The Problem With ‘The 101 Best Pizzas in America’

Your local pizza spot is enough, especially when it needs your support more than ever

Photo: John Lawson/Moment/Getty Images

I like pizza. It’s fair to say I love pizza. It’s fair to say I’ve held adult-age birthday parties at pizza places. First dates. Second dates. Happy hours. Girls’ nights. Family nights. Late nights. Walking-by-and-smelling-a-slice moments.

I have traveled for pizza — from other boroughs to other states. I hope I will travel for pizza again soon. My first non-home Covid-19 eating experience was pizza. My first non-takeout Covid-19 eating experience was pizza. I’d have a slice right now if one were available.

I also like lists. It’s fair to say I have lists going in multiple notebooks and pads surrounding me right now.

Did you know Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona are the states with the most pizza places?

Did you know most of the pizza places in the U.S. are in the Southeast?

Did you know Super Bowl Sunday was the No. 1 pizza delivery day? You probably knew that.

I’m thinking about dough with tomato and cheese (or maybe clam and parsley, or possibly pepperoni, or olives, or really anything briny, and crushed red pepper, or holy cow I can hardly stay on track with pizza on the brain) because I recently saw The Daily’s Meal’s “The 101 Best Pizzas in America.”

“Here’s where to find the best of the best,” they say. And I paused.

Not because of subjectivity.

I’m not going to question why, for example, Connecticut has six of the 101 on this list, and none of those six are Bufalina in Guilford. But I will question why this recurring list was published in September 2020 with the words “here is where to find” (second paragraph as well as subheadline) and not “love your local right now.”

I wish the methodology was: This ranking takes special care to highlight pizzerias from all parts of the country, within 25 miles of every U.S. citizen.

Or maybe 50 miles — the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas combine for a total area of 3,796,742 square miles. According to IBISWorld, there are 74,709 pizza places in the U.S. this year. I know it’s not evenly distributed by geography, but stay with me.

I want Covid-19 to be over as much as everyone else. I wish I could say anything but this: Covid-19 is not over. Do not travel now. Chances are there’s a pizza place near you.

Please do eat pizza — from your local. If you’re not comfortable eating food made by someone else, buy beverages. Spend money so there is a list next year.

Reports predict nearly 60 percent of restaurants in New York City, and 85 percent of independent restaurants nationwide, could be out of business by the end of the year.

Let’s make the great sacrifice of eating pizza from our local to help minimize the loss.

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Food-drink-design-real estate-travel-people writer. Misinterpreter of weather.

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