Backed by an all-star team of culinary legends Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, Pizzeria Mozza outshines the competition with its artisan crusts and creative gourmet flavor combinations. Silverton, behind famed La Brea Bakery, has created a flavorful and chewy crust with a crisp exterior, serving as the perfect bready bed for ingredients like fingerling potatoes, radicchio and gorgonzola dolce.
Expect long lines at this popular pizzeria, where ravenous patrons have been reportedly willing to wait up to four hours for a heavenly bite of pie-fection. Once you’re in, you must order the Rosa, a mouth-watering beauty topped with red onion, parmesan cheese, rosemary and Arizona pistachios, that encompasses sweet, salty and nutty flavors.
Good things come to those who wait, and those words never rang truer than patrons standing in line at this iconic, award-winning pizzeria in Brooklyn. Founder Domenico DeMarco opened DiFara in 1964 and still to this day makes each pie by hand using Italian imported ingredients. The $5 slice of plain pie boasts a crisp, airy crust and complex blend of parmesan and buffalo mozzarella cheese, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with hand-cut basil.
No self-respecting pizza list is complete without a deep-dish pizza, and Chicago is home to one of the best: Gino’s East. Founded in 1966 by two taxi drivers and a friend, Gino’s East has become famous for their enormous deep-crust pies, which are baked in giant cast-iron pans to golden color and layered with cheese, chunky tomato sauce and an abundance of toppings.
The flavors of southern Italy come through in the rustic, wood-fired pizzas at A16 in San Francisco’s Marina District. Chef Christophe Hill has mastered the art of crust, creating pies with crispy and slightly puffed edges and just-enough smoky char. You can't go wrong with their most popular dish - the Margherita pizza.
This cozy neighborhood pizza joint located on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens exudes old-world charm with candle-lit service and wood décor and offers a pared-down menu of just two items: pies and calzones. Here, owner Mark Iacono focuses on creating the perfect pie: thin-crust and charred to perfection in a brick oven with your choice of toppings like mozzarella or artichoke hearts. Count celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyoncé as fans, who both bailed on the Grammys to grab a slice.
For more than 85 years, pizzeria Frank Pepe's has expanded to include five more locations throughout Connecticut and one in New York, but the original brick-and-mortar restaurant still stands in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven. The signature White Clam pizza is a New Haven original and crowd favorite; freshly shucked clams and generous amounts of garlic and olive oil are cooked atop a thin, puffy crust in the restaurant's original built-in coal-fired oven.
Santarpio's has been serving slices to the Boston community for over 100 years and has two locations: East Boston and Peabody, MA. This pizzeria gets right down to business, producing straightforward pies that are big on flavor; even the decor has fallen by the wayside giving the establishment its retro charm. The house-made sausage gets rave reviews and is cooked underneath layers of sauce and cheese for succulent flavor.
What started as a family business baking pizzas on a wood-fired oven cart grew into the award-winning restaurant Extra Virgin Oven, where founders Ricky Hacker and Matt McIntosh source from local farms to make their own ingredients in-house (even the mozzarella is prepared and pulled twice a day!). You can build your own pizza, choosing from an unusual selection of base sauces like pine nut or pistachio pesto and an array of toppings including house-made sausage and dressings.
When Johanne Killeen and George Germon opened Al Forno in 1980, they improvised pizza making with a wood-fired grill and rose to fame for pioneering grilled pizzas. The pies are cooked directly over burning charcoal, which develops an uneven texture where some parts are crispy and others are chewy, and the amount of toppings is just right so you never get a soggy pizza.
Image Credit: Al Forno
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Everybody loves pizza, period.
So when tasked with the serious business of narrowing down a list of the top ten pizza places across the nation, we realize that we're omitting some of the greats - there are just too many restaurants out there making some seriously good pizza - but we'll try our darn best. In search of pizza nirvana, we looked for crispy and chewy crusts, the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese and mouth-watering flavor combinations using fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Check out our slideshow above for our list of the ten best pizza places across the nation (and please don't pie us if yours isn't on it - we're sure it's great, too!)