50 States of Pizza Slices
What’s really the greatest thing since sliced bread? Pizza, by the slice. Foldable triangles of tomato sauce- and cheese-topped dough was one of the original street foods to be adopted by New Yorkers. Since it’s humble Big Apple beginnings, slices have spread across the country adapting to local flavors, ingredients and styles of dining. From Roman al taglio to classic New York triangles, here are 50 slices to try around the United States.
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Virginia: Wiseguy Pizza
After years of turning failing pizzerias around, Tony Nuri Erol decided to throw out his winning formula to start over from scratch. He traveled to New York, New Jersey and even Italy to explore different methods for pizza preparation. The results of his research can be tasted in the pizza he serves at Wiseguy. It all starts with the water. Before adding it to his dough, Erol filters the local Arlington water to mimic the famous liquid flowing through New York City’s taps. His pizza-making process also entails fermenting and proofing the dough for at least 24 hours. This careful attention to detail also carries over to the ingredient list. To wit, Erol uses hand-pulled mozzarella that is stretched on-site every day. The resulting pizza contains all the qualities of NYC’s best pies: lightly charred slices that are crisp and thin yet still firm enough to fold over.
New Hampshire: Alley Cat
Like kitties to catnip, customers are drawn to the hand-tossed pizzas served at Alley Cat. This Manchester mainstay has consistently ranked as a top pick in local and national publications for its feline-inspired pies. Individual slices come in just two options — plain cheese and pepperoni — but the impeccable thin-crust alone makes them just as worthy of attention as the specialty pies. If you’re game to commit to an entire pie, the most-popular picks include the Aztec Cat with buffalo chicken and blue cheese; the Fat Cat with barbecue chicken and red onion; and the Stray Cat with eggplant and ricotta.
Florida: Steve's Pizza
Frequently referred to as “the sixth borough,” South Florida has all the NYC staples expat New Yorkers need to survive… including pizza by the slice. The Brooklyn-worthy slices at Steve’s are what elevated this neighborhood spot established in 1974 into a North Miami destination. Sweet and tangy tomato sauce accents a simple thin-crust base, which is both crisp on the outside and springy within. While pepperoni is the most-popular pick, the bustling shop offers 22 of the freshest — and best — pizza toppings that can be found south of the Hudson.
Alaska: Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria
Rock climber Rod Hancock and skier Matt Jones spent their university years in Portland, Oregon, at the early heyday of the craft beer scene, scheming and dreaming about how they would break into the biz with a pizza pub. Hancock perfected his pies and Jones geeked out over homebrews before opening Moose's Tooth in Anchorage in 1996. The place is perennially packed, thanks to its selection of house-brewed suds and piping-hot pies. Stop in at lunch to get pizza by the slice. In addition to the standard options like classic cheese, pepperoni or white, there's a rotating daily special. Keep an eye out for the Avalanche, a meaty slice piled with pepperoni, blackened chicken, bacon, red onions, parsley, three different cheeses and barbecue sauce.
South Carolina: Slice Co.
When Todd Lucey and his wife took a trip to Charleston to visit friends in 2015, they fell head over heels for the city’s Southern-tinged charm. About a year later, in a leap of faith, they relocated to Chucktown. When the couple was unable to find slices quite like home in their newly adopted city, Lucey took it upon himself to bring authentic New York pizza down south. On May 5, 2017, he opened Slice Co. inside Workshop, an exploratory food court in North Charleston, then moved the shop to a permanent location along Savannah Highway. He hasn't looked back. The shop sells more pepperoni slices and whole pies than anything else in about a two to one margin, but the square Grandma slice is starting to pick up steam.
The combination of carefully sourced small-lot coffee and meticulously made Italian fare offered by the Starbucks Reserve Princi collaboration is proving to be a siren call of the artisanal sort for Seattle locals. They’ve been flocking to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in droves for famed Italian baker Rocco Princi’s flaky cornetti, freshly baked bread and, of course, his flavorful focaccia pizza. Each one is layered with vibrant housemade pomodoro sauce, then topped with an impeccable array of Italian ingredients like imported mozzarella di bufala, speck, twenty-month-aged prosciutto, Scamorza cheese, roasted eggplant and a rainbow of pepper varieties. These traditional Italian rectangular-shaped pies are served al taglio, literally translating to “by the cut,” so you can indulge in just a slice — or as many variations as you’d like.
Georgia: Fellini's Pizza
The $2.75 slices served at Fellini's have reached Atlanta icon status. Not only are these massive slices affordable, but they're also available until the wee hours of the morning. It has proven to be a winning formula for the cherished New York-style pizzeria, which has grown from one shop in 1982 to a total of six locales throughout A-Town today. Order the local favorite, Fellini's Special. Available by the pie or the slice, the namesake pizza comes loaded with pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, onions, meatballs, green peppers, black olives, green olives and extra cheese.
Kentucky: The Post
This pizzeria and craft brew joint is about as cool as it gets. Opened in 2015, it’s located in a former VFW Post in one of Louisville’s hippest ‘hoods. Renovations have left the space a bit sleeker, but Americana accents throughout pay homage to the building’s past life as a hangout for veterans. The spot is known for its chill atmosphere and elevated bar fare. The menu features a rotating selection of American craft beer, subs, salads and specialty pies. According to owner Nash Neely, the New York-style slices are the “best thing on the menu.” Options include cheese and pepperoni, along with a slice of the day that can range from a typical topping trio of sausage, mushroom and roasted red pepper to unexpected riffs like bacon, giardiniera and pineapple atop a beer cheese base.
Illinois: Pie-Eyed Pizzeria
The family behind Pie-Eyed Pizzeria has combined their love of guitar riffs and great slices at this Chicago River West spot. In addition to the band flyers that adorn the space, their musical inspirations are apparent in the selection of thin-crust and deep-dish pizza that pays homage to heavy metal and rock bands. Their Black Sabbath Pizza and Red Hot Chili Pie have both been featured on local news segments. And one of their best-sellers was dedicated to Gwar when the band headlined Riot Fest. This amped-up take on a typical supreme pizza features hot soppressata, applewood-smoked bacon, Italian sausage, pepperoni, red bell peppers and extra sauce. With slices and pies available until 5 a.m. on weekends, it’s the perfect post-concert stop.
Arkansas: Vino's Brewpub
Known as Little Rock’s first brewpub, Vino’s has been drawing the crowds with its combination of live music shows, house-brewed beers and New York-style pizza since 1993. The mushroom and Italian sausage pizza alone has earned a legion of local fans. This fan favorite features a sturdy yet chewy, foldable crust evenly spread with chopped mushrooms and bits of savory meat. Even specialty pizzas like the Muffaletta are available by the slice, so you can find out what the fuss is about without having to commit to an entire pie. And with no silverware necessary, Vino’s slices are perfect for devouring while getting your dance on.
Louisiana: Pizza Delicious
Native New Yorkers Mike Friedman and Greg Augarten met as undergrads at Tulane University in New Orleans. They loved NOLA and its food culture, but they did have one major concern — they couldn't find pizza like home in their adopted city. The duo decided to take matters into their own hands. Inspired by their favorite slice joints, they started Pizza Delicious as a pop-up pizzeria. It proved to be so popular that they moved the operation into a permanent brick-and-mortar space in 2012. Today, the pair offers housemade pastas and a rotating cast of specialty pizzas (like spicy marinated kale), in addition to their classic cheese, pepperoni and margherita, most of which are available by the slice.
Arizona: Otto Pizza & Pastry
For more than two decades, this family-owned restaurant helmed by Otto Hobeheidar has been churning out impeccable pastas and pizzas in a casual setting. Hobeheidar is a Paris native, but he certainly knows his way around a New York-style slice. Every ten minutes, he pulls a fresh pie out of the oven to be used specifically for slices. Made of house-made dough topped with sweet tomato sauce and high-quality mozzarella cheese, his pies are always piping-hot and glistening with just the right amount of grease. For an extra 59 cents per topping, you can customize your slice with add-ons like spinach, artichokes, feta and meatballs.
Texas: Home Slice Pizza
Foodwise, Austin has it all: mind-blowing tacos, upscale sushi, world class barbecue. Yet the Live Music Capital of the World wasn’t fully onboard with New York-style slices until 2005. That’s the year New York University college roommates Terri Hannifin Buis and Jen Strickland converted Austin’s masses with their spin on the slice. Along with Jen’s husband Joseph, the team brought enormous, foldable slices to Congress Avenue. These crisp triangles are served on plain paper plates, which adds to the air of New York authenticity. Every day, guests can pick from regular cheese, pepperoni, margherita and up to four other specialty slices, ranging from crispy eggplant pie (a lesser known Big Apple staple) to New Haven-inspired white clam.
California: The Cheese Board Collective
Shortly after this cheese shop and bakery opened its doors in 1967, workers began combining dough and cheese for their own lunches. Customers noticed and wanted in on the action, so the shop began making and serving unique vegetarian pizzas on sourdough crust. The pizza option changes daily, but they have come up with about 60 different variations so far, many of which have been a celebration of California cuisine. Fan favorites have included heirloom tomato with Montalban cheese; fresh corn with pasilla chile and feta; peach and blue cheese; and wild mushrooms with French chevre. With its impeccable selection of pizzas, cheeses and baked goods, it’s no wonder that this worker-owned collective has long been considered a cornerstone of Berkeley’s artisan-focused Gourmet Ghetto area.
Tennessee: Five Points Pizza
David and Tara Tierman quit their day jobs in 2011 to follow their bliss: pizza. Now recovering attorneys, the couple teamed up with their lifelong friend (and experienced restaurateur) Tanner Jacobs to bring New York-style pies to East Nashville’s hip Five Points neighborhood. The trio traverse familiar terrain with straightforward classics like the ever-popular pepperoni slice, but also veer into gourmet territory with the likes of hot capicola and spicy habanero cream sauce. No matter your pick, the pies are big, slices are huge and the ingredients are always fresh. The place has been such a hit, the team is opening second location to keep up with demand.
Michigan: The Original Buscemi's
What started as a party supply store and sub shop in 1956 has morphed into one of Metro Detroit's longest-running pizzerias. Located on the outskirts of Motor City in Eastpointe, The Original Buscemi's is one of the few local spots that offers slices of Detroit's famous thick-crusted square pizza made in the traditional style of cheese first, then sauce. It all starts with fresh dough that's made daily. The dough is blanketed with a thick layer of 100% real mozzarella Grande cheese, then slathered with homemade tomato sauce made from vine-ripened California tomatoes. Many of the pizzas are also finished with a flurry of dry-aged pepperoni. Once ready, the pizza is cooked until the crust turns golden and chewy and the cheese begins bubbling down the sides.
Colorado: Boss Lady Pizza
Set right on Boulder's University Hill, this creative pizzeria is a favorite late-night haunt for local students. The pizzas themselves seem as though they've sprung from a late-night hallucination. Thin, New York-style crusts come adorned with such unusual options as macaroni noodles, tater tots, alfredo and the shop's signature chipotle ranch Bossy Sauce. The spot offers a dizzying selection of about 50 different specialty pies, which are all available by the slice. One standout is the MoFo Hawaiian, a barbecue sauce base coated with Grande mozzarella cheese, red onion, ham, pineapple, bacon, asiago and parsley.
Connecticut: Da Legna Pizzeria
New Haven may be known as one of America’s preeminent pizza cities, hailed for its white clam pies and thin, chewy crusts. It is not, however, a slice town. If you want to get in on the New Haven pizza action, you’ve usually got to commit to an entire pie. Fortunately, Da Legna fills the void of individual cuts by offering slices on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during lunch. Chef Daniel Parillo opened this wood-fired place in 2012. The son of Italian immigrants who grew up in Connecticut, Parillo has found a way to bring together the tastes of these two worlds via his pizza. The New Haven-meets-Neapolitan pies come adorned with local (whenever possible) and imported ingredients like San Daniele cured meats, San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.
Delaware: Café SíTALY
In the United States, most purveyors of pizza by the slice focus on New York City-style pies. Café SíTALY’s Alessandro Spenato does sell those foldable thin-crust slices, but his real infatuation is old-fashioned crispino. In Italy, home cooks who do not have access to a brick oven or pizza stone cook rectangular dough in a pan. In the Big Apple, that thin and crispy square, which looks kind of like Sicilian but without the thick bready base, is known as Grandma-style. “We may not be the only ones to make this unique style of pizza outside of a home kitchen or the streets of Brooklyn,” says Spennato. “I can assure you that ours is the best.” And yes, customers can sample a slice.
Hawaii: JJ Dolan's
When Danny Dolan and JJ Niebuhr decided to open a restaurant in Honolulu, they knew they wanted to keep it simple. The premise for their place? Pizza and beer in a relaxing, clean environment. They realized their idea with JJ Dolan’s. The place quickly became a neighborhood favorite, serving craft brews and East Coast-style pies inspired by Niebuhr’s Jersey City roots. The menu features classics like Margherita, Jersey white, and spinach and garlic. Combine any two styles in one pie with the half-and-half pizza. Don’t want a whole pie? Stick with the Cheese or Classic Pepperoni, which are available by the slice.
Idaho: Piehole Pizza
Owner Russ Crawforth's inspiration for Piehole came during a trip to San Francisco in 2005. When he stumbled across the 3 a.m. crowds at Pizza Orgasmica, he saw a line stretched all the way down the block. Instantly, Crawforth knew he had to create the kind of pizza that would inspire that same late-night enthusiasm in his hometown of Boise, Idaho. Open all day and into the early hours of the morning, Piehole offers a solid selection of pizza. Classic slices like cheese and pepperoni share the menu with creative combos like basil-roasted bell pepper and potato-bacon (pictured above). Crawforth also keeps it fresh with a rotating slice of the day.
In 1990, D’Bronx established itself as a New York-style slice shop serving busy employees and med students at nearby University of Kansas Medical Center. The from-scratch pies proved to be so popular that the operation has since expanded to three more locations in the Kansas City metro area. East Coast deli items like brisket and corned beef are part of D’Bronx’s draw, but pizza accounts for more than half of the restaurant’s sales. A fan favorite is the shop’s namesake D’Bronx Special, a thin-crust pizza topped with spicy pepperoni, Italian sausage, meatballs, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, onions, natural ripe olives and green peppers. It’s available by the slice or as a pie.
Iowa: Mesa Pizza
When owner Luis Hernandez founded this Iowa City shop in 2006, his goal was to offer customers pizza combos they wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. He has realized his plan with a unique selection that includes such pairings as steak and guacamole with Southwest sauce and cheddar cheese. The pizzeria offers more than 100 different types of slices to customers at any given time. While there are plenty of picks, the most-popular selections tend to be chicken-centric: Barbecue Chicken Bacon Ranch, Buffalo Chicken and Thai Chicken. Oh, and mac lovers, don't miss out on the Macaroni and Cheese.
Maine: Otto Pizza
Hailed for its perfectly thin and crisp crusts cooked in a 650-degree oven, Otto consistently ranks as one of the best pizza places in Maine. Every slice at Otto comes stacked with high-quality ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible. Basic pepperoni is the most-popular pick, followed by The Masher. Inspired by the tastes of a traditional dinner side, this slice features a mix of mashed potato, bacon and scallions. The combination of superb crusts and stellar toppings has earned Otto much success. Since opening on Portland's hip Congress Street in 2009, owners Mike Keon and Anthony Allen have expanded their operation to an additional five locations in the Pine Tree State, as well as another half dozen spots in neighboring Massachusetts.
Maryland: Mario's Original Pizza & Pasta
Two words: tortellini pizza. This Baltimore spot takes the concept of mac ‘n’ cheese pie to the next level by topping cheese pizza with tri-colored tortellini. That creative combo has proven to be the most-popular pick at this cheery counter-serve space. A close second is the Meat Lovers option loaded with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon and ground beef. Mario’s has mastered the art of a crisp browned crust slathered in a bright sauce, which means you’ll have a stellar slice even if you strip away all the rich toppings. Both the pepperoni and cheese options may well be this spot’s sleeper hits.
Minnesota: Hello Pizza
The inspiration for this Minneapolis slice shop started flickering to life during meals on a shabby couch in New York City. It was there that then-student Ann Kim scarfed down many a slice, which in turn sparked the passion for New York-style pizza that inspired her second restaurant endeavor. In 2013, Chef Kim debuted her ode to the pizza of the Big Apple with the opening of Hello Pizza in the Mini Apple. The shop stands out for its careful attention to the craft, ingredients and, most importantly, grease that have come to define the quintessential New York slice. The menu features a mix of salads, meatball subs and pizza, of course. Sicilian-style and thin-crust pies can be customized with a slew of toppings, which include Berkshire bacon, Kalamata olives and organic spinach. Prefer to leave the combinations to the pros? Opt for a specialty pie like the top-selling Hello Trinity, which blends sweet red sauce with whole milk mozzarella, house-made fennel sausage, natural casing pepperoni and cremini mushrooms on a dense, chewy crust.
Massachusetts: Antonio's Pizza By The Slice
A kaleidoscope of colorfully topped slices beckons from the glass-front case at this beloved slice shop. Long a favorite of university students from the Five College Area, this pizzeria lures the crowds with its multi-page menu of specialty pies sold by the slice. Antonio's features more than a dozen vegetarian combinations alone, with choices that include a classic mozzarella option simply topped with basil and tomatoes, a Florentine slice festooned with spinach and feta cheese, and a quesadilla-inspired creation heaped with avocado slices and nacho chips. The rest of the extensive menu is divided into categories that include meat, pesto, chicken and salad.
Montana: Tarantino's Pizza
At Tarantino’s Pizza, you better grab that slice when you see it. All four locales turn out a varied selection of pizzas that switch up throughout the day, so once a pie has been devoured, a totally different option will take its place in the display case. Sought-after combos include the Blanca strewn with chicken, bacon, garlic, a mozzarella-white cheddar mix and a signature sauce composed of Alfredo and Caesar dressing. Prefer a spicier option? Keep an eye out for the Red Hot topped with fiery hot chicken, green peppers, onions and plenty of the hot sauce that inspired its name. These one-of-a-kind pies are what’s helped this local company grow from one locale to four over the past 14 years.
Mississippi: Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint
When Chef Daniel Blumenthal and Jeff Good opened Sal & Mookie’s in 2007, they brought the City of Jackson something it was sorely missing: authentic New York City pizza. These pies aren’t just good for Mississippi — they’re just damn good, period. The team put a painstaking amount of research into their pizza recipe, coming up with a key list of ingredients (King Arthur flour, whole milk mozzarella and imported Italian tomatoes) and just the right ratio of dough to sauce to cheese. Every pie is cooked in a brick-lined, gas-fired oven to ensure a crust that’s both chewy and crisp. Pro tip: Stop in for the lunchtime slice special and don’t leave without a scoop from the full-sized ice cream parlor in the middle of the restaurant.
Missouri: Waldo Pizza
What’s better than a slice? All the slices! That’s what you’ll find at this Kansas City spot, which offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet stocked with salads, pastas and multiple types of pizza from 11am to 2 pm daily. It’s one of the few places in Missouri where guests can sample St. Louis-style ‘za by the slice. The city’s signature pies are characterized by their paper-thin crusts and Provel cheese, a processed blend of Swiss, cheddar and provolone. At Waldo Pizza, they add whole milk mozzarella and muenster to the mix.
Nebraska: Yia Yia's Pizza and Beer
Talk about groundbreaking: When Yia Yia’s opened its doors in 1993, it was Lincoln’s first pizzeria to offer thin-crust by the slice. The place continues to draw the crowds with its customizable pies that can be tweaked with different toppings, cheeses and sauces to suit each customer’s preference. Pretty much every kind of pie on the menu is available by the slice, even the specialty pizzas like The Local. This popular pick comes loaded with a meat-lovers’ combo of bacon, hamburger, pepperoni and sausage, along with mushroom, bell pepper and onion, all piled atop a marinara and mozzarella base. Once you choose your slice, don’t sleep on the impeccable beer selection that favors craft brews. There are more than 350 bottled beer options available, along with an ever-changing array of drafts.
New York: L&B Spumoni Gardens
New Yorkers can find a great slice on nearly every corner. But many still make the trek to this Brooklyn institution that’s been in existence for more than 70 years. Located in the borough’s Bensonhurst neighborhood, this local landmark is composed of an ice cream parlor, red sauce restaurant and pizzeria. And it’s the pizzeria’s World Famous L&B Sicilian slice that has arguably elevated this place into a pizza-lovers’ destination. This slice sets itself apart with an upside-down composition. The cheese is sprinkled right on top of the dough, which is then layered with a sweet tomato sauce and finished with a flurry of salty Parmesan flakes on top. When it’s pulled out the oven, the thick crust is lightly browned around the edges with a springy center. It’s certainly not your typical New York slice — but fans swear it’s better.
Nevada: Slice House by Tony Gemignani
A 12-time World Pizza Champion, Tony Gemignani has mastered the art of the pie. He’s hailed for his classic American, Italian, Sicilian and Neapolitan pizzas, all of which can be sampled by the slice at this casual offshoot of his acclaimed sit-down restaurant Pizza Rock. Slice House offers a number of standout options — among them are the classic square Grandma slice covered in cheese and tomato; the Picante loaded with spicy meat, pepper and Cholula sauce; and the savory Purple Potato accented with bacon, mozzarella, feta, rosemary and a pesto swirl.
New Jersey: Dominick’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
While New York City gets all the pizza cred, New Jersey’s pizzaiolos can stand up to the best of the Big Apple contenders. And set yourself apart in the Garden State, you’ve gotta know your dough. Peter and Sal Lombardo, owners of Dominick’s, certainly do. They learned the trade in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn — basically the pizza mecca of the United States — before opening up shop in Jersey. Their pizzeria is now known as the oldest one in Sussex County. The duo sell a fantastic Brooklyn pizza that’s a bit on the spicy side, as well as the rare New York-style Palermo square pie with marinara, red onions, herbs and spices.
New Mexico: Back Road Pizza
Taste a thin-crust pizza at this neighborhood restaurant and you may detect a tinge of Santa Fe’s signature flavors, from the flour crusts rolled in cornmeal to the locally-sourced ingredients that adorn many of the slices and pies. Topping choices include New Mexico green chiles, as well as beef and pork sourced from ranchers in the region. And the spot’s sauces, dressings and signature dough are all made in-house. The pizza dough alone has won this place a legion of local followers, as well as featured media spots that include an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
North Carolina: Pie Pushers
Pie Pushers has been pushing pies on Durham locals since 2011. Owners Becky and Mike Hacker combine their respective Midwestern and New England roots with a bit of regional flair. Their specialty pies, available by the slice, bring local produce and meats together with artisanal ingredients from across the country. For instance, their 1243 pie features a mix of salami with pistachios, bell peppers, caramelized red onions, smoked gouda and mozzarella with tomato sauce on a hand-tossed New England-style crust. A standout from the start, this pizza operation began as a food truck before branching into a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and later, a pizza concession stand in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
North Dakota: Spicy Pie
New York-style pies on the Midwest prairie is what you’ll find at this North Dakota fixture that’s a favorite of locals. When Spicy Pie’s first shop opened in Downtown Fargo in 2010, it filled the need for pizza by the slice in the steadily growing city. Today, the operation has six locations across the state. Unlike many pizzerias that only offer basic options by the slice (like simple cheese or pepperoni), this place features an extensive selection that can be customized with any toppings from the menu. All their specialty pies are also available by the slice, including the Margherita, The Carnivore and the Chicken Bacon Ranch. There’s more to the menu than just pizza, but the jumbo, foldable slices and 18-inch pies are definitely the all-stars.
Oklahoma: Empire Slice House
You know you’re doing something right when locals tattoo themselves with your logo. This OKC slice shop has such an intense following that more than 65 fans have gotten inked with Empire Slice House “E” tattoos. Around six different slice options are available daily at this ‘90s hip-hop themed restaurant, which also offers whole pies. The slice selection rotates regularly. One day, it might be the Ghostface Killah with searing ghost chili marinara, pepperoni and poblano sprinkled with barbecue chips. Another day, it could be the Spuds MacKenzie, a retro blend of Cheez Whiz (yes, Cheez Whiz), roasted potato, bacon, jalapenos and cheddar topped with scallions and sour cream.
Oregon: Sizzle Pie
Sizzle Pie was founded in 2011 by two friends from the music and art community who both have a passion for pizza. The place readily embraces all the things the Michael "Mikey" McKennedy and Matt Jacobson have loved since they were kids: rock ‘n’ roll, rad art and that pizza party spirit. With a belief that pizza is for everyone, this East Coast-meets-West Coast pizzeria serves slices and pies in a wide array of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Popular slices range from the salami, ricotta and pepperoncini-laden Ol’ Dirty to the vegan Spiral Tap with house-made creamy caramelized onion spread, red sauce and cheesy-tasting nutritional yeast.
Pennsylvania: Primanti Bros.
Primanti Bros. is arguably Pittsburgh’s most famous dining establishment. Founded in 1933, this 24-hour spot has long drawn hungry hoards at all hours of the day and night for its massive sandwiches piled high with French fries and cradled on soft Italian bread. While the original Strip District location sticks to its storied sandwiches, the newly franchised company offers pizza at many of its more recently opened locations. The Waterfront store offers its perfectly greasy thin-crust slices for just $1.50 during both weekday lunch and happy hour. Those crisp, al dente slices are covered with tangy tomato sauce and cheese, then topped with traditional accoutrements such as sausage, pepperoni, anchovies or mushrooms.
Rhode Island: The Pizza Gourmet
Following the ethos of the Providence grilled pizza tradition, this modest counter-serve restaurant cooks its pies over oak and maple hardwood at 1800 degrees. Doing so gives its crisp crusts that signature char and infuses its gourmet toppings with the subtle scent of a smoky campfire. Pies feature classic but rare flavor combinations in picks like the Fig Prosciutto with paper-thin shreds of Italian ham, fig puree, crumbled gorgonzola and arugula with a balsamic drizzle. It’s sweet and savory with some nice funk; definitely worth a try. But, here, even the simple margherita is truly sublime.
Wisconsin: Ian's Pizza on State
Mac ‘n Cheese, tater tots, smoked brisket: the toppings at this Wisconsin pizzeria sound like they were dreamt up at a late-night party in a college dorm. Whether they were or not, we can’t say for sure. But we do know that you’ll probably find plenty of colorful biodegradable Ian’s boxes in dorm bins on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The place serves more than a dozen quirky specialty pies, all of which are sold in 12-, 16- and 20-inch pies, as well as by the slice. That’s what makes it a favorite among local students at University of Wisconsin-Madison, who scarf down comforting creations like the signature Mac ‘n Cheese slice or the Drunken Ravioli, which combines vodka sauce, Mozzarella, Asiago, and yes, actual cheese ravioli.
South Dakota: R-Pizza
Back when it opened its doors in 1968, R-Pizza was the first ever pizzeria to hit Vermillion, South Dakota. Fifty years in, the place is still going strong. It is the late-night haunt for local college kids looking to refuel — or soak up the booze — with a slice of pepperoni after a night out at the bars. Individual slabs are only available on weekend evenings, but the place is worthy of a visit any time of day. Everything is made from scratch. The dough is mixed on the premises and cooks shred their own cheese. Plus, they try to use as many local and organic ingredients as South Dakota’s growing season will allow.
Vermont: Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza
This mini-chain of pizzerias has been steadily spreading the gospel of the New York-style slice throughout the New England region, with locations in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Ramunto’s pies are cooked in a brick oven to give the crust that distinctive crisp bottom and springy bite. Each one is topped with whole-milk mozzarella — no cheddar or fillers in sight. And unlike most other Vermont pizzerias, Ramunto’s offers multiple options by the slice. Pepperoni is the top-selling pick, but those in the know opt for a slice of the signature garlic knot pizza. Creamy mozzarella balances out a bright mix of tomato sauce, minced garlic, fresh sliced tomato and fresh basil leaves ringed by a circle of garlic knots perched along the edge of the crust.
West Virginia: Pies and Pints
This mini-chain with the clever name focuses on two things: pizza and beer. It clearly was ahead of its time when it debuted in Fayetteville in 2003, offering creative toppings and a near-encyclopedic selection of craft brews (seriously, they even put together a guide of beer styles to help customers navigate the menu). The concept proved to be so popular that Pies and Pints now has 13 locations spread across five states. Most of the pizza options are only available as whole pies, but both cheese and pepperoni can be ordered as single slices on weekdays until 2 pm, along with a daily special that rotates regularly. Pro tip: Stop in on Fridays for a grape and gorgonzola slice.
Wyoming: Pinky G’s Pizzeria
Tourists and locals alike pack into Pinky G’s for a taste of the one-of-a-kind pizza that the Jackson Hole joint has been serving since 2011. You can even score the same popular options that Guy Fieri sampled when the restaurant appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Want to follow Guy’s lead? Opt for the Funky Chicken (a panini-like combination of marinated chicken breasts, ricotta, red onions, artichoke hearts and mozzarella smothered in basil pesto) or the Ferris Bueller-inspired Abe Froman Pizza that pairs spicy sausage fit for the original Sausage King of Chicago with buffalo mozzarella and fresh chopped basil.
Utah: The Pie Pizzeria
A true local’s secret, this subterranean restaurant is hidden beneath the University Pharmacy, just steps away from the University of Utah. You pretty much need to know exactly where to look if you hope to find the gateway to some great slices — The Pie only has one sign hidden behind a wall on South 1320 East. But the hunt is worth it. Since 1980, the spot has been turning out pizzas made from hand-tossed dough dressed up with innovative flavor combinations. To wit, the Wise Guy is layered with cream cheese, fresh spinach, artichokes, chicken breast, mozzarella and tangy marina, then baked and topped with even more tomatoes, fresh-cut basil and a drizzle of sweet Balsamic reduction. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to score it as a slice of the day (this special option switches up daily).
Alabama: Tortugas Homemade Pizza
Pizza is a shared passion for the Vizcaino family. Carlos and Carol met while working at a pizza joint in Chicago back in the 1980s. They married, started a family and then relocated to Birmingham with a plan to introduce the Windy City's stuffed pizza to the Magic City. The Vizcainos realized their dream with Tortugas, which has become the go-to pizzeria for decadent slices in Birmingham since opening in 1999. Their hand-tossed pizza is so in demand that the couple's son, Matt, opened a second locale in 2017. Both spots offer thin-crust slices, but if it's an authentic taste of Chicago you're after, opt for stuffed (local Chi-Town transplants say these pies are as close to home as it gets). A popular pick at both places is the carne special, a stuffed slice packed with Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and bacon.
There’s no need to order a second piece at this inventive pizzeria: it sells one-pound slices cut from 32-inch pies. And each giant slab can be customized with whatever you want. Add on fried egg, stuffed banana peppers, Spanish chorizo and Danish blue cheese. Or stick with a specialty pies featuring fresh dough made from scratch daily. The spot is known for its eccentric flavor combinations like lemon rosemary chicken (garlic potato, Pecorino, mozzarella, roasted tomato, feta, red pepper flakes, olive oil and a hint of lemon zest) and mixed mushroom topped with goat cheese, thyme, garlic, caramelized onion, balsamic reduction, Pecorino, mozzarella and an umami-laden drizzle of white truffle oil.
Indiana: Giorgio's Pizza
This New York-style pizzeria looks like it has been teleported straight from Brooklyn to Downtown Indy. Founded by Neapolitan immigrant Giorgio Migliaccio in 1990, this no-nonsense shop offers a small but mighty selection of pastas, salads and subs. The real draw, though, is the pizza by the slice. Though Migliaccio's selection includes a couple of stuffed options (meat and vegetarian), the most-popular styles are the simple thin-crust New York Neapolitan and the fluffy Sicilian squares. Both are offered with plain cheese and sauce, as well as a choice of up to three straightforward toppings. For those who donât want to ruminate on ingredient combinations, Migliaccio serves thin-crust slices in ready-to-go options like Margherita, Eggplant and Chicken & Spinach.