If you want to open a location in pizza-obsessed San Francisco, you'll be contending with powerhouse rivals like Tony Gemignani (left).

Slice House by Tony Gemignani / Instagram
Pizza News

Which Major U.S. Cities Are Most Obsessed With Pizza?

A nationwide survey by Home Run Inn found that the West Coast is where folks really have pizza on the brain.

If you could open a pizzeria in any major U.S. city, which one would it be? A new survey from Chicago-based Home Run Inn (HRI) just might get you thinking about your options.

HRI set out to identify the most pizza-obsessed cities in the U.S. To eliminate bias, the brand developed what it calls a five-point “pizza enthusiasm rubric” with the following criteria: pizza accessibility; pizza restaurant reviews (per 100,000 as well as share of highly rated pizza restaurants); average pizza restaurant rating; and level of interest in pizza (based on Google search volume analysis).

Using that weighted scale, HRI compared cities across America to single out the hottest spots to grab a pizza pie—or maybe to open a pizzeria of your own. But be warned: You’ll be facing powerhouse rivals with mad skills, like Sarah Minnick of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola and Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and Slice House by Tony Gemignani (to name just a couple of his properties).

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Meanwhile, you just might be surprised at the top city on the list. Nope, it’s not New York or Chicago. It’s Seattle. “With 46.2% of its pizza joints earning above 4 stars on Yelp and nearly half the population Googling where to get their next slice (46,562 pizza-related searches per 100,000 residents), Seattle ranks high on pizza engagement and appreciation,” HRI reported in the study. “Pair these factors with an overall pizza restaurant rating of 3.61 across the board, and you have a true pizza haven.”

In fact, West Coast cities claimed the top five spots on the list. San Francisco, where Tony Gemignani is a heavy hitter, came in at No. 2, while Portland, Oregon—hometown of Lovely’s Fifty Fifty—landed at No. 3 and San Diego was No. 5.

“If appraisal were the only metric of pizza obsession, San Francisco would rank No. 1 on the list,” according to the study. “With a whopping 17,002 Yelp reviews per 100,000 residents— almost twice as many as the next top-5 pizza-loving city—San Franciscans are tasting (and then judging) pizza very frequently. Despite this high volume, the city’s pizza restaurants still boast an impressive 3.66 out of 5 stars overall on Yelp.”

As for Portland, 47.6% of its pizza restaurants earned over 4 stars on Yelp. “Quality defines the city’s pizza relationship, but that doesn’t mean quantity is low,” the study said. “For every 100,000 citizens, there are 42.8 pizza restaurants, making Portland one of the highest-scoring cities for pizza accessibility.”

This photo shows Ann Kim wearing a Pizzeria Lola t-shirt with a slogan that reads FU Fear.
Ann Kim (Pizzeria Lola / Instagram)

Coming in fourth place was Minneapolis, Ann Kim’s stomping grounds. There, 76,149 instances of pizza-related keyword searches are logged per year for every 100,000 residents. And while you might not think of this chilly northern city as a pizza hotspot, its pizzeria ratings are “generally high,” with 44.7% of pizza restaurants earning 4+ stars on Yelp, while the city’s average pizza shop review sits at a dependable 3.56 out of 5 stars.

At No. 5, San Diego scored high on both overall pizza reviews (3.64 out of 5 stars on average) and share of 4+ star pizza restaurants (47.8%). That means “residents…are more likely to encounter pizza perfection than be forced into settling for a sub-par slice.”

So where do Chicago and New York fit in? Chicago was ranked at No. 6 in the survey, while New York was No. 10. Other top 10 cities were Miami (No. 7), Denver (No. 8) and Washington, D.C. (No. 9).

One more interesting note: Miami boasts the most pizza restaurants per capita, with 91.8 pizzerias per 100,000 citizens, far outstripping its closest rival, Portland, in terms of pizzeria density.

Click here to see more detailed information about the top 25 pizza-obsessed states.