s what Benny Impellizzeri calls his pies made with two layers of cheese and two layers of toppings. While many pizzerias offer only one or two sizes, Impellizzeri’s makes four (10″, 12″, 14″, 16″) for standard pizzas, two for thin crust versions (14″ and 16″). A signature thin crust pie is the Old Forester Hickory BBQ made with Old Forester-spiked barbecue sauce, chicken, bacon, and cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
Louisiana: Pizza Domenica
> Location: New Orleans
The wood-oven pizzas were so popular at Domenica, the upscale Italian restaurant in the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel, that they got spun off to their own dedicated venue (though pizza is still served at Domenica itself). Specialty offerings include a gorgonzola pizza with speck, strawberries, honey, and basil, and a wagyu steak pie with scallions and fontina – but more conventional varieties are available as well.
> Location: Portland
Located in Portland’s old Public Market building, Slab advertises its “Sicilian street food” – which includes what the pizzeria describes as Old World-style dough, formed into thick square, well, slabs. The basic offering includes tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, and oregano, with pepperoni optional, and there’s a Spicy Meat pie with red pepper sauce, pepperoni, pepperoncini, mozzarella, provolone, and blue cheese dip. Thin crust pies are also available.
Maryland: Joe Squared
> Location: Baltimore
A key part of the city’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Joe Squared specializes in (not surprisingly) square pizzas. The sourdough crust is said to be made with a 200-year-old starter and the pizza oven is coal-burning. In addition to a selection of signature pies, the restaurant offers more than 70 possible toppings for a build-your-own version. Among the many non-pizza items on the menu are chicken wings in 10 variations.
Massachusetts: Santarpio’s Pizza
> Locations: East Boston & Peabody
One of America’s oldest pizzerias, Santarpio’s is a tavern that opened its East Boston location in 1903. It serves damp, chewy pies, including plain cheese, The Works (mushrooms, onions, peppers, garlic, sausage, pepperoni, extra cheese, and anchovies), and a combination of mozzarella, sausage, and garlic that is said to be its most popular pizza. Though you might come here for the pies, don’t overlook Santarpio’s iconic “barbecue” skewers of lamb, steak tips, chicken, or sausage served with hot cherry peppers and fresh-baked Italian bread.
Michigan: Buddy’s Pizza
> Location: Detroit & other locations
Detroit-style pizza has taken off in trendy pizzerias across the country, but Buddy’s owners would argue that Detroit-style pizza is Buddy’s pizza. The pizzeria opened as a tavern in 1946, and under then-owner August “Gus” Guerra, started serving crispy, sauce-topped cheese pies with inch-tall crusts, baked in square pans that supposedly were originally used for auto parts. They’re like the ideal open-faced grilled cheese sandwich turned into the pizza of your dreams.
Minnesota: Black Sheep Pizza
> Location: Minneapolis
Jordan Smith and Colleen Doran opened Black Sheep as the first coal-burning pizza restaurant in Minneapolis in 2008, serving 12- and 16-inch pies with classic toppings and also with such unique combinations as Persian beef, tomato, feta, and harissa and oyster mushroom, smoked mozzarella, rosemary, and garlic. A house specialty is The Sicilian – a 16″ square pie topped with nothing but sauce, mozzarella, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Mississippi: Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint
> Locations: Biloxi, Jackson, & Madison
Dan Blumenthal and Jeff Good – not Sal and Mookie – opened this tribute to New York-style pizza (and New York itself) in 2007. Pizzas evoke the city not only with their crust but with their names: the Brighton Beach has mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, grilled chicken, and sautéed onions and bell peppers; the Penn Station references bagels with toppings including dill-caper cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions, and tomatoes.
Missouri: Faraci’s Pizza
> Location: Ellisville
Run by the sons of the founders of the original Faraci’s Pizza in nearby Ferguson – like Ellisville, in the greater St. Louis area – Faraci’s makes (not surprisingly) St. Louis-style pizza. That means square, and cut into squares, with an unleavened crust and generous portions of Provel cheese, a local specialty that’s in effect an amalgam of provolone, cheddar, and Swiss. All the usual toppings are available, and there are a few signature combinations – for instance, Nonna’s Meatball Pizza, with house-made meatballs and tomato sauce.
Montana: Biga Pizza
> Location: Missoula
“Biga” isn’t a mock-Italian rendering of the word for “large” – it’s a dense, pre-fermented dough starter often used by Italian bakers, and the basis for the crusts here at New Jersey-born Bob Marshall’s pizzeria. Biga’s house pie is a margherita variation using garlic oil as well as tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella. More unusual choices include one with fennel marmalade, bacon, and gouda, and another combining Montana beef meatballs with broccoli rabe, mascarpone, and house-made cilantro-jalapeño sauce.
Nebraska: Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria
> Location: Omaha
Alfonso Orsi opened this Omaha institution in the city’s Little Italy in 1919. His son and then grandson later ran it (the latter overseeing a rebuild after the place was destroyed by fire in 1997), selling it to Orsi’s great-grandson, Bob Jr., and a partner, Jim Hall, in 2006. Four years later, Hall bought the place, and continues the Orsi’s tradition. Except for a small gluten-free round pie, pizzas are rectangular, and come with a choice of about 20 toppings. Orsi’s also produces four varieties of “goudarooni” – double-crust pizzas. Homemade breads and a selection of meats, cheeses, and other Italian deli items are also available.
Nevada: Pizza Rock
> Locations: Las Vegas & Henderson
If there’s a pizza style that California pie king Tony Gemignani doesn’t know how to make, it’s hard to believe he won’t figure it out. Gemiginani’s colorful, bustling Vegas joint serves no fewer than 10 different styles, including Roman, classic Italian, deep dish, thin crust, New York, and New Haven -and he does them all admirably well.
New Hampshire: Tilton House of Pizza
> Location: Tilton
Thick layers of toppings on thick crusts are the style here, and the House of Pizza obviously goes for fun over authenticity. The menu of specialty pizzas includes “fajita,” “BLT,” and “Greek” variations, as well as such over-the-top offerings as the Pastrami Bomb (pastrami, mushrooms, roasted peppers, and caramelized onions) and the Loaded Potato (fried potatoes, red onion, bacon, and Alfredo sauce).
New Jersey: Razza Pizza Artigianale
> Location: Jersey City
Razza opened in 2012, but its reputation exploded in 2017 after New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote provocatively that this New Jersey pizzeria served the best pizza in New York City. The pies are a little larger than standard Neapolitan pizzas, but they have the crunchy texture you’d expect from fresh bread crusts, and they truly are worth the hype – and the wait.
New Mexico: Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
> Locations: Albuquerque & other locations
Restaurateurs Greg Atkin, Rick Post, and Tom White, with then-partner Tom Hennessy, opened the original Il Vicino in Albuquerque in 1992, and the enterprise has since grown into a small chain of seven places in New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado. The wood-fired pies range from a classic margherita and straightforward pepperoni pizza to the Gamberoni (spicy shrimp, mozzarella, and asiago) and the Molta Carne (“Much Meat”), including pepperoni, house-made sausage, and capicola as well kalamata olives, mushrooms, and mozzarella.
New York: John’s of Bleecker St.
> Location: New York City
Trying to choose one pizzeria to represent New York – arguably the country’s pizza capital – is a difficult task, but considering quality, consistency, and longevity, John’s seems like a reasonable choice. This 92-year-old classic serves 14- and 16-inch medium-thin-crust New York-style pizzas from a coal-fired oven. Some 15 toppings are available, and specialty pies range from The Sasso (aged mozzarella and tomato sauce) to The “Fifty” (meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and olives in addition to the sauce and cheese).
North Carolina: Oakwood Pizza Box
> Location: Raleigh
Long Island-born Anthony Guerra did a stint at Kesté in New York City and later, after a move south, opened Bella Mia Coal Fired Pizza in Cary, North Carolina, with his family. After they sold the place, Guerra started looking for a new location to make pizza the way he likes it – not in an oven fueled by wood or coal but in a customized Montague 1857 Hearth Bake gas oven. The Pizza Box menu is simplicity itself: Start with an 18″ conventional or white pizza or a 12″ by 18″ crispy square, then add a choice of only 11 possible toppings. There’s nothing else on the menu except those options and a house salad (plus drinks, including cocktails).
North Dakota: Fireflour Pizzeria & Coffee Bar
> Location: Bismarck
Neapolitan-style pizza fans Kendra and Kenny Howard opened Fireflour – the name paying tribute to two essential elements of pizza-making – in 2012. Their wood-fired oven turns out both red and white pies (the former includes the Americano, with hand-stretched mozzarella, Berkshire fennel sausage, sopressata, red onions, roasted mushrooms, and red peppers; the Uptown is a white pie with provolone, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, sliced tomatoes, zucchini, red onions, arugula, and walnuts). Gelato and a serious coffee program are added pleasures.
> Location: Cleveland
The pizzas Mike Griffin serves at his two Cleveland locations aren’t fooling around. The hand-tossed or thin crust pies, available in 12- and 16-inch sizes, include a Greek-flavored spanakopita entry (spinach, garlic, feta, lemon zest, extra-virgin olive oil), a Spanish chorizo version (on which the sausage is joined by goat cheese, fresh rosemary, roasted garlic, fire-roasted red peppers, and smoked mozzarella), and, for those who dare, one topped with hot ground-pork-stuffed banana peppers with mozzarella and pecorino romano. Don’t want a whole pie? Cheese or pepperoni pizza slices are on the menu, too â but be forewarned: “Each slice weighs nearly 1 lb.!”
Oklahoma: Empire Slice House
> Locations: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, & Nichols Hills
The 20-inch New York-style pies here come with names like Fungus Among Us (cremini and button mushrooms, spinach, and truffle oil), Foghorn Leghorn (sweet marinara sauce, roasted chicken, bacon, jalapeños, and a sriracha drizzle), and Ghostface Killah (ghost pepper marinara, pepperoni, poblano chiles, and BBQ chips). But this is a slice house, after all, so much of the attention goes to the daily-changing roster of half-a-dozen $4.25 slices.
Oregon: Apizza Scholls
> Location: Portland
Portland’s been called “America’s greatest pizza city” by international pizza consultant Anthony Falco. And amongst Portland’s pizzerias, Apizza Scholls is widely regarded as serving some of the city’s best pizza. There are specials to select from but you can also choose your own topping combos for the 18-inch pies. For the purpose of balance, though, the pizzeria limits toppings to three ingredients, including two meats per pie.
Pennsylvania: Pizzeria Beddia
> Location: Philadelphia
Joe Beddia had the idea of making the best quality New York-style pizza he could, his way, using the best ingredients he could find. His Pizzeria Beddia, which he founded in Philadelphia in 2013, was named the country’s best pizzeria two years later by Bon Appétit. Beddia’s place became the Franklin Barbecue of pizza, with lines around the block for the mere 40 pies he made daily Wednesday through Saturday. But Beddia himself was making all the pies so he could pay close attention to detail, and this took its toll. He closed his place in 2018 and reopened Beddia 2.0 nearby – this time with partners and other pizza makers. They may not all have Beddia’s same master touch, and the pies aren’t exact facsimiles of the earlier ones, but they still have all the great flavors of his original work.
Rhode Island: Nana’s Bakery & Pizza
> Location: Westerly
Noted food writer John Mariani recently reviewed the restaurants of this far-eastern Connecticut shore town and found the pizzas at Nana “close to any I’ve had in Naples and Sicily, with a crust with a crisp but pliant texture.” Nana’s is the work of James Wayman, former chef and partner at Mystic’s acclaimed Oyster Club. Here, with just a few indoor and outdoor tables, he focuses (as he did at Oyster Club) on local and regional ingredients. One thin-crust organic sourdough pizza is topped with Seacoast mushrooms, organic tomato sauce, and Mystic Cheese Co. Melinda Mae. There are also thick-crust 13-by-18-inch sheet pizzas, one with a bolognese sauce made with pork and beef from Wayman’s nearby Grass & Bone butcher shop and Mystic Cheese Co.’s Finback.
South Carolina: EVO Pizza
> Location: North Charleston
Two veterans of Charleston’s esteemed Fig, Matt McIntosh and Ricky Hacker, launched EVO (“Extra Virgin Oven”) in 2005 as a wood-fired pizza oven on wheels. It was a success, enough so that in 2007 they opened this brick-and-mortar restaurant, offering such unusual choices as a pistachio pesto pizza with local fromage blanc, ground pistachios, crème fraîche, mozzarella, and parmigiano and a chorizo and potato pie, which includes onions, rosemary, chile flakes, havarti, and parmigiano in addition to the marquee ingredients. Local produce is featured throughout.
South Dakota: Dough Trader Pizza
> Location: Spearfish
The Bell family’s Dough Trader – operating out of a former Tastee Freeze that was moved to Spearfish in the 1950s and remodeled in 2011- serves hand-stretched sourdough-crust pizzas in two sizes: Little (6″-8″) and Big (12″-14″). Among the imaginative (and imaginatively named) signature pies are the Dances with Goats (chicken, onion, Roma tomato, corn, artichoke, feta, cheese blend, and Alfredo sauce) and the Sting (pepperoni, olives, onion, jalapeño, cheese blend, and marinara sauce). A create-your-own option, dubbed Humble Pie, is also offered.
Tennessee: Five Points Pizza
> Locations: West Nashville & East Nashville
With both a sit-down side and an informal counter-service section, the two locations of this Music City favorite serve 14-inch and 18-inch pizzas baked in gas-fueled brick ovens. Among the choices are a pesto pie (house-made walnut pesto, mushrooms, red onions, artichokes, and mozzarella) and a habanero cream sauce pie (house-made habanero cream sauce, bacon, oven-roasted tomatoes, red onions, basil, and mozzarella). The dough is vegan and vegan cheese and pepperoni are available, and those who consider beer and pizza to be the perfect combination will appreciate the 16 rotating taps.
Texas: Il Forno
> Location: San Antonio
Chef Michael Sohocki closed his acclaimed Restaurant Gwendolyn late last year but is still going strong with four other establishments – including this pizzeria serving wood-fired, thin-crust Neapolitan-style pies. They’re available in one size only (12 inches) and in only 11 variations, with no customization offered. The sausage, coppa, and other meats are house-made, though; the margherita is classic; and diners love such choices as the Carbonara (with garlic, mushrooms, and egg-roasted onion) and the four-cheese Quad
Utah: The Pie Pizzeria
> Locations: Salt Lake City & other locations
This old-school Salt Lake City institution occupies a brick-walled basement under a pharmacy. The basement used to house a church, and the pasta and pizza place that preceded the Pie here kept the pews as seating. These days, the place is a student hang that serves pizzas in three styles: thin crust, standard golden crust, and “ApocalyptDough” – in which spices in the dough create a “creeping, unique burn that slowly approaches and has an undetermined lingering effect.”
Vermont: Pizzeria Verità
> Location: Burlington
Thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a “very hot” wood-burning oven is the deal at this Burlington pizzeria, opened in 2012. Sixteen house specialty pies range from a traditional margherita to one topped with gorgonzola and fig preserves to an unusual Cherry Amore, with tomatoes, fior di latte mozzarella, parmigiano, dried cherries, arugula, fresh basil, and a drizzle of hot honey. Three gluten-free options, cooked in a dedicated gluten-free oven, are also offered.
Virginia: Pizzeria Orso
> Location: Falls Church
Opened in 2010 by the owners of the same community’s upscale French-accented 2941 Restaurant, and under the supervision of its executive chef, Daniel Boulud veteran Bertrand Chemel, Orso bakes Neapolitan-style pizzas in an imported Italian wood-fired dome oven. Besides the house creations, from a simple cheese pizza to the Capricciosa (ham, artichokes, cremini mushrooms, olives, basil, mozzarella, and tomato sauce), the menu proposes about 25 optional toppings for do-it-yourselfers, and also sells a home pizza kit including dough, San Marzano tomato sauce, bufala mozzarella, grana, and fresh basil.
Washington: Dino’s Tomato Pie
> Location: Seattle
Seattle pizza maven Brandon Pettit slings seven variations on 18-inch rounds or square Sicilian crusts, using his custom brick ovens. Extra toppings are available, but as a note on his website points out, “more than three toppings will be expensive and won’t be any better.” His Sicilians are the right move, airy and crunchy, with sides crisped with blackened cheese.
West Virginia: Vito’s Pizza & Restaurant
> Location: Clarksburg
There are no fancy combinations here at this three-decade-old family-owned pizzeria in the north-central portion of the state – just thin-crust Neapolitan rounds (three sizes) or thick Sicilian squares (two sizes) with a choice of standard toppings (pepperoni, anchovies, hot peppers, mushrooms, etc.). If pizza isn’t on your mind, calzones, hoagies, and pasta dishes are also available.
Wisconsin: Maria’s Pizza
> Location: Milwaukee
Maria Traxel opened her original pizzeria in 1957 and the current location (the only one remaining) in 1971. Her daughter, Bonnie Crivello, is co-owner here, and she’s kept things simple and old-school: Order a 14-inch round or an 18-inch rectangle, both served on baking sheets not quite big enough to hold them, and choose between toppings that don’t go far beyond cheese, sausage, and/or pepperoni (though a couple of specialties admit a few vegetables) â and make sure you’ve brought cash, as no credit cards or checks are accepted.
Wyoming: Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana
> Location: Casper
Mark Dym and Kristy Latorraca Dym opened their first pizzeria in Denver in 2008 – the first such operation in the state to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which defines authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. Today, they maintain two Colorado locations, both called Marco’s Coal Fired, as well as this Wyoming outpost – originally called Marco’s as well. Ten 12-inch specialty pizzas include the Toscana (fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, arugula, prosciutto di Parma, pecorino sardo, and grape tomatoes) and the Liguria (fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano, limoncello chicken breast, red onions, grape tomatoes, and pesto). About 30 toppings are available for DIY pizza aficionados to add to regular or gluten-free crusts.
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