Whoever you are and wherever you’ve come from, no true foodie can resist a proper pizza. The immortal combo of dough, sauce and cheese has carved out its own niche as the world’s greatest comfort food. Salty, satisfying and simply delicious, there’s simply no box that pizza doesn’t tick. It’s why it has spread from the back streets of Naples to dominate the modern foodscape.
But, as with any food, not all pizza is created equal. Some slices are made by masters who have spent decades perfecting the art of a pristine pie. These are not your standard late night delivery to be eaten drunkenly in the dark of a dimly lit sitting room. These are monuments to tomato, mozzarella and meat. These are the eight pizzas that you have to try before you die.
The quest for the world’s best pie doesn’t start in Italy or America, but in Denmark. At Baest, ex-Noma disciple Christian Puglisi draws on his Italian heritage to craft sublime stone baked pizzas in the heart of Copenhagen. With exceptional charcuterie to boot, this is one pizzeria that’s worth the price of a plane ticket.
7. Pizzeria Mozza
The pizza equivalent of a musical supergroup, this California collaboration is the work of acclaimed chefs Nancy Silverton and the now disgraced Mario Batali. Located in the heart of LA, Pizzeria Mozza has a well earned reputation for top-end pies that focus on exceptional local ingredients.
It might not have the history of some of New York’s more revered institutions, but Roberta’s has quickly built a name for itself as one of the finest pizzerias anywhere. Founded in 2008, the restaurant is famous for its wood fired ovens and hipster vibe that has made it a local favourite in the trendy neighbourhood of Williamsburg.
5. Pizzeria Bianco
Ever since it first opened in the back of an old grocery store, Arizona locals have known that this restaurant is something special. Offering a short menu - with no more the six pizzas on a normal day, Bianco’s pizza is so good that the small restaurant often has lines several hours long tailing out the front door.
It might sound like a cross between dinner and an aquarium, but don’t let the name fool you. This Roman temple to pizza is actually the takeaway offshoot of local legend Gabriele Bonci. Serving what is described by Lonely Planet as “Rome’s best sliced pizza - bar none”, Pizzarium is worth a trip to the eternal city on its own.
3. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
No discussion about proper pizza is valid without mentioning Naples. As arguably the city’s most famous pizzeria, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is a must visit for any self-described pizza pilgrim. Starring alongside Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love” the restaurant specialises in simple, traditional and perfectly executed pizzas.
New Yorkers are famously protective when it comes to their pizza. With restaurants like Lucali's in the neighbourhood, it’s small wonder that they get so defensive. Offering pizza in its purest form, Lucali’s traditional approach to pie has won it fans around the world and a reputation as one of America’s best Italian restaurants.
1. Pepe in Grani
Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to pizza. But, if you ask real connoisseurs which they think is the best, the answer is almost always the same. Franco Pepe’s signature restaurant is the place to get the definitive pizza experience. Expertly crafted and beautifully prepared, Pepe has built a business that serves perfect pizza without fail. Without a doubt, this restaurant deserves to be at the top of the pizza pyramid.
Different pizza traditions around the world have all helped shape the way that the modern pie looks and tastes. With awesome new restaurants and innovators springing up every week, there has never been a better time to be a pizza fanatic. Just make sure that these eight are always in the back of your mind.