Chef and company founder Anthony Bruno brings classic flavors with an urban spin to pizza lovers with Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza at his 34 different locations spanning Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut.
The pizza is cooked at 800° in a coal-burning oven for a crisp crust that provides a "well done favor," the chain’s trademark phrase. Unlike many restaurants on this list, Anthony’s was inspired by Brooklyn-style pizzerias that value ambiance almost as much as the taste of the pie. Bruno opened his first location in South Florida and quickly expanded throughout the state before expanding nationally.
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Photo Credit: © Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza
New Orleans is known for its gumbo and po’boys, but in 1996 the city was introduced to a soon-to-be local favorite with the opening of Reginelli’s Pizzeria. Darryl Reginelli and Bruce Erhardt offer a varied menu that includes much more than pizza, but the pies are what keep people coming back.
"The goal of Reginelli’s Pizzeria was to add some variety and sense of humor to the New Orleans ‘eating out’ experience," according to their website.
Customers start with either a 14- or 10-inch pie and can build from scratch what they want for their ideal pizza. Reginelli’s offers nearly 35 toppings, among them: black olives, roasted garlic, artichokes, eggplant, goat cheese, gorgonzola, chicken, portobellos, and pancetta.
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Photo Credit: © Reginelli's
Named after the highway that runs between Naples and Canosa, Puglia, A16 draws all of its inspiration from the boot-shaped country, but with adoration for the Campania region to the south. Since 2004, owner Shelley Lindgren's Marina District restaurant has been putting out absolutely gorgeous Neapolitan pies, and served them with a super selection of southern Italian wines.
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Photo Credit: © ChrisThompson
It may anger pizza purists to hear, but it looks like in this case bigger is better. Jumbo Slice Pizza in Washington, D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood offers just that, jumbo-sized slices for the ever-so-hungry crowd looking to fill their stomachs to capacity (most frequently, when they're drunk). There's virtually no structural integrity, and it's all about the gimmick, but this cheesy, saucy, gigantic slice is actually really, really tasty (and no, not just because you're drunk when you eat it). Face it, folks, the jumbo slice has become a local mainstay, and practically one of the city's iconic foods at this point. The only thing holding it back from world domination? A bigger oven so it can get even more ridiculous.
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Photo Credit: © Flickr/jxb345
The town of Monza houses an historic Italian speedway where every year since 1922, owners of the finest cars, from Alfa Romeo to Ferrari, drive around the curves of the 6.25-mile track. Monza in Charleston, S.C., feeds off the history of their namesake city to offer their handcrafted pies to city residents.
Monza uses imported San Felice wheat flour, Neapolitan yeast, and filtered and pH-balanced water to develop their version of the most traditional style pizza possible. The pies are baked in the wood oven at a sweltering 1,000°, allowing for a thin and crispy crust, and are topped with mozzarella with fresh and usually regional ingredients.
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Photo Credit: © Facebook/Monza
What started nearly 10 years ago in an old cottage in Dallas has grown to include a handful of restaurants serving up artisan pies. Pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven and boast a variety of flavors for any mood, including house-made chicken sausage, balsamic roasted chicken, and prosciutto and Parmesan.
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Photo Credit: © Fireside Pies
Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, Co. (pronounced Company) opened in 2009 in a competitive pizza market. With nearly a dozen different restaurants at every corner, Co. was up against some stiff competition. But these quality pies proved to have staying power. Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery, opened Co. to offer his spin on Roman-style pizza to Chelsea residents, and focusing on the communal dining experience.
Co. serves up the traditional options but also offers pies with flare. The mushroom and jalapeño pie gives some kick, while the ham and cheese is almost decadent with pecorino, Gruyère, mozzarella, prosciutto, and caraway. And when Lahey goes egg? Order two.
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Photo Credit: © Facebook/Co.
Gino’s may be the ultimate in Chicago deep-dish, with a history dating back nearly 50 years. The story starts with two taxi drivers and their friend, who became frustrated with rush hour traffic and decided to open up their own pizza place. Just off the famed Michigan Avenue strip in the heart of downtown, the restaurant has been considered a city mainstay since its conception. The walls of the restaurant are covered with graffiti, as it’s a tradition of Gino’s to carve your name on the wall if you’re a dedicated patron.
Pies begin with a buttery crust that crumbles as soon as you take a bite, and it's then stuffed with a layer of fillings (ranging from sweet Italian sausage to pineapple), then topped with a more-than-healthy serving of mozzarella cheese, and finished with crushed vine-ripened tomatoes. Their success has led them to open 11 locations, even expanding into neighboring Wisconsin for all those cheese lovers.
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Photo Credit: © Flickr/konomike
If you want to discuss the loaded topic of America's best pizza with any authority, you've got to make a pilgrimage to this legendary New Haven spot. Frank Pepe opened his doors in Wooster Square in New Haven, Conn., back in 1925 offering classic Napoletana style pizza. After immigrating to the United States in 1909 at the age of 16 from Italy, Pepe took odd jobs before opening up his restaurant. Since its conception, Pepe’s has opened an additional seven locations.
What should you order at this checklist destination? Two words: clam pie. This is a Northeastern pizza genre unto its own, and Pepe's is the best of them all — freshly-shucked, briny littleneck clams, an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated cheese atop a charcoal-colored crust. The advanced move? Clam pie with bacon. Just expect to wait in line if you get there after 11:30 a.m. on a weekend.
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Photo Credit: © Frank Pepe
Joe's Pizza is as synonomous with New York City as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. The infamous shop has placed in nearly every Best Pizzas list, including GQ's Top 25 Pizzas, Shecky's Best in New York, and New York Magazine's Best Pizza in New York.
The key to Joe's success is their traditional New York City-style pizza with thin crust, great sauce, and just the right ratio of cheese, sauce, and crust (just a bit less of the first two). Since 1975, Joe's has served tourists and residents alike, making it a truly iconic New York landmark. Everyone has a slice joint, but if the city were to have just one, this would be it.
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Photo Credit: © Yelp/Cliff K.
In a city dedicated to deep-dish pies, this family-owned restaurant has been serving up thin crust pizzas to Chicago residents for decades, and as the note on their website demonstrates ("If you don’t know about us, you will"), the owners are fairly confident in their popularity. The thin crust and generous cheese and sauce covering will likely leave you in agreement.
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Photo Credit: © Flickr/adamthelibrarian
With four locations and another one on the way, you know that Pizano's has a loyal fan following among Chicago's intense deep-dish market. But Pizano's offers both deep-dish pizza and a thin-crust version that many would claim to even make most New Yorkers happy.
For the deep-dish crowd, the restaurant offers the Rudy's Special, a pie that the restaurant requests guests' patience for in advance. This monstrous concoction, topped with cheese, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, takes up to 30 minutes to cook all the way through.
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Photo Credit: © Facebook/Pizano's Pizza and Pasta
Yes, John's of Bleecker is on the tourist rotation, but there's a reason this place has become such an institution. The pizza is cooked in a coal-fired brick oven, the same way it's been done there since 1929. You can choose from their available toppings (pepperoni, sausage, sliced meatball, garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms, ricotta, sliced tomato, anchovies, olives, and roasted tomatoes), and you can scratch your name into the walls like the droves before you, but what you can't do is order a slice. Pies only, bud.
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Photo Credit: © Flickr/Kaitlyn Rose
Some spaces are cursed. Others are blessed. When Anthony Mangieri shuttered Una Pizza Napoletana at 349 East 12th St. and headed out to San Francisco, Mathieu Palombino took over the lease, renamed the space Motorino, and the East Village pizza scene hardly seemed to skip a beat. In addition to the traditional varieties of marinara and Margherita pizza, Motorino offers a handful of more spirited pies, including one with cherry stone clams, and another with Brussels sprouts. (And while it has nothing to do with the quality of their pies, Motorino also happens to serve one of the best octopus appetizers in the city.)
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Photo Credit: © Flickr/jasonlam
Domenico DeMarco is somewhat of a local celebrity, having owned and operated Di Fara since 1964. Dom cooks up both New York and Sicilian-style pizza Wednesday through Sunday to hungry New Yorkers and tourists willing to wait on long lines, and brave the free for all that is the Di Fara counter experience. Yes, you're better off getting a whole pie than throwing down money on the $5 slice. Yes, it's a trek, and sure, Dom goes through periods where the underside of the pizza can trend toward overdone, but when he's on, Di Fara can make a very strong case for being America's best pizza.
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Photo Credit: © Flickr/Paul-Lowry