Food & Wine names 10 best ‘pizza states’ in America — and New York isn’t in the top spot

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A Margherita pie is seen served at the famous Lombardi’s Pizza in New York City, which has been recognized as the first pizzeria in the United States. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – New Yorkers might not be thrilled with Food & Wine’s opinion of its pizza.

The editors at Food & Wine recently published their own list of the best “pizza states” in America, and New York — while still earning a favorable review — didn’t finish in first place. Instead, the top honors went to New York’s neighbors in the Tri-State Area, with New Jersey and Connecticut coming in first and second, respectively.

“Long before the pandemic, New York’s aggressive self-belief in its own pizza had started to seem a little dated,” wrote Food & Wine senior editor David Landsel in his lengthy ranking, published Tuesday.

That’s not to say that Landsel — a native New Yorker who compiled the list with only a “certain amount of collaboration” from Food & Wine’s other editors — doesn’t still enjoy New York pizza. New York’s “overwhelming availability of a decent-to-exceptional” slices set the state “well apart from the rest,” he says. But, specifically in New York City, he argues that some of the most recognizable names in New York pizza have become “undependable.”

New Jersey, meanwhile, is currently the best “pizza state” in the country, according to the Food & Wine editor, who made special note of Jersey City’s Razza and Bread & Salt restaurants, for their “glorious showcase” of pizza.

“The state is one in an elite group remaining true to their heritage, through long periods of time when others were too busy crashing ahead into the future to care about theirs.”

Also ahead of New York on Food & Wine’s list is Connecticut, with Landsel giving a nod to the “concentrated pool” of pizza-making talent in New Haven, demonstrated at mainstays such as Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza.

Illinois followed New York in fourth place, earning its ranking not only for deep-dish pizza but also its thin-crust varieties, and Michigan, the home of thick, square Detroit-style pies, ranked fifth.

California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio and Missouri rounded out Food & Wine’s top ten list of best “pizza states.”

The rest of the county, however, wasn’t completely left out of the fun. As somewhat of a consolation prize, Food & Wine included its editors’ assessment of the best pizza options in every other state, for folks who don’t mind eating 11th-rate (or lower) pizza.

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