Our Final Pizza Ranking

I think the question that we get asked most when we tell people about this year’s travels is “What is your favorite pizza place?”. This is a great question, particularly because we have a lot of favorites. We have a favorite deep dish, a favorite NY style, and a favorite thin crust. We have our favorite unusual topping combination and our favorite Neapolitan traditional Margherita pie.

Now that we have been to all 101 pizzas on the list from the Daily Meal, we have attempted to rank them from #1 to #101 ourselves. You will notice that our ranking differs substantially from the Daily Meal’s ranking, and I should say that this obviously reflects our personal pizza tastes and opinions and (almost) all of the pizzas on the list deserved to be there. We also each made our own ranking so we weren’t influenced by each other’s choices, and there are definitely some that we disagreed on.

(If you aren’t interested in our whole ranking, feel free to skip down to the bottom of the list, where we discuss the highlights and summarize.)

                DAILY MEAL                                      BARBARA                                    ERIC

  1. Pepe’s Pizza, New Haven                   Pepe’s Pizza                              Pepe’s Pizza
  2. Di Fara, Brooklyn                                 Pizzeria Beddia                        Pizzeria Beddia
  3. Roberta’s, Brooklyn                            Di Fara                                       BAR
  4. Mozza, Los Angeles                             BAR                                            Emily
  5. Sally’s Apizza, New Haven                 Lucali                                         Mozza
  6. Flour+Water, San Francisco              Emily                                          Di Fara
  7. Louie and Ernie’s, Bronx                   Johns of Bleecker                     Sally’s
  8. Buddy’s Pizza, Detroit                       Totonno’s                                  Grimaldi’s
  9. Coalfire Pizza, Chicago                      Grimaldi’s                                  Apizza Scholls
  10. Joe’s, NYC                                             Coalfire Pizza                            Pizza Moto
  11. Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix                  Roberta’s                                   Roberta’s
  12. Papa’s Tomato Pies, NJ                     Sally’s                                         Ernesto’s
  13. Modern Apizza, New Haven             Apizza Scholls                           Lucali
  14. Totonno’s, Brooklyn                          Mozza                                        Hog & Hominy
  15. Pequod’s, Chicago                              Pizza Moto                                Una Pizza Napoletana
  16. Patsy’s, NYC                                        Co.                                              Coalfire Pizza
  17. Gino’s East, Chicago                          Gjelina                                       Osteria
  18. Co., NYC                                                Sotto                                          Totonno’s
  19. Motorino, NYC                                    Pizzeria Regina                         Kesté
  20. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, SF           Pequod’s                                   Pete’s New Haven Apizza      
  21. Paulie Gee’s, Brooklyn                      Patsy’s                                        Sotto
  22. Johns of Bleecker, NYC                     Antico                                        Pequod’s
  23. Grimaldi’s, Brooklyn                          Ernie’s Pizzeria                         Margot’s Pizza
  24. Kesté, NYC                                           Pizzeria Bianco                         Tacconelli’s Original Pizza
  25. Lou Malnati’s, Chicago                     Cheeseboard                            Pizzeria Vetri
  26. Antico Pizza, Atlanta                         Lorenzo and Sons                    Johns of Bleecker
  27. Apizza Scholls, Portland                   Kesté                                          Cheeseboard
  28. Lucali, Brooklyn                                  Roseland Apizza                       Pizza Rock
  29. Una Pizza Napoletana, SF               Tacconelli’s Original Pizza       Umberto’s
  30. Lombardi’s, NYC                                Una Pizza Napoletana             Galleria Umberto
  31. Lorenzo and Sons, Philadelphia     Flour+Water                              Buddy’s Pizza
  32. Al Forno, Providence                         Double Mountain Brewery     Micucci’s Grocery
  33. 2Amys, Washington DC                     Osteria                                       Ernie’s Pizza
  34. Pizzeria Delfina, SF                           Umberto’s                                 Star Tavern
  35. Denino’s, Staten Island                     Paulie Gee’s                               Co.
  36. Santarpio’s, Boston                          Hog & Hominy                           Tony’s Place
  37. Umberto’s, New Hyde Park, NY      Motorino                                    Ghigiarelli’s
  38. Pete’s New Haven, Wash. DC         Otto                                             Joe’s
  39. Delorenzo’s, NJ                                  Ernesto’s                                     Antico
  40. Gjelina, Los Angeles                          Louie and Ernie’s                      Modern Apizza                       
  41. Rubirosa, NYC                                    Buddy’s Pizza                             Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
  42. Emily, Brooklyn                                  Micucci’s Grocery                      Pizzaiolo
  43. Sotto, Los Angeles                             2Amys                                          Gjelina
  44. Pizza Domenica, New Orleans       Home Slice Pizza                        Pizza Domenica
  45. Varasano’s, Atlanta                          Modern Apizza                            Amore Pizza
  46. Serious Pie, Seattle                           Pete’s New Haven Apizza         Pi Pizzeria
  47. Providence Coal Fired, Providence  Tony’s Pizza Napoletana       Pizzeria Regina
  48. Galleria Umberto, Boston              Harry’s                                         Lorenzo and Sons
  49. Harry’s Pizzeria, Miami                   Pizzeria Lola                                Brooklyn’s Pizza
  50. Pizzeria Paradiso, Wash. DC          Area 4                                           Pizzeria Bianco
  51. Colony Grill, Stamford, CT              Tony’s Place                                Pizzeria Lola
  52. Pizzeria Regina, Boston                  Santarpio’s                                  Flour+Water
  53. Gino’s of Long Beach, NY               Pizzeria Delfina                          Motorino
  54. Cheeseboard, Berkeley, CA            Pizza Rock                                    Lee’s Tavern
  55. Coppa, Boston                                   Serious Pie                                  Double Mountain Brewery
  56. Lee’s Tavern, Staten Island             Joe’s                                             Lou Malnati’s
  57. Zuppardi’s, West Haven, CT            Star Tavern                                 Harry’s
  58. Matchbox, Washington DC             Lou Malnati’s                              Zuppardi’s
  59. Hog & Hominy, Memphis                Lombardi’s                                 Pizzeria Uno
  60. Pizzeria Lola, Minneapolis              Pizzeria Vetri                              Matchbox
  61. BAR, New Haven                                Varasano’s                                 Rubirosa
  62. Pizzaiolo, Oakland, CA                      New Park Pizza                         Pizzeria Delfina
  63. Tacconelli’s, Philadelphia                Galleria Umberto                      Otto
  64. Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Portland, OR  Pizza Man                                   Roseland Apizza
  65. Home Slice Pizza, Austin, TX           Pi Pizzeria                                   Pizza Man
  66. Osteria, Philadelphia                        Providence Coal Fired              Serious Pie
  67. Domenick & Pias, Waterbury, CT   Pizzeria Paradiso                      Area 4
  68. Pizzeria Uno, Chicago                       Piece                                           Louie and Ernie’s
  69. Double Mountain Brewery, OR     Amore Pizza                              Paulie Gee’s
  70. Barone’s, Los Angeles                       The Backspace                          The Backspace
  71. Metro Pizza, Las Vegas                     Zuppardi’s                                  Providence Coal Fired
  72. Brooklyn’s Pizza, Hackensack, NJ   Rubirosa                                     Gino’s East
  73. Pizza Rock, Las Vegas                        Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies        Zaffiro’s
  74. Ernesto’s, Boston                               Brooklyn’s Pizza                        2Amys
  75. Ernie’s Pizzeria, New Haven            Cane Rosso                               Piece
  76. Area 4, Cambridge, MA                     Matchbox                                  Tarry Lodge
  77. Pizza Moto, Brooklyn                        Pizzeria Uno                              Lombardi’s
  78. Amore Pizza, Queens                        Ken’s Artisan Pizza                   Colony Grill
  79. Punch Neapolitan, St. Paul, MN     Artichoke Basille                      Santarpio’s
  80. Otto Pizza, Portland, ME                   Pizza Delicious                         Home Slice Pizza
  81. Pi Pizzeria, St. Louis                           Al Forno                                     Pizza Delicious
  82. Star Tavern, Orange, NJ                    Pizzeria Domenica                   Gino’s of Long Beach
  83. Pizzeria Beddia, Philadelphia          Gino’s of Long Beach               Patsy’s
  84. Roseland Apizza,  Derby, CT            Denino’s                                    Punch Neapolitan Pizzeria
  85. Sal’s Pizza, Mamaroneck, NY            Margot’s Pizza                          Al Forno
  86. Margot’s Pizza, Brooklyn                  Colony Grill                               Varasano’s
  87. New Park Pizza, Queens                  Tarry Lodge                               Pizzeria Locale
  88. Pizzeria Vetri, Philadelphia              Pizzaiolo                                     Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies
  89. Tarry Lodge, Port Chester, NY         Coppa                                        Ken’s Artisan Pizza
  90. Pizza Man, Milwaukee                       Punch Neapolitan Pizza          New Park Pizza
  91. Zaffiro’s, Milwaukee                           Zaffiro’s                                     Sal’s Pizza
  92. Cane Rosso, Dallas, TX                       Gino’s East                                Pizzeria Paradiso
  93. The Backspace, Austin, TX                Pizzeria Locale                          Cane Rosso
  94. Pizza Delicious, New Orleans           Metro Pizza                               Artichoke Basille
  95. Pizzeria Locale, Denver                     Sal’s Pizza                                  Coppa
  96. Micucci’s Grocery, Portland, ME     Ghigiarelli’s                                Denino’s
  97. Tony’s Place, Philadelphia                Domenick & Pia’s                      Metro Pizza
  98. Artichoke Basille, NYC                      Lee’s Tavern                              Domenick & Pia’s
  99. Piece, Chicago                                      800 Degrees                              800 Degrees
  100. 800 Degrees, Los Angeles                  Papa’s Tomato Pie                   Papa’s Tomato Pie
  101. Ghigiarelli’s, Old Forge, PA               Barone’s Famous Italian          Barone’s Famous Italian


Our top 20 are pretty similar to each other’s. Pepe’s tops all three lists, with the Brooklyn pizzerias Di Fara, Roberta’s, Lucali, Grimaldi’s, Totonno’s all highly ranked. Coalfire Pizza in Chicago was obviously very high on our lists, as was Mozza in Los Angeles and Apizza Scholls in Portland. Major differences here between our lists and the list from the Daily Meal are Pizza Moto (also in Brooklyn, ranked high on our list but low on the Daily Meal’s) and Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia (we ranked this #2, it was that good!). We also both preferred the pizza at BAR to the pizza at Sally’s and Modern in New Haven, although we realize that Sally’s has its dedicated fans, being a much older establishment. (Photos below are from our top three of Pepe’s, Di Fara, and Pizzeria Beddia)


The next 20 places we start to disagree a bit more. The rest of the places that the Daily Meal had in their top 20 fall into our top 40, for the most part. Some of their higher-ranked places (like Louie and Ernie’s in NYC, Flour + Water in San Francisco, and Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit) we liked too, but we couldn’t rank them in our top 20. We both agreed with the Daily Meal that Pequod’s had the best deep dish in Chicago.

img_20160302_181858757   img_20160319_173747599

We then get to the middle of the pack at numbers 40-60. The Cheeseboard in Berkeley ranked right in the middle according to the Daily Meal, but we both have this up higher. Same with Hog & Hominy in Memphis, Emily in Brooklyn, and Sotto in LA. The Daily Meal also had a few ranked in this set that we put much farther down on our own lists, like Coppa in Boston, and Rubirosa in NYC. We’ve also got our second favorite deep dish here (Lou Malnati’s), although the Daily Meal listed this one much higher.

From numbers 60-80, the lists start to get tricky. These are the places that we really liked, but they didn’t thrill us. We wouldn’t say any of them were bad, and we’d definitely go to them all again. For whatever reason, we didn’t find them super special. Again, we put a few of the Daily Meal’s low ranked pizzas higher on our own lists, like Ernie’s in New Haven (can’t believe we had never been here before!) and both Osteria and Tacconelli’s in Philadelphia.

And finally, the end of the lists. As we said before, we didn’t HATE any of these pizzas. We can see why they all made it on to the list, and they all have the Yelp reviews to prove that they belong there. However, the bottom of our bunch consisted of Domenick & Pias in Waterbury, CT, Papa’s Tomato Pie in Robbinsville, NJ, 800 Degrees in Los Angeles, and Barone’s Famous Italian Restaurant, also in LA. If we ever go back to LA, these last two would not be places that we stopped at again, especially since LA also has Mozza and Sotto right downtown. (Photos from 800 Degrees and Papa’s Tomato Pies. Barone’s pizza looked too unappetizing to even add to this post).

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Margot’s is also low on the Daily Meal’s list, and Barb’s as well, but mainly got deductions because it was so hard to get to. You’ll see on Eric’s list that it is much higher ranked, because the pizza was very good. Another place that is low on the Daily Meal list here, but we thought was highly underrated, is Micucci’s Grocery in Portland, Maine. We’d stop there again for slices.

Now, we want your suggestions! Where should we go next?


Chicago, take 2

October 8th, 2016

Chicago, IL

We were back in Chicago this past weekend for the marathon. It’s been a pre-marathon tradition for us to eat pizza the night before a race (carbo-loading at its best). We could have tried to get to one of the new pizza places on the 2016 list in Chicago, but we ended up back at Coalfire Pizza.


This was our favorite Chicago pizza when we were here earlier this year (post is coming, I promise!). And honestly, I didn’t think that I could stomach a deep dish before a race. Last time we were in town we got to meet Dave, who owns and runs the two locations of Coalfire in Chicago, and we were looking forward to seeing him again.

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Last time we stopped by West Town, which is the original location. This weekend, we went up to the newer Lakeview location. It is close by the baseball stadium, so it was PACKED since the game was starting at 7 pm. We had seven people and so we were glad to get there early and have a table ready for us!

The previous time we were at Coalfire we only got to try one pizza, so this time we were excited to try FOUR pizzas. We went with a lasagna pie and the vodka meatball, the margherita, and the vegan veggie pie (but with cheese), which was recommended to us by our waitress.

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All of the pizzas were delicious, just as we remembered. We love the style of pizza here; everything tastes so fresh. I think our group favorites were the lasagna and the vodka meatball. And we also loved the fall sangria cocktail special. If I hadn’t been racing the next morning, I would have had a few more of them.

We definitely will be regulars here when we come back to Chicago. It was great to see Dave again, and his pizza fueled my marathon PR! We also liked the second location. It’s a bit further out of town, but located right near the stadium and it is bigger than the West Town location.

We will be back to Chicago at some point this year – to hit the new pizza places on the list (although, we will probably need to come back to Coalfire too)!


To visit:

Coalfire Pizza
3707 North Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613


#97 Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie

November 22, 2015

Philadelphia, PA

Last November, we headed down to Philadelphia to cheer on some friends who were running the marathon. We took up our normal cheering spot at mile 11, and after a few hours of cheering in the cold, we were certainly ready for some hot pizza.

We drove down the road a bit to Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie, and got there about an hour after it opened. We actually weren’t sure if it was open when we got there because it was in such a quiet area of town, and we were the only ones there.

Since we are both originally from PA, we love a good tomato pie, and we’ve had a bunch of different styles. This tomato pie was a bit untraditional because it was on a very thin crust, so Philadelphia tomato pie purists may not want to go out of their way for this one.


Even though the crust was thinner than we were used to for a Philly tomato pie, it managed to stand up to the sauce. The cheese is underneath the sauce, so it isn’t quite like a New Haven tomato pie either, and there was no grated cheese on top. Apparently, this is called a “Trenton-style” tomato pie (but with more sauce). The sauce was good, but it could have used a little more kick to it to really make it shine. We’ve had better tomato pies in Philly, but this one certainly wasn’t bad.

It could have been the fact that we were cold and hungry, but we ate this pie so quickly. The location of the restaurant is a little out of the way for visitors who are staying downtown, but we’d go out of our way to stop here again, especially to warm up after marathon-cheering!

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Eric makes the best faces while eating pizza, doesn’t he?

To visit:

Tony’s Famous Tomato Pie
6300 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19135

#24 Kesté

November 19th, 2015

Manhattan, NYC

Kesté is another restaurant on the list that is within walking distance from our office, so we decided to go here for lunch. It was an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, and it has about 50 different pizzas on the menu, as well as salads and appetizers. It was definitely a difficult decision. We went with the Vegetariana, which has zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms and basil. img_20151119_121224500

There isn’t really too much to say about this pizza, besides that it was good. These were some of our first Neapolitan pies of the quest, and they are probably up there still with our favorites, having been to a lot of them by now.

The location is great, too. The restuarant is right on Bleecker Street, across from John’s of Bleecker and up the street from Joe’s and Bleecker Street pizza. It took us about 10 minutes to walk there.




The restaurant itself is pretty tiny. We’ve heard that dinner can get crowded, but it was pretty empty when we showed up for lunch. But then, I think we got there right when it opened, so that wasn’t too surprising.

We will definitely be coming back here now that we have time to revisit our favorites. We need to try some of the other pies on the menu!

They also have delivery, if there are any interested New Yorkers out there.


To visit:

271 Bleecker Street
New York, NY  10014