Photo: Jane & Michael Stern
Like barbecue, pizza has multiple personalities. Some of the country’s best pies (like the legendary white clam pizza at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Conn.) barely resemble the basic tomato-and-cheese combo. At the Portland Pie Company in Portland, Maine, you can indulge in lobster pizza; at Big Lou’s in San Antonio, you can try barbecued brisket as a topping. Those who grew up with thin-crust slices on the Atlantic City Boardwalk might not even recognize Chicago’s deep-dish variety!
Of the countless pizza styles, a few stand out as American classics. Below are PARADE’s top five (in no particular order)
and an honor roll of great pizza places across the country. Think we missed your favorite pizzeria? Tell us in the comments below.
PARADE's Top 5 Favorite Pizzas:
Click each style to see which pizzerias do it best, and get the recipe to make the pizza yourself at home.
1. Al Forno ♦ Providence, R.I.
Where grilled pizza was invented, Al Forno is known for its super-savory, oil-brushed crusts.
2. Buddy’s ♦ Detroit
t’s the home of Detroit’s thick-crust square pizza; the pepperoni is layered on the bottom to keep it moist. Topping options include carrots, cauliflower, and pineapple (sliced or diced).
3. Coletta’s ♦ Memphis
Pies here come adorned with a bouquet of pulled pork in tangy barbecue sauce. Before you dig in, have a BBQ salad.
4. Dean-O’s ♦ Lafayette, La.
Do you like your pizza hot? Have the Cajun Executioner, crowned with pepperoni, hot sausage, spicy shrimp, and plenty of jalapeños. One pie, the Marie LeVeaux, is loaded with big sweet hunks of Gulf crabmeat.
5. DiCarlo’s ♦ Wheeling, W. Va
W. Va. The unique pies at DiCarlo’s feature a tomato-glazed crust that is flash-baked with minimal cheese, then pulled from the oven and topped with shredded provolone and, if desired, pepperoni discs and peppers.
6. Frank’s ♦ Silvis, Ill.
Its Quad-Cities pizza comes sliced into strips. Try the sausage pie, which is blanketed in a layer of ground sausage featuring
a fennel kick.
7. Hot Truck ♦ Ithaca, N.Y.
This food wagon parked next to the Cornell campus serves lengths of locally baked bread topped with whatever cheese, meat, and veggies you want, then sandwiched into a pizza torpedo.
8. Menches Bros. ♦ Green, Ohio
The thick-crust pie at Menches Bros. is heaped with unusual toppings like garlic mashed potatoes, bacon, and cheddar.
9. Pizzeria Bianco ♦ Phoenix
On many pizza lovers’ top 10 lists, this restaurant is known for its thin, flavorful crust topped with local and imported ingredients.
10. Serious Pie ♦ Seattle
The must-eat combo here? Yukon gold potatoes with rosemary and pecorino cheese.
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