Pizza is as American as hot dogs, apple pie and ... pizza. We took an Italian classic and did what we always do in America. We made it better! Chicago style, New York style, deep dish, thin crust, stuffed crust, with-or-without tomato sauce, we do it all. Someone even came up with a sweet potato and kale pizza, which, frankly, might qualify as a food crime. But maybe it's delicious! It's pizza!!
According to PMQ Pizza Magazine (you knew there had to be a pizza magazine), there are over 73,000 pizzerias in the country. More than half are independent, mom-and-pop operations. Global food consultant CHD says the "away-from-home" pizza market is worth $46 billion a year, consuming nearly 10 percent of the restaurant food market pie.
Which pizza has the most pizzazz? The Daily Meal brought together a diverse panel of pizza experts—dream job! — tasting 800 different nominated pizzas. Here are the top five.
#5 - THE TOMATO PIE AT SALLY'S APIZZA IN NEW HAVEN, CONN.
"Sally's Apizza is New Haven royalty," the Daily Meal judges wrote of the Connecticut pizzeria which opened almost 80 years ago. The judge's favorite is the Tomato Pie: tomato sauce and no cheese. Keep it simple! If you want to trek here on a pizza pilgrimage, be prepared. "Cash only, and no reservations."
#4 - THE SQUASH BLOSSOM PIZZA AT PIZZERIA MOZZA IN HOLLYWOOD
Squash blossoms on a pizza? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Pizzeria Mozza in La-La land is a collaboration of James Beard-winning chef Nancy Silverton and celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. The Daily Meal calls it a "hot spot where the famous clientele pales in comparison to the innovative, creative fare." The winning pizza costs $23 and is topped with squash blossoms, tomatoes, tomato sauce and burrata mozzarella, "a delicious and simple pizza that transports through the quality and nuance of its ingredients." In other words, it may be different, but it tastes really good.