10 Pizza Restaurants That Are Worth a Plane Ticket
Not many foods are as appropriate at a child’s birthday party as they are at a sophisticated gathering paired with high-end wine. Somehow, pizza manages to pull it off. Perhaps this flexibility explains why we eat so many pies every year. According to a poll conducted by CiCi’s Pizza, the average American puts away 6,000 slices in his or her lifetime.
What’s even more shocking is that those numbers don’t even put the U.S. at the top of the list. Insider Monkey reported that Norway actually leads the way in per-capita consumption. Still, it’s safe to say Americans love a good slice.
For those of us who truly love pizza, no distance is too far to travel in order to get the best. Fill up your gas tank and start looking at flights, because we’re highlighting some of the best places to get your fix both here and abroad. A visit to any of these 10 pizza restaurants may be the highlight of your trip.
1. La Frasca Restaurant & Pizzeria (Cape Town, South Africa)
South Africa probably doesn’t come to mind when you think about places to get a great pizza. If you need convincing, it’s worth noting that chef Fabrizio hails from Italy. You won’t be disappointed with anything on the menu, which includes plenty of pies as well as a number of specials. Thrillist recommended going for the Estiva, a pizza topped with eggplant, mozzarella, basil, and house-cured ham.
No matter which review website you prefer, this place has near perfect ratings on all of them. Don’t bother searching for the restaurant’s website either, because they don’t have one. They do, however, maintain an active Facebook page where you can see the current menu and check out a few snaps of some of their creations.
2. Al Forno (Providence, R.I.)
During the warmer months, most folks are as likely to throw a pizza on the grill as they are to bake it in the oven. But such a thing was unheard of several decades ago. We can thank Al Forno, an Italian restaurant in Rhode Island, for inventing the tasty twist. Though this spot is known for the perfectly charred pies, they only make up a tiny portion of the menu as they’re more meant to be appetizers than meals. Not that it matters. Men’s Journal still highlighted Al Forno as one of the best places to get pizza in the U.S.
3. Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria (Anchorage, Alaska)
With more than 40 beers on tap and a wildly inventive menu, Moose’s Tooth is definitely a pizza spot for a young, hip crowd. Some of their most daring creations include a pie with blackened chicken, cream cheese, and apricot sauce as well as a pizza inspired by gyros. If those options are a little too adventurous, they have plenty of traditional offerings as well.
4. Solo Pizza Napoletana (Nagoya, Japan)
Italian heritage isn’t a prerequisite for turning out great pizzas, and no restaurant proves this more than Solo Pizza Napoletana. Chef Maya Ota’s creations have gained her worldwide recognition, including a win in the traditional Neapolitan category at an international pizza competition in 2014. Owner Akinari Makishima snagged an award in 2015, so this pizza joint definitely isn’t short on accolades. The menu offers plenty of pizza options as well as traditional antipasti.
5. Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)
Bon Appétit made a pretty bold statement by declaring Pizzeria Beddia as the best pie-producer in the country in 2015. Clearly there’s room for debate, but it’s hard to argue with stellar reviews like the one from Philadelphia Magazine. Before you set out for a great meal, though, it’s worth mentioning things work a little differently here. Things to know: Pies start at a minimum of $20, it’s cash only, they make only 40 pizzas per night, people often stand in line as early as 4:00 p.m. to ensure they get their fix, there are no seats, they don’t do delivery or takeout, and there’s no public restroom. All those particulars, and people still line up for the stuff. It must be worth it.
6. A16 Rockridge (Oakland, Calif.)
This restaurant is actually a second installment following the success of A16 in San Francisco. Though original locations are often the place to go for the best grub, this one has a few great pies the original doesn’t offer. In addition to pizzas, you’ll find plenty of other main dishes, sides, antipasti, and an entire section of the menu dedicated to fried goodies. And great news for all you guys who like to plan ahead, unlike most of the other selections in this list, A16 Rockridge accepts reservations.
7. 90 Secondi (Melbourne, Australia)
This Melbourne standout adheres to the strict standard that only pizzas cooked in 90 seconds or less qualify as true Neapolitan-style pizza. Maybe it’s the secret to the restaurant’s success because Chef Johnny Di Francesco took the top honor at the Pizza World Championships in Parma, Italy, in 2014. The restaurant itself offers pastas and other entrées, but pizza is the real star here with more than a dozen choices. For something a little different, go for the pie topped with seafood.
8. Roberta’s (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
It’s not uncommon for folks who live in Manhattan to go weeks or more without stepping foot off the island. When a craving for a superb pizza strikes, though, many hop on the subway to ride over to Brooklyn. While this borough features a number of standout pizzerias, locals always seem to buzz about Roberta’s. The restaurant has become so synonymous with New York pizza, it’s easy to forget that the place has only been around since 2008. Roberta’s is equally known for meat-heavy dishes and creative vegetable plates, so it’s a great choice for groups with diverse diets.
9. Di Matteo (Naples, Italy)
Pizza traces back to pretty humble beginnings as an inexpensive, easy-to-eat food for the relatively poor population in Naples. According to the most popular story, Queen Margherita arrived in Naples in 1889 craving something other than French food and became fond of the flatbreads topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. From that point on, the combo has been known as pizza Margherita. As the birthplace of this handheld food, Naples is brimming with great pizzerias. So many options make it hard to choose, so go for Di Matteo. You’ll be happy with any pie you choose here.
10. Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)
Several decades ago, great pizza was pretty much nonexistent in the U.S. Grabbing a pie meant ordering from a mass chain and digging into a doughy crust with overly sweet sauce and flabby cheese. That all changed when Pizzeria Bianco opened in 1987. The original restaurant moved in 1996 and proprietor Chris Bianco has since opened a slew of other restaurants, but the quality remains high. The no-frills menu features a few salads and starters, but people come her for the pies. Eater declared Bianco the best pizza maker in the country in 2015, so this place is definitely worth a trip.