25. Al Forno
> Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Johanne Killeen and the late George Germon opened this riverfront Providence landmark in 1980. While there is a full Italian menu, the place soon became famous for its grilled pizza. They didn’t have a pizza oven, but Killeen and Germon realized they could cook their pies on their wood-fired grill. In addition to a Margherita and some other basics, Al Forno offers such unusual variations as one with fried calamari, spicy arrabbiata sauce, and fresh herbs and another with garlic-scape and basil pesto.
24. Faraci’s Pizza
> Location: Ellisville, Missouri
Run by the sons of the founders of the original Faraci’s Pizza in nearby Ferguson — like Ellisville, in the greater St. Louis area — Faraci’s makes (not surprisingly) St. Louis-style pizza. That means square, and cut into squares, with an unleavened crust and generous portions of Provel cheese, a local specialty that’s in effect an amalgam of provolone, cheddar, and Swiss. All the usual toppings are available, and there are a few signature combinations — for instance, Nonna’s Meatball Pizza, with house-made meatballs and tomato sauce.
23. Supino Pizzeria
> Location: Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is underrated as a pizza town, and Supino sets a high standard at its two city locations. The menu lists just eight versions with tomato sauce and five white (no sauce) pizzas — including a quattro formaggio (smoked gouda, goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, and Italian parsley) in the first category and a Smoky (smoked ham, smoked gouda, roasted garlic, and ricotta) in the second. Three varieties are also available by the slice. Organic ingredients are featured when possible.
22. Colony Grill
> Location: Stamford, Connecticut
The food at this 1935-vintage Irish-American tavern is pizza, period. No antipasto, no salad (well, there is a salad pizza), no dessert. The thin-crust bar pizzas here, which have a local cult following, are available with only about a dozen possible toppings. Whatever else patrons choose, almost everybody adds jalapeño-infused hot oil, which seeps down through the cracks in the slightly crisped cheese on top. Some order extra chiles (called “stingers”) to bump up the heat. In recent years, Colony has opened three more Connecticut locations plus one each across the border in Port Chester, New York, and in Arlington, Virginia.
21. Burt’s Place
> Location: Morton Grove, Illinois
Revered writer and TV personality Anthony Bourdain called the pies here “the only deep dish pizza I ever loved.” Staking a claim to serving “Chicagoland’s finest pan pizza,” Burt’s does a pretty good job of living up to its boast. It’s particularly known for its perfectly caramelized crust, slightly charred, and for the high quality of the cheese it uses. The limited number of toppings include Burt’s own blend sausage, mixed bell peppers, and fresh spinach. The restaurant offers a thinner “1/2 dough” option “for our carb conscious customers.”