Pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty tasty, but when it's at its best, there are few things better. In the interest of directing you towards more of those transcendent pizza experiences, the entire network of Thrillist editors has put its collective food knowledge together to give you the 33 best in the whole damn country, representing styles from the deepest of deep dish to the thinnest Neapolitan, from square-cut to triangularly sliced. Will you disagree with some? Probably, but that's what makes America great. Along with all the delicious pizza.
Check out the picks below, and keep track of the ones you've had on this handy checklist.
Antico, Atlanta, GA
What you're getting: The San Gennaro
From the small-batch dough, San Marzano D.O.P. tomatoes, fresh mozzarella sourced from Campania, and Grande Forni ovens (handmade in Naples), it isn't hard to figure out why ATL crowds consistently line up outside the Home Park trattoria before it's even open (when the dough's gone, they're closed). The money move (also the doughy move!) is the San Gennaro, loaded with savory salsiccia, sweet red pepper, bufala, and cipollines.
Via 313, Austin, TX
What you're getting: "The Detroiter"
Just like the fiscal balance of their native city, Detroit ex-pats Via 313 are always in the red -- sauce that is! The metal pans from which this duo of trailers slings square Detroit-style pies (more on them later) were formerly used to hold parts in auto factories. They're doing their home city proud with meticulously mastered crust is fluffy on the inside and caramelized with a crunchy layer cheese on the bottom and sides, and The Detroiter ups the ante with two types of pepperoni (smoked and natural casing).
Matthew's Pizza, Baltimore, MD
What you're getting: The Crab Pie
There are plenty of fine ways to top Matthew's doughy, buttery crust, but this is Maryland, and you're getting a crab pie, because what other state are you going to trust to perfect the union of crab and pizza, with a balanced harmony of cheese, crustacean, and spice? That was rhetorical. This pizza could not exist anywhere else.
Galleria Umberto, Boston MA
What you're getting: Two Slices
Get here before noon. Please. And don't worry about decisions. You don't have a choice: just get two slices of pie (there's only one, and it's Sicilian, and it's fantastic), maybe some arancini if you want to get crazy, and a domestic beer; drop $7; and there you go. Because Umberto is only open until the dough runs out (and it usually does by 2p or earlier, most days), you know you're getting a fresh slice that isn't sitting under a heat lamp, and you know its going to be light, and airy, and on a focaccia-style crust. And you know it will be glorious.
Santarpio's, Boston, MA
What you're getting: Italian Cheese, Sausage, & Garlic
You've seen it on your way to Logan -- the sign sticks out inviting you to pull off at the last minute, postpone your flight, and head into Eastie for a simple pie that's been around as a pizzeria since the 1930s and is still owned and operated by the Santarpio family. And you should probably do that just to get their thin-crust sausage pie. Now, look, people complain about this place: the crust is tough and dusted with cornmeal, the waiters are surly, menus are just kind of a thing you may or may not get at some point, but all of that fades away once you bite into that pie and realize that the glorious combo of homemade sausage and cheese and sauce and bread is well worth missing any flight to Philly.
Di Fara, Brooklyn, NY
What you’re getting: Regular Cheese Pie
Meet Domenico DeMarco. He will be making your pizza today. Actually, he will be making everyone’s pizza today -- and there are plenty of everyones. Even if you manage to navigate your way to Midwood, Brooklyn, by the noon opening time, you’re still likely destined for a two-hour wait. At least you can spend part of it watching the man operate the way he has since 1964. He’s got toppings, but there’s really no need to corrupt the six cheeses, San Marzanos, olive oil, basil, and oregano. You can get a slice... sometimes. It’s weird. Play it safe and snag an entire pie to go -- you just stood for two hours, so that burned at least a million calories.
Juliana's, Brooklyn, NY
What you're getting: Margherita Pizza
First there was Grimaldi’s, and everyone loved it. Then, Patsy Grimaldi sold it to a customer, and everyone still loved it. Then, that new owner moved it next door, and everyone still loved it! Then, Patsy Grimaldi came out of pizza-tirement, opened Juliana’s in the original Grimaldi’s location that still housed the ovens, and everyone still loved Grimaldi’s. Let them. But you should sit down at Juliana’s with nary a wait, order up Patsy's blessedly simple Margherita, and, while you're at it, grab a White Pie with mozz and garlic, and entertain yourself looking at the suckers on the down-the-block Grimaldi’s line outside. Also good to know: Patsy is a boy.
Roberta's, Brooklyn, NY
What you're getting: The Family Jewels
Roberta’s pizza is so good, it may be responsible for an entire neighborhood. When it opened in 2008, Brooklyn’s Bushwick was nothing more than a series of run-down warehouses. Five years later, it’s a series of run-down warehouses that everyone wants to overpay to live next to! While the menu has expanded, and it now houses a 12-seat tasting-menu spinoff in the back, the still ramshackle joint’s small, cheap (enough), and always-creative pies (including the Jewels, with mozz, Parm, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil, and prosciutto bread crumbs) continue to run the show.
EVO, Charleston, SC
What you're getting: Mushroom & Sweet Onion
An acronym for "Extra Virgin Oven", it's no shock they spend so much time hand pulling... their mozzarella. HEY-O! But for real, they do go that extra mile, and it shows in pies like the pesto-sauced mushroom & sweet onion laden with local 'shrooms and red peppers.
Coalfire, Chicago, IL
What you're getting: Prosciutto Pizza
Their 800-degree coal ovens (get it?!) produce a distinctly charred crust that, nonetheless, maintains a remarkably satisfying chewiness. Get yourself their prosciutto pizza, in which a generous layer of thin-sliced pork goodness is carefully layered on top after it comes out of the oven, leading to contrasting temperatures but uniform deliciousness.
Lou Malnati's, six locations throughout Chicago, IL
What you're getting: The Chicago Classic
Deep-dish has a tendency to ignite strong feelings everywhere. New Yorkers will steadfastly insist it "isn't pizza", meanwhile my brother will threaten to disown me for picking Lou's over Giordano's. I like to think a tomato-topped slice with just the right amount (in this case, the right amount is a lot) of cheese and a whole damn layer of sausage can heal all disputes. Oh, also it's on "buttercrust". Just whisper it to yourself. Buttercrust.
Vito and Nick's, Chicago, IL
What you're getting: Sausage Pizza
Native Chicagoans hold this style -- square cut, thin, slightly crisped crust -- just as (if not more) near to their hearts as the more-celebrated deep dish, and Vito & Nick's has been turning it out flawlessly since 1932. You'll be ordering the sausage and be pleased to find an abundance of fennel-y pork wads tucked under the blanket of melted cheese. Wash it down with a pitcher of Old Style, the only thing they have on tap.
Buddy's Pizza, Detroit MI
What you're getting: Pepperoni Pizza
As the pioneers of the square cut, caramelized-crusted Detroit style
thanks to the work of a well-meaning human raised by elves, Buddy's achieves its singular flavor with Wisconsin brick cheese. Your pepperoni will be tucked under said cheese to prevent charring. You will taste the wisdom in this decision.
Supino: Detroit, MI
What you're getting: Red, White & Green
Proving Detroit can also compete in the thin-crust game, Supino's hybrid American/ Neapolitan pies benefit from an Eastern Market location, snagging fresh ingredients to build creations like Red White & Green (calm down, Christmas elves): a spinach and roasted red pepper white 'za, which is given a briny bite with a generous helping of capers and richness from creamy ricotta.
Little Vincent's Pizza, Huntington, NY
What you're getting: A Slice With Cold Cheese
Cheese: without it, pizza is just sauce-bread. So why not put it on twice? That’s what the Strong-Island accented madmen at Little V’s do, as long you ask for it. So ask for it. The thin slice with a sweet-ish sauce goes into the oven for a re-heat like normal, but when it comes out, a hand dives into a plastic bin of cold mozzarella and splashes a secondary layer on top. Let it sit for a minute so it starts to melt just a bit. Never in pizza history has it been more essential to fold a slice.
Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, NJ
What you're getting: The Santo
This is the best Neapolitan pizza that you better not call Neapolitan pizza. The crispy edged wood-fired pies at downtown Razza's serve up nothing but seasonally harvested New Jersey-everything, from the locally milled flour to the wild yeast that eats it before you devour fresh mozz, house-made sausage, and shaved onions baked in a secret sauce-blend of heirloom tomatoes.
Pizzeria Picco, Larkspur, CA
What You're Getting: "The Specialized"
Larkspur is the type of place that you wish you lived, one of those mythical Marin towns filled with redwoods and old timey movie theaters, and attractive old people who are weirdly fit. And Pizzeria Picco is yet another reason to resent them. The more casual side of the crazy popular Picco restaurant, PP (!) crafts Neapolitan thin crust 'zas in a wood burning oven using crazy fresh ingredients and hand-pulling their mozzarella, and just kind of dominating the pizza scene north of SF. It's hard to go wrong in your selections here (the Son of Yeti w/ leeks, thyme, garlic, three types of cheese and hen of the woods mushrooms is divine), but the money move is the Specialized, essentially an upscale version of the classic pepperoni and sausage pie. Oh, and get the Strauss soft serve with olive oil and sea salt to finish the meal. It's like eating magic mixed with joy.
Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
What you're getting: Burrata & Squash Blossom
When super-chefs Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton joined forces to
defeat that evil Wolfgang Puck! open a pizza joint, everyone in LA was all like, "But pizza in LA suuuuucks!" But then after eating their bubbly, moist-crusted creations and getting a belly full of burrata, everyone was all like, "But pizza in LA suuuuuuucks! EXCEPT PIZZERIA MOZZA." The LA 'za scene may have improved thanks to a litany of imitators, but they remain the tops.
Frank Pepe, New Haven, CT
What you're getting: The White Clam Pie
Dating back to 1925, FP's credited with pioneering the New Haven style: a Neapolitan replica thin-crust pie cooked in coal-fired ovens and served on baking trays with a charred flour bottom. Once you've braved the wait, order the White Clam Pie, bringing together freshly shucked littlenecks with chopped garlic, grated cheese, oregano, and olive oil. That's right. Most of Pepe's most famous pies come without tomato sauce and with little/no cheese. But it all works. Oh, does it work.
Pig Ate My Pizza, Minneapolis, MN
What you're getting: The Piggy
From a group of wildly talented Twin Cities chefs who shuttered an insanely successful higher-end operation and got nto the pizza game, this fantastically named joint is as pork-forward as its name suggests, including this decadent creation loaded with pepperoni, bacon, prosciutto, and further fine charcuterie all piled on top of a decadently thick brioche crust.
Pizza Delicious, New Orleans, LA
What you're getting: The Hot Sopressata
This Incredible Hulk-named Bywater-by-way-of-Long-Island slice shop's responsible for introducing NOLA to New York-style pinch-and-folds, but they only serve up two a day of their 20+ specialty thin crusts, none more crushable than their massive pile-up of sweet marinated peppers, pickled red onion, and hotter-than-the-oven spicy cured sopressata.
Motorino, New York, NY
What you're getting: The Prosciutto di Parma Pie
Just to be different from most of the cool kids in New York, Motorino started in Brooklyn, then moved to Manhattan. It’s still there, in the East Village, but it also just returned to its Williamsburg roots with a second location. There’s also one in Hong Kong, naturally. No New Yorker would dare call their thin, charred-yet-chewy pies “traditional”, but only the biggest sticks in the sauce wouldn’t call them delicious. Get the prosciutto and you'll see why.
Prince St Pizza, New York, NY
What you're getting: A Slice
There are a million Ray’s Pizzas in New York. But there is only one Original Rays. Actually, that’s completely untrue; there’re a million of those too. But there was only one actually-original Ray’s. It’s gone, but now Prince St Pizza sits in its location, and it’s maybe the best slice joint in a city that runs on them. The standard slice is everything a pizza-eater looks for: it’s chewy and just doughy enough, with the kind of cheese you have to grab and twist off with some bites, lest it continue stretching forever. And they're not pizza, but don’t sleep on the prosciutto rice balls. Or do; they’re probably quite comfortable.
Pizzaiolo, Oakland, CA
What you're getting: Gypsy Peppers, Housemade Sausage & Ricotta Salata (Seasonal)
One of the OGs of the Cali/Neapolitan, wood-burning-oven style so popular in NorCal, Oakland's Pizzaiolo, from chef Charlie Hallowell, has been around since 2005 and continues to see people line up everyday for his ever-changing creations. A recent trip saw a gorgeous gypsy pepper, sausage, and ricotta salata pizza, but the menu changes day to day, so the best move is usually just to get the pizza alla Pizzaiolo and let him have his way with you and your taste buds.
Stogie Joe's, Philadelphia, PA
What you're getting: The Square Pie
Red-sauced bakery pies are as much a South Philly staple as being ejected from a Phillies game, and, just like Phillies fans, Stogie Joe's takes it to the next level, serving their square pies upside-down with their signature spicy-sweet tomato sauce floating above the cheese blanketing a Sicilian-style crust.
Apizza Scholls, Portland, OR
What you're getting: The Apizza Amore
Apizza has more rules than a YMCA pool -- no call-in orders, no more than three toppings, and if they run out of dough you're outta luck -- but there's a reason people line up around the block for the very chance of getting it: the charred, ciabatta-esque crust is the perfect vessel for ultra-fresh cheese and house-cured meats. Get the Amore and taste the glory of their spicy cured pork shoulder.
Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix, AZ
What you're getting: The Rosa
People travel significant distances to endure equally significant waits to dine at this pizza oasis in the Arizona desert that's spawned a mini-empire in Phoenix. Or maybe they're just making a side-trip because their grandparents live there. Either way, one of the biggest reasons is The Rosa: red onions, pistachios, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a whisper of rosemary. Sounds simple enough, if a little odd, but the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Conte's, Princeton New Jersey
What you're getting: Pepperoni & Onion
This is that-pizza-place-you-grew-up-with in its truest form: trophies from local sports leagues, cheap-ass Rolling Rocks, wooden bowls and cafeteria silverware... But the slices bring more than nostalgia -- the pepperoni and onion has a perfect crispness with just the right amount of grease, with those smaller-than-normal little slices of meat curling up around the edges so that each one has delicious glisten housed in what is essentially a tiny meat bowl with slightly crispy edges.
Bob & Timmy's, Providence, Rhode Island
What you're getting: Pizza 1
A less-heralded school of pizza cookery is the grilled pizza of Rhode Island, popularized by just-missed-the-cut Al Forno but distinctly nailed by this joint (er, joints -- there're two now), whose thin-yet-flavorful crust serves as the blanket for a bevy of fresh toppings, though all you really need to blow your tongue-mind is the Pizza 1 and its layer of Parm and Romano that gets a little extra funk from crumbles of gorgonzola.
Pastaria, St. Louis, MO
What you're getting: Brussels Sprouts Pizza
It might sound like STL star chef Gerard Craft's joint is a pick for pasta, but you'd be a fool to sleep on the meticulously prepared, bubbly-crusted pies, like this bechemel-based Brussels sprout number with lemon, mozz, and lardo. Mmm... lardo.
Ragazza, San Francisco, CA
What you're getting: Amatriciana
Here's how to do Ragazza correctly: go there, put your name in (no reservations, except for parties of seven or more on their patio), walk across the street to fantastical dive bar The Page. Have many drinks and laughs, check your phone to see when your table is ready, come back, order the Amatriciana with pancetta, chillies, pecorino, and oregano. Ask for an extra farm egg on top. Rejoice in the splendor of the Cali-style Neapolitan thin crusts. Finish dinner. Go back to The Page to celebrate.
Serious Pie, Seattle, WA
What you're getting: Penn Cove Clams, Pancetta Tesa, Chiles
Proprietor Tom Douglas, as you may have gathered from the name, is serious about his pie. As in, hand-shucking clams every morning. Tom perfected SP's slightly sweet, almost pastry-like crust at his bakery around the corner, and it's so good, almost anything would taste amazing on it, but you wanna spend your clams on the 'za topped with diced, fresh-shucked ones from the Puget Sound's premier bivalve purveyor. Seriously (see what we did there?!) this pie can't be missed.
2 Amys, Washington, DC
What you're getting: Margherita Extra
The quaint Neapolitan crew doesn't mess around when it comes to abiding by the D.O.C (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) rules passed down by the from the Italian government (Mussolini thankfully no longer runs things) to get that formal seal of approval. What does that entail? Well, when making their go-to Margherita in their wood-burning oven, the dough can only contain soft-grain flour, fresh yeast, water, and sea salt and toppings include only Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh basil or dried oregano.