If you love pizza, you’re not alone. A few years back, at the behest of the California Pizza Kitchen chain, the Harris Poll conducted a survey of attitudes towards pizza on the part of more than 2,000 U.S. adults. The study found that, if they could only eat one food for the rest of their lives, 21% of the participants would choose pizza – more than any other food by far.
Approximately three billion pizzas are sold in America each year, and we consume an average of 23 pounds (or 46 slices) per capita annually. A lot of that, of course, comes frozen from the supermarket or gets delivered from (or picked up at) one of the big multi-unit pizza purveyors, like Domino’s or Pizza Hut or some slightly smaller local chain. Some of these latter operations do a very good job.
In all, there are about 77,000 pizzerias and restaurants specializing in pizza in America. This includes the chains, large and small, but also a large number of individual establishments or operations with just a handful of outposts. (These are the American cities with the most pizza places.)
To compile a list of the best pizzeria in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted and extrapolated from lists, ratings, and reviews from websites including The Daily Meal, Eater, Food & Wine, Insider, Reader’s Digest, PBS, Far & Wide, Mashed, Thrillist, and Yelp, as well as numerous local and regional sites.
There are many different styles of pizza around the nation. One estimate mentions as many as 24 – though probably only 10 or 12 are common, among them Neapolitan, Sicilian, deep dish, New York-style, Detroit-style, and New Haven-style (named for the Connecticut metropolis that some consider to be the country’s pizza capital).
The pizzerias on our list represent many of the possible styles, and some serve several different styles to please a wide range of customers. Some of these establishments go wild with non-traditional toppings (corn, kale, barbecue sauce), while others specialize in simple cheese pizzas, or pies with only a few additions.
According to another Harris Poll, this one commissioned last year by Hormel, the most popular of those additions in the U.S. is the slightly spicy little salami-like cured sausage called pepperoni, which outscored the second most popular, sausage, by 38% to 15%.
Many of the pizzerias on this list serve other Italian fare as well, from panini to pasta to full-fledged main dishes, but pizza is their focus. As a reflection of current dietary preferences in the U.S., it might also be noted that many of these places offer gluten-free crusts and/or vegan cheese and sometimes even vegan pepperoni.
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