The Rankings of America's Best Pizza Restaurants

By Rosunnara R.
Lou Malnati's pizza
Photo Courtesy: @LouMalnatis/Twitter

Pizza is always a good idea. It’s a nationally adored food in the US, and cities like Detroit, New York and Chicago have each developed their own regional twists on the staple. With plenty of restaurants creating their own famous drool-worthy pies, it’s hard to choose which spot is the best.

From California to New York, read on to see the rankings of America’s best pizza restaurants and find out which pizzeria stands out above the rest. These hot spots will convince you to treat yourself to a delicious cheesy slice.    

30. Artichoke Basille's Pizza (New York, New York)

Astonished critics, chefs and fans can’t stop talking about Artichoke Basille's Pizza. The pizza shop’s signature artichoke slice combines cream sauce, spinach, mozzarella, pecorino romano cheese and artichoke hearts, creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience. With irresistible menu items, it’s no surprise that Artichoke Basille's Pizza has lines that wrap around the block.

Artichoke Basille's Pizza Yelp
Photo Courtesy: Artichoke Basille's Pizza/Yelp

Artichoke Basille's Pizza first set up shop in New York City’s East Village in 2008. Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, masterminds of Artichoke Basille's Pizza, are fourth-generation restaurateurs from the East Village. Today, business is still booming. The hot pizza spot has 12 successful locations across the nation, including Berkeley, California and Newington, Connecticut. 

29. Del Popolo (San Francisco, California)

In May 2012, Jon Darsky transformed a 20-foot shipping container into the beloved mobile pizzeria, Del Popolo. The mobile pizzeria features a handmade wood-burning oven that creates pizza masterpieces, like their famed white pies. If that doesn’t convince you to grab a slice, the pizzeria’s famous Margherita di Bufala may win you over.

Del Popolo launched a cozy brick-and-mortar restaurant in November 2015, so their devoted fans can enjoy a delicious pie with wine or beer in a chair. Locals say Del Popolo is their go-to spot every time a pizza craving hits. To avoid a long wait at this popular pizzeria, Yelp reviewers suggest arriving early for dinner, or making reservations.

28. The Original Tacconelli's Pizzeria (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The Original Tacconelli's Pizzeria keeps customers wanting more of its hit tomato pies with minimal cheese. Since 1946, Italian immigrant Giovanni Tacconelli has used the same recipe at his pizzeria. The majority of fans drool over Tacconelli’s White Pizza, a gem that combines cheese, black pepper and loads of garlic.

The wait may be long, but that doesn’t stop fans who want to devour a slice of pizza with fresh ingredients and flavors that pop. The Original Tacconelli's Pizzeria website even states, “Please keep in mind we are a one-man, one-oven operation. Waiting time may vary. Please be assured each pie is made fresh and to order.” 

27. Pizzeria Vetri (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Pizzeria Vetri’s philosophy is to use the best and freshest ingredients to make amazing pies. To create their popular pizzas, the restaurant’s chefs spend three days preparing the dough. However, it only takes three minutes to cook a pizza in their wood-fired oven.

pizzeria vetri
Photo Courtesy: @PizzeriaVetri/Twitter

Award-winning chef, Marc Vetri, opened Pizzeria Vetri in Philadelphia in September 2013. Vetri made delicious pies using slow fermentation. It didn’t take long for the restaurant to gain attention and succeed. In June 2015, Pizzeria Vetri opened another location in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square.

26. Cane Rosso (Dallas, Texas)

Believe it or not, you can find more than just BBQ in Texas. In fact, one of the best pizza restaurants in the country is located in Dallas. Cane Rosso went from slinging pizza from a vehicle to becoming the highest rated pizzeria in the country.

Cane Rosso’s owner, Jay Jerrier, is no stranger to media attention. Jerrier has been featured in D Magazine, The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and the Houston Press. He’s also received unusual attention after displaying a ranch bottle with a $1,000 price tag as a joke. Jerrier says ranch lovers took the stunt seriously and believed that Cane Rosso tried to tell people to stop eating pizza with ranch or pay the price. According to Eater, Jerrier made another joke about ranch and posted a sign on the restaurant’s door that said, “Absolutely no outside ranch dressing allowed!!!!!”

25. Flour + Water (San Francisco, California)

Flour + Water receives nonstop praise from the press, including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly. Based in the mission district of San Francisco, Flour + Pizza serves a traditional Italian menu of Neapolitan-style pizzas and house-made pasta.

Flour + Water’s executive chef, Thomas McNaughton, opened the restaurant in 2009. He believed that creating a menu based on the season was important. The delicious menu changes often, but the amazing Margherita pizza has stolen the hearts of customers. Diners love the Margherita’s simple ingredients of tomatoes, basil, fior di latte and extra virgin olive oil. 

24. Di Fara (Brooklyn, New York)

Since 1965, Domenico De Marco has served New York and Sicilian-style pizza at Di Fara. De Marco tops the pizzas with ingredients imported from Italy and cooks the pies to perfection. The tasty pies have the right amount of tomato sauce, mozzarella and Grana Padano cheeses.

Several of De Marco’s children help him at Di Fara, but it doesn’t look like the pizza legend is going to slow down any time soon. De Marco and his family create a dining experience that will have you often returning to Brooklyn, just ask their hungry customers. 

23. Serious Pie (Seattle, Washington)

With fresh ingredients and handmade dough, who could resist a slice from Serious Pie? Serious Pie’s dough takes multiple days to make. Using their stone-encased apple wood-burning oven, the chefs lightly brown the crusts in 600 degrees. This ensures that the crust stays crispy, yet chewy, at the same time.

serious pie
Photo Courtesy: @SeriousPieDT/Twitter

The heart of the pizza is then topped with delicious ingredients like house-made charcuterie, foraged mushrooms and imported cheeses. Customers can’t get enough of the Sweet Fennel Sausage pie, which includes roasted red pepper and provolone cheese. 

22. Kesté Pizza & Vino (New York, New York)

Kesté means "this is it" in Neapolitan dialect and it could not be a better name for this restaurant. Hungry New Yorkers and tourists fulfill their Kesté pizza cravings at three different locations in New York City: Bleecker Street, Gold Street and West 50th Street.

New York Magazine calls Kesté the “#1 Pizza in New York” while Food and Mr Porter says it cooks “The Most Authentic Pizzas Outside Italy.” Kesté’s signature Regina Margherita pizza speaks for itself as one of the best pies in New York. The Regina Margherita pizza combines basil, buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, grape tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.

21. Santarpio’s (Boston, Massachusetts)

For more than a century, Santarpio’s has served Boston with drool-worthy pies, including their signature sausage and garlic pie. Many customers call Santarpio’s an “old school” joint, with walls covered in pictures of famous boxers. It could also have something to do with the restaurant only accepting cash.

Santarpio’s is also known for its simple, yet powerful ingredients. Besides Santarpio’s signature pie, customers highly recommend “the works,” a hot, fresh and crispy pizza with the perfect balance of mushrooms, onions, peppers, garlic, sausage, pepperoni, lots of cheese and anchovies. 

20. Pizzeria Delfina (San Francisco, California)

Pizzeria Delfina bakes pies inspired by the best pizza from New York City and Naples, Italy. According to the pizzeria’s website, Delfina became the "darling of the San Francisco food scene" as soon as its doors opened in 2005. Today, the restaurant has three successful locations in San Francisco: the Mission, Pacific Heights and Downtown.

San Francisco residents aren’t the only ones who get to devour the pizzeria’s delicious pies. Pizzeria Delfina also opened establishments in Palo Alto and Burlingame. Now, even more people have the chance to enjoy Pizzeria Delfina’s signature margherita pizza, panna and the cherrystone clam pie.

19. Via 313 (Austin, Texas)

Combining mozzarella, white cheddar, tomato sauce and plenty of pepperonis makes one of Austin’s most famous pies: The Detroiter. Via 313 owners and brothers, Zane and Brandon Hunt, launched the pizzeria out of a small and customized pizza trailer on East 6th and Waller in December 2011.

via 313 pizza
Photo Courtesy: @Via313Pizza/Twitter

Using the best flours and baking techniques, the Hunts cook Detroit-style pizza inspired by pies from their childhood. During their youth, the Hunts enjoyed eating pizza at Cloverleaf, Loui’s, Niki’s and Buddy’s. Now, the brothers travel to Detroit every year to taste pizza; everything from old classics to new school favorites. 

18. Al Forno (Providence, Rhode Island)

What’s a better way to bring people together than over their appreciation of pizza? Fans crowd around Al Forno to taste their must-have pies, including the signature Margherita pizza covered in pomodoro, fresh herbs, two cheeses and extra virgin olive oil.

Al Forno owners Johanne Killeen and George Germon opened the pizzeria in January 1980, serving Providence with heavenly grilled pizzas. While most pizzerias toss their pies in burning ovens, but Al Forno has perfected the art of making pizzas on grills over hardwood charcoal fire.

17. Louie and Ernie’s (The Bronx, New York)

Louie and Ernie’s fills the air with wonderful scents of meat and cheese on Crosby Avenue in the Bronx. Since 1959, Louie and Ernie’s has baked delicious pizza for the neighborhood. Hungry locals and tourists devour their popular calzones or sausage pies.

From Forbes to Thrillist, the pizza joint has snagged headlines and appeared in many articles as one of New York’s “must-visit” hidden gems. Customers often compliment Louie and Ernie’s for balancing the right amount of cheese and sauce on a thin crust. If you can’t finish a whole pie yourself, you can just order a tasty slice.

16. Rubirosa Ristorante (New York, New York)

Rubirosa Ristorante serves a wide variety of house-made pastas, but many come solely for the pizza. The joint’s owner, AJ Pappalardo, opened Rubirosa Ristorante in 2011. Inspired by his family’s 57-year-old pizza recipe, Pappalardo devised his own “instant classic.”

The traditional pizzeria specializes in super-thin crust pies. Fans’ favorites include the classic, supreme and tie-dye (vodka, tomato, pesto and mozzarella). However, one pie stands out above the rest. Rubirosa Ristorante’s most highly praised pie is the vodka with fresh mozzarella. 

15. Tony's Pizza Napoletana (San Francisco, California)

Pizza legend Tony Gemignani has won 13 world titles, including 2007 World Champion Pizza Maker at the World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy. He is also a three-time winner at the International Pizza Championships in Lecce, Italy. Gemignani is the mastermind behind the amazing pies at Tony's Pizza Napoletana.

Tony's pizza
Photo Courtesy: @tonyspizza415/Twitter

Tony's Pizza Napoletana only sells 73 award-winning Neapolitan pies every day. So it’s no surprise that this iconic pizzeria sells out everyday. If you miss your chance to try the signature pies, you can also order other drool-worthy pizzas in the styles of California, St. Louis, Italy, Sicily, New York, Rome, classic American and Detroit.

14. Apizza Scholls (Portland, Oregon)

Customers say they can’t stop dreaming about pizza from Apizza Scholls. Apizza Scholls’s crust isn’t like other pizza joints. Their crust is similar to a ciabatta that’s flakey on the outside and chewy on the inside. As a result, customers who build their own pies are only allowed to add three ingredients and up to two types of meat.

apizza scholls
Photo Courtesy: @ApizzaScholls/Twitter

In the mood for a pie to go? A word of advice: plan and order ahead. Apizza Scholls’s website notes, “We are unable to take orders over the phone. To-Go pie orders can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 60+ minutes, depending on the orders ahead of yours.” Also, the pizzeria sometimes runs out of dough, prioritizing orders for customers who dine in over those who order out.

13. Pequod's (Chicago, Illinois)

You can’t go wrong with any of the amazing pies from Pequod's. Many fans give glowing reviews to Pequod’s deep-dish pizza with a thick layer of cheese, caramelized crust and crispy, blackened edges. It’s basically the ultimate casserole of melted cheese.

pequod's
Photo Courtesy: @PequodsPizza/Twitter

According to Food Network, Pequod's has turned out delicious deep-dish pizza since the 1970s. And pizza from Pequod's continues to be in popular demand. Many people use a rideshare application just to get there. In 2017, Lyft titled Pequod's as the most visited restaurant in Chicago. 

12. Pizzeria Mozza (Newport, California)

Pizzeria Mozza stirs excitement in Los Angeles and Newport with their tasty pies. The restaurant perfectly balances its pizza with house-made mozzarella and super fresh California ingredients, like squash blossoms and super juicy tomatoes. The “much-talked-about” crust is baked to perfection in Pizzeria Mozza’s wood-burning oven.

The pizzeria offers many highly recommended Neapolitan pies, so choosing just one is pretty tough. One of the most popular pies on the menu, Prosciutto di Parma, combines rucola, Bianco DiNapoli tomato and mozzarella di bufala (mozzarella made from the milk of domestic water buffalo).

11. Paulie Gee’s (Brooklyn, New York)

Paulie Gee’s turns out delicious Neapolitan pizza with the best ingredients, like a super creamy sauce enriched with anisette, a sweet anise liqueur. The pizzeria’s signature “Regina” pie combines fior di latte, tomatoes, pecorino romano, olive oil and fresh basil.

With locations in Chicago, Columbus, Brooklyn and Baltimore, many pizza lovers can attest to Paulie Gee’s delicious pies. If you’re craving pizza and find yourself in the area, set some time to dine-in and enjoy a pie. According to the pizzeria’s website, Paulie Gee’s pies are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven in the restaurant. As a result, they’ve stopped accepting take-out orders. 

10. Motorino (New York, New York)

Motorino offers a variety of tasty dishes, but the pies steal the show. Mathieu Palombino launched Motorino in New York’s East Village, a big pizza neighborhood. Due to popular demand, Motorino expanded to the Upper West Side in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Manila.

motorino
Photo Courtesy: @motorino/Twitter

The restaurant is a pizza lover's haven, offering 15 different types of pies. The pies feature a perfectly baked, well-salted crust. Fans highly recommend first timers to try the Brussel sprouts, a white pizza covered in fior di latte, garlic, pecorino, smoked pancetta and extra virgin olive oil.

9. Roberta’s (Brooklyn, New York)

Pizza enthusiasts suggest adding Roberta’s to your food bucket list. Located in Brooklyn, Roberta’s serves paper-thin pizza with the right amount of toppings, such as gorgonzola, taleggio, calabrian chile, egg and speck. Customers devour their hot pies on wooden picnic tables in a casual, yet cool setting.

roberta's
Photo Courtesy: @RobertasPizza/Twitter

Some customers recommend trying the classic Margherita, a simple pie topped with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Other customers will tell you to go for the Famous Original, which combines tomato, mozzarella, caciocavallo, parmigiano, oregano and chili. You will love whichever pizza you choose. 

8. Pizzeria Bianco, (Phoenix, Arizona)

In 1988, pizza extraordinaire Chris Bianco opened Pizzeria Bianco in the back of a local grocery store in Phoenix. Since then, Bianco has gained many fans that love his heavenly, wood-fired pizzas made with organic flour. Bianco turns out drool-worthy pies with not only fresh mozzarella, but house-smoked mozzarella. The more Italian cheeses, the better, right?

pizzeria bianco
Photo Courtesy: @MarcBianco/Twitter

It’s no surprise that customers will wait in a long line to get their hands on one of Pizzeria Bianco’s pies. Even celebrities go crazy for Bianco’s pizzas. He’s taught comedian, Aziz Ansari, and American television host, Jimmy Kimmel, how to make the perfect crust. Bianco also shares his expert pizza-making advice to other chefs and restaurateurs. 

7. Lucali (Brooklyn, New York)

Who can say no to pizza with a beautiful, puffy crust that perfectly blend chewy and crispy qualities? Chef Mark Iacono started Lucali in Brooklyn in 2006 as “a labor of love, to save the local candy store of his Carroll Gardens youth from an uncertain, generic fate.” Lucali became an instant success.

Today, the restaurant also has a location in Miami. According to Miami Herald food critic Victoria Pesce Elliott, weekend waits at Lucali can go up to two hours, but the wait is worth it. Fans can’t get enough of Lucali’s thin crust pizzas. Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z often visit the pizza joint, ordering pies with jalapeños and extra tomato sauce.  

6. Buddy’s Pizza (Detroit, Michigan)

Buddy’s Pizza specializes in square pizzas with crisp, thick crust, best known as the original Detroit-style pizza. Since 1946, the restaurant has served hungry Detroit natives and tourists outstanding pies using the finest ingredients and “an acute attention to detail.”

buddy's pizza
Photo Courtesy: @buddyspizza/Twitter

Today, business is still booming. Buddy’s Pizza has 13 locations in Michigan, including Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Bloomfield and Dearborn. The Detroit-style pizza shop plans to open even more locations in Detroit and Plymouth. Now, more people can attest to the beautiful square pies from Buddy's Pizza.

5. Joe’s (New York, New York)

Some customers say Joe’s pizza was “love at first bite.” Located in New York, Joe’s has been an iconic pizzeria since 1975. Joe’s serves fresh, hot, flavorful cheesy slices on a thin crust with an amazing sauce. With high praise from publications like Time Out New York, GQ Magazine and New York Magazine, pizza enthusiasts believe Joe’s is a must-visit hot spot.

If you’re looking for authentic NYC pizza with the right amount of cheese and sauce, you can find it at Joe’s. Joe’s website notes, “You won’t find any pretentious concoctions nor do we serve bargain pizza made with who-knows-what. It's just the old-school, real deal New York pizza. No string-bean, asparagus covered, wild turkey surprise pizza here.”

4. John’s of Bleecker Street (New York, New York)

Another legendary New York pizza joint is John’s of Bleecker Street. The restaurant’s delicious cheese and sauce that pops with flavor keep customers hungry for more. Every bite is just as delicious as the first. John’s of Bleecker Street has served New York natives and tourists since 1929.

The restaurant’s coal-fired brick ovens bake the famous crispy pies. It’s no surprise that lines at John’s of Bleecker Street go out the door. However, many customers say the awesome pies are worth the wait. Customers warn that you can’t order by the slice, so come hungry for an entire pie.

3. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (Chicago, Illinois)

If there were a hall of fame for pizza, Lou Malnati's Pizzeria would definitely be included. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria specializes in authentic deep-dish pizza that includes a thick, crunchy, buttery crust, a layer of melted cheese and freshly crushed tomatoes. The dough’s recipe is a big family secret that has been passed down for generations.

lou malnati's pizzeria
Photo Courtesy: @LouMalnatis/Twitter

It takes about 45 minutes to assemble and perfectly bake the beautiful pies. If you’re waiting for a table, you can pre-order a pizza before getting seated. The pizza will soon arrive hot and ready to eat. Some regulars say they prefer to call for a pick-up order instead of waiting to dine in the restaurant.

2. Razza Pizza Artigianale (Jersey City, New Jersey)

Razza Pizza Artigianale commits to making the best pizzas for its customers (and it shows). Based in Jersey City, the pizza joint only uses the freshest and finest ingredients, down to the salt. Razza Pizza Artigianale bakes these bad boy pies with a wood-burning oven.

The New York Times, Thrillist, and frequent customers have nothing, but good things to say about the food from Razza Pizza Artigianale. Thrillist notes, “Razza even charges $4 for bread and butter, which sure, is totally ludicrous, but you better believe you haven’t had butter this delicious and fresh since you went to Amish country on an elementary school field trip.”

1. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven, Connecticut)

Some pizza enthusiasts say you don’t know how much you love pizza until you’ve tried Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. Opened by Frank Pepe in 1925, USA Today and The Daily Meal rank Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana as the No. 1 pizza restaurant in the country.

frank pepe pizzeria
Photo Courtesy: @pepespizzeria/Twitter

Frank Pepe initially baked two types of pizza at the restaurant: a tomato pie with grated cheese, garlic, oregano and olive oil and another with anchovies. Today, the original tomato pie is still on the menu. However, the most popular pie is the white clam pizza, which includes everything a pizza lover could dream of.