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These Maps Reveal Every State's Quirky Pizza-Eating Patterns

Some states practically live and breathe pizza.

taco pizza
Taco Pizza, anyone? | shutterstock.com
Taco Pizza, anyone? | shutterstock.com

Pizza is a life force for Americans everywhere -- I alone have eaten three full-sized pies in the last seven days -- but a new study by career site Zippia reveals that some states depend on the carby delicacy a bit more than others and some have, well, obscure taste.

The site summarized the findings in two simple maps and I, for one, can't stop looking at them. First up, there's the map of every state's favorite pizza topping, which was determined based on Yelp data:

Zippia Pizza Map
Courtesy of Zippia

Let's debrief. So 29 states order cheese the most often... we can ignore them. My first shock was how few states prioritize pepperoni. Why do pizzeria ads always show pepperoni, then? Pizza needs a new publicist.

As I looked at the map a little closer, I realized that some states went completely rogue: Delaware is home to Buffalo chicken fanatics, Alaskans tend to forgo tomato sauce, Mainers are hella extra and crave grilled chicken white pizza, and the Hawkeye State goes wild for taco pizza. I was admittedly skeptical about the Iowa one until I said the phrase "taco pizza" in front of my Iowa-born roommate and her face completely lit up.

Regarding the timeless does pineapple belong on pizza? debate, three states sure seem to think so! Strangely enough, Hawaii isn't one of them, preferring caprese to their own namesake pie. I don't blame them.

Next up is a map of which states love pizza the most, determined by the number of pizza-oriented restaurants per capita. Don't be triggered by the red and blue -- this has nothing to do with the upcoming election. See for yourself:

States that love pizza the most
Courtesy of Zippia

To sum it up: Connecticut supposedly loves pizza the most. It's not the most shocking thing, but it's also not what I'd have guessed. On the flip side, Hawaii ranks No. 50. Apparently they don't have many pizza shops (they still have lots of great restaurants, though!). You'll notice that the Northeast is full of pizzerias, and the South has its sights set on other cuisines.

Other interesting findings in Zippia's State of Pizza report are that over 500,000 Americans work for pizzerias, over 3 billion pizzas are served each year, and the average pizza delivery driver makes $9.95 an hour, driving up to 100 miles per shift -- another reminder of why tipping matters!

Here's the full list of each state's favorite type of pizza: 

  • Alabama: Cheese
  • Alaska: White Pizza
  • Arizona: Cheese
  • Arkansas: Cheese
  • California: BBQ Chicken
  • Colorado: BBQ Chicken
  • Connecticut: Cheese
  • Delaware: Buffalo Chicken
  • Florida: Cheese
  • Georgia: Hawaiian
  • Hawaii: Caprese
  • Idaho: Cheese
  • Illinois: Cheese
  • Indiana: Cheese
  • Iowa: Taco
  • Kansas: Cheese
  • Kentucky: Cheese
  • Louisiana: Meat Lovers
  • Maine: Grilled Chicken White Pizza
  • Maryland: Cheese
  • Massachusetts: Cheese
  • Michigan: BBQ Chicken
  • Minnesota: BBQ Chicken
  • Mississippi: Cheese
  • Missouri: Cheese
  • Montana: Pepperoni
  • Nebraska: BBQ Chicken
  • Nevada: Cheese
  • New Hampshire: Cheese
  • New Jersey: Cheese
  • New Mexico: Hawaiian
  • New York: Cheese
  • North Carolina: Cheese
  • North Dakota: Hawaiian
  • Ohio: Cheese
  • Oklahoma: Cheese
  • Oregon: Pepperoni
  • Pennsylvania: Cheese
  • Rhode Island: Cheese
  • South Carolina: Cheese
  • South Dakota: Chicken Bacon Ranch
  • Tennessee: Cheese
  • Texas: Cheese
  • Utah: BBQ Chicken
  • Vermont: Cheese
  • Virginia: BBQ Chicken
  • Washington: Cheese
  • West Virginia: Meat Lovers
  • Wisconsin: Cheese
  • Wyoming: Meat Lovers

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don't. It's really up to you.
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