Why LA Is The Best Pizza City In America

For many years, cities like Chicago and New York City have carried the title of being the best pizza cities in America. However, thanks to exciting new openings and innovative pop-ups, Los Angeles has reached new heights in the world of pizza. According to The Ringer, Los Angeles experienced a countless number of renowned pizza openings between 2018 and 2022, resulting in a more vibrant and diverse array of options. From authentic Neapolitan pizza straight from Naples to the arrival of Pizzeria Bianco, which is often regarded as having some of the best pizza in the United States, L.A. has officially made its way to the top of the charts.

Other factors at play include California's unparalleled access to some of the country's freshest and most organic produce, ensuring that quality ingredients back the impressive innovation behind these pizzas. That said, we've broken down all of the main reasons why L.A. is now the best pizza city in America.

LA isn't afraid of innovation or putting unique twists of classic creations

Rather than sticking with just one method or style of pizza, Los Angeles has opened the door for a wide range of innovations. According to theĀ Los Angeles Times, pizza pop-ups like Quarter Sheets have been able to find success and open up brick-and-mortar shops thanks to the city's encouragement and appreciation of branching out. Pizzeria Sei highlights the art of Japanese-style Neapolitan pizza, while L.A. Birria Pizza creates Mexican-style pizzas with everything from birria pizzas to carnitas pizzas.

At Rafo's Cafe Grill & Pizza in Burbank, California, customers can experience the Mediterranean-inspired doner kebab pizza. In contrast, Pijja Palace's tikka pizza possesses all the classic flavors and spices you expect to find in Indian cuisine. Those seeking an elevated experience with pizza can find that at Wolfgang Puck's Spago thanks to the famous smoked salmon pizza. Even the casual chain restaurant California Pizza Kitchen has been a pioneer in unorthodox pizza toppings, showcasing everything from carne asada to shrimp scampi pizza.

LA has mastered the art of Neapolitan Pizzas

Named after the city of Naples, where pizza was invented, Neapolitan pizza is light, fresh, and straightforward. The dough is often the star of the show with this pizza, and when done correctly, it results in a soft and delicate crust that has the perfect amount of crispiness on the outside. In Los Angeles, restaurants like Pizzana and Pizzeria Da Michele have proven that the City of Angels knows how to bring an authentic taste of Naples to the States. At Pizzana, guests are greeted with a modern atmosphere and innovative pizzas that maintain a classic approach with a Southern California twist. In addition to its Los Angeles location, Pizzeria Da Michele also has a restaurant in Naples, meaning customers can enjoy the same Neapolitan pizza in L.A. that they can in Italy.

Another star in the Los Angeles Neapolitan pizza scene is veteran-owned Brandoni Pepperoni. This casual eatery has been serving up fresh-fired pies since April of 2020. In addition to its rotating seasonal special, Brandoni Pepperoni's menu features pizzas made with unique ingredients like sage, Jidori chicken, and Brandoni's secret sauce.

Fresh and seasonal ingredients are widely available

According to Cater Source, California has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, ensuring a considerable focus is placed on using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. From refreshing squash blossoms that are stuffed with goat cheese to a medley of mushrooms that make for a tasty topping, the seasonal and local ingredients bring bright flavors to the cuisine of California, creating a nice contrast between the heavier elements of pizza dough and cheese.

Speaking of cheese, since the state is home to the California Cheese Trail, purveyors and chefs have premium access to a variety of Goudas, goat cheeses, and triple-cream brie. Since quality ingredients lead to a cleaner and more quality taste, it is no wonder that L.A. has managed to create diverse pizzas that have managed to satisfy the likes of renowned chefs such as Wolfgang Puck of Spago and Evan Funke of Mother Wolf.

Everything from Pittsburgh pizza to Tokyo-style pizza is represented

There is no shortage of creativity and diversity when it comes to the Los Angeles pizza scene. While hot spots like Little Coyote have classic New York-style pizza covered, and pop-up turned brick-and-mortar store Quarter Sheets are covering the Detroit-style bases, there are several other restaurants that are shining a light on other less known styles and methods. According to Eater LA, Gorilla Pies started as a pop-up during the pandemic, and now, it is regarded as one of the only authentic Pittsburgh-style pizza joints in the entire city.

The Tokyo twist that is put on the Neapolitan pies at Pizzeria Sei also showcases a taste of Tokyo, proving just how incredible results can be when collaboration and combination occur. Another unique style of pizza found in L.A. is Roman-style. ROCA Pizza and Oste create pies, or pinsas, that feature dough made in the traditional Roman style.

From fancy restaurants to casual pop-ups, the possibilities are endless

Whether you're looking to grab a late-night New York pepperoni slice or you're planning to celebrate something special over an upscale truffle pizza, Los Angeles is scattered with an endless amount of options. So when it came to turning the tide, Pizzeria Mozza was at the forefront of putting a fancy twist on the casual pizza scene in the city. This romantic and dim-lit restaurant from Chef Nancy Silverton set out to prove that pizza can be decadent, delicious, and deluxe.

Pizzeria Da Michele is another upscale spot that offers a cozy patio and a modern interior, making it perfect for a celebratory date night or special event. That said, perhaps the fanciest and exclusive spot is none other than Chef Evan Funke's Mother Wolf. However, in addition to the grab-and-go pizza stands, places like De La Nonna meet in the middle, providing a comfortable yet casual atmosphere with personal pizza pies, refreshing salads, and creative cocktails.

The LA pizza scene accommodates to a variety of dietary restrictions

Whether vegan or gluten-free, the Los Angeles pizza scene caters to various dietary restrictions. Regarding vegan pizza, some of the most renowned pizza joints have made sure to include at least one vegan pie on the menu, while cauliflower crust has become all of the rage for those seeking reprieve from gluten. Even entire restaurants are dedicated to making vegan pizzas, including Matthew Kenney's Double Zero in Venice and Hot Tongue Pizza in Silverlake.

Considering the fact that California has played a huge role in progressing the plant-based movement, it makes sense that Los Angeles would be such an accommodating city. While places like New York and Chicago tend to keep things pretty strict and standard when it comes to the use of dairy, L.A. has stepped up to show that vegan and gluten-free pies can be just as satisfying and tasty and more traditional pizzas.

New York-style pizza has found its home in LA

Though both coasts couldn't be more different, Los Angeles has managed to master the art of New York-style pizza despite being 3,000 miles away. From single slices to whole 16" pies, Little Coyote brings large portions and classic NYC toppings to the West Coast. So whether you're craving a basic cheese pizza, zesty pepperoni, or a light and spicy white pizza with Calabrian chile, Little Coyote has you covered with beloved thin crust slices or thick focaccia-style grandma squares.

Another top-notch NYC-style pizzeria that has found its place in Los Angeles is Pizza Wagon of Brooklyn. Between the square Sicilian pizza and the vibrant pesto pizza, L.A. residents will be able to cure their cravings with this New York native. Some other New York-worthy joints include Joe's and Prime Pizza, ensuring that you can get a New York slice in a New York minute no matter what side of town you are on.

The arrival of Pizzeria Bianco

After being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pizzeria Bianco was finally able to open its doors in Los Angeles. While sitting down with Eater LA, owner and founder Chris Bianco said, "I have some unfinished business in Los Angeles, and I want to give everything I have." After a failed collaboration with popular San Francisco-based bakery Tartine, Pizzeria Bianco has returned to Los Angeles to reconnect with the city and bring some of the best pizza in the country to the coast.

Though the original Pizzeria Bianco opened in 1988 in Phoenix, the Downtown Los Angeles pop-up proves just how expanded the L.A. pizza scene has become. Not even New York has been lucky enough to receive the blessing that is Pizzeria Bianco. Between the blistered crust and the enticing, cheesy pull, this iconic eatery is setting the bar for quality pizza at an all-time high, which is happening right in the heart of Los Angeles.