When someone says “they have the best pizza”, the “best” is always very subjective. There are so many different styles of pizza from all over the world. There is traditional thin, crispy New York slice to the softer brick oven Napoletana, to the gourmet pizzas of today which include sweet and savory toppings like Buffalo chicken, apples, walnuts, even blue cheese in place of mozzarella.  We won’t even talk about the Chicago style deep dish pizza. It is good, but for us in the NYC Metro area, that is more of a focaccia lasagna.

This is a personal ranking of all the pizza that I have ever eaten all over the world.  My rating system is fairly simple.  I taste a pizza, if I like it more than any other pizza I’ve ever had, it goes to the top of the list.  If it is the worst slice of pizza I’ve ever had, it goes to the bottom of the list.  Here is the list in order from my personal favorite to those I probably won’t ever try again.  “The best” is completely subjective.  If you don’t like Neapolitana style pizza, you most likely are not going to like my top choices.  If you are more of an “American” traditional pizza person, read the notes next to it. There are some places that are starting to call the traditional American style slice “old school” or “old world” or even “old fashioned”. This is nonsense. It’s not. It is just a fancy way to call it something its not to sell more of it or make it sound more appetizing. It’s either Traditional, Specialty, or Neapolitan.

The other major issue is consistency. If it not the same every visit, it does not mean that it is bad, it is just means that I can’t put it at the top of the list as a “sure fire” or solid hit every time.  There are pizzerias that have been around for decades. They are not great, but they are solid, and consistency is the reason. So many places on here could be in the top ten, if it were not for the consistency or lousy service or attention to customer care.

This is a “reboot”, meaning, I am starting fresh from October 1st onward, but I am listing the very best, and the very worst on the list as a barometer.  Pizza in Aruba might not seem like a thing, but the family that owns Amore Mio are Sicilian immigrants. And, what can be bad when you are on the main strip of Aruba just by the beach in the distance?  On the other end is Bencotto in Boston’s Little Italy is shameful, so shameful the Italian waiter just said “it could have been cooked a little more”. Nonsense, it was just white bread with powder parmesan on top.

** Updated April 5, 2024 **

    1. Amore Mio (Aruba) Any of the pizzas here you get will be remarkable. I’ve been here at least a dozen times and never once was I disappointed.
    2. Razza (Jersey City NJ) Probably the best in NJ, even people from NY take the subway over for it.  It is that good.
    3. Kesté Pizza & Vino (Manhattan NY) The best outside of Italy, according to my cousin from Sicily who visits NYC.
    4. Arturo’s (Maplewood NJ) Same owner as Razza, so you know its one of the best.
    5. Dough Pizzeria (Caldwell NJ) They have seasonal pizzas based on availability of produce, but always a favorite.
    6. Angeloni’s (Caldwell NJ)  The Thinny Thin is the pizza to get here.  It is so thin, you cannot even measure it. It is delicious, and the cheese goes to the edge of the crust. Its almost guiltless since it is so thin, but with all of the flavor.
    7. Sette Wood Fired Pizza (Totowa NJ) These are real Italians. They don’t even speak English, but if pizza is your thing, they are speaking your language.  All of their pizzas are exceptional.Woodstack (Pine Brook NJ) On the former grounds of a Tiki Bar called South Pacific, this place has changed hands many time, but their pizzas are truly delicious due to the dough they make.
    8. Squared (Elmwood Park NJ) very thick on the bread, but this is good pizza, but more like focaccia, baked in a pan with crispy cheese crust, the dough is light and airy. Its a winner even if you do not like thick deep crust pizza.
    9. La Pizza (Roseland NJ) – The Grandma slice’s crust is about as close as it gets to my mother’s that she used to make every Friday night
    10. Tony D’s (Caldwell NJ) for over 15 years, Tony himself has been behind the counter and never once have been disappointed in any of their pizza.  The Pizzalina is my favorite, but he makes a focaccia (rarely) and is only 2nd to my mother’s when she was still alive.
    11. Casa Tua My 2nd most favorite pizza place on the island nation of Aruba
    12. King Umberto (Elmont NY) My first experience with the “Grandma” over 20 years ago. I have not been there in many years, but I have no doubt that the same family is keeping up the standards.
    13. Ely Cafe (Cartagena Colombia) A really good pizza from a great bakery, they know how to make dough!
    14. Giulietta & Romeo (East Hanover NJ) Grandma is a nice thin pan pizza with just a bit of cheese, good crust and sauce.
    15. Pizza Terminal (Verona NJ) They make dozens of pizzas, so if you cannot find one you like, you probably do not like pizza. While they are known for the Sicilian, I much prefer the grandma or Margherita.
    16. Mama Lena’s (Perth Amboy NJ) Grandma’s is a really great slice, the crust underneath is fantastic, almost like my mother’s. Cheese is typical.
    17. Coca Little Spain (New York NY) Technically not a pizza, but its Spain’s answer to a light fluffy focaccia with tomato sauce and cheese, delicious!
    18. Baby’s (Fair Law NJ) Proof that Argentina with its Italian population can make pizza right alongside of empanadas
    19. Ralph’s (Nutley NJ) Nutley’s first and oldest pizzeria since 1961, get the double bakes pizza for sure.
    20. Pizza Town (Elmwood Park NJ) Nothing fancy here, just a really great, thin slice of pizza for $3
    21. Ah Pizz (Denville & Montclair NJ) really good pizza, they give it good effort and results show.
    22. Warwick Winery (Warwick NY) Pizza always tastes better with wine, and the wine and food at this place is actually pretty good for a tourist spot.
    23. Teglia Pizza Bar (Montclair NJ) this replaced the Brick Oven Pizzeria that used to be there.  It could have been so much better, but they just opened. They deserve another chance.
    24. Taste of Tuscany (Clifton NJ) Nonna’s square is a good, solid slice, not extra thin, as they state, but good.
    25. Calabria (Livingston NJ) Good thin crust traditional pizza
    26. Nonna Marie’s (Totowa NJ) Hidden place off Union Boulevard we came across by chance. Really good thin crust pizza, nothing special, but very tasty, thin, great balance of crust/sauce/cheese $2.65/slice
    27. Little Spain (Hudson Yards, NY) Its called “Coca” and while they say its not pizza, it is the lightest fluffiest focaccia and it is delicious.
    28. Russillo (West Caldwell NJ)
    29. Bruno’s (Clifton NJ)  Their Sicilian is voted one of the best, not for me, but with trying.
    30. Francesca’s Pizza & Pasta (Elmwood Park NJ)
    31. Boardwalk Pizza (Fairfield NJ) Margherita which looks like a Grandma, good slice, but $4.50?
    32. Franco’s (West Caldwell NJ) good, solid slice, nothing special, but this place has been here over 50 years.
    33. Mr. Bruno’s (Saddle Brook NJ) The “old fashioned” truly is that. Thin layer of cheese on top of the dough with thin layer of tomato sauce on top. More like a focaccia, a bit dry, but I was there at an off-hour.
    34. Bucco’s Pizza (Rochelle Park NJ)
    35. Windlass (Netcong NJ) While this is really a lakeside restaurant with mediocre food, the pizza is actually pretty good.
    36. Aquila Forno (Little Falls NJ) Good but inconsistent pizza – a very small place with lousy service, even if you have reservations.
    37. Neil’s Pizzeria Restaurant (Wayne NJ) Their mini focaccia is over sauce, but delicious crust.
    38. La Famiglia (Caldwell NJ) Not bad pizza, but even better Italian classic dishes
    39. Aribiata (Cartagena Colombia)
    40. Queen Margherita Trattoria (Nutley NJ) This is more of a restaurant than take out, and the pizza is best eaten there, great dough, just small personal pies which don’t always travel so well.
    41. Amore By Calandra (Nutley NJ) Reminds me of the old Celentano frozen pizza from the 1980s, but in a really good way. Its an acquired taste
    42. Tino’s (Upper Montclair NJ) They only sell personal Neapolitan size pizzas, and at $18 each, that means you need two for 2-3 people, not bad but lacking in flavor for that price.
    43. City Perch Kitchen + Bar (Fort Lee NJ) Not bad, but for brick oven pizza you expect more consistency.
    44. Borino’s (Verona NJ) Small, local, reliable pizzeria
    45. Giuseppe (Cedar Grove NJ) Typical pizzeria, but it does the job.
    46. Villa Capri II (Sparta NJ) Typical pizzeria
    47. Frank’s Trattoria (West Caldwell NJ) basic pizzeria pizza. Not horrible, not noteworthy.
    48. Primo Bar (Short Hills Mall NJ), not authentic Italian but better than most bar pies. However, $7 for a pepperoni slice half the size of most is just absurd.
    49. Papa’s Tomato Pies (Robbinsville NJ) Voted one of the best in NJ, I just don’t get it, nothing compared to pizza in North Jersey
    50. Roost (Greenville SC) Not bad pizza for an outdoor hotel restaurant who specializes in typical continental food.
    51. Pizzeria Bel Giardino (Cranford NJ) Grandma slice looked good, $4, but was way too bready, too thick, not crisp, and way too much garlic.
    52. Avenue Bistro (Verona NJ) This is a neighborhood bar with typical pub food, but the flatbread pizza is not bad.
    53. Anthony Franco’s (Sparta NJ) The Grandma Square slice with fresh mozzarella was not great but hit the spot
    54. Salugo Bistro (Verona NJ) Once a favorite, but once they changed owners, quality dived. NOW CLOSED
    55. Forte’s (Caldwell NJ) Square Margherita left a lot to be desired, I think it was made too fast, some parts burned, the other barely cooked. I blame the guy on duty who seemed to be sitting in for the main pizza chef. Update 7/14/23 – My wife got the “Cold Margherita” pizza, way to wet, I hate wet pizza, where all the toppings slide off of it. All sweet red peppers, not sure how they came up with the name, but not for me.
    56. DiMaios (Berkley Heights NJ) Exotic Truffle mushroom white pizza with an exotic mix of mushrooms is exceptionally good if you prefer white pizza without the red tomato sauce.
    57. Gino’s (Long Island City, Queens NY) Nothing special, nothing bad, just pizza. Grandma slice was $3.75 on April 3, 2023, half the size of a normal slice. I just had one and done.
    58. Esposito’s (Cedar Grove NJ) A huge slice for just $2.50 (as of 10/30/21), but its a lot of cheese and the sauce was off. Not bad pizza, just par for the road for a pizzeria.
    59. Avenue Bistro (Verona NJ) Typical bar food pizza
    60. Cedar Grill (Caldwell NJ) too much dough, too much cheese, little sauce, crust not cooked well.
    61. Famous Ray’s Pizza (Verona NJ) $3.75 bought a “Grandma” slice. I don’t know any Italian grandmas that dump a pile of salsa on top of the cheese and don’t spread it around.
    62. Godfather Pizza (Parsippany NJ) This is a chain but this location was ok, taste good, but the crust too brittle
    63. Algieri’s (Belleville NJ) Grandma’s rectangle thin crust has way too much garlic. It looks good in theory, but the garlic on the crust and in the sauce is way overpowering, soggy too if not eaten immediately.
    64. Casa Mia (Sparta NJ) This $3 slice reminded me of cheap frozen pizza you can get for .99cents like Celeste Pizza for One in supermarkets.  Thin crust for sure, sauce and cheese did not taste like that of quality.
    65. Somerset Pizza (Somerset NJ) Typical cafeteria pizza, too much lobby cheese, too thin/weak crust.
    66. Master Pizza (Clifton NJ) nothing special, typical but tasty.
    67. Angelo’s (Clifton NJ) typical cafeteria pizza, crust not done right.
    68. Buongusto (Wayne NJ) Thick dense slice of bread/cheese, pale uncooked crust.
    69. The Italian Place (Washington DC) Typical pizza on a busy avenue when you need food and want to eat fast.
    70. Gondola (Curaçao) You know you are in trouble when the Margherita has more cheese than sauce and there is no oregano available, just salt and pepper.
    71. Luigi’s (Fairview NJ) “Cafeteria Pizza”, typical pizza you can expect to get anywhere.
    72. Panera Flatbread (Chain) while their bread is good, their pizza is not. It is just some dough run under a broiler that melts the cheese. That being said, it is still better than a lot of places out there, but this is at the bottom of the list.
    73. Zulu Grille (Kalahari Resort Poconos PA)
    74. Domino’s (Chain) Best of all the chain pizzerias.
    75. Pizza Hut (Chain)
    76. Blaze (Chain)
    77. Papa John’s (Chain) Worst of all the chain pizzerias.
    78. Corrado’s Focaccia (Clifton NJ) Just heavy bread with some sauce and veggies on top.
    79. Rao’s Frozen (Frozen) They say this took 120 years in the making, but to me, it has that fishy processed taste that makes it no better than most frozen pizzas at $10
    80. Bencotto (Boston MA) This is not pizza. The restaurant might be Italian, but the food there was not good and the pizza was especially disappointing.  White bread with a spread of tomatoes and dusted parmesan is not pizza, and if was fully cooked, it could not have been much better. Pure disappointment.