“Everyone believes they’re a pizza expert—including actual pizza experts, who are nightmares,” Helen Rosner wrote in an August 2023 article for the New Yorker. “The infinite variety of pizza beliefs is so universal that it slips into something almost Jungian, a window into the self and the shadow.”
Maybe that explains why there are now umpteen thousand lists of the best pizza joints in the U.S. released online every year. And if umpteen thousand isn’t enough for you, make it umpteen thousand and one, the latest courtesy of The Infatuation.
The website’s team of food writers recently named “18 of the Best Pizza Places in America.” Scoring a rating of 9.3—signifying the “best of the best”—was the iconic Lucali in Brooklyn. No surprise there—owner/pizzaiolo Mark Iacono, who owns a second restaurant by the same name in Miami, appears on a lot of these lists. (Lucali also seems to be one of actor Henry Winkler’s favorites—he’s known to order from the pizzeria and sometimes appears in its Instagram posts.) Team Infatuation writes, “It’s the perfect New York pizza: a thin, crunchy crust, a serious sprinkle of minced garlic, a shower of basil and tomato sauce that’s a little sweet, a little tangy and good enough to eat with a spoon.”
(For the record, Rosner’s vote for the Big Apple’s best pizzeria went to Scarr Pimentel’s Scarr’s Pizza.)
The crispy-thin crusts from Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia garnered a “best of the best” 9.1 rating, with Team Infatuation members singling out the No. 2 pizza—topped with Calabrian cream, mozzarella, gouda and fresh greens—as their favorite. “The two kinds of cheese are what really set this pie apart,” they noted. “The whole thing is so creamy, it tastes like there are mini fondue machines hidden around the edges.”
Meanwhile, the pan-style pies served up at Pequod’s Pizza in Chicago received a rating of 8.7, which translates to “truly excellent.” Founded in 1970, Pequod is a deep-dish pizza mecca in a city that has plenty of deep-dish options. But, according to Team Infatuation, “What sets these pies apart from the average pan-style is its ‘caramelized’ crust, also known as the burnt edges of crispy cheese surrounding the pizza. The crust itself is thick and airy with a great crunch, and the pies only have a little bit of sauce.”
For some reason, not every pizza company on the list received a rating. One of them was Buddy’s Pizza, originator of the Detroit-style pizza. “What makes these pies great is the balance of the crispy, thick edges on every slice—something you only get with a square pizza—and the soft, airy inside,” the reviewers explained.
Quarter Sheets Pizza Club, another Detroit-style joint located far away from the style’s homeland—Los Angeles, to be specific—made the list with an 8.8 rating, thanks to “their inch-high, focaccia-like crusts [that] crackle and snap like that one cereal that has elven brothers as mascots.”
Heading south, Atlanta’s Antico Pizza Napoletana got an 8.7 rating, as did Miami Slice, located in, you guessed it, Jacksonville (just kidding—Miami) and renowned for its New York-style fare. Side Eye Pie, a mobile unit parked at Meanwhile Brewing in Austin, was rated 8.3, as was Tiny Champions, renowned in Houston for its “dainty slices” that are also “a little snazzy.”
Pizza lovers in Washington, D.C. are advised to try 2Amys, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria where “there truly are no bad choices.” 2Amys wasn’t rated either. (It’s all a bit mysterious.) But Outta Sight Pizza in San Francisco got an impressive 8.5 because, we’re told, it “nails every element necessary to a perfect slice. There’s a chewy yet crisp crust that’s foldable without getting soggy. Toppings are packed with flavor, whether you opt for the smoky pepperoni cups or slightly sweet vodka sauce paired with globs of gooey mozzarella. And a satisfying, bright-orange grease drips out of the creases.”
Other pizzerias that made the list (again, without ratings) include: