🏆 What's the best city for pizza in the U.S.? 🏆
For the second year in a row, Detroit is the country's best city for pizza. The Motor City's passion for pizza and affordable prices make it the pizza capital of the U.S.
Ranking 50 Pizza Cities | Americans' Favorite Pizza Cities | Top 15 Cities for Pizza | Honorable Mentions | Rankings by Category | 10 Worst Pizza Cities | Methodology | FAQ
Americans have a rich tradition of incorporating cuisines from different countries into their shared identity. It's easy to find examples of originally foreign foods — such as pasta, sushi, and tacos — that have turned into U.S. favorites.
But one entree stands alone as the most widely appreciated adaptation — pizza. And why shouldn't Americans cherish pizza? They like bread. They like cheese. They like red sauce under their mozzarella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.
What Americans don't like, however, is hearing that restaurants in a neighboring city or state make better pizza than their local spots. But honor, like pizza, is forged in fire.
In that spirit, we have once again set out to determine the best pizza cities in the U.S. We reviewed restaurant data, geographical data, and surveyed 1,000 Americans to get their hottest takes on pizza.
In all, we used multiple metrics, weighted in the following manner:
- 4x: Pizza reputation (survey of 1,000 Americans)
- 4x: Online search activity for 25 pizza-related terms ("pizza passion")
- 2x: Average price of a large cheese pizza
- 1x: Average price of a large pepperoni pizza
- 1x: Average Yelp rating for pizza restaurants
- 1x: Rate of pizza restaurants per 100,000 residents
Here's what we cooked up.
🍕 Key Stats: Best Pizza Cities
The 50 Best Pizza Cities, Ranked
The map below lays out the landscape of pizza in the U.S. Anyone considering a pizza-themed road trip would be wise to prioritize the states bordering Lake Erie — also known as the Crust Belt.
Avg. Price: Large Cheese Pizza
Avg. Price: Large Pepperoni Pizza
Pizza Restaurants per 100,000 Residents
Average Yelp Rating
Pizza Passion Score*
Share of Americans Who Consider It a Top 5 Pizza City
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
New Orleans, LA
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
Las Vegas, NV
Kansas City, MO
San Jose, CA
St. Louis, MO
Virginia Beach, VA
Salt Lake City, UT
Oklahoma City, OK
San Antonio, TX
* Pizza passion score ranges from 0 to 100 based on Google Trends data for 25 pizza-related terms.
Americans' Favorite Pizza Cities
To find out what the average American considers the best city for pizza, we asked 1,000 people to list their top five pizza cities. About 41% of people included New York in their top five, the most of any city. Here are the most (and least) popular choices overall.
- New York, NY: 40.5%
- Los Angeles, CA: 39.8%
- Chicago, IL: 35.4%
- San Diego, CA: 24.3%
- San Francisco, CA: 24.2%
- Sacramento, CA: 20.3%
- Buffalo, NY: 18.2%
- Miami, FL: 17.2%
- Phoenix, AZ: 17.0%
- Boston, MA: 15.2%
- Oklahoma City, OK: 1.7%
- Providence, RI: 1.9%
- Columbus, OH: 2.1%
- Charlotte, NC: 2.4%
- Cincinnati, OH: 2.4%
- Milwaukee, WI: 2.5%
- Raleigh, NC: 2.7%
- Cleveland, OH: 2.7%
- Portland, OR: 3.0%
- Minneapolis, MN: 3.1%
Public opinion is an important ingredient in our final rankings, but simply a piece of the pie. One pizza da puzzle.
The 15 Best Cities for Pizza
We didn't want our rankings to feel half-baked, so we included multiple factors to ensure the greatest all-around pizza cities rose to the top. Here are the best of the best.
1. Detroit, Michigan
🏆 The Best Place for Pizza
Great prices, solid restaurant ratings, and high online search activity make Detroit the country's best pizza city for the second consecutive year.
Once again, Motor City finds itself topping our pizza podium, with multiple metrics working in its favor.
The average price for a large cheese pizza in Detroit is $14.83 — 27% cheaper than the typical cost ($18.81) among all cities reviewed. Only a handful of cities have lower prices.
Detroiters also show a measurable passion for pizza through their internet activity. We analyzed 25 pizza-related search terms and found Detroit has the highest Google Trends score (99 out of 100) of any city in our study — 52% higher than the average score of 65.
Baked into that calculation is Detroit's No. 1 Google Trends score for BBQ chicken pizza, No. 1 score for Detroit-style pizza, and No. 2 score for meat pizza.
» Best Pizza in Detroit: Grandma Bob's and Niki's Pizza
2. Hartford, Connecticut
🐕 Feeling Husky
Hartford's pizza scene will leave you feeling full just miles from the home of the UConn Huskies. The city has a plethora of pizza with 15.5 pizza shops per 100,000 residents.
Hartford clearly values pizza's Mediterranean roots. It has the highest Google Trends score for both Neapolitan and Greek pizza.
Hartford matches that passion for variety with superb value. A large cheese pizza in Hartford costs an average of $15, making it 25% cheaper than the typical city's price of $18.81.
As a bonus, Connecticut's capital also ranked second nationwide in our recently released list of America's best coffee cities. It's clear that — whether you like your indulgences baked or brewed — it's hard to top Hartford.
» Best Pizza in Hartford: Joey's Pizza Pie and Harry's Bishops Corner Pizza
3. Boston, Massachusetts
😌 Mass-ive Pizza Passion
Beantown boasts a mean pizza scene. The city ranks above average in every metric we used, including a pizza passion score of 83 — 28% higher than the average city's score (65).
This patriotic city has transformed into a pizza paradise. Boston has 12.3 pizza places per 100,000 people — 46% more than the average city in our study (8.4 per 100,000).
People across the country are starting to notice Boston's pizza prowess. When we asked 1,000 people to name their top five pizza cities, 15% of them included Boston, the best result for any New England city.
In terms of variety, Boston also ranks in the top five nationally for Google searches of Greek pizza (No. 2) and pizza bagels (No. 4).
» Best Pizza in Boston: Ciao! Pizza and Pasta and Stoked Pizza Co.
4. Phoenix, Arizona
📈 Most Improved Pizza City
Just as a phoenix rises from ashes, the city of Phoenix rose all the way up from last year's 42nd spot to our top five in 2023.
Phoenix soared in our rankings this year because of the addition of two new metrics: the average Yelp rating of pizza restaurants and a pizza reputation survey.
Pizza restaurants in Arizona's capital have an average Yelp rating of 4.2 stars, the fifth-best result of the 50 cities we reviewed. When we surveyed 1,000 people to ask for their top five pizza cities, 17% of Americans mentioned Phoenix.
Still, Americans seem to underrate Phoenix's pizza potential. The city also brings affordability to the table. The average price of a large cheese pizza is $14.83 — 27% cheaper than the average price ($18.81) in the 50 cities we analyzed.
» Best Pizza in Phoenix: Pizzeria Bianco and Spinato's Pizzeria
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
🦅 Eag-er for Pizza
Despite a disappointing Super Bowl finish, Philadelphia can still brag about its pizza scene. The city's pizza restaurants average 4.1 stars on Yelp, the seventh-best average of all cities we reviewed.
Philadelphia climbed into this year's top five from No. 9 in 2022. The city owes its success in part to a high number of pizza restaurants per capita. Its rate of 11.5 per 100,000 people is better than the 8.4 pizza spots per 100,000 in the average city.
Philadelphia residents frequently search the web for pizza-related terms, scoring an 85 in our Google Trends metric — 31% higher than the average city's score (65). Philly's overall score includes ranking No. 2 in search activity specifically for tomato pie and pizza margherita.
Philadelphia could've ranked even higher, but was penalized for holding ... higher-than-average prices for pepperoni pizza ($22.00 vs. $21.79).
» Best Pizza in Philadelphia: Santucci's Pizza and Angelo's Pizzeria
6. San Diego, California
☀️ Best Pizza Under the Sun
San Diego is home to some of the best pizza places in the U.S. The city's pizza restaurants have the highest average Yelp rating (4.2 stars) of any city we studied.
San Diego is starting to meet its pizza potential. Despite having the highest average Yelp rating for pizza shops, the city still offers great prices, with a large pepperoni pizza costing about $18.33 on average — 19% cheaper than the typical price of $21.79.
People across the country are starting to take notice. About 24% of the 1,000 Americans we surveyed consider San Diego a top five pizza city. The only cities with higher percentages were New York (41%), Los Angeles (40%), and Chicago (35%).
» Best Pizza in San Diego: Sisters Pizza and Pizzeria Luigi
7. Denver, Colorado
🐎 Pizza Country, Let's Ride
Denver's passion for the Broncos is nearly rivaled by its passion for pizza. The city ranks No. 6 in online search activity for pizza with a Google Trends score of 87 — 34% better than the typical city's score of 65.
Denver's pizza scene is clearly on the rise, moving up from No. 29 in 2022. The Mile High City has 9.5 pizza restaurants per 100,000 people, 13% more than the average city's 8.4 per 100,000 people.
The city's pizza restaurants have an average of 4.1 stars on Yelp, the 12th-highest rating of the 50 cities we analyzed.
In terms of local preference, Denver ranks No. 1 nationally for online search interest in pan pizza.
» Best Pizza in Denver: Beau Jo's and Blue Pan
8. Miami, Florida
🏖️ 305 Reasons to Eat Pizza
Great restaurant reviews help make Miami the best pizza city in Florida. The city's pizza shops shine with an average of 4.2 stars on Yelp.
Miami must be starting to attract some positive pizza attention: 17% of the 1,000 Americans we polled ranked it as a top five pizza city. That's the highest percentage for any city outside of New York, California, or Illinois.
Miamians frequently search the internet for pizza-related terms, earning a Google Trends score of 77 — 18% higher than the average city's score (65). Its overall score includes ranking No. 1 nationally in search interest for sausage pizza.
» Best Pizza in Miami: Pummarola and Pizza Tropical
9. Buffalo, New York
🧑🔬 Culinary Creators
Buffalo has gone from pioneering the chicken wing to priding itself on pizza culture. The city has 17.9 pizza restaurants per 100,000 people, the most in the U.S.
Buffalo is clearly enthusiastic about its pizza, with more than twice as many spots to snag a pie compared to the average city we examined (8.4 per 100,000 people).
Buffalo scored an 85 in our Google Trends metric for searches of pizza-related terms. Its score is 31% higher than the typical city's score (65) largely thanks to its No. 1 ranking for search interest in these three terms: breakfast pizza, tomato pie, and New York-style pizza.
» Best Pizza in Buffalo: La Nova and Bocce Club Pizza
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
🤷 Pizza-burgh Pride
Pittsburgh makes its second consecutive appearance as a top 10 pizza city thanks in part to how often locals search the web for pizza-related terms. The city's Google Trends score of 95 is the second-highest in the country, trailing only Detroit (99).
High marks for Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are what make Pennsylvania the best state for pizza. Pizza restaurants in Pittsburgh average 4.1 stars on Yelp, which is better than the typical city's rating of 4.0.
The Steel City complements that quality with quantity. Pittsburgh has 15.3 pizza restaurants per 100,000 people — the fifth-highest rate of all 50 cities we reviewed and nearly double the average city's pizza shops per capita (8.4 per 100,000).
» Best Pizza in Pittsburgh: Fiori's Pizzeria and Pelegrino's Pizza & Pasta
11. Cleveland, Ohio
Pizza prices in Cleveland are a steal. A large pepperoni pizza costs $14.31 — 52% cheaper than the price in the average city in our study ($21.79).
In addition to the cheapest pepperoni and cheese pizza prices, Cleveland also has a populace that frequently searches the internet for pizza. Cleveland earned a Google Trends score of 94 — the third-highest score of any place we ranked and 45% higher than the typical city (65).
According to their searches, Clevelanders are exceptionally passionate about pan pizza and BBQ chicken pizza, ranking second in the country for online interest in both terms.
» Best Pizza in Cleveland: Geraci's Restaurant and Il Rione
12. Los Angeles, California
🎬 Lights, Camera, Pizza
The home of Hollywood is also home to an impressive pizza scene. About 2 in 5 Americans (40%) consider Los Angeles a top five pizza city, the second-highest percentage behind New York City (41%).
Los Angeles' pizza scene had a strong year, moving up from No. 18 in the 2022 edition of our study. After all, LA is known for its stars — and the city's pizza restaurants average 4.1 stars on Yelp, the eighth-highest rating in the U.S.
Los Angeles residents also search the web for pizza more than the average American, earning a Google Trends score of 78 — 20% higher than the typical city's score of 65. Specifically, Los Angeles ranks No. 1 for search interest in Sicilian pizza and No. 3 for search interest in taco pizza.
» Best Pizza in Los Angeles: Pizzana and Apollonia's Pizzeria
13. Baltimore, Maryland
🤲 Balti-More Pizza, Please
Baltimore boasts a high rate of pizza restaurants per capita — 12.7 per 100,000 residents, 51% more than the 8.4 per 100,000 in the average city we studied.
Baltimore outdoes many of the cities we ranked in terms of affordability. Consumers can expect a large cheese pizza in Baltimore to cost $16 — making it 18% cheaper than the $18.81 they'd pay in the average city we examined.
Baltimore also has a healthy amount of pizza passion based on its online search activity for pizza-related terms. The city scored a 75 in our Google Trends metric, 15% higher than the typical city's score of 65.
Baltimoreans are especially infatuated with pizza margherita, ranking No. 1 in search interest across the U.S. for the variety.
» Best Pizza in Baltimore: Tutti Gusti and Zella's Pizzeria
14. New Orleans, Louisiana
🚣 Bayou Bites
New Orleans has plenty of pizza options with 12.8 pizza shops per 100,000 people — the sixth-most on our list and 52% more than the typical city.
Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, New Orleans is well known as a premier food city. That prestige now extends to pizza, in part because of great prices. A large cheese pizza costs about $14.83 — 27% cheaper than the $18.81 you'd pay in the average city.
Americans tend to agree that New Orleans is an above-average pizza city. When we surveyed 1,000 people about their top five pizza cities, 1 in 11 Americans (9%) mentioned New Orleans, placing it 20th in that metric.
» Best Pizza in New Orleans: Pizza Domenica and Pizza Delicious
15. San Francisco, California
🌉 A Golden Gateway to Pizza
San Francisco's foodie culture has arrived for pizza people. The city has the sixth-best average Yelp rating (4.2 stars) in our study.
San Francisco has made serious strides as a place for pizza, rocketing up in the rankings from No. 37 last year. Despite being known as a city with a high cost of living, a large cheese pizza in San Francisco costs about $18.83 — that's 63% cheaper than New York City and 52% cheaper than Chicago.
Of course, there are other metrics in which San Francisco performs about as you'd expect, ranking No. 1 nationally for Google search interest in vegetarian pizza, just ahead of Portland, Oregon.
» Best Pizza in San Francisco: Gioia Pizzeria and Fiorella
Honorable Mentions: Chicago and New York
Readers might be surprised to see that two cities commonly associated with pizza failed to break into our top 15. To some people in these cities, pizza is like a religion. But please, hear our reasoning before you accuse us of lacking pizza pie-ty.
16. Chicago, Illinois
What went wrong: The Windy City has a bottom-10 rate of pizza shops per capita, with just 4.9 per 100,000 people. It also has the second-highest pizza prices of any city we studied. A large pepperoni pizza in Chicago will cost about $33.73. That's 55% more expensive than the average city we reviewed ($21.79).
On the bright side: Chicago maintains a solid pizza reputation. About 35% of the 1,000 Americans we surveyed said they consider it a top five pizza city, placing it third in that metric behind New York City (41%) and Los Angeles (40%).
19. New York, New York
The bad news: The Big Apple has some big problems with its pizza scene, most notably the fact that it has the country's highest average pizza prices. A large pepperoni pizza will cost about $35.08 — 61% more than the price in a typical city ($21.79). NYC also ranks 29th out of 50 cities for Google search interest in pizza.
The good news: New York ranks No. 1 in our pizza reputation metric, with 41% of Americans considering it a top five pizza city. Additionally, pizza restaurants in New York average 4.1 stars on Yelp, which is good enough for ninth nationally.
Rankings by Category
We singled out six pizza varieties to see which cities are searching the web most often for certain types of pizza. Here's what we found.
The 10 Worst Pizza Cities
They can't all be winners. Just as below-average pizza can still taste good, a low ranking isn't a complete indictment of a city's pizza scene. Unfortunately, these cities all underperformed relative to the other cities we reviewed.
- San Antonio, Texas
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Seattle, Washington
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Austin, Texas
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Providence, Rhode Island
Sadly, we have to pan San Antonio's pizza scene. Although San Antonio remains the nation's best BBQ city, that same success doesn't extend to pizza.
San Antonio residents don't show much enthusiasm for pizza online. The city's low search activity earned it a Google Trends pizza score of 17 — nearly 4x lower than the average city's result (65). San Antonio also has the 11th-highest prices for large pepperoni ($23.56) and cheese ($20.23) pizzas.
There is, however, one metric in which this city excels. The average pizza restaurant in San Antonio has 4.1 stars, the 13th-best rating of the 50 cities we reviewed. That may be a good omen for next year's rankings. After all, Riverside, California, climbed to No. 33 after finishing last in 2022. There may yet be hope for high-quality pizza in San Antonio.
The cities in this study are ranked according to six different factors, which were independently weighted and combined to produce our final results. The factors are:
- A Pollfish survey of 1,000 Americans, who identified cities with a great pizza scene (30.8%)
- Our “pizza passion” score — a combination of Google search volume for 25 different pizza terms (30.7%)
- Average price of a large cheese pizza (15.4%)
- Average price of a large pepperoni pizza (7.7%)
- Average Yelp rating of pizza restaurants in the city (7.7%)
- Pizza restaurants per 100,000 people (7.7%)
Data sources include Yelp, Google Trends, the U.S. Census, our own survey data, and numerous individual pizza restaurant websites.
Are you a member of the media interested in learning more about our research? Feel free to reach out! Contact this article’s author here.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Cities for Pizza
Dallas is the best pizza city in Texas. In a poll of 1,000 Americans, 8% said they considered Dallas one of the five best pizza cities in the U.S. — the highest percentage for any Texas city. Learn more.
San Diego is the best pizza city in California. Its pizza restaurants average 4.2 stars on Yelp, the highest rating of any city in the country. Learn more.
Pennsylvania is the best state for pizza in the U.S. Philadelphia ranks as the country's fifth-best city for pizza, and Pittsburgh ranks as the 10th-best city for pizza. Learn more.
Detroit is the country's best city for pizza. A large cheese pizza in Motor City costs $14.83 — 27% less it costs in the average city ($18.81). Learn more.