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Pizza News

Study: The Second Best U.S. City for Great Pizza Will Surprise You

Drawing from Google reviews for pizzerias in 250 U.S. cities, a new study from Pizzello yields some unexpected finds.

Those of us who don’t live in New York hear it all the time: “You can’t find any good pizza in this town.” Whatever the town, the song is always the same. And sometimes it’s true, but oftentimes it’s just pizza snobbery.

Take Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example. According to a new study by Pizzello, a company that specializes in portable pizza ovens, fire pit tables and accessories, Tulsa is the second-best city in the country for pizza. And smaller towns in Arkansas and Iowa have plenty to brag about, too—at least pizza-wise.

For “A Slice Above: America’s Top Cities for Pizza,” Pizzello compiled a list of the top 250 cities in America with the best pizzerias, at least as far as customers are concerned. The ranking, Pizzello said, is based on the average calculation of pizzeria Google review scores per city as well as an online panel survey of 1,000 adults based on age, gender and geography.

Related: How 7 pizzerias made this Best Places to Eat list from Yelp

Perched at the top of the list is, of course, New York City, with an average Google rating of 4.68. “This might not come as a shock to many,” Pizzello acknowledged, “given the city’s storied association with the beloved dish.” With a proud tradition dating at least back to 1905, “New York doesn’t just make pizza; it lives and breathes pizza,” the study notes.

We can’t argue with that. But take a look at Tulsa, which came in a very close second with an average Google review score of 4.65. “This may come as a surprise to those who haven’t experienced Tulsa’s burgeoning pizza scene,” the study points out. “In the heart of America, Tulsa’s pizza makers are blending traditional approaches with a distinctive Oklahoma twist, earning the city a well-deserved reputation as a pizza destination.”

This photo shows Mike Bausch, wearing a white Andolini's shirt, spinning dough.
Mike Bausch, co-owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria (Andolini’s / Instagram)

Tulsa, after all, is home to classic joints like Hideaway Pizza, which has thrived there since 1957, and Andolini’s Pizzeria, which famously set a new Guinness record for the world’s largest pizza party last year. Not to mention stellar options like the deep-dish pies at Savastano’s and the $2.99 slices at Piehole Pizzeria.

Los Angeles claimed the third spot with an average Google review score of 4.63, thanks to its diverse pizza scene, innovative toppings and “creative and eclectic spirit.” Then comes Peoria, Arizona, in fourth place with a 4.61 score—it’s a suburb of Phoenix, so that’s no shocker.

But get a load of No. 5: Jonesboro, Arkansas, with a score of 4.60. It’s the home of hotspots like Chad Holifield’s Upper Crust Pizza Co., known for its thin-crust pies, and the family-owned 1812 Pizza Company, to name just a couple.

Rounding out the top 10 best pizza cities were Fullerton, California, in sixth place (4.59); Iowa City, Iowa (4.57) in seventh place; Glendale, Arizona, at No. 8 (4.56); Albuquerque, New Mexico at No. 8 (4.55); and Denver at No. 10 (4.54).

Down in the southern U.S., Savannah, Georgia, claimed No. 14, while Raleigh, North Carolina, was No. 18. Scranton, Pennsylvania, deep in Old Forge pizza-style country, was ranked 13th. And apparently the Santa Clarita diet includes lots of cheesy pizza goodness—that California city is ranked No. 15.

No doubt you’ll find some folks in these cities—most likely transplants from “up north”—who will still grumble about the dearth of good pizza choices. We think they need to open their minds and get out more often.