America's Best Pizza Restaurants
Here are the crusts and pizza pies from coast to coast that leave us sighing, 'that's amore.'
Get a piece of the action at one of these saucy pizzerias.
Where to score the best slice can be a heated topic -- especially when a Chicago deep-dish devotee and a New York thin-slice supporter say their piece. But as our list of the top 10 pizza places shows, praiseworthy pies can be found all over the map. From Seattle to Philadelphia, mangiamo bene!
Wine and dine with Main Liners at Cooper's.
Cooper's Brick Oven Wine Bar (Philadelphia)
Fired in a brick oven at the back of the open kitchen, Cooper's pies come topped with crimini mushrooms, pulled barbecue pork and smoked Gouda. More than 25 wines by the glass along with tasty, well-priced salads and daily specials draw a crowd at this stylish gourmet wine bar, including demanding Main Liners unhappy about waiting. Forget the snippy swarm and tuck into a Roquefort wedge spiked with bacon, or a plate of andouille-stuffed scallops with tarragon pickle sauce, and you'll feel just fine. Read the full review.
Great Lake (Chicago)
Prime ingredients top the pizzas at this eatery in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, where husband and wife Nick Lessins and Lydia Esparza offer a brief and seasonal selection of pizzas. Newsom's Country Bacon, homemade crème fraîche or fresh mozzarella, Genesis Growers butternut squash, and Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative's aged sheep's milk cheese are among the ingredients that may grace these pies. Be prepared: Great Lake is BYOB. Read the full review.
Rustic rounds with the right ingredients at Dolce Vita.
Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca (Houston)
Chef Marco Wiles showcases wine and handmade rustic pizzas at this shabby-chic destination. Order the innovative Taleggio cheese, arugula, pear and truffle oil-drizzled pizza with a fruity lush Chardonnay and you'll appreciate the concept. Share something from the sought-after array of 20-plus Italian wines by the glass and thin, smoky, rustically formed pizzas straight from the wood-burning oven. We recommend the salsiccia e friarelli pizza with homemade sausage, rapini and pecorino cheese. Prepare for a wait on weekends. Read the full review.
Kesté Pizza & Vino (New York)
Pizza from the president of the pizzamaker-certifying organization Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani better be good. Fortunately, this West Village pizza joint satisfies. With an oven that was handmade from the lava clay of Mount Vesuvius and a casual dining room, Kesté does a great job of setting an authentic Italian pizzeria vibe. But what is most convincing is what comes out of that oven: thick-crust pies that rank among the best in New York. The pizzas skew toward simple, as they should, as with the classic Margherita; alternately, the untraditional Pizza del Papa's flavors (butternut squash cream, smoked mozzarella and artichokes) work well with the doughy crust. Read the full review.
Don't judge Casa Bianca's deliciousness by the exterior.
Casa Bianca Pizza Pie (Los Angeles)
After decades of relative anonymity, this nondescript Eagle Rock pizzeria has emerged as one of Southern California's legendary eateries. Folks drive considerable distances to take home the prized pies. A crispy, slightly chewy crust, subtly tangy tomato sauce, better-than-average mozzarella, and quality toppings like garlic and homemade Italian sausage make it worth the trip. Also on the menu is a Hawaiian-style pizza, which an Aloha State kid named Barack Obama ordered when he attended nearby Occidental College. Read the full review.
Related reading from MSN and Gayot.com:
Top 40 U.S. Restaurants
Top 10 New Restaurants
Top 10 Romantic Restaurants
Top 10 Heart-healthy Restaurants
Restaurants Near You
Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)
Is proclaiming Chris Bianco the patron saint of pizza too much? Not in Phoenix. Bianco crafts pristine pies with produce from the Heritage Square farmers market. The dough seems leavened with heavenly manna; the handmade mozzarella, wood-roasted mushrooms and fresh fennel sausage are just as ethereal. With a menu comprised of but two antipasti, three salads and six impossible-to-choose-from pizzas (start with the Wiseguy), Bianco has rewritten a cherished chapter in our food lover's bible. Read the full review.
Get a genuine slice and soda at Regina.
Pizzeria Regina (Boston)
The original Pizzeria Regina, wedged into a corner on a residential side-street away from the bustle of the commercial North End, is home to some of the best pizza in greater Boston, if not all of New England. At 80 years and counting, it's a genuinely old-school joint, filled with wooden booths, photos of local luminaries and tough-as-nails waitresses who serve nothing but pizza, soda, beer and wine. As for the pies: The crust is crunchy-chewy perfection; the sauce is judiciously light and tangy and a signature drizzle of garlic oil is a touch of culinary genius. Read the full review.
Serious Pie (Seattle)
Gourmet pizza isn't a new concept, but Serious Pie raises the bar. Cozy and dark with tall wooden tables, this is a decidedly grown-up pizzeria, offering sophisticated toppings and a nice selection of wines. Oblong pizzas, each hand-formed, arrive slightly burnt at the edges but otherwise spot-on for crispy, soft texture. Try one covered in house-cured beef pepperoni and salami, or opt for the milder fennel sausage or a blend of foraged mushrooms and truffled cheese. Read the full review.
Tony Gemignani lets you share a piece of the prize.
Tony's Pizza Napoletana (San Francisco)
This quaint spot at the high-traffic North Beach corner of Stockton and Union is more than a pizzeria, it's an International School of Pizza. And Castro Valley native Tony Gemignani is more than a pizzaiolo, he's a champion. (Gemignani's sweet Neapolitan Margherita won the gold at the 2007 World Pizza Cup in Naples, Italy.) Four ovens are used for the pies: domed-top brick for Italian pizza; square brick ovens for American-style pies; a brick oven specifically for the thicker Sicilian-style; and a Neapolitan wood-burning oven. Read the full review.
2 Amys (Washington, D.C.)
Two women, both named Amy, have turned a commonplace neighborhood street into a mecca for top-flight pizza with their small and cheery, white-tiled restaurant. They've even gone to the trouble of making several of their pies to exacting D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) standards, signifying that the pizza maker has followed the traditional Neapolitan method: the right flour, water, yeast, salt and toppings. But even if you don't order one of the three D.O.C. pies, you will experience exquisite pizzas and luscious, family-style cooking with all the flavors locked in. Read the full review.
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