Crazy pizzas from around the country
August 6th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to get our grub on, we listen up.

I just came back from Chicago and when locals there talked about food, guess what they talked about: pizza. I live in New York City and guess where food conversations invariably go: to pizza.

I won’t get involved in debating the top places around the country (although I will always vote for Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona as Number #1). But I am obsessed with all the wacky pizzas that people are calling out now. Are they crazy delicious, or just crazy crazy? You decide.

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
At this very serious new pizza spot in the Bay Area, they have pizza ovens ranging from 1000° coal fired to 550° gas. Likewise, Tony’s offers a range of pizzas. They’ll only sell 73 Margherita pies a day. There seems to be no such limit on the Fear & Loathing pie, which is topped with slow-cooked pork in tamarind and fresh cactus and agave nectar salsa. Likewise the Campari, with pancetta and goat cheese, has another ingredient I’ve never associated with pizza—Campari-blood orange sauce.

Al's Gourmet Pizza, Washington, D.C.
This pizza spot is 14 blocks from the Capitol and reportedly got crazy business during the endless debt-ceiling debates. Who knows what the congressmen were ordering, but their choices include the Triple Cheese Steak Pizza (marinated sirloin steak, crunchy onion rings, mushrooms, cherry peppers) and the Triple Cheese Burger Pizza that you can get with ground beef or sausage—on a whole wheat crust for those in congress looking for a healthier diet.

Ian’s, Chicago
Where to start with the menu at Ian’s, which has branches in Madison, Milwaukee and at Chicago’s Wrigleyville. Their all-time best-selling slice at Wrigleyville is the mac & cheese, made with crème fraiche, mozzarella and Cheddar (yay for Wisconsin, the dairy state). That starts to sound reasonable, when you consider that they offer plain noodles like penne and lasagna as an add-on topping. Or that a recent special was biscuits-and-gravy pizza. Also to note about Ian’s – their Wrigleyville site looks ahead to November 2012 when they’re celebrating the Cubs recent World Series victory.

Mulberry Street Pizza, Manchester, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut, is home to some of the country’s epic pizza places, like Pepe’s. Not far from there is Manchester, home of Mulberry Street Pizza, where they like to employ the names of cult movies, people and places for their pies. The M*A*S*H is a white pizza with ham, jack cheese and mashed potatoes (on top, not in the dough). White Castle is a cheeseburger pizza with lite sauce, meatballs, bacon, lettuce, tomato and ketchup. And the Peter Pan pizza boasts provolone, bacon and, you guessed it, a peanut butter base.

Stevi B's, Georgia
Franchised across the south, and mostly in Georgia, Stevi B’s has a guiding principle: Everything tastes better on top of a Stevi B’s pizza. For the BLT pizza, the garlic-butter-brushed crust is topped with mozzarella, bacon, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and that key BLT ingredient, mayo. Cheeseburger pizza? Check - it’s finished with crisp dill pickles “to create a burger-lovers dream.” Chicken Fajita pizza? Check. Macaroni and Cheese pizza? You know it. It’s when we get to the Loaded Baked Potato pizza that my stomach starts to hurt: creamy ranch sauce on the crust, baked potato on top, Jack and cheddar cheeses covering the whole thing.

More from Food & Wine

Awesome Pizza Recipes

Best Burgers in America

Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.

Phenomenal Burger Recipes

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

Previously – The unsung food heroes of the debt debate

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Pizza

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. aryann123

    Hi... Thanks for this lovely post...please keep up your good work like this....

    December 21, 2012 at 3:53 am |
  2. kcsenecal

    My first job was at Stevi B's. Their pies are pretty good.

    August 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  3. Cionna

    I'd really like to know where people are seeing the words 'best pizza' in this article. The author even says that she won't go debating the best pizza. Read the friggen article before commenting, morons!

    August 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  4. Kevin

    You forgot to mention Portland Pie Company. Second best pizza in the world, after Come Prima in France.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Cionna

      This article isn't about the best pizza, it's about the craziest ones.

      August 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  5. erin

    this article needs pictures.

    August 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  6. Noah

    Link for CT pizzeria should be:

    August 23, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  7. anon

    South Africa has some interesting ones. Bacon and banana. Calamari, tuna, mussels, and shrimp.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  8. ElfOdin

    Re: Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco. 'They’ll only sell 73 Margherita pies a day."? Your editor needs a refresher course in grammar; the correct usage is "sell only". Yes, I'm pedantic. And deep-dish Chicago pizza rules!

    August 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  9. M.J. Eizen

    Whatever happened to real pizza? I mean pizza with a crispy crust, that stands up when you fold it, with cheese and traditional toppings. All of this yuppie stuff seems a little over the top. Guess I am just old-fashioned. Sigghhhhh!

    August 21, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  10. LP

    We often make our own pizza and our favorite combos recently have been:
    pepperoni, pepperoncini and bacon
    thin-sliced pepper ham, pineapple and pepperoncini

    August 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  11. cheesecake chick

    there are too many great pizza joints in Chicago to even list.........mmmm pizzzzzaaaaaaaa

    August 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  12. Fat Lazy American

    How come there is no mention of Pizza Hut in this article?!?

    August 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  13. Nom Nom Nom

    Tons of great pizza in NYC, love Two Boots! I am boring, cheese or 'roni and I am happy

    August 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  14. Bonita

    Try pizza in Asia. They have real interesting applications! Pizza – the pinnacle of mixed ingredients of both melted and unmelted. Harmony is one of God's way of creation, although definitely harmony alone is not the only thing He minds.

    August 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  15. Mark Larezzo

    Real pizza is from new york. period. John's on Bleeker for the best you can find

    August 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Franklinn

      American pizza is bland and textureless. You have to go to Italy to get a real, quality pizza!

      August 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • Adam

        Umm ... the United States is about 3100% the size of Italy. Somehow, I don't think you're correct.

        August 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  16. emt girl

    I know it's a franchise, but, East of Chicago pizza offers it's Peanut Butter & Jelly pizza....always a good choice. Its like a big PB & J on thick warm Texas toast.... MMMM!

    August 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  17. Multi-Tasking @ Work

    super thin crust with anything, well almost

    August 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Ricky Martin

      How about some protein with that thin crust pizza?

      August 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  18. Justin Ahn

    Why is there no Zachary's Pizza in San Francisco (Berkeley and Oakland)????????????????

    August 7, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  19. American Public

    Pictures would have been nice so we can appreciate what you're saying. Words just don't cut it when you're talking about food.

    August 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  20. Dan

    Any of those places make a regular pepperoni pizza, without all that yuppie crap on it?

    August 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  21. wrc3

    What's the pizza in the picture? It looks delicious!

    August 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • AleeDfrom Home Sweet Home

      Looks like a Giordano's Pizza. We can only hope.

      August 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |

        Giordano's is to die for !!! Missouri & Kansas pizza is terrible ! I miss Chicago food :-(

        August 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  22. Iftar of Mohammed

    Do any of these pizzas have pork products or non-Halal ingredients in them? I am observing this year's holy month of the great Ramadan tradition of the world, and it would be sad if any of these pizzas do not adhere to what I can eat once the sun sets. – Mohammed B.

    August 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • someone


      August 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • mama panda

      I hope you can find the halal pizza you're looking for!

      August 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
      • Iftar of Mohammed

        If I can't find it in the Zionist cesspool of America, I will have to go back home to where people know how to cook real foods. Kus Ummak!

        August 7, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Sherelm

      Please, we'll all be happy to buy you a ticket home.

      August 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
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