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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Best-of-the-Best Pizzerias in the U.S. 2023

Updated: Feb 25



Napoletano Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizzeria in the U.S., on Spring Street in New York City’s Little Italy in 1905 -- and it's still going strong! People couldn't get enough of that old-world comfort food, it seems. And so, what many diehard pizza aficionados would call a new "food group" was born!


In fact, today there are 75,000 more pizza restaurants nationwide – a $55 billion industry serving up pies in dozens of styles from New Haven coal-fired traditional tomato and cheese to Chicago deep-dish to California-style topped with baby zucchini flowers and scallops, and everything in between. The variety of pizza styles and flavors available today is a testament to the unquenchable popularity of the savory treat.


A survey conducted by California Pizza Kitchen asked 2,000 Americans what they would choose if they could only eat one kind of food for the rest of their lives. No surprise that a resounding 21 percent of the respondents chose pizza, the most popular answer.


Our own cravings for pizza led us to find out which independent pizza outlets are the most popular with eaters in the U.S. today. To do this, we simply combined every list of pizza joints we could find from 2022-2023 that have the highest customer ratings. These included 50 Top Pizza U.S., Thrillist, Big Seven Travel, Restaurant Clicks, Gayot, Food Network, American Eats, Yelp, Italy4real.com, All for Pizza, KOA.com, and 247wallst.com (which included The Daily Meal, Eater, Food & Wine, Insider, Reader’s Digest, PBS, Far & Wide, and Mashed).


Here then are the top eight most-commended, best-of-the-best pizza restaurants in America today, selected out of a total 453 top-rated places! Check them out next time you're in any of these locations.



Giordano’s

Chicago, Illinois

(Appears on 8 Leading Best-of lists)



Giordano’s gets top billing here with the most appearances on the pizza best-of lists. It’s been considered the king of Chicago’s deep-dish style “stuffed pizza” since 1974. With over 40 locations in the Chicago area, the famous pizzeria has been lauded with top honors for most delicious pizza pies by NBC, CBS, New York Times, Huffington Post, Today Show, Good Morning America.


Yelper Elizabeth B. advises, “If you think you are hungry for a medium size, grab a small. Those pies are absolutely LOADED. Or just share a few pies among your table so you can try different flavors but one slice really is enough to fill up an average sized person!”


They also ship their frozen famous stuffed pie combos anywhere in the continental U.S.



Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

New Haven, Connecticut

(Appears on 7 Leading Best-of lists)



Naples-born Frank Pepe started tossing his special thin crust “apizza” dough at his Wooster Street shop in 1925, hawking them in Wooster Square from a special pizza rack balanced on top of his head. His coal-fired pies with the dark crispy edges and chewy centers became an instant sensation.


His famous Neapolitan stye Tomato Pie is still on the menu, along with the original recipe fresh White Clam pizza, a New England favorite. Frank Pepe’s is still family run and now boasts seven locations in Connecticut plus a few additional shops in MA, RI, NY, MD, VA, and FL.


The pizzerias host “Good Neighbor Nights” at each of their locations, giving back 25% to community organizations.



Pequod’s Pizza

Morton Grove and Chicago, Illinois

(Appears on 7 Leading Best-of lists)



Nobody else in the world does deep-dish pan pies like Pequod’s – it’s their trademark “caramelized crust” that sets them apart. Mozzarella cheese is baked along the edge of the pizza’s cast iron pans creating a slightly charred, chewy crust that perfectly complements the dark, tangy tomato sauce they use.


Pequod’s has been satisfying the pizza cravings of devoted hordes of locals since 1970. They also make thin crust pizza and both types can be loaded with tons of extra ingredients, like meatballs, Canadian bacon, jalapeno peppers, and giardiniera. Customer Alice D. raves, “I always bring visitors here, because on top of having the best deep-dish slice, the place is a VIBE. It's sporty. It's family oriented. It's divey. It's sooooOooOooo Chicago. And I love it for that.”


Three of their signature deep-dish pies – cheese, pepperoni, and sausage -- are now available for delivery anywhere in the U.S.



Pizzeria Bianco

Phoenix, Arizona

(Appears on 6 Leading Best-of lists)



Chef-owner Chris Bianco started his pizzeria in the back of a local grocery store in 1988, using the best ingredients he could find. By 2003 he was honored with a James Beard Nation’s Best Chef award – the first ever given to a pizzaiolo -- for his artisanal pies cooked to perfection in wood-burning ovens. Bianco’s devotion to his craft gave birth to the artisanal pizza movement. The New York Times called Pizzeria Bianco fare "Perhaps The Best Pizza in America."


The menu is simple. Six delectable pies, a few pasta dishes and sides. The Wiseguy Pizza features wood-roasted onion, house-made and smoked mozzarella, and fennel sausage. The Marinara is topped with homemade tomato sauce, wild oregano, and garlic slivers. The Rosa has the house-made mozzarella, red onion, spicy-fresh rosemary, chopped Arizona pistachios, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The dough for each of his pizza creations is made from locally grown wheat.


Pizzeria Bianco has two locations in Phoenix and one in Los Angeles. Bianco also runs a bakery, a bar, and fine dining restaurant in Phoenix. His signature pizzas are now available to order shipped ready-to-heat anywhere in the U.S.



Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria

Anchorage, Alaska

(Appears on 5 Leading Best-of lists)



Two rock climbing buddies opened Moose’s Tooth in 1996. Rod Hancock had a passion for cooking and Matt Jones was into home brewing. Neither knew anything about running a restaurant. Well, they obviously did something right because word got out fast about their creative pizza combinations and heavenly handcrafted brews and lines started forming out the door of their pub and pizzeria within days of the opening. And hungry crowds keep coming. In fact, Moose’s Tooth is the highest grossing independent pizzeria in America – its annual sales hover around $6 million!


The Moose’s Tooth regular menu features 40 pizza creations and a host of mouth-watering ales, stouts, porters and wheat beers, plus intriguing monthly specials. Their best-known pies are The Avalanche (Pepperoni, blackened chicken, bacon, red onions, parsley, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, and barbeque sauce). The Call of the Wild (garlic and olive oil, mozzarella and provolone cheeses, reindeer sausage, steak, bacon, wild mushroom mix, and fresh red peppers). Plus, nine different fresh veggie pizza offerings.


Some days, the wait for a table can take up to 45 minutes, but you can enjoy a pint of one of the many Moose’s Tooth classic ales or tap beers in the meantime!



Pizzeria Beddia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(Appears on 5 Leading Best-of lists)



The original Pizzeria Beddia in Philly’s Fishtown was a tiny hole-in-the-wall takeout joint that just happened to serve incredibly delectable pizzas. Bon Appétit named Beddia’s the best pizza pies in the U.S. in 2015, extolling the “always-crispy-chewy crust.” Then things got a little crazy and the two-man operation had to close down, a victim of its own sudden success. Lucky for us they eventually reopened down the street in a fully staffed, 120-seat cafeteria-style space. But their five perfect 16” pizzas are as amazing as they ever were, lovingly made and served.


Favorites are the No. 1: tomato pie with whole milk mozzarella and Old Gold Gouda cheeses and topping choices of cremini mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage, Sicilian anchovies, greens, roasted onion and pickled chiles. The No. 5 contains roasted brussels sprouts, lemon cream, mozzarella, red onion, chili oil, and Old Gold Gouda, to which bacon can also be added.


A tidy but tantalizing wine, beer and cocktail list is every bit as thoughtfully selected as the small plates and pizzas.



Pizzeria Mozza

Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California

(Appears on 5 Leading Best-of lists)



Chef Nancy Silverton’s Michelin-starred pizzeria is known as much for its pies’ delectable crusts as it is for the exotic toppings that epitomize the California pizza style. After taking his first bite of one, New York Times’s Frank Bruni rhapsodized, “[the crust is] soft chewy in spots, crisply charred in others, ever so faintly sweet, even more faintly sour.” It’s no wonder, Silverton ignited America’s love affair with sourdough bread back in the ’90s at her popular La Brea Bakery.


Mozza’s pies are works of West Coast art – edible palettes of savory, spicy flavors, shapes and colors. The Salumi pie comes topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and Fresno chilies. The 'Nduja is decorated with leek, onion cream, smoked scamorza, and egg. Their traditional Napoletana includes olives, anchovies, chiles and fried capers. The antipasti and dolce menus tease with simple but enticingly prepared treats like whole roasted carrots with coriander seed, cumin, and dill yogurt; and Meyer lemon gelato pie with Champagne vinegar sauce and candied lemon.


The Tomato and Sicilian Oregano pie is available for shipping, along with a few other popular dishes and sides. Silverton opened a Pizzeria Mozza London location in 2021 at the Treehouse hotel.



Razza Pizza Artigianale

Jersey City, New Jersey

(Appears on 5 Leading Best-of lists)



Dan Richer’s Jersey City parlor Razza Pizza Artigianle may very well be the brilliant East Coast sibling to Bianco Pizzeria in Phoenix. Both take pains to source the very best local ingredients. Both mill their own flour from area-grown wheat. (Richer ups the game by making his own butter.) Both master pizzaiolos have been widely recognized, drawing adulations from seasoned New York Times food critics. NYT’s Pete Wells extolled Razza’s crust -- the all-important foundation for any commendable pie -- thus, “When I tore open the outer rim, the crust crackled and the white interior steamed, soft, somewhat springy, with a slow-building, many-layered, lively flavor underlined by sea salt.” Perfection.


Razza’s menu changes daily, based on seasonal availability of the local ingredients they use. Today’s Jersey Margherita pizza includes Jersey Girl fresh mozzarella (from Sussex County), crushed New Jersey tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. The Project Hazelnut features house made mozzarella and ricotta, honey, and locally grown crushed hazelnuts. “La Rossa” is a simple combination of their lustrous, house-blended tomato sauce, garlic, basil, and olive oil.


Razza Pizza Artigianale was named Best Pizza in North America by 50 Top Pizza international. Rightly so, and it just keeps getting better.




Header photo: Dan Richer, chef/owner of Razza Pizza Artigianale; by Robin & Sue.

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