The California Pizza Shop Yelp Named The Best In The US

Pizza is taken quite seriously in the United States. New Yorkers and Chicagoans get into heated debates about thin crust vs. deep dish pies, and friendships can become strained after someone lets slip that they like pineapple on pizza. It can also be particularly tough to choose the best pizza joint in your area since there's usually a ton to choose from. Yelp is here to help on that last bit, at least, having recently announced the top pizza spots in the United States and Canada.

Yelp was created in 2004 with the goal of helping customers discover and rate a multitude of businesses (via Life Wire). People who prefer to scour the internet to find their next favorite dining experience, are almost definitely familiar with the website, and its user-aggregated, five-star rating system, which can be used to rank and filter the businesses and restaurants on the site. Yelp says it took these ratings and the volume of reviews among other factors to determine its pizza ranking. 

Despite the intense fighting between New Yorkers and Chicagoans, neither of these locales had pizzerias in the top three spots on Yelp's list. Instead, the East Coast pizzerias Ciao! Pizza & Pasta in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and Zeneli Pizzeria & Cucina Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut — took second and third place, respectively. The restaurant that took first place on Yelp's Top Pizza Spots list is a pizza joint on the West Coast. In fact, you can find the pie-producing restaurant in Pasadena, California owned and operated by self-taught pizza guru, Ali Haider. 

Sapori Di 786 Degrees serves internationally inspired pies

Yelp says that Haider's restaurant, Sapori Di 786 Degrees, collected the highest-rated reviews on their platform due to the pizzeria's unique theme: Each gourmet Neapolitan-style pizza is inspired by a different country's cuisine, pulling in and playing off of international ingredients and flavors! 

According to PMQ Pizza Media, Chef Haider, who is half-Indian and half-Iraqi, was born in India, raised in Kuwait, and immigrated to the United States. Haider is well-traveled and lists locales like Istanbul, Tuscany, and Morocco as just a few of the inspirations for his pizzas. Sapori 786 Degrees' menu includes a Bombay Tikka Masala pie topped with ingredients like tandoor-baked chicken kebab, mango chutney, and paneer, as well as a Shrimp Tuscany pizza with a creamy pesto chutney, shrimp, a variety of mushrooms, Fontina, and mozzarella cheese. Still, he manages to maintain classic Italian-inspired pizza-making methods. All of Haider's not-so-classic Neapolitan, 12-inch pizzas are all-halal and cooked in a wood-fired oven.

But owning the best-reviewed pizzeria on Yelp is not all Haider is known for! He is also an eight-time national and international award-winning pizza chef as a member of the U.S. Pizza Team (via PR Underground). You can also watch Haider compete on Hulu's "The Best In Dough" where he whips up some iconic dishes. 

When he's not on TV or at competitions, Haider is at Sapori Di 786 Degrees or at the pizzeria's second location in Sun Valley, California. If you're looking for a unique and flavor-powered pizza experience, it sounds like you should be there too!