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.
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.
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Previously – The unsung food heroes of the debt debate
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Hi... Thanks for this lovely post...please keep up your good work like this....
My first job was at Stevi B's. Their pies are pretty good.
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!
You forgot to mention Portland Pie Company. Second best pizza in the world, after Come Prima in France.
This article isn't about the best pizza, it's about the craziest ones.
this article needs pictures.
Link for CT pizzeria should be: http://mulberrystreetnow.com/
South Africa has some interesting ones. Bacon and banana. Calamari, tuna, mussels, and shrimp.
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!
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!
We often make our own pizza and our favorite combos recently have been:
pepperoni, pepperoncini and bacon
thin-sliced pepper ham, pineapple and pepperoncini
there are too many great pizza joints in Chicago to even list.........mmmm pizzzzzaaaaaaaa
How come there is no mention of Pizza Hut in this article?!?
Tons of great pizza in NYC, love Two Boots! I am boring, cheese or 'roni and I am happy
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.
Real pizza is from new york. period. John's on Bleeker for the best you can find
American pizza is bland and textureless. You have to go to Italy to get a real, quality pizza!
Umm ... the United States is about 3100% the size of Italy. Somehow, I don't think you're correct.
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!
super thin crust with anything, well almost
How about some protein with that thin crust pizza?
Why is there no Zachary's Pizza in San Francisco (Berkeley and Oakland)????????????????
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.
Any of those places make a regular pepperoni pizza, without all that yuppie crap on it?
What's the pizza in the picture? It looks delicious!
Looks like a Giordano's Pizza. We can only hope.
Giordano's is to die for !!! Missouri & Kansas pizza is terrible ! I miss Chicago food :-(
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.
I hope you can find the halal pizza you're looking for!
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!
Please, we'll all be happy to buy you a ticket home.
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