At this pizza spot by Marc Vetri, one of the country’s best Italian chefs, the Neapolitan pies come with thick, chewy crusts and toppings like prosciutto crudo and roasted fennel. The rotolo, not to be missed, are pink, fatty slices of house-made mortadella and ricotta wrapped in pizza dough, topped with Sicilian pistachio pesto.
Image Credit: Steve Legato
Oakland, CA: A16Rockridge
Chef Rocky Maselli runs the kitchen here as well as at the A16 flagship in San Francisco. What separates the Oakland spot from the original is the massive Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven—which cook pizzas in 90 seconds—and a few different pies such as the Montanara Rockridge (lightly fried pizza dough topped with smoky tomato sauce, burrata and basil).
Image Credit: Natalie Compton
Santa Monica, CA: Milo & Olive
Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan’s burgeoning food empire includes this bakery cum pizzeria featuring Nathan’s excellent breads and whole–grain pie dough, which are topped with seasonal—and often unconventional—combinations like braised bacon with peach, Fontina and thyme.
Image Credit: Emily Hart Roth
Somerville, MA: A4 Pizza
At Best New Chef 2000 Michael Leviton’s A4, the food menus are simply and clearly delineated into two categories: Pizza and Not Pizza. The stellar wood-fired pies of the former come with addictively charred, blistered sourdough crusts made with a 12-year-old starter.
Image Credit: Mike Diskin
Robbinsdale, MN: Pig Ate My Pizza
This pizza spot in a suburb just outside Minneapolis pulls off its funky, unorthodox pies with brio. Crusts include thin and deep-dish brioche, and toppings range from pulled pork shoulder to potato chips.
Roberto Caporuscio, of New York’s Kesté, has partnered with his mentor, Antonio Starita, a third-generation Italian pizzaiolo. Their midtown pizzeria serves 50 different pies—including fried montanara.
New York pizzerias love to tout their Italian bonafides, but chef Michael White’s new restaurant references a far less famous pizza destination: Wisconsin. White worked at Domenico’s in Beloit as a teenager and says the pies at Nicoletta resemble the crisp-crusted versions he ate there. “There’s no need to fold over the slice, like you do with floppy New York–style pizza,” says White. Even the mozzarella is from Wisconsin. “We’re all trying to capture those childhood tastes, right? I’m chasing the pizza of my youth.”
In 1980, Johanne Killeen and George Germon launched a new era of ambitious cooking in Providence with their thin-crusted grilled pizzas topped with superfresh ingredients. Their signature margarita pizza is topped with house-made pomodoro, fresh herbs, two cheeses and extra virgin olive oil.
Top chefs and legendary bakers are among the new breed of pizzaiolo who are just as fanatical about the temperature of their ovens as they are about the provenance of their ingredients. Here, F&W names the best places for pizza around the country from these new guard spots—including a Bay Area pizzeria that uses locally-milled flour—to century old East Coast institutions.
Check out the slideshow above for the best pizza places in America.