We've been thinking about pizza a lot lately.
Our conclusion? You sure eat a lot of pizza.
From Boston to San Diego, we got recommendations for pizza slices and pies across the land, and lots of disagreement about the tops in Chicago. Or New Haven. Or anywhere.
East Coast options
"Grimaldi's Pizza under the Brooklyn Bridge. Superb, incomparable, perfection." -Annie, Brooklyn, N.Y.
"Fillippo's Pizzeria on Bloomfield Ave. in Newark, NJ circa 1967. This is the pizza I have dreamed of for the last 25 plus years. He made a semolina dough with the absolute perfect sauce and mozzarella I have ever tasted. I often wondered why no one else tried to use this type of dough. Too expensive I would guess." -Vito, Pompton Lakes N.J.
"There is a little bar and pizza joint called 'The Colony' in Stamford, CT. This place has been serving pizza to cops and firemen for over 40 years. They only make one size, but it's the best I have ever eaten. I haven't had a Colony pizza in over 20 years, and I can still taste it." -Sharon, Yankton, S.D.
"The best pizza is a Trenton, NJ tomato pie made at Delorenzo's on Hudson Street. Very thin crust, natural ingredients and a homemade sauce. Order sausage, mushrooms and garlic and have it cooked well done. Gary or Sam will make you a masterpiece. I have eaten pizza in NYC, New Haven, Chicago, and Philly, nothing compares with Delos." -Dave, Margate, N.J.
"The best pizza in the world is made in many varieties in Northeast PA. I have several favorites. Arcaro & Genells in Old Forge PA is emblematic of the "Old Forge" style imitated throughout NEPA. Both the red and white are spectacular. Very light crust with unique sauces, cheeses, and spices. Then there's Nardozzo's in Nanticoke, PA, with a sweet sauce that scintillates the taste buds. ... I have traveled throughout New York City searching for better (Grimaldi's in Brooklyn is very good), but haven't found it. Boston, my favorite American city, has none worth speaking about." -Bob, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Rocky Mountain pie
"If you're in Montana, there is a place that puts out wonderful pizza ... McKenzie River Pizza in Billings. For my last meal: their 10" thin crust pepperoni and black olive pizza." -Steven, Glasgow, Mt.
"I generally prefer NY style over Chicago, but here in Colorado we have our own style of pizza. At a place called Beau Jos Pizza they serve their own signature Colorado style pizza, called the Mountain Pie. As with any other great pizza place, the crust's the thing. It's a medium hand tossed crust with super thick soft rolled edges. These thick edges help hold in your choice of sauce and a mountain of toppings that can be piled on the pizza." -Marc, Denver, Colo.
Bicoastal options"Two pizzas, equal in dignity, on opposite coasts where we lay our scene. In the Boston area, itself a mighty fine haven for Italian-Americans, there's Don Caruso's on Main Street in Melrose, which happens to be about one block from where I was born (talk about liking your first taste!) In Reno, where I reside now, you can warp to the other end of I-80 at Nu Yalk Pizza on Kietzke Lane. New York sports events via satellite, a Big Apple-talkin' bunch of guys runnin' the place, and the best pies west of the Appalachians make it a must-eat for tourist and local alike." -Dennis, Reno, Nev.
Midwest pride"I've lived in the New Jersey/New York corridor, Texas, Florida, Kansas City, and traveled throughout the US. The best pizza I've found is in, of all places, Stillwater, Oklahoma at the Hideaway Pizza. Adjacent to Oklahoma State, it has the best pizza sauce I've experienced, a great compromise between thick and thin crust, and very high quality ingredients. They use a mixture of cheeses instead of just one." -S. Jones, Kansas City, Mo.
"Marions Pizza ... Dayton, Ohio. Best Pizza in America!! Have eaten pizza from New York to San Francisco. Ship several pizzas a year to Florida where former residents anxiously await them. Its a thin crust with real cheese, a homemade tomato sauce and great fixings." -T. Crowl, Dayton, Ohio
"I'm a middle of the road fan. Thin crust too thin and deep dish does nothing for me. The best pizza I've ever had is El Fredo's in Sioux City, Iowa -- it's the sauce that makes this pizza so memorable. It has a perfect amount of kick without overshadowing the crust or the toppings. Who knew Iowa had some of the best pizza I've ever tasted." -Amanda, Shawnee, Kan.
"You probably wouldn't expect to find great pizza in the middle of the country, but my absolute favorite pizza ever can be found at any of the four Papa Keno's locations in the Midwest. The original is in Lawrence, KS with newer locations in Denver, CO, Overland Park, KS and Kansas City, MO in the Westport bar district. It's a thin-style crust and they sell it by the slice ... by the HUGE slice. One slice fills a small serving tray." -Joe, Overland Park, Kan.
New Haven v. New Haven
"Your article rightly acknowledges Pepe's and Sally's as being New Haven standouts ... but don't forget about Modern Apizza. I lived in New Haven for a few years, and many there (including myself) believe Modern to be the king of pizza!" -B. Black, Philadelphia, Pa.
"The best New Haven apizza is actually found in neighboring West Haven at Zuppardi's. It's a dumpy little place in an unimpressive, out-of-the-way location; but just one straight-forward cheese pie from Zuppardi's will put Frank Pepe in his proper place -- #2." -Ed, Fair Oaks, Calif.
"Mushroom and bacon - Pepe's apizza - New Haven, Ct. - nothing better anywhere! I lived in Italy for a year and couldn't find a better pie (true, the styles are very different). I am spoiled living so close to such a great pizzeria ... and Libby's pastry shop next door is an added bonus!" -Erin, Branford, Ct.
"Sally's and Pepe's are both great, as is Modern Apizza on State Street in New Haven. But in my hometown, the Greeks have taken pizza and made it their own. I don't know if it's the spices they use or the cheese or what, but it's a unique taste. Totally different from Italian pizza, but equally yummy." -Debbie, Killingworth, Ct.
The Chicago wars continue
"Gino's East on Superior! I was born & lived in Chicago until I was 30. ... A friend from New Orleans, knowing I was going for a visit to Chicago, wanted a pizza from Gino's. So I obliged him, got the pizza to go. Put it in a freezer for the trip back. Slid the pizza in the middle of my folded suit bag. When I was going through security at Midway, the officer screening bags on the x-ray conveyor wanted to know what was in my suit bag. "Pizza," my reply. He said, "I knew that but what kind and where did you get it from?" It's the best of the best." -Mike, New Orleans, La.
"Lou Malnati's. We've all heard the speeches on Gino's East, and the tourists on Uno's. But if you want the true experience, its Lou Malnati's, in Lincoln Park just north of DePaul. That's the best there is." -Chris, Indianapolis, Ind.
"AURELIOS PIZZA! South suburbs of Chicago. The sauce is slightly sweet and the Super Six (sausage, pepperoni, ham, onion, mushroom, green pepper) is spectacular." -Megan, Seattle, Wash.
"I currently live in Chicago and one of the only things I don't like about an otherwise great city is that their pizza is mediocre at best. It is depressing some days." -Doug, Chicago, Ill.
"The best pizza I can ever remember eating was when I was in school, and living in Chicago. My dad would take us to pick it up, we would wait in the car. One night, I just counted the people going into the pizza place. I counted 100 people going in the front door. ... Home Run Inn, Chicago. Thin crust." -Elliott, Paoli, Ind.
St. Louis, or not?
"Fortel's Pizza Den ... The best. No doubt. I don't understand those losers in Chicago. If I wanted lasagna, I would order lasagna, not that crap they call pizza in the gassy city. New York? Please. That grease Frisbee? No. Fortel's Pizza Den. The absolute best." -Aaron, Allen, Tex.
"St. Louis pizza is a crust so thin it could be used as a Matzo. However, in the last 10 years we have been fortunate that our local chefs began making wood-fired oven pizza. Cardwell's at the Plaza makes one of the best in these parts!" -Mary, St. Louis, Mo.
"How about the pizza I *hate* the most? A transplanted East Coaster, I almost gagged when I had my first bite of St. Louis-style pizza, which is covered in a grey slime called provel cheese (cheddar, swiss and provolone), baked on a cracker-like crust and cut into ... (Lord save me) ... tiny squares." -Kelly, St. Louis, Mo.
And elsewhere ...
"I love thin pizza!!! The one that I love the most is called funghioni, it is plain white pizza with mozzarella, with medley of wild mushrooms ... then topped with [arugula] and shaved parmeggiano after it's been baked in the oven. ... This hot pizza place is called Enios in Padova, Italy, near the municipal airstrip, a local's favorite." -Maria, Padova, Italy
"Il Mediterraneo, on Nha Tho in Hanoi — the very best crust I've ever tasted." -Brian, Seattle, Wash.
"I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and after living in the States for 26 years and having had pizza in many cities, states and other countries, I still haven't found better than in my hometown." -Ruben, Kirkland, Wash.
Comments edited for length and clarity.