Thursday, January 30, 2014

84 Pizzas Worth the Calories

It's time again to take stock of every pizza we've tried and can recommend. Six months ago, we had 70, so we've added fourteen more.
Craftsmanship at Pizza Brain in Philly

At the top of this list, you'll find "destination" pizza. These pies are worth not only the calories, but also the extra time and effort to get them. Truly, the Top Fifty are destination pies. The others are excellent pizzas, but perhaps you would seek them out only if you are already in the neighborhood.
Neapolitan pizza at Domenica in New Orleans

Every pizza list has its biases. Some are blatant attempts to be controversial, in order to spark outrage. Others exist purely to persuade the reader to click through a slide show in order to maximize ad revenue for the publisher.
Midwestern pie, party cut, at Rubino's in Columbus OH

I assure you, there is no hidden motive here. I care about good pizza and I hope to share insights on where to find it. This list does display my own pizza preferences - Trenton and New Haven style pies (tomato pie and apizza, respectively) dominate the Top Ten. Even with a list of 84, there is not one Chicago deep dish.
Inside the hipster enclave at Roberta's in Bushwick

The geographic concentration is slanted toward my eating opportunities - the east coast. Lots of NY, CT, NJ, PA. However, we also found great pizza in Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Louisiana, Tuscany, Venice, and Rome. 
Neapolitan pie at Russo's, Houston

Notable newcomers include: 

  • Our first taste of wafer-thin midwestern pizza at Rubino's (full review HERE) and Chicago's Vito and Nick's (review HERE)
  • Roberta's, a hipster outpost in Bushwick (Brooklyn) reviewed HERE
  • Domenica, a John Besh restaurant with carefully crafted Neapolitan pies, reviewed HERE
  • Pizza Brain, the best new pizzeria offering old-school pies, reviewed HERE  

Pizza Brain also led our list of the 13 Breakout Pizzas of 2013.

More than any time in decades, there is no excuse to eat crappy chain pizza, or local pie shop stuff made from generic mass-sourced ingredients. Get out and get the good stuff. And leave a comment about any of these 84 spots or the ones I need to add to the list.

Here is our list; you can find the full review for most of them in the geographical index on the right side of this page.

1) DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville NJ
2) DiFara Pizza, Brooklyn NY
3) Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven CT
4) Forno Marco Roscioli, Rome, Italy
5) Tacconelli’s, Philadelphia PA
6) Sally's Apizza, New Haven CT
7) Pizza Brain, Philadelphia PA
8) Papa's Tomato Pies, Robbinsville NJ
9) Gennaro's Tomato Pies, Philadelphia PA
10) La Porta Ristorante and Wine Bar, Edgemont, PA
11) Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco CA
12) Denino’s, Staten Island NY
13) Patsy’s, East Harlem, Manhattan, NY
14) Santarpio’s, Boston MA
15) Lee’s Tavern, Staten Island NY
16) Apizza Scholls, Portland OR
17) Motorino, Manhattan NY
18) Forcella, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY
19) Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix AZ
20) Grimaldi’s, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY
21) Totonno's, Coney Island, Brooklyn NY
22) Rubino's Pizza, Columbus OH
23) Vito and Nick's Pizza, Chicago IL
24) 2 Amys, Washington DC
25) La Montecarlo, Rome, Italy
26) Pane Bianco, Phoenix AZ
27) La Villa, Morrisville PA
28) Zuppardi's Apizza, West Haven CT
29) Nick's New Haven Style Pizzeria, Boca Raton FL
30) Nomad Pizza, Hopewell NJ and Philadelphia PA
31) Modern Apizza, New Haven CT
32) Arturo’s, Greenwich Village, NY
33) Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, PA and FL
34) Artichoke Basille’s, Greenwich Village, NY
35) John’s, Greenwich Village, NY
36) Osteria, Philadelphia PA
37) Cambridge 1, Cambridge MA
38) Roberta's, Brooklyn NY
39) Domenica, New Orleans LA
40) Pieous, Austin TX
41) Zero Otto Nove, Bronx NY
42) Stella, Philadelphia PA
43) Ramagi Brick Oven Pizza, Brooklyn
44) Comet Ping Pong, Washington DC
45) Tucci’s Fire N Coal Pizza, Boca Raton, FL
46) New Park Pizza, Queens NY
47) SLiCE, Philadelphia
48) Tosca Café, (Throgs Neck), Bronx NY
49) Sizzle Pie, Portland OR
50) Conte’s, Princeton NJ
51) Spatola's Pizza, Paoli PA
52) Pizzeria Pesto, Philadelphia
53) Zavino, Philadelphia
54) DOCG, Las Vegas NV
55) Ricca Pizza, San Gimignano, Tuscany
56) Tommy's Pizza, (Throgs Neck), Bronx NY
57) Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, Houston TX
58) Green Parrot, Newtown, Bucks County PA
59) Massimo’s, Hamilton NJ
60) Bar Foscarini, Venice, Italy
61) Wiseguy NY Pizza, Washington DC
62) Brick Oven Pizza 33, Manhattan NY
63) Jules Thin Crust, CA and PA
64) Rustica, Philadelphia PA
65) DeLorenzo’s Pizza, Hamilton NJ
67) Franzone's, Bridgeport PA
68) Corropolese Bakery Tomato Pie, Norristown PA
69) Tony Roni's, Willow Grove PA
70) Bertucci’s Jersey City NJ
71) La Sicilia, Belleville, NJ
72) L&B Spumoni Gardens, Brooklyn NY
73) Sauce, Phoenix AZ
74) Pizza by Elizabeth, Greenville, DE
75) Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester PA
76) The Swiss Hotel, Sonoma CA
77) Magma, Princeton NJ
78) Uncle Oogie’s, Philadelphia
79) Lenny’s, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn NY
80) Stella Rossa, Downingtown PA
81) Monical's Pizza, Bloomington IL
82) Morabito's Tomato Pie (From Costco)
83) Felicia's Pizza Kitchen, Ardmore PA
84) California Pizza Kitchen (national chain)

Zuppardi's, West Haven CT


  1. #28, Zuppardi's is in West Haven, CT, not North Haven. Thanks for the list of places to look out for!

  2. Thanks for catching that! Fixed it to West Haven.

  3. Hi Pizza Quixote-
    I'm working with a start-up for food bloggers in Chicago called Tabelog ( They're a subsidiary of the largest company in Japan (similar to Yelp here in the US).
    We’re bringing their annual restaurant awards to the US that are judged solely by a panel of local food bloggers (all online). The winning restaurants get a framed 2014 award and the food bloggers get an 'official judge' icons/etc and related PR for their blog. We’re looking for bloggers familiar with the Chicago area to invite as an official judge. Is this something that you would be interested in?

    You can contact me at
    Thanks in advance!

  4. Some of the best Neapolitan pizza I've had in the US :

    The good pie in st louis, MO (on Yelp, in process of moving location).

    In Delray Beach, FL

  5. Elliot, I may get to try Scuola Vecchia this weekend! It does look good.

    1. Fantastic. We're down here in Delray this week. Planning to hit it for lunch in next couple days! Good pie re opening in St. Louis has been very well received!

  6. Update! Scuola Vecchia was astonishing. About perfect in flavor, texture, and balance. Full review soon.