Who doesn’t love pizza? It may very well be the ultimate comfort food: gooey, greasy cheese topped with your favorite meats or veggies, all surrounded by a golden, crunchy crust…is your mouth watering yet? The pizza possibilities are endless: sausage, pepperoni, eggplant, peppers, onions, olives, broccoli, extra cheese, clams, shrimp, roasted garlic cloves, thin crust, thick crust!
Pizza has also become a serious business: 93% of Americans report eating pizza at least once a month, making it a $38 billion dollar industry.
Americans on average eat 46 slices – or 23 pounds – of pizza each year, and nearly 100 acres of pizza are consumed annually in the U.S. (that equals 350 slices per second!). The American Dairy Association ranks pizza as Americans’ fourth most craved food, after cheese, chocolate and ice cream.
More than 69,000 pizzerias sell this dependable food staple in the U.S., but which ones are the best?
The Daily Ticker posed that question to Alex Vallis, digital features editor at Food & Wine Magazine.
Vallis’ picks are surprising – legendary pizzerias such Grimaldi’s, John’s and Totonno’s in New York City were excluded – and some of the chosen pizzerias are located in states and cities not widely recognized as pizza meccas. Two of the pizzerias mentioned have become renowned for their use of local and seasonal ingredients (like cauliflower and capers) and another continues to test the limits of traditional pizza...would you order a smoked pancetta and Brussels sprouts pizza?
Related: The Best Sandwiches in America
The five pizzerias selected by Vallis and the Food & Wine team have the following characteristics in common: powerful ovens, consistent offerings, high-quality ingredients and a skilled, practiced “pizzaiolo,” or pizza master.
“Pizza is the perfect food,” Vallis notes, but when it comes to perfecting the dish, “its simplicity actually makes it very difficult." Still, pizza's appeal spans generations and incomes. “It's an affordable luxury,” she adds.
Related: The Top 5 Steakhouses in America
So which pizzerias made the cut?
1) Motorino (New York)
2) Frank Pepe's (New Haven, CT)
3) Regina Pizzeria (Boston)
4) flour + water (San Francisco)
5) Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)
Watch the video to find out where Vallis goes to get the best slice of pizza!
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