The Best Pizza in Every State
No matter your pie preference, you should be eating the best pizza in the U.S. Here's the lowdown on the best slices in every state.
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RD.com, via tripadvisor.com (5)
The most delicious pizza in the United States
Alabama: Slice Stone Pizza and Brew
Soul food is, well, the soul of the South. Three Birmingham brothers (and the founders of Slice) decided to apply that down-home cooking style to pizza with their aptly named “Soul Pie”—it’s topped with an irresistible sausage, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, red onion, and Pepperjack cheese. They even have a take-home pizza kit, so you can make your own pie. Still hungry? Check out the best all-you-can-eat buffet in your state.
Alaska: Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria
Who knew the best pizza in the U.S. was hiding in the last frontier? It’s not just rave reviews, either: Moose’s Tooth in Anchorage has had the highest annual sales of any independent pizza place in the country for several years. It’s so good that you might have to wait for a table, but fortunately these pizza heroes have their own brewery on-site, so you can sip an icy beer while you wait. Just make sure you know the weird alcohol laws in these states before you order another.
Arizona: Pizzeria Bianco
If you’re a true pizza enthusiast, you’ve likely heard of Chef Chris Bianco of Phoenix: He’s been touted as one of the best pizzaiolos (that’s Italian for “man who makes pizza”) of all time. A basic dough, some hand-crushed tomatoes, a sprinkling of shaved Parmigiano, and a few fresh basil leaves are all it takes for him to work his magic. It doesn’t matter if tomato is a fruit or a vegetable when it tastes this good.
Arkansas: Iriana’s Pizza
Locals agree that Iriana’s is a Little Rock institution. But here’s a tip: Don’t just order a plain cheese pizza. Pile on some—or all—of your favorite toppings with their version of a supreme pizza (it’s actually called “Sweep the Floor”). It’s loaded with Canadian bacon, sausage, black olives, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, and onions. These other crazy pizza toppings are impossible to resist too.
California: Cheese Board Pizza
This Berkeley pizzeria dates back to 1985, when the owners of the Cheese Board cheese shop started making vegetarian pizzas using unusual cheeses, fresh ingredients, and a thin, sourdough crust. More than 30 years later and the recipe is the same, but Cheese Board Pizza is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Saturday, accompanied by live music. The pizzas change regularly, so you’re never quite sure what you’ll get, but partially baked pizzas are available to take home for those days the restaurant isn’t open. Get ready for your vegetarian pizza by finding out if eggplant is a fruit or a vegetable.
Colorado: Blue Pan Pizza
Detroit-style pizza—Blue Pan’s specialty—is like a cool cousin of the dominant New York–style (aka thin-crust) pizza. Detroit-style is a little thicker and sturdier, and it’s usually served cut into squares, not triangles. The trademark is the delicious caramelized crust, created by a blend of three different cheeses. Denver’s nickname is the Mile High City, which means you have to try the Mountain Top pie. It features two different types of pepperoni, mushrooms, and fresh oregano. Now there’s a food fact worth repeating.
Connecticut: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Clams are a delicacy along the Connecticut coastline, so it only makes sense to eat them with everything—including pizza. At Frank Pepe’s in New Haven (voted the #1 Pizza in America by The Daily Meal for several years straight), try the famous white clam pizza, which includes freshly shucked littleneck clams, olive oil, garlic, and Pecorino Romano cheese.
Delaware: Grotto Pizza
The true marker of “Delaware-style” pizza can be found only at the state’s most famous pie-making chain, Grotto’s in Rehoboth Beach: the signature swirl. Their flavorful tomato sauce (not too runny, not too thick, just right) is spooned on top of the melted cheese and spread into a spiral.
Florida: Steve’s Pizza
No frills or fancy ingredients here. At Steve’s Pizza in Miami, you’ll order at the counter, then head to a graffitied booth to await your slice of heaven. And heaven it is: Served on a paper plate, your New York–style slice of pie is just the right amount of greasy, gooey, cheesy, and saucy to satisfy any craving. All the deliciousness of New York pizza, none of the winter. Ready for something sweet? Head to one of the best ice cream shops in every state.
Georgia: Antico Pizza Napoletana
Nestled in Atlanta’s Little Italia neighborhood, this pizza-lovers’ paradise has something approaching a cult following—and for good reason. Order the popular San Gennaro, with three types of gooey cheeses, peppers, onions, and sweet sausage, and salivate over the charred crust and generous toppings. It’s definitely one of the best pizzas in the U.S., but there’s a catch: No modifications or build-your-own allowed. What Antico says goes, but who cares when it’s this good?
Hawaii: Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria
These are gourmet pizzas: freshly made dough and sauce, cooked to blistered thin-crust perfection. Not only that, but at Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria in Oahu, you can design your own pie. Choose the dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings to create something entirely new (and hit any cravings you might have). We desperately want to try the guava-infused crust, but if you’re short on ideas, just go for the Hawaii Pie-O: spicy Sriracha sauce, salami, mozzarella, BBQ pork, sausage, and pepperoni, all topped with fresh cilantro on an original crust. Did someone say Aloha?
Idaho: The Wylder
While everyone else is jumping on the wood-fired pizza trend, the crew at The Wylder in Boise is sticking to the traditional gas-burning oven instead. The result? A sourdough crust that’s equal parts chewy and crispy, without any charred edges. Enjoy the state’s famous spuds (along with rosemary, sage, and caramelized onion) on a white-sauce Gem State of Mind pie. Do you know how Idaho became the Gem State? Here are the stories behind every state nickname.
Some say it might as well be lasagne, but we say there’s nothing wrong with a pizza you have to eat with a knife and fork. However you feel about it, there are few things more sinfully indulgent (or worth every bite) than a Chicago deep-dish pizza. Chicago’s classic restaurant Giordano’s takes it one step further with their stuffed pizza. As if the mountain of dense dough, melted cheese, and chunky sauce couldn’t get more over-the-top, they fill the crust with ricotta cheese. Be right back, slipping into a food coma…
Indiana: Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza
Meat lovers, rejoice! At Jockamo’s, you can indulge your carnivorous cravings with a pizza named after Indianapolis author Kurt Vonnegut’s famous book Slaughterhouse Five. The crispy crust is loaded with pepperoni, sausage, ham, Italian beef, and bacon. This is pizza for people to settle serious issues over, like whether a hot dog is a sandwich.
Iowa: Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co.
Every good pizza starts with a cooked-to-perfection crust, and that’s exactly what Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co. in Ames has specialized in since they opened in 1979. No matter which of the six crust styles you choose—from thick, whole-wheat Denver style to Idaho style, made with potato flour—each is made fresh daily and hand-rolled for each order. The toppings aren’t bad, either. All in all, the perfect fuel for investigating the best place to go apple picking in every state.
Kansas: Picasso’s Pizzeria
It wasn’t named Wichita’s Best Pizza six years in a row for nothing. The New York–style slices at Picasso’s are famous for more than their thin-crust crunch—they’re also huge! Each floppy piece (cut from a massive 26-inch pie) requires two hands—one for folding in half, the other for wiping the sweet sauce dribbling down your chin. Eating a slice bigger than your face? That’s art in our book.
Kentucky: Impellizzeri’s Pizza
You’ll definitely want to show up hungry for a meal at Impellizzeri’s, the restaurant that coined “Louisville style” pizza. As soon as your pie is brought to the table, overflowing with cheese, cheese, and well, more cheese, you’ll understand exactly what that style entails—it’s essentially double layers of cheese and toppings. Two pizzas in one pizza? Yes, please. That’s a fast food fact we can get behind.
Louisiana: Pizza Domenica
There’s something about the bubbly, slightly charred crust of the wood-fired pies at NOLA’s Pizza Domenica that makes our mouths water. Add upscale topping combos like fennel sausage and mortadella, or summer squash and mascarpone, and you have yourself a pizza fit for a king (or should we say “un roi“).
Maine: OTTO Pizza
Not for the pizza purists among us, OTTO in Portland has made its mark along the East Coast pie trail with its creative toppings, from three-cheese tortellini to pulled pork and mango. Feeling overwhelmed? You can’t go wrong with the one that started it all: the mashed potato, bacon, and scallion masterpiece. Is it breakfast? Is it brunch? It’s pizza!
Maryland: Joe Squared Pizza
Hipsters loved this Baltimore pizza joint before it was cool (aka, before it was in Food Network Magazine and featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives). Their pie of choice: the Flag Pizza, designed to resemble the Italian flag, with three tri-colored sections of red sauce, white garlic sauce, and a vibrant green pesto. Bellissimo! It’s easy enough to figure out the flag pizza, but do you know the surprising birthplaces of these favorite foods?
Massachusetts: Area Four
When you’re looking for the best pizza in the U.S., a motto like “This is Real Food. From the Oven.” helps to point you in the right direction. As promised, this Cambridge mainstay doesn’t mess around with its pizza. The proof is in the pudding—or should we say, the dough. A4 uses a 15-year-old sourdough starter, left to rise for more than 36 hours before being rolled and baked in a wood-burning oven for an airy yet crisp texture.
Michigan: Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen
Mama mia! This authentic Italian eatery in Grand Rapids uses a family-secret recipe straight from Sicily to make its dense, doughy pies. Order the “Sfinciuni Pizze”—this half-sheet-pan-sized pizza is what foodie’s dreams are made of, with a sweet sauce and big chunks of aged Parmigiano Reggiano. BRB, looking up flights to Michigan…
Minnesota: Pizzeria Lola
This Minneapolis pizza joint is one of three delicious pizza restaurants under the helm of James Beard Award–winning chef Ann Kim. Guy Fieri loves it (it’s been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), and many of the flavors reflect Kim’s Korean heritage, with pie toppings like Korean BBQ and daikon. We love the seasonal pizzas, like the Spring Allium: leek, garlic, spring onion, caramelized onion, four cheeses, olives, and thyme. Warmer temperatures mean it’s time to answer the question “what is cold brew coffee?” too.
Mississippi: Square Pizza
Your late-night menu just got a lot tastier, thanks to this Oxford institution. Open till 1 a.m., Square Pizza serves a unique type of pie—each pizza is baked not once, but twice, for extra crunch. (If you’ve ever wondered how yesterday’s pizza tastes so much better heated in the oven, this is why.) And instead of the classic mozzarella, they use a mild provolone to satisfy any cheesy craving.
Missouri: Pi Pizzeria
Former President Obama once proclaimed that Pi in St. Louis is his favorite spot to, well, chow down on a pie. And you don’t have to be a math fan to enjoy this pizza—just one bite of either their deep-dish or thin-crust (both are delicious), and you’ll be sold. The crust, dusted in cornmeal, is sturdy enough to hold the hearty helping of chunky sauce, cheese, and fresh veggies and herbs adorning each pizza. We love a generous serving, so why are potato chip bags never filled to the top?
Montana: Eugene’s Pizza
Since 1962, Eugene’s has long been the spot for Glasgow locals to gather for a nostalgic piece of pizza made with hand-tossed dough and only the best ingredients, according to the brothers who now own it. Eugene’s is characterized by its huge list of ingredients available for a make-your-own ‘za (Mandarin oranges, anyone?), but they have a seriously delicious Taco Pizza too. If you can’t get enough, you can take home a half-cooked pie to stick in the freezer for later.
Nebraska: Yiayia’s Pizza and Beer
Pies and pints: That’s what Yiayia’s in Lincoln does best. Pair one of their 400 beers with an “Around the World” pizza. Each variety represents a different region, like the Francais, featuring blue cheese and walnuts, or the American, covered in BBQ sauce and corn. But maybe you’re more of a tea than a beer person. Do you know exactly what bubble tea is?
Nevada: Pizza Rock
Who would you most trust to make the perfect piece of pizza? In Las Vegas, you’ll find him at Pizza Rock, home of 11-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani. His award-winning Margherita Pie covered in San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil is always in high demand—they make just 73 a day, and it’s first come, first served.
New Hampshire: Alley Cat Pizzeria
This hole-in-the-wall joint in downtown Manchester has some of the best thin-crust pie you can get. They only serve a delicious cracker-thin crust, and it’s perfect for late-night snacking or takeout. The pizzeria has been voted best pizza in Manchester for 18 years straight, and each purrfect pie has a cute feline name—meat lovers will want to try the Tom Cat.
New Jersey: Brooklyn Square Pizza
Time to get a little saucy with this Jackson pizza joint’s best-seller, the Upside Down Square, a Sicilian-style pie absolutely dripping with chunky tomato sauce atop a pillowy crust. Said sauce is a recipe passed down from the owner’s Italian grandmother and made with hand-crushed tomatoes for a blend that is not too sweet, not too sour, and totally tasty. While you’re in the Italian neighborhood, maybe you’ll find yourself wondering: What is a macchiato exactly?
New York: Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
Does pizza even exist outside the Big Apple? A true Brooklynite would say “fuhgeddaboutit” and then swipe a pie from the counter at Grimaldi’s. A favorite of Frank Sinatra’s, their massive slices, cooked in a coal-fired oven, are best consumed like the locals, with the “fold and hold”—that’s where you fold it in half and eat while you walk. Once you can do that and hail a taxi at the same time, you’re a true New Yorker. Better brush up on these commonly mispronounced food words, just in case.
North Carolina: Lilly’s Pizza
Started by three musicians in the ’90s in Raleigh, Lilly’s is about as close to healthy pizza as you’ll get. They use all organic, fresh ingredients to make their pies and cater largely to the vegan and vegetarian crowds. Savor that classic pizza flavor and fill up on veggies like mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and more with the Mr. Green Jeans ‘za.
North Dakota: Blackbird Woodfire
Started by a former bread baker, Blackbird in Fargo has dough-making down to an art. It’s made fresh every day from North Dakota–harvested wheat and milled flour, then fermented for 48 hours to enhance the flavors before being fired in the wood-burning oven brought all the way from Tuscany. We’d call that artisan pizza at its best. For a bit of breakfast-for-dinner, try the Lumberjack: Béchamel cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, red onion, and both smoked and Canadian bacon, topped with maple syrup and an egg cooked sunny-side-up. We wonder where Blackbird stands on the white eggs vs. brown eggs debate…
Stuck between the two pizza capitals of the United States (New York and Chicago), Crust has created its own “Cleveland style” pie, blending the two more famous styles for a thicker yet still crispy and light crust. Everything (yes, everything) is made from scratch each day, so eat up, and don’t leave the crust—they say it’s the best part!
Oklahoma: Empire Slice House
The New York–style pies at Empire Slice House in OKC are as funky and eclectic as the vintage pop-art decor. Each is baked in a 20-inch pan, and you can choose from one of 14 daily specialties with out-of-the-ordinary names like Notorious P.I.G. (it has an entire pound of pig on top!) or Evil Empire (serrano, poblano, jalapeño, spicy marinara, and cherry pepper relish). It’s spicy, so you might want to leave room for a treat to cool that burning mouth. Do you know who invented ice cream?
Oregon: Sizzle Pie
Yes, vegan pizza exists. And the folks at Sizzle Pie in Portland like their plant-based pizza with a side of metal rock music (it’s kind of their thing). While you can get meaty, cheesy slices here, Sizzle is well-loved by vegans for their wide selection of dairy-free pies—like the Vegan Angel of Doom, featuring vegan mozzarella, jalapeños, pineapple, shaved almonds, and cilantro. You know it’s a great pizza place when it has something for everyone.
Pennsylvania: Earth Bread + Brewery
Are flatbreads the new pizza? The residents of Philadelphia might say yes, particularly after a meal at Earth Bread + Brewery. This sustainable brewpub serves what they consider “the best flatbreads on Earth,” made from local ingredients and baked in a wood-fired oven. If you’re in the market for a dessert pizza, try the Sweetie Pie: cream cheese, chocolate, and mascarpone, topped with candied pecans, chocolate chips, and seasonal fruit.
Rhode Island: D. Palmieri’s Bakery
Forget pizza by the slice. In Providence, it’s all about the strips. Pizza strips (also called party pizza) are rectangular pieces of dough spread with tangy tomato sauce and occasionally a sprinkle of grated cheese. Served cold (or at room temperature), this local specialty is a hit at D. Palmieri’s, where they use a chewy focaccia bread dough as the base. It sounds strange to out-of-staters, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Of course, that’s what white chocolate lovers say too. The rest of us are just wondering if it’s really chocolate.
South Carolina: Village Idiot
It’s been keeping the late-night college crowd well fed for more than 25 years, and after being voted best pizza in Columbia for the past three years, the Village Idiot likely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Try their Barnyard pizza, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, ham, mushroom, jalapeño, roasted red pepper, and extra cheese.
South Dakota: Dough Trader Pizza Company
Maybe it’s the crave-worthy crust, using a 130-year-old sourdough starter that’s been passed down through generations. Or maybe it’s the unique topping combinations and funny pizza names. Case in point, Dances with Goats: chicken, onion, roma tomato, garlic, alfredo sauce, corn, artichoke, and feta. Regardless, this pizza place is a staple of Spearfish, South Dakota. Just make sure you bring cash, or get ready to line up for the ATM. While you wait, do you know the difference between jam vs. jelly?
Tennessee: Big Ed’s Pizza
Just outside of Knoxville, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, you’ll find Big Ed’s. Although he passed away in 1998, Big Ed was famous for his high standards when it came to his pies, and the business (still run by family) continues to make their pizza dough, sauce, and sausage fresh, according to Big Ed’s original recipes.
Texas: Big Lou’s Pizza
If you need proof that everything really is bigger in Texas, head on over to Big Lou’s in San Antonio, where you can order, yes, a 42-inch pie. That’s as big as the table! But if you aren’t ready to go big or go home, you can’t go wrong with their pepperoni pizza—the thin-sliced pepperoni gives just the right amount of crisp, and the cheese-to-sauce ratio is on point.
Utah: Settebello Pizzeria
Step inside Settebello in Salt Lake City and you’ll instantly be transported to the Italian countryside, surrounded by the aroma of tangy tomatoes and charred dough wafting from the wood-burning oven. Each of their traditional Neapolitan pies is made with the highest-quality ingredients, many of them imported straight from Europe. Keep that European feeling going with the best coffee shop in each state.
Vermont: Piecasso Pizzeria
Like their artistic namesake, Piecasso’s pizza is a true masterpiece. All the ingredients are sourced locally from the Vermont Fresh Network, making this Stowe parlor’s “Tree Hugger” pie one of the more popular options. Bite into a piping-hot slice covered in fresh spinach, basil, garlic, tomatoes, red onion, and mozzarella cheese. Pablo would approve.
Virginia: Bottoms Up Pizza
This Richmond spot is definitely not serving your average take-out pizza. The thick sourdough crust is a perfect base for the flavors of the Mid-Atlantic, like the Chesapeake pie, featuring sweet onions and lump fresh crabmeat seasoned with Old Bay. Warning: Portions at this joint are massive, so be prepared to take home leftovers! If you’re craving something sweet after, here’s how to decide between sorbet vs. sherbet.
Washington: Serious Pie
The East Coast might have its clam pie, but in the Northwest, it’s all about the oyster pie. Seriously. Take advantage of Seattle’s staple seafood with a slice from chef Tom Douglas’s eatery, where the toppings are generous and the crust is one-of-a-kind: airy and bready, with a sweet aroma.
West Virginia: Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar
If you haven’t eaten pizza for breakfast, you haven’t lived. It’s a tasty tradition that the chefs at Backyard Pizza in Huntington believe deserves to be celebrated. On their menu, you’ll find an array of “brunch pies” for your morning pick-me-up. Our top choice? The classic Bacon Egg and Cheese, made with cheddar, scrambled eggs, bacon, and a maple syrup crust. That’s right, a maple syrup crust. It would go perfectly with a cup of chai tea.
Wisconsin: Harry’s Prohibition Bistro
One of only two pizzerias in the state to meet the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana’s requirements for making Neopolitan pizza, Harry’s Prohibition Bistro in Sheboygan is as authentic as it gets. Try a twist on the traditional with their special corn pizza. It may sound odd, but the sweetness of fresh corn balances the salty ham and mozzarella perfectly.
Wyoming: Pinky G’s Pizzeria
Fuel up after a day on the slopes in Jackson Hole with an indulgent dinner at Pinky G’s. There are plenty of creative concoctions to choose from (and all are hand-tossed), but one crowd favorite is the Abe Froman, named after the Sausage King of Chicago. Your pie will come with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and of course, crumbles of spicy sausage. If it’s good enough for Guy Fieri, it’s good enough for us! Before you order, find out the things your pizza guy won’t tell you.