On the Road Eats: Stars' Favorite Pizza Restaurants
Whether you prefer cracker-thin crusts or the gooiest deep dish, here are some saucy favorites, as seen on Food Network.
Photo By: Jason Little Photography
Photo By: Jason Little
Photo By: Thomas McGovern
Photo By: Jason Little Photography
Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
There’s no denying pizza’s wide appeal — with its crispy-chewy crust, melty cheese and sky’s-the-limit-toppings — but when it comes to picking favorites, loyalties run deep and opinions are fiercely defended. Whether the pie hails from a pizza capital like Chicago or an up-and-coming pie-loving town, Food Network stars have strong opinions. Click through for the pies that have won the hearts (and stomachs) of these expert tasters.
The Original Vito & Nick's Pizzeria, Chicago
Chicago may be known for its deep-dish pies, but this Chicago spot goes in the opposite direction, with wafer-thin pies. Since 1946, the family-owned Original Vito & Nick's Pizzeria has served queue-worthy pies, including an egg-topped breakfast pizza. Though he tried to hide the eggs below pepperoni before the pie was fired, Guy quickly became a convert on Triple D. “If you’re not a big egg fan, the only way to eat eggs is to say ‘I want it on a pizza with thin crust from Vito and Nick’s, covered in fried pepperoni,’” Guy said. He was so smitten he included the pizzeria in his Best of Pizza special.
Sotto, Los Angeles
The restaurant built its pizza oven using 16,000 pounds of imported materials from Naples, via the Panama Canal. On Best. Ever., Alex Guarnaschelli, who misses New York pies when she’s in California, hailed the creative gourmet topping combinations at Sotto that she says take pizza “to a whole other level in LA.” Her favorite, most-gourmet pizza, is the Guanciale, which includes scallions and fennel pollen in addition to the smoky cured pork and the ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses and is fired for one minute to reach charred perfection in that immaculately crafted oven. “If I close my eyes and take a bite of this pizza, I almost think I’m in New York,” Alex enthused.
Photo courtesy of Sotto, by Mary Costa
Go to: Sotto
Photo courtesy of Steve Legato
Go to: Osteria
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, Connecticut
The competition is fierce when it comes to New Haven pizza, but it’s the White Clam Pie that earned Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana — serving thin-crust pies for more than 90 years — a spot on Top 5 Restaurants. Clams (hauled straight from the Long Island Sound) originally appeared on the menu “on the half shell,” but by the 1950s, owner Frank Pepe had started using them as a pizza topping. The proprietary thin-crust dough is topped with littleneck clams — on Top 5 Restaurants, Sunny Anderson marveled at the 700 pounds of bivalves hand-shucked daily — minced garlic, imported Pecorino Romano and Italian extra virgin olive oil, and dried oregano, then cooked to crisp, lightly charred perfection in a 600-degree coal-fired oven.
Little Dom's, Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Little Dom's
Go to: Little Dom's
Though you may need a knife and fork to dive into this classic Chicago-style deep dish, on Best. Ever., Jeff Mauro called this “the most-comforting pizza one can imagine.” The classic well-sauced deep-dish cheese pie is Jeff’s pick. It’s cooked in a seasoned cast-iron pan that’s sprinkled with cheese to give the crust extra texture. “The thing that separates Pequod’s from everybody else is that caramelized lacy crust of cheese around the perimeter,” Jeff explained. “It’s magical. It’s the only pizza that I eat from the crust to the point.”
Go to: Pequod's Pizza
Via 313, Austin
Go to: Via 313
Max Brenner, New York
Photo courtesy of Max Brenner
Go to: Max Brenner
Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co., Chicago
Chopped judge Marc Murphy had never heard of a pizza pot pie, but his first bite of the one at this Lincoln Park spot convinced him it deserved the title The Best Thing I Ever Ate. “This is one of the weirdest and tastiest things I’ve ever had,” he exclaimed. Now a Facebook sensation, the pie layers cheese and a special sauce inside a fluffy Sicilian crust. Flip the behemoth over to unveil the gooey filling, then dig in. “It’s a pizza party,” Marc assures us.
Pizzeria Lola, Minneapolis
Go to: Pizzeria Lola
Prova Pizza, Los Angeles
Go to: Prova Pizzeria
Joe Squared Pizza, Baltimore
Go to: Joe Squared Pizza
Serious Pie, Seattle
Go to: Serious Pie
Gino's East of Chicago, Chicago
Go to: Gino's East of Chicago