We never set out to become pizza experts. But once we’d eaten at 50 different pizzerias, we found that we were developing some serious Pizza Discernment.
Then we ate 50 more pizzas and got even savvier. Here’s the best of what we’ve learned.
- Order a pizza with onions and green peppers (except if it’s a specialty pizza place that discourages deviations from their concoctions).
- Choose the style for which the pizza place is famous: deep dish, thin crust, Neapolitan, Quad Cities style, Detroit style, New York style…
Our pizza truths:
- There is no bad pizza.
- Sometimes the best pizza comes from a hole-in-the-wall place.
Our pizza revelations:
- Our favorite pizzas have zingy sauce, salty cheese, crust that tastes good all on its own, and a nice balance of ingredients.
- If the sauce isn’t zingy, the pizza might be good but will never be great.
- If the pizza’s not great, adding more cheese will make it worse, not better.
- It’s easier for a pizza to stand out if it’s deep dish or very thin crust.
- We have a weakness for deep dish.
Our top 10 pizzas…
First, our undisputed top 2:
Morton Grove, IL
Why it’s great: That caramelized crust!
Why it’s great: The best thin crust on the planet. Razor-thin toppings, zingy sauce, crispy crust
And the other 8, in alphabetical order:
Morton Grove, IL
Why it’s great: Zingy sauce, crispy crust
Why it’s great: That cornmeal crust…
(We forgot to take a photo!)
Why it’s great: All those flavors and that perfect crust
Rock Island, IL
Quad Cities style
Why it’s great: The sweetness of the malty crust, and the zing of the sauce
Why it’s great: Zingy sauce and nicely balanced
Why it’s great: Full-featured deep dish that impressed us even after we’d tested more than 75 pizzas
Why it’s great: Zingy tomatoes on the top, and the crust is always a treat
(We’ve eaten Lou’s so often, we never thought to photograph it. We’re kind of appalled at this discovery.)
St. Louis, MO
Why it’s great: A zingy, perfectly balanced deep dish pizza with delectable crust
Up next week: pizzas ranked 11-20. Because there really are that many great pizzas.
Our fellow pizza lovers… where would you send us next?