Pizza Nation


•1• Ken’s Artisan, Portland, OR
James Beard Award–winning author and baking legend Ken Forkish is a foremost authority on bread. It should come as no surprise, then, that his pizzas have bubbly crusts that strike a fine balance of char and chew.

•2• Vignette Pizzeria, Sebastapol, CA
Chef Mark Hopper worked in fine dining (and alongside chef Thomas Keller) for nearly 30 years before returning to his favorite childhood food. Though he only does Neapolitan-style pies, what makes his versions such knockouts is his sourdough starter — which lends the finished product an airy, speckled and faintly tangy crust.

•3• Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco, CA
For 11-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, every style of pizza under the sun (including regional specialties like Detroit and St. Louis) is faithfully reproduced in one of his seven specialty ovens. The vibe is casual and lively, and the experience is always worth waiting for.

•4• Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
From the powerhouse culinary trio of Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich comes this casual, familyfriendly spot turning out pies with puffy crusts and wholly original toppings such as squash blossoms, ’nduja and goat cheese.

•5• Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix, AZ When Chris Bianco began making pizza in back of a humble grocery store in Phoenix over 25 years ago, little did he know he’d eventually become one of the most respected pizzaiolos in the country. His woodfired Neapolitan pies are simple and sublime.

6• Domenica, New Orleans, LA
Locals and epicurean travelers alike beeline to this John Besh eatery for rustic Italian fare, like charcuterie and pastas. Naturally, the wood-fired pizzas are also solid, with styles ranging from traditional to original. (The Tutto Carne is topped with salami, fennel sausage and a runny egg.)

•7• Totonno’s, Brooklyn, NY
Though this shop is tucked away in a nondescript pocket of Coney Island, people from the surrounding five boroughs (and beyond) still flock here for the dependably thin and crispy pies, lightly dressed with a bright tomato sauce and melty mozzarella, and crisped up in coal ovens.

•8• GG’s, New York, NY
This is the newest shop on the list, but it’s earned a rightful spot for its take on a local specialty, grandma pizza. For his version, chef Bobby Hellen double-bakes his thick crust and tops it with a deep, herbaceous sauce, Brooklyn-made mozzarella, little pepperonis and fresh basil.

•9• Joe’s Pizza, New York, NY
If there’s one thing New York has perfected, it’s the grab-and-go slice. And the ones you can get here are arguably the city’s best. No matter the time of day, you’ll consistently be presented with a warm, balanced and foldable slice for a reasonable price.

•10• Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, CT
Today there are eight locations of this family-owned operation, but it’s the original one on Wooster Street you’ll want to check out. As for what to order? The white clam pie, which is loaded with chopped clams, mozzarella, garlic and olive oil.

•11• Al Forno, Providence, RI
The specialty of this beloved Italian restaurant is grilled pizzas. The crust bears proper grill marks and is pullapart chewy and subtly smoky. The crushed tomato sauce is tangy and vibrant, while Fontina cheese and shaved scallions add an unexpected refined finish.

•12• Pequod’s Pizza, Chicago, IL
There’s no shortage of deep dish in the Windy City, but what makes the pizzas doled out here so exceptional is the famous caramelized cheese crust. Before baking, a thin layer of cheese is sprinkled around the rim of the pan, yielding an irresistibly chewy and lacy texture.