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.
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