> East Boston and Peabody, Massachusetts
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 the pizzeria’s 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.
9. Pizzeria Mozza
> Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California
Award-winning baker and chef Nancy Silverton’s L.A. 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.
8. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
> New Haven, Connecticut, and other locations
Hailed by The Daily Meal for producing 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, crunch-crisp 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) — a genre onto itself. If you leave without trying it you’ve done it wrong. Just expect to wait.
7. Buddy’s Pizza
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.
6. Pizzeria Beddia
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 AppÃ©tit. 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.