Food & Wine has rated the ten best pizza states across the country, and it may come to your surprise that New York isn’t at number one. They ranked New Jersey as number one, Connecticut surprisingly came in second and the Empire State took third place. Senior editor David Landsel wrote of New York, “Long before the pandemic, New York’s aggressive self-belief in its own pizza had started to seem a little dated.”
Landsel, a native New Yorker himself, compiled the list with only a “certain amount of collaboration” from Food & Wine’s other editors. He said New York’s “overwhelming availability of a decent-to-exceptional” slices set the state “well apart from the rest.” However, he argues that some of the most recognizable names in New York pizza have become “undependable.”
Landsel declared that pizza is “about what is familiar and grounding. This raises an important point—technique alone doesn’t make a pizza essential to its community, or this list.”
New Jersey, meanwhile, is currently the best “pizza state” in the country, according to the Food & Wine editor, who made special note of Jersey City’s Razza and Bread & Salt restaurants, for their “glorious showcase” of pizza. Landsel said, “the state is one in an elite group remaining true to their heritage, through long periods of time when others were too busy crashing ahead into the future to care about theirs.”
He says Connecticut’s “concentrated pool” of pizza-making talent in New Haven has been one of America’s “most important pizza cities for as long as there has been pizza in America.” He noted coal-fired establishments as Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza.
Chicago’s signature deep-dish pizzas earned the number four spot with Illinois, including their thin-crust varieties. Followed by Michigan in fifth, the home of thick, square Detroit-style pies.
California came in sixth, with Pennsylvania seventh, Massachusetts eighth, Ohio ninth, and Missouri rounding out the top ten list of best “pizza states.”
The rest of the county was included to finish the list off with Food & Wine‘s editors’ assessment of the best pizza options for those who don’t mind eating lower-rated pizzas.