August 12th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
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John Fricke is a CNN Assignment Editor. He cares deeply about pizza. Pies pictured above are from Oakland and Hollywood, California, and Denver, Colorado. They look delicious, right? Their cities didn't make the list, but they're a few of the best new pizza places around the country.

If say to you, "Name the best city for pizza in America," your answer will, of course, be "San Diego." Wait, what?

The world's largest travel website TripAdvisor.com recently released its new list of "Top 10 Cities for Pizza" in the United States. Tripadvisor bills itself as offering "the world's most trusted travel advice," but just how trusted the travel giant will be after publishing this list may be up for debate.

The top list does not the word "Chicago," no matter how deep into the dish you dig.

The elite group includes towns better known for dishes like fish tacos, cheesesteak sandwiches and even 99-cent shrimp cocktails than they are for the beloved, cheesy, saucy pie.

Yes, the Big Apple got a slice of the action, coming in at number four. The never-ending debate between New York thinly-sliced newspaper with sauce against Chicago's luscious loaded paradise of a pie (was that an editorial on my part?) is always entertaining to witness. What's not is a debate over whether San Diego's slices top that of Las Vegas - which they did, barely.

I cannot say I have ever heard someone suggest: "Let's jump on a jet to Vegas! Pizza baby!" Despite my love of pizza, whenever I hit the buffet line on a marquee joint on the Vegas Strip I usually am not beelining for something I can find on any street corner in any city, anywhere.

These rankings were based on reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Top spots were determined based on the highest average rating by city for all restaurants that serve pizza. This doesn't mean that you, the pizza-loving reader, have to fold over and agree - oh no indeed.

In the comments below, shout out your favorite pizza place and the city in which it exists, and a loving description of the best pie or slice. Get as passionate and poetic as you'd like, and we'll share the best responses in an upcoming feature.

TripAdvisor's 2013 Top 10 Cities for Pizza

1. San Diego, California
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Boston, Massachusetts
4. New York City, New York
5. Seattle, Washington
6. Austin, Texas
7. San Francisco, California
8. Indianapolis, Indiana
9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10. Phoenix, Arizona

Previously:
Best new pizza places across the U.S.
How to grill pizza
Crazy pizzas from around the country
Provel and pizza - a St. Louis tradition

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Filed under: Pizza


soundoff (351 Responses)
  1. Jersey Bob

    This is hilarious – let me clarify one thing right up front – Chicago Deep Dish is NOT pizza, it's a casserole – if you have to use a fork and knife to eat it, it ain't pizza. As long as you enjoy it, regardless of where it comes from, good pizza is good pizza – 'Nuff said

    And in case you morons from Chicago still think Giordano's, Pizza Uno and Malnatto's belong on any list of good pizza places, read the first sentence above.

    August 14, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • TT

      I do have to agree with you with the deep dish. However, Chicago does not serve up ONLY deep dish pizza (See Piece Pizza & Brewery...some of the best thin crust I've ever had). I still say the town belongs on the list regardless. :)

      August 14, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • sa

      Learn how to spell Lou Malnatti's before you trash it like that. Unfrigginbelievable.

      August 14, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • whhh

        you misspelled it too

        August 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Rich

      Chicago has many types of pizza (stuffed, deep dish, thin, upside down, and many others)- people outside Chicago only know deep dish. Chicago THIN is the best pizza – anywhere.

      August 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Old Enough

      Don't forget Gino's East

      August 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  2. Todd

    Pizza is a subjective thing.
    I haven't found a bad pizza... However I have found rather boring pizza and other ones that are stellar. However if you ask someone else that boring pizza is someones favorite and your favorite isn't their style.

    August 14, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • whorhay

      I couldn't agree more. I love pizza and I can only think of a handful of times I've had a pizza that I didn't consider to be worth eating, most of those were burned or undercooked.

      I like thin crust, thick crust, pan fried whatever I love it all. So long as the toppings and sauce are good it hardly matters. I've even had pesto sauce pizzas that were fantastic. For me trying to nail down the best place for pizza is just silly, the best pizza is almost always the one right in front of me at the time.

      August 14, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • len

      I Have and it was in los angles . the worst excuse for a pizza ever. It was so bad people coming out the door were just throwing them in the dumpster! They were really bad. the place closed inside of ten days!

      August 15, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  3. Larry

    Vinnie Van Go-Go's. Savannah, GA

    August 14, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  4. Nancy

    Old Forge, PA!

    August 14, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  5. Terry

    There are people that drive/fly from other states strictly for Fricano's Pizza which was voted Best Pizza in Michigan in a Pure Michigan poll. If the poll and tasting were worldwide, it would take the lead as greatest pizza.

    It is pizza that rivals anything on Earth, including even in Sicily. It's claimed by thousands of loyal customers to be the best they've ever had. It is the most famous pizza in Michigan since 1949 at the first pizzeria in Michigan, Fricano's Pizza Tavern, in Grand Haven with the original thin crust pizza pie. There are five family owned locations with an authentic Italian recipe baked to a golden brown, crispy texture with Pepperoni, Italian sausage, Mushrooms, Green peppers, and Anchovies and the best pizza cheese money can buy.

    http://www.fricanospizza.com

    August 14, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • C to the J

      That must be why I've never heard of it!

      August 14, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  6. Zombie Boy Returns!

    "I like turtles...."

    August 14, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  7. SC

    San Diego?!?!?!?!? Nah!!!!! Best pizza I had is Sam's Pizza in Fredericksburg, VA

    August 14, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  8. Richard

    CHUCK E. CHEESE!

    August 14, 2013 at 3:23 am |
  9. dazzle ©

    This list of best pizza is a joke. I was born in Boston and grew up in New York. Boston was never known for good pizza. New York has Ray's pizza but the best of the best is The King of Pizza in Philadelphia. They have an outlet in the airport and I get a slice every time I fly into town.

    August 14, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Ray Dimaggio

      You lived in Boston many years ago as a child? Please, tell us more about your Boston cuisine expertise.

      August 14, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  10. Hugh

    Obviously the people that comment on Trip advisor and the like wouldn't know good pizza if their life depended on it. I live in Las Vegas for 11 yrs now from the east coast and I can tell you with out question there isn't a pizza here that compares with any pizza back east. I've had better pizza from a box then some of the so called "NY style" pizzas I've gotten here in Vegas. Just to give you an idea on who does voting on food here every year the local paper does a best of piece. And every year since I've moved here Taco Bell wins best Mexican food and Dominos wins best pizza. So take your Trip advisor suggestions and toss them in the trash along with that crappy pizza you just bought.

    August 14, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • s7vegas

      What about Setebello in the District? Or Grimaldi's? I love them both!

      August 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • catty

        Settebello is terrific!! There are two of them in Utah as well.

        August 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  11. TobyK

    How can these people leave out Chicago? And I've NEVER had decent pizza on the West Coast. Who wrote this column?

    August 13, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Denali

      I'm guessing TripAdvisor haven't heard of or tried either Giordano's or Pequod's.

      August 14, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  12. ross the BOSS

    Three best cities:
    NY thin dollar slices, New Haven, and Chicago (Lou's is the best)
    This list is terrible!

    August 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  13. ROCK MARTINEZ

    Best pizza ever, in America in Milwaukee, Wisconsin..Club Carradero since the early 1950's...New York, Boston anywhere does not compare.

    August 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  14. Ewald

    You missed Detroit in the mix – say what you want about the city and the current economics – it deserves to be near the top for pizza. The uniqueness of the blue steel industrial pan which is a symbol of the city's industrial heritage creates the Sicillian style classic Detroit Pizza that you can find at Buddies Pizza, or even regional chains like Jets or Cottage Inn shouldn't go without recognition – not much can compare to its buttery thick yet crispy goodness with spicy pepperoni, and homemade Italian sausage that needs no introduction of claims, or arugula. This is pizza as it should be intended

    August 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  15. Jay

    No Chicago?!?!? And Boston? Lived in both and outside of Santarpio;s couldnt find a decent pie in the whole of Boston. The suburbs of Chicago have better pizza parlors than most of the cities mentioned. Lou's. Giordano's, NIck & Vito's,....the list goes on for great pie in Chicago!

    August 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  16. xeno

    I live in Illinois for a long time and tried the whole Chicago pizza things several times. My theory was always that someone made a really good pizza in Chicago a long, long time ago, after which someone started the rumor that pizza in Chicago was something special, and everyone just went along, felt it was what they were supposed to say. It always made me fairly ill. Now SD, I'd never considered it, but yeah, a bad pizza is rare.

    August 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  17. Lawrence Chang

    California is on the list?! I live in California, and our pizza generally sucks

    August 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Austin

      And I live in Austin and the pizza here is awful! Austin is to good pizza the way Kansas is to surfing.

      August 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Bill

      California pizza is bottom of the barrel. I live here as well.

      August 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Mpow

      Where in CA? I'm from San Diego and there are definitely a few amazing spots!

      August 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • Billy

        I'm from San Diego. Please name a few of these amazing spots?

        August 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • yaryers

          Regent's Pizzeria, first and foremost. Amazing thin crust, amazing deep dish. One of the most underappreciated pizza places in America. I say this because everybody raves about Pizzeria Luigi's, and Bronx Pizza (both in San Diego). Luigi's and Bronx have nothing on Regent's, although all three are amazing. Luigi's was explicitly cited in the Trip Advisor article, as was Filippe's Pizza Grotto. Tons of great places in San Diego. Trip Advisor got it right.

          August 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  18. RD

    People need to stop complaining about this stupid poll and get on with their lives. All trip advisor did was use results based on rankings from pizza places around the country. IT WAS SOLELY BASED ON THE POPULARITY OF EACH RESTAURANT. I don't agree with the list. However, San Diego and Las Vegas are ranked high because that's where the tourists. I think New Haven style pizza's the best. But you don't see new haven restaurants having nearly the number of reviews as pizzerias in other cities.

    August 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Andy in CT

      Agreed. Could care less. Because I know how fortunate I am to live in West Haven, 10 minutes away from Wooster St.

      August 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
      • ross the BOSS

        Ever been to BAR pizza? Best in the city

        August 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
        • Dexterdoggie

          Indeed BAR must be included with Pepe's, Sally & Modern. I suspect New Haven isn't high on the "must places to visit" but considering the size of the city compared tomthe other city's on the list, there's more world class pizza in New Haven than anyplace else in America.

          This from a guy who was born & raised in Chicago and work in NYC.

          August 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  19. WeirdMN

    "The top list does not the word "Chicago," no matter how deep into the dish you dig"

    Perhaps CNN should run a story on how that sentence makes sense?

    August 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  20. Rheji Luv-Valentino

    The fact that Chicago didn't even make the list goes to show that the poll was a bit skewed.

    August 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • QueenVelveetaJamimaLaqueetaTelmaColenderDaKeeshaaLaPorsha

      Oh Lordi Lordi
      Deep dish sucks, even most people in Chicago hate it.

      August 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • Hey now...

        Aren't you Sokman, the guy who makes all those racist comments over on the Marquee Blog?

        August 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  21. Mike

    I used to travel all over USA for a living and pizza was my primary life saver being a vegetarian. I have had pizza in 46 US states. IMHO, my top 4 pizza cities / areas: NYC, Chicago, New Jersey, Palm Beach Gardens, FL (lots of NY/NJ migrants to FL). I am sick and tired of CA pizzas full of squash anf Zuchini and other exotic blends that make the pizza soggy. There is something in the water in NYC/NJ that makes their pizza and bagels taste so good. I love Chicago pizza as much as NYC pizza but NYC pizza has that taste that cannot be found anywhere else. To drill down further, best pizza in NYC is John's Pizza between 7th and 8th avenue, in Theatre district, best in Chicago is Lou Malnati's in Buffalo Grove / Schaumberg and in NJ, some places in Little Italy in Trenton serve great pizza for generations. Palm Beach Gardens / West Palm Beach, FL's best pizza is Grimaldi's / Carmine's coal fired pizza. Enjoy.

    August 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  22. Don Tomas

    Moon River Pizza in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, FL and any Mellow Mushroom in ATL!

    August 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  23. KB

    Everyone knows that the best pizza on the planet is consumed at 2:30 in the morning after a night of drinking beer. And since pizza joints aren't open at that hour, then the best pizza must be Totinos because that's what you get in the freezer at the convenience store

    August 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  24. Matt

    Best pizza in the West, Moose's Tooth in Anchorage, Alaska. Check out the website and if you don't visit this place if you come to Anchorage, you are missing out on some of the best pizza ever.

    http://moosestooth.net/

    Oh, and did I mention, almost 30 local beers on tap, along with growlers for sale of said tap beers.

    August 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Yep. Always a line to get in.

      August 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • pizza snob

      Yes, Moose's Tooth has a very good pizza. I have been all over the U.S. and had some really great pizzas, and Moose's Tooth is in my top 10 definitely.

      August 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Andy

      Only good thing about the Mooses tooth are the brews...the pizza is average at best.

      August 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  25. jay

    Jersey pizza is the best, everyone knows that!

    August 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Rich

      Jay – Agree. My favorite was Sciortino's in Perth Amboy NJ – Original coal-fired "tomato pie" with sweer Sicilian sauce and crumbled Italian sausage. I haven't lived in in NJ for almost 35 years and I can still taste it. Grimaldi's coal fired chain is pretty good for a chain. But it is not Sciortino's.

      August 13, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  26. widow

    I would say when 80% of those who vote say the article is completely a joke you might have to ask the people at trip advisor how their job security looks.

    August 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • sybaris

      99.9% of statistics are wrong

      August 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • SilentBoy741

        72% of them are completely made up anyway.

        August 14, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  27. Tracy

    Lorenzo's on South St in Philly is the best. Slices bigger than your head, with years and years worth of graffiti on the walls from customers. If you can grab one of the stools in the back, sit back and enjoy the parade of customers; if not, you're on South Street... there's alwasy something to see! And, it's open until 4am, so you can soak up all that partying you've done on South Street once the bars close at 2.

    August 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Chris

      Tracy, sorry to bust your bubble, but Lorenzo's burned down last year. They have since reopened, but there is no room in the back anymore. The pizza is still great, though.

      August 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  28. Gary

    I look at it this way: if you are on vacation in lets say San Diego or Vegas, and you come from small town USA as some do, your exposure to pizza has been Domino's, Little Ceasars and that atrocity of the mall, Sbarro's. So now if you sample pizza made in a wood burning over with some decent cheese and sauce not from a can, its going to be be the most amazing pizza you ever had.

    August 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  29. Pee Dub

    I’ve been all over the US and have tried pizza from just about everywhere I've been. The only discussion we need to have is, who in NY has the best pizza??? I am from Queens, NY. On my side of town alone we have the top three in the US. And I’m sure someone from the other side Queens can say the same thing. Lets not forget about Brooklyn, Bronx, and Manhattan. If you have not tried pizza from those places you need to shut the fuck up!!! It’s the BEST!!!!

    August 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Buck

      Absolutely!

      August 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  30. RJ

    The pizza I had was in NYC, but Pagliacci's in Seattle is underrated and creative. Most places outside the west can't add anything original.

    August 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  31. Shawn

    Quad City-style pizza!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quad_City-style_pizza

    August 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • beernpizzalover

      Never knew there was a 'QC-style' – and I grew up there! Franks's is the best, btw. :)

      August 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  32. mattk

    Most of the pizza places in San Diego or Las Vegas are most likely run by people from NY/Chicago or are based off of NY/Chicago pizza.

    Best pizza I ever had I went right to the source, Napoli

    August 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  33. smalltownwhiteboy

    Trip Advisor needs to take a trip to L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn,NY if they want to try the best pizza.

    August 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  34. Daniel Ryan Adler

    Come on! We all know New York has the best pizza! And it's made by this old Italian man:
    http://danielryanadler.com/2011/06/16/the-best-pizza-in-new-york/

    August 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  35. Bagamin

    San Diego, Pizza Port, 'nuff said!

    August 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mpow

      Mmmmmm, pizza port

      August 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  36. SammyZ

    Amazing how 78% of all readers, when asked "Is TripAdvisor's list correct?" they resoundedly said "Are you kidding me??????"

    I'll take that as a clear sign TripAdvisor got it wrong.....really, really wrong.

    August 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  37. francisco cheese

    this list was clearly made by people who hate pizza, so their favorite pizzas are going to be the pizzas that are least like traditional pizza, like the "pizzas" in california

    August 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  38. Bill Boehlke

    Draganetti's in Eau Claire, Wisconsin will hands down beat out all those big city pizzas. There's nothing like a "Drag's Special" pizza and a cold Corona sitting on their outdoor deck. You will have to use all your will power to NOT order a second one.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Been there. Meh. Green Mill is better

      August 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  39. tom1964

    youngstown,ohio-have to have a brier hill pizza-just the way grandma made it.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  40. Nope

    Domino's. Best pizza in the world, and it's available everywhere.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Brooklyn Guy

      Get real!

      August 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Ann

      gross.

      August 15, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  41. Sid Prejean

    Go to Old Forge, PA. Stand in the middle of Main Street. Close your eyes and spin around three times. Point – in any direction.
    You will be pointing at one of the 12 best pizza restaurants in the United States. They're all within 2 blocks of each other.
    If you're eating pizza – any pizza – in California, you have my sympathy.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • DaveE

      North East PA is to pizza what Belgium is to beer. The variety is dizzying. If you can't find a pizza you like in NEPA you're hopeless.
      Angelo's on Hazle St in Wilkes-Barre
      Pizza Perfect in Truckville
      Ruby's in Nanticoke
      Octagon bar in Plymouth for their pagach
      Ravello's in Old Forge

      August 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  42. Mike McDonalds

    You forgot Papa Johns, its by far the best

    August 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • George Bush

      That is ghetto pizza!

      August 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  43. Jim

    You should try Brickhouse Pizza in Richland WA. Hands down the best. On weekends people are lined up to get in.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • beernpizzalover

      Thanks; will have to check that place out the next time I'm in the Tri-Cities.

      August 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  44. AllyB

    New York, Philly, Chicago. Anyone else in the country who makes a decent pizza traces their roots to one of those places. End of discussion.

    August 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  45. Stefani

    Black Thorn Pub and Pizza in St. Louis, MO. The pan pizza with everything... mouth nirvana!

    August 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  46. Michallangelo

    When I eat a delcious,fluffy pizza,it;s like a comforting,warm bosom

    August 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Dick

      Flat-chested wife, right?

      August 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  47. Rob

    Roma's in Boonton, NJ. Hands down. No contest. The absolute tops!

    August 13, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  48. Cindy

    Spinatto's in Phoenix is THE BEST pizza I've EVER had and I've had pizza in Chicago and NY. Hands down you gotta try them if you're in the area!!!!

    August 13, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  49. Tommy the loner

    The thing I find funny about this entire article is that the new benchmark for pizza is the wood fired type. Places like Hartford have been doing this for years. There are probably more wood fired pizza joints in Chicago or NY than 7 of the top ten combined. Chicago NY or NY Chicago everything else you can order them however you want. Chicago deep dish pizza is for the tourists. There are more great thin crust pizza places in Chicago there are deep dish places. Not to leave out NJ, but I think a NY slice speaks for the whole region. Put it this way; you can go to a different pizza place every day for a year and have the best pizza you've ever had in Chicago or NY, and still never scratch the surface. You cant say that about any other city.

    August 13, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Dylan

      "Chicago deep dish pizza is for the tourists."

      Are you insane? I would Lou Malnati's all day, every day if I wasn't sure it'd kill me in a year.

      August 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Tommy the loner

        I love Lou's but all people talk about when talking about Chicago pizza is the deep dish. You can get some of the best thin crust on earth in Chicago.

        August 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • PANDA-ROSE

          The best pizza on the planet is in CHICAGO!
          Hands-down! Any kind you want! Try it – you'll love it!

          August 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  50. Ed G.

    Best thin crust pizza I've ever had was at Kinchley's in Ramsey, NJ.

    August 13, 2013 at 11:23 am |
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