When Travel + Leisure polled readers on their favorite places in the country to get pizza, the results proved half fair, half fairly unexpected.
New York City, a hallmark of American pizza culture, didn’t crack the top five this time around. Quintessential by-the-slice stands in Midtown, Neapolitan mainstays in the Village, and hip Instagram-worthy pies in Brooklyn will forever make the city a popular place for pizza exploration. But the bronze, silver, and gold pizza medals have been relocated.
In the 2016 America’s Favorite Places survey, T+L readers cast their votes on their favorite towns and cities across the country, ranking everything from the friendliness of the people to their enthusiasm for Christmas lights.
Just shy of the top three spots this year, Chicago's famed deep dishes still earn the Windy City a high rank on the list. And Providence, Rhode Island, the birthplace of the grilled pizza, also ranks high.
Elsewhere in New York, Buffalo is proving the state's second largest city also has some great pizza, thanks to its distinct medium crust pizza—best topped with the city's signature Buffalo chicken. And Detroit, where major pizza chains Domino's and Little Caesars were founded, is also home to a unique Detroit-style pie: a thick, Sicilian-style dough and reverse-stacked ingredients with sauce on top.
But the No. 1 city in the United States seems to have taken the cake—or rather, the pie—by offering a slice for every pizza preference. In Phoenix, locals and visitors can enjoy classic thin crust joints and James Beard award-winning margheritas, or order gourmet Neapolitan, wood-fired pies, traditional deep-dishes and yes, even drive-through pizza by the slice. This Southwestern city even has an annual pizza festival.
There are plenty of newcomers to the 2016 list, including Indianapolis, Richmond, and Albuquerque. Though there are plenty of notable absences, too. See if your hometown made the cut, and find out what pizza paradise you need to visit next.
Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000.