Yelp has its list of the best pizzerias in the country. So do the Italian experts at 50 Top Pizza. Now ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) is set to chime in as part of its “United States of Pizza” newscast, searching for the best U.S. pizzas on a five-city tour this week.
The search kicks off in New York on Saturday, February 11. Then it moves on to Atlanta on Monday, February 13; Chicago on Tuesday, February 14; Minneapolis on Wednesday, February 15; and Philadelphia on Thursday, February 16.
A panel of guest judges will determine the first-round winners from each city, and then those pizzaioli will compete live in the GMA studio on Friday, February 17, to win the overall series and $10,000. Here’s how it will play out:
New York: Guest judges Don Darryl Rivera (actor of Broadway’s Aladdin the Musical), Jason Goldstein (chef, author and creator of Chop Happy) and Shirleen Allicot (co-anchor of ABC-7’s Eyewitness News) will sample pies from Village Square Pizza and Unregular Pizza.
Related: Unregular Pizza lets customers barter for a pie once a day.
Atlanta: Guest judges G. Garvin (chef, author and television personality), Fitz (lead singer of Fitz and The Tantrums) and Tanisha Wright (head coach of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream) will determine the best local pizza between Phew’s Pies and Varuni Napoli.
Chicago: Guest judges Sheila E. (drummer and singer), Rick Bayless (chef, author and television personality) and Deepti Vempati (television personality and author) will decide the best pizza between Milly’s Pizza in the Pan and George’s Deep Dish.
Minneapolis: Judging the best pizza between Red Wagon Pizza and Wrecktangle Pizza will be Ann Kim (chef and restaurateur), Chris Egert (co-anchor of KSTP-TV) and a surprise judge.
Philadelphia: Celebrity chef and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia, featured on PMQ’s April 2020 cover and owner of Prova Pizzabar in New York, and two surprise guest judges round out the series judging between Pizza Jawn and Rione.
For the finale showdown on Friday, February 17, Sal Basille and Francis Garcia, founders of Artichoke Basile in New York, will work with former NFL player Tiki Barber and a surprise judge to choose the overall winners.
Of course, there are tens of thousands of amazing pizzerias across the U.S., and every list yields wildly varying results. Last June, 50 Top Pizza named Una Pizza Napoletana in New York the best pizzeria in the country for 2022, while, more recently, Yelp gave the nod last month to Sapori di 786 Degrees in Pasadena, California.
OK, but what about the rest of the planet? Again, there is no true consensus—how could there be? In early 2023, the Big 7 Travel website recognized 10 by Diego Vitagliano Pizzeria in Naples, Italy, for offering the best pizza in the world. But 50 Top Pizza decided last September that it was a tie, awarding honors to—guess who?—Una Pizza Napoletana in New York and I Masianelli di Francesco Martucci in Caserta, Italy.
What do we think? These lists are a lot of fun and provide a marketing boost to every pizzeria that gets included. But, honestly, there are many “best pizzerias” out there, depending on the style and, ultimately, your own personal taste. We’re just happy that we get to write about them and, whenever possible, strap on a bib (we’re messy eaters) and enjoy the feast.