Choosing the best pizza is always a tall order. Thankfully, many of our well-traveled and gourmand agents helped out with a selection of their favorites. If you’re a pizza lover, here are 10 places you should try to get to as soon as possible.
1. Grimaldi’s, Brooklyn, NY
Tucked beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, this pizza place is the godfather of good New York pizza. Whatever they do to their fresh, homemade dough and crushed tomato sauce, it’s nothing short of art. Patsy Grimaldi started making pizza back in 1940s Harlem, and his Brooklyn outfit, though under new ownership, has become something of a culinary landmark in NYC.
2. Mozza, Los Angeles, CA
A raucous atmosphere is appropriate for pie of this caliber. Though Mozza has locations in Singapore, Newport Beach and San Diego, their Los Angeles flagship is the one that got it all started. Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich combine their talents to serve up classic Italian favorites that are so much more than your traditional Neapolitan pizza. Reservations are recommended.
3. Wildcraft Pizza, Culver City, CA
In this cozy, colorful Culver City pizzeria, Chef Tin Vuong has created specialty selections of Neapolitan sourdough pie, topped with gourmet toppings from porchetta, pancetta and fennel sausage to slow cooked pork belly and cracked soft egg, cooked to perfection in their ten-thousand pound, Italian-imported woodfire oven. Chef Tin is especially passionate about sourcing local, fresh ingredients – and he’ll recommend a good wine pairing, too.
4. Naked City, Las Vegas, NV
This pizza joint, located inside Moondoggies Bar, was recently featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” Try their Guinea’s Pie – meatballs, spinach, ricotta, white garlic sauce and mozzarella cheese. To die for.
5. Gjelina, Venice, CA
For locally-sourced, gourmet California-style pizza, another top choice has got to be Gjelina, right in the heart of Venice. Lamb sausage, smoked mozzarella, Fresno chili, fennel… the toppings are to die for – and the beach city atmosphere is pretty great, too.
6. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco, CA
This North Beach favorite serves up a mean slice of pizza, reflected by their coveted 4 ½ stars on Yelp. Try their famous Pizza Margherita – it might just turn you into a pizza purist.
7. Motorino, Williamsburg, NY
Yes, it’s almost too hip and full of hipsters – but that’s because it’s damn good pizza. Motorino’s boasts some of the best crust in NYC – no small feat – and their Williamsburg location has a great bar to boot. If we listed these pizza places solely based on atmosphere, this might be #1.
8. Punch Neapolitan Pizza – Minneapolis
This is one of the Twin Cities’ most popular places to eat, period, and one of the best pizza joints in the Midwest. Their San Marzano tomatoes, flame-blackened crusts and super-fresh mozzarella can compete with Neapolitan pizza anywhere. They’re also progressive – Punch was recently praised by President Obama for raising its minimum wage.
9. Mazzarino’s, Sherman Oaks, CA
If it’s gluten-free you’re after, try Mazzarino’s in Sherman Oaks. This little mom-and-pop shop has been operating since 1956. Fans rave that their gluten-free crusts are even better and crispier than traditional crusts.
10. 800 Degrees, Los Angeles, CA
This Angeleno favorite has die-hard fans that trek to their Westwood and Santa Monica locations from all over LA. They do the classic Neapolitan pizza justice – a thin crust made with just flour, salt, water and wild yeast; simple, delicious sauce from crushed tomatoes; and fresh (often local) toppings. You might wait in line, but it’s well worth it.