50 Top U.S. Pizzerias Announced

A Neapolitan pizza with a puffy crust, tomato sauce, grated cheese, and basil from Una Pizza Napoletana in New York City
The excellent “Cosacca” from Una Pizza Napoletana.

Italy’s “50 Top Pizza” organization has just published their list of the top 50 pizzerias in the U.S. They’ve been ranking pizzerias all over the planet for years, but this is only the second time they’ve zoomed in on the U.S. Last year’s announcement came via an online event due to COVID protocol, but this year’s announcement was live and in person in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. The big winner was Una Pizza Napoletana, an absolutely epic pizzeria that has moved from East Coast to West Coast and back over the past 2+ decades. It recently resettled in NYC’s Lower East Side after a pandemic suspension.

New York City faired well on the list, with 9 pizzerias in the list, followed by San Francisco and Portland (Oregon). I’ve only been to half of the spots on the list so it looks like I have some homework to do!

The List

  1. ​​Una Pizza Napoletana – New York, USA
  2. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana – San Francisco, USA
  3. Ribalta NYC – New York, USA
  4. Razza Pizza Artigianale – Jersey City, USA
  5. O’ Munaciello – Miami, USA
  6. Spacca Napoli Pizzeria – Chicago, USA
  7. Song’ E Napule – New York, USA
  8. La Leggenda Pizzeria – Miami, USA
  9. Pizzana – Los Angeles, USA
  10. Kesté Fulton – New York, USA
  11. Ken’s Artisan Pizza – Portland, USA
  12. Pizzeria Bianco – Phoenix, USA
  13. Jay’s Artisan Pizzeria – Kenmore, USA
  14. Ops – New York, USA
  15. Doppio Zero – San Francisco, USA
  16. Lovely’s Fifty Fifty – Portland, USA
  17. Partenope Ristorante – Dallas, USA
  18. Apizza Scholls – Portland, USA
  19. Flour House – San Luis Obispo, USA
  20. Forcella – New York, USA
  21. Pizzeria Mozza – Los Angeles, USA
  22. Roberta’s – New York, USA
  23. Pizzeria Beddia – Philadelphia, USA
  24. Mission Pizza Napoletana – Winston – Salem, USA
  25. Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana – Darnestown, USA
  26. A 16 – San Francisco, USA
  27. San Matteo – Pizzeria e Cucina – New York, USA
  28. Brick Fire Tavern – Honolulu, USA
  29. Del Popolo – San Francisco, USA
  30. Pasquale Jones – New York, USA
  31. Forno Rosso – Chicago, USA
  32. Il Forno – San Antonio, USA
  33. Pasquale’s Pizzeria – South Kingstown, USA
  34. Stanzione 87 – Miami, USA
  35. Coals Artisan Pizza – Louisville, USA
  36. Flour + Water Pizzeria – San Francisco, USA
  37. Robert’s Pizza and Dough Company – Chicago, USA
  38. Pomo – Scottsdale, USA
  39. Bufalina Due – Austin, USA
  40. Nostrana – Portland, USA
  41. Basil & Barley Pizzeria Napoletana – Colorado Springs, USA
  42. Angelina’s Pizzeria Napoletana – Irvine, USA
  43. Scottie’s Pizza Parlor – Portland, USA
  44. Cart-Driver RiNo – Denver, USA
  45. Bricco Coal Fired Pizza – Haddon Township, USA
  46. Roostica Wood-Fire Pizzeria – Key West, USA
  47. Diavola – Indianapolis, USA
  48. Spark Pizza – Redmond, USA
  49. Fabrica Pizza – Tampa, USA
  50. Craft 64 – Scottsdale, USA

I’m Bored of Lists

While I love anything that stirs up conversation about pizza, I have to admit I’m completely bored of lists. The more lists I see, the less I care about them. It seems like every week we get a new one. Most lists are just regurgitations of old ones, compiled by interns who spend 10 minutes searching “best pizza” before hitting the publish button. I don’t see any value in most lists because they offer nothing new. I saw a list a few weeks ago from a reputable website that offered inaccurate information that would have been avoided had a journalist actually visited the pizzerias.

My favorite list used to be the Daily Meal’s 101 Best Pizzeria in America. Until recently, Arthur Bovino produced the list by tapping dozens of experts to compiled this beast of a list. The methodology of this list changed up a year or two ago and now it’s just like all the others. There’s a similar list in Daniel Young’s massive Where To Eat Pizza, in which he pulled together experts in cities across the planet (I helped with the NYC section) to poll their own local contacts in advance of compiling a brick of a book with listings and information about each spot.

My Thoughts on the Top 50 List

To understand a list, you need to know who wrote it. This list comes to us from an Italian organization. They truly are experts and devotees of pizza as a craft. They have the deepest love for the food and I have a great deal of respect for that. Knowing this explains why the list is heavily weighted toward Neapolitan and other styles with Italian influence. I’m taken aback at how a list of U.S. pizzerias is missing so many American styles. I don’t see some of my New York favorites like L’industrie, Scarr’s, Patsy’s, and King Umberto. I don’t see any of the non-Neapolitan styles from Chicago. Nothing from Detroit. Nothing from New Haven. It’s strange to have a U.S. list missing so many U.S. styles.

Knowing who wrote a list is a prerequisite for understanding what a list means. This is a great list when you understand who wrote it. It’s an incomplete list if you take the headline as fact.

Selecting the 50 top pizzerias in the U.S. is a huge task that I wouldn’t dare undertake. I don’t know the full story behind how it’s assembled and I’m hoping to figure that out so I can continue to understand and talk about this list when it inevitably comes up on tours.


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