New Rankings Offer Diners a List of America’s Best Pizzas

A blend of tradition and innovation — but all delicious

A new ranking of great pizzerias across America had high marks for Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana.
Francis Rosselli/Creative Commons

Pizza is a food that’s hard to get completely wrong: even the most mediocre pizza is still better than the mediocre editions of most other foods. But when pizza is great, it’s exceptional — the sort of sublime dining experience that makes you want to call your friends and family and shout to the heavens about the meal you’ve just consumed. 

Great pizza can be traditional or experimental. It can be one of a host of regional styles, either those originating in Italy or those with roots in parts of the United States. At its best, pizza blends the familiar and the adventurous: you can have a sublime culinary experience with dough, sauce and cheese  — or you can have one with a set of toppings you never thought would work on a pizza.

Now, The Daily Meal has assembled a list of the 101 best pizzas in America. It’s the kind of thing that may well inspire pizza devotees to book flights across the country, make reservations and literally whet their appetites. And even if you’ve never eaten at any of the restaurants featured there — or if you don’t have plans to eat at any of them — the list still offers an impressive range of what can be accomplished with a pizza.

Not surprisingly, over a quarter of the restaurants on the list can be found in New York. Rounding out the top 5 are states that you’d also expect to have great pizza: California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

What can be gleaned from the list? For one thing, Old Forge, Pennsylvania has a distinctive style of pizza: “The slices (“cuts”) are rectangular, the cheese is a super-melty processed blend, and the sauce is sweet and onion-heavy.” Anchorage’s Mooth Tooth Pub and Pizzeria has a signature pie, the Avalanche, that sounds gloriously excessive: “featuring barbecue sauce, mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, red onions, blackened chicken and bacon.” And Chicago’s Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria boasts “a casserole-like pizza made with Lou’s lean sausage, some extra mozzarella and vine-ripened tomato sauce on buttercrust.”

Taking the top spot on the list is Connecticut’s Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. The whole list is well worth reading over, whether you’re seeking out your next meal or looking to bask in the range of dishes that can be filed under the broader heading of pizza.

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