America’s favorite food also holds the title as the most contentious category to single out the best. People get personal about their slices, man. But rather than step into the line of fire and divide pizza lovers, we decided to celebrate the most treasured meal by compiling a comprehensive list of pizza shacks, spots to grab a pie and a pint, celebrate a victory with the family or enjoy a wood-fired Neapolitan with a glass of wine. Enjoy!

1000 Degrees
20674 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
Cooked at 1,000 degrees, this pizza has no choice but to provide a crispier twist on the Neapolitan style. There’s also no need to wait, as pies cook within two minutes to allow toppings to retain their fresh taste. Also, check out the Buffalo Chicken with buffalo sauce, shredded mozzarella and chunks of blue cheese.

4th Street Pizza
150 E Santa Clara St, San Jose
A favorite of City Hall staffers and San Jose State students, this joint features a full bar, fast service and thick fresh-baked pies. Their creamy garlic chicken is a top seller and goes great with any of the craft beers on tap. Happy Hour specials and the Football Sunday Bottomless Mimosas keep the place cracking throughout the week.

Multiple locations;
Mike Forter and Peter Cooperstein founded Amici’s in San Mateo after reexamining their East Coast roots and touring pizzerias across New York, Boston and Connecticut. They subscribe to the belief that the only one way to make authentic traditional, Italian pizza is inside a brick oven. Since opening in 1987, the chain has branched out across the Bay to sling classic pies as well as new items, like the Vento with pancetta and scarlet royal grapes.

A Slice of New York
Multiple locations;
This longtime favorite NY-style pizzeria—affectionately known to devotees as ASONY—has gone through radical changes of late with an expansion of their Stevens Creek location and a decision to share ownership of the business with employees as a worker-owned co-op. That’s great, but the real reason to come here is the New York-style slices. There’s no wrong choices here, but try their Rockefeller Center (pepperoni, Italian sausage, salami, meatballs, fresh garlic) and the ASoNY Margherita, or even the 1-inch thick Sicilian crust.

Amato Pizza
6081 Meridian Ave Ste. 60, San Jose
This Almaden family favorite has spent nearly 15 years catering to families with their hand-tossed dough, homemade sauces and freshly grated cheese. The ice-cold beers on tap come in handy after taking a bite of their fiery Buffalo Chicken pizza.

Bibo’s NY Pizza
1431 Bird Ave, San Jose
Humble beginnings in a liquor store launched a Willow Glen institution, as Bibo’s has become one of the top New York-style pizzerias in the South Bay. Their newly remodeled and expanded location makes for a comfortable pint and pie lunch, as well as a place to hang out and catch a game. Their NY White Pie is world-class, but don’t hesitate to grab the aptly named Slice of Heaven (bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh basil).

Blast 825 Pizza
10033 Saich Way, Cupertino
One of the quickest pizzas in the South Bay, Blast turns their ovens up to 825 degrees to cook orders in just three minutes. Their signature 825 California comes with white sauce, roasted chicken, artichokes, spinach and squash.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
Multiple locations;
Zagat once hailed this SoCal-based build-your-own-pizza (BYOP) chain as one of the most innovative restaurants in LA. Blaze continues the lightning-fast industry trend, but they also offer variety—try their S’mores Pie, which is cooked up to ooey-gooey perfection.

Blue Line
Multiple locations;
The South Bay’s sister chain to San Francisco’s renowned Little Star Pizza, Blue Line serves up terrific Chicago deep dish and thin crust pies, both with a cornmeal crust that gives an unmatched—and delicious—crunch. Get the off-menu Brass Monkey pizza for a carnivorous twist on their classic Little Star.

Bona Pizza
549 W Capitol Expwy, San Jose
Specializing in meat, chicken and veggie pies, Bona can hide in plain sight in a supermarket shopping center. But as a family-owned and operated business, pizza lovers should expect nothing but quality as their meat comes from Harris Ranch. A handmade dough infused with hot and cold water helps Bona nail its light brown crust.

Chicago’s Pizza with a Twist
1111 Meridian Ave, Ste. 2, San Jose
OK, there’s going to be some tough decisions here, as the name would hint. Options include The Cheeseburger pizza, which is what one would expect—but with bacon, as well the Indian-style Tandoori Paneer pizza, which has tandoori sauce, paneer, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and garlic. The menu expands on American and Indian cuisines to feature toppings ranging from traditional meats and veggies to cucumbers and butter chicken.

Cicero’s Pizza
6138 Bollinger Rd, San Jose
The recipes originate from Niagara Falls, where late owner Nunzio Cicero moved from setting up shop in the Santa Clara Valley. The secret behind each of Cicero’s pizzas has never been revealed, but the taste consistently beckons people back for more. No need to overthink it, go with Cicero’s Special (olives, mushrooms, salami and pepperoni).

Colosseum New York
761 E Capitol Ave, Milpitas
Housed in a shopping center known more for its Vietnamese fare, Colosseum lays claim to the best NY-style pie in Milpitas. Their menu also offers up a hearty selection of calzones, cheesesteaks and delicious garlic knots—but it’s the crispy slices loaded with gooey cheese and generous toppings that keeps people coming back.

Doppio Zero
Multiple locations
Doppio’s master pizzaiolo Alberto mastered the art of Neapolitan pies in Italy for 20 years, so yeah, he kind of knows his stuff. All pizzas are made with San Marzano plum tomatoes and the finest and lightest grade of flour—hence the name, Doppio Zero—which contains exceedingly low gluten content.

Enoteca La Storia
320 W St. John St, San Jose
Gather some friends and enjoy a couple glasses of wine with a double-baked Sicilian pan style or a New York style crust. With 72-hour aged dough, pizza lovers can expect a crisp crust pizza. Get there early because once the dough runs out, so does the pizza. Adventurers should try the Mushroom Pistachio, which comes with the obvious toppings as well as extra virgin olive oil, smoked and shredded mozzarella, onions, mushrooms and parsley.


Firenza in Los Gatos is one of the area’s few non-corporate BYOP joints. Photo by John Dyke

Firenza in Los Gatos is one of the area’s few non-corporate BYOP joints. Photo by John Dyke

Firenza Pizza
681 Blossom Hill Rd, Ste. 100, Los Gatos
This lone-wolf BYOP holds its own against some the bigger chains thanks to its daily scratch-made dough, six sauces, nine meats, seven cheeses, eight finishes and 21 fruit and vegetable options. Don’t be afraid to go “Cali-style”and add a little romaine, spring-mix and avocado.

Giovanni’s Pizzeria
1127 Lawrence Expwy, Sunnyvale
Rosario Spatola earned his stripes in new York pizzerias for 16 years, before coming to Sunnyvale to open a restaurant named after his father. Since then this family affair has become a great option for New York-style pies at a reasonable price. For a special taste, try Giovanni’s Gourmet with ricotta, sausage, black olives, garlic and pesto.

Got 2 Go Pizza
1761 W San Carlos St, San Jose
This is all bang for the buck. For a medium specialty pizza—like the Mexican Style Combo with ham, pepperoni, jalepeños, pineapples, beef and chorizo—the tab runs just $12.99. For an 8-inch personal with one topping, the cost is a ridiculously low, just $3.99 plus tax.

Grande Pizzeria
150 E San Carlos, San Jose
A San Jose State haunt often gets overlooked, Grande Pizzeria serves up slices of sourdough crust loaded with fresh toppings—and they even keep La Vic’s orange sauce on hand as a condiment.

High Five Pizza
Multiple locations;
One of our absolute favorites on the South Side, High Five is a consistently great place to hang out with friends or co-workers and catch a game over pizza and a few cold ones. They also have a solid salad bar, but it’s their namesake High Five pizza with homemade meatballs, marinara and mozzarella that shouldn’t be missed.

Howie’s Artisan Pizza
855 El Camino Real, Ste. 60, Palo Alto
This Stanford go-to offers high quality hand-tossed artisan pizzas, from their mouth-watering Sausage and Roasted Red Onion to their Prosciutto and Arugula made with la uercia prosciutto, fior di latte mozzarella, fresh arugula, olive oil, parmesan and a kiss of lemon. Order both, as they have a half-and-half option.

Jake’s of Willow Glen
1074 Lincoln Ave, Ste. A, San Jose
This Willow Glen staple has been slinging hearty pies for nearly 20 years with their handmade dough, fresh toppings and brick oven. The Gilroy Special is loaded with tons of garlic. If that’s not enough, Jake’s also serves up some of best damn Buffalo wings in the Bay.

Kukar’s House of Pizza
527 S Almaden Blvd, San Jose
This polarizing San Jose original has been slinging up greasy pies and ice-cold brews since the ’50s. The cheese rests above the toppings to trap all the greasy goodness just below the surface. The George’s Special (beef, onion and jalapeño) is the go-to pie here. Somewhere a cardiologist is silently shaking his head.

La Pizzeria
373 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
With 28 specialty pizzas, there’s enough variety for everyone. And in a unique twist, each pizza comes out unsliced. For whole wheat, gluten free or a thicker crust, add an extra $2.50 to $3 per pizza. Forward-thinkers should try The Parmigiana, which has tomato sauce topped with eggplant, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Lefty’s: A Taste of Boston
533 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
Housed in the former location of Sal’s, this New England-themed pizzeria has called Campbell home for just a year but it’s already gained a steady following. Unlike Chicago- or New York-style pizza, Lefty’s adds a beantown twist to their pies, creating unique choices like the Meat Lovah, the Harvard Yard and the Patriot.

Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta
2495 Winchester Blvd, Campbell
As a family owned restaurant since 1985, Luigi’s hospitality cannot be overstated. They mostly stick to the Italian-American classics, loading up pies like Pesto, Combo or Garlic Chicken with cheese and sauce. Delicious stromboli is also there for the taking.

Maldonado’s Pizzeria
615 S Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View
Serving up hand-tossed, New York-style pizzas that range from 10 to 16 inches, Maldonado’s has 14 different options on the menu. However, the pizzaiolo’s encourage customers to go custom. Whether the preference is Maldonado’s Special (pepperoni, salami, sausage, mushrooms, onions, linguica and bell peppers) or the Paradise (spinach, sun dried tomatoes, olives and feta cheese), this pizzeria pleases all crowds.


Jake’s in Willow Glen is perfect for Little League postgame parties. Photo by John Dyke

Jake’s in Willow Glen is perfect for Little League postgame parties. Photo by John Dyke

MOD Pizza
Multiple locations
One of the fastest-growing BYOP chains in the U.S., this Seattle-based company now counts more than 200 restaurants. Their hallmark is unlimited toppings for one low price with a three-minute bake in their 800-degree stone ovens. Try their double-crust pizza for pies with a little more girth.

My Pizza
229 W Main Ave, Ste. A, Morgan Hill
Known as the community pizzeria of Morgan Hill, My Pizza pies can go as large as 20 inches. The Chicken Masterpiece includes a twisted crust with grilled chicken breast, fresh garlic and mozzarella cheese topped with cilantro and lemon pepper.

Napoletana Pizzeria
1910 W El Camino Real, Mountain View
With four basic ingredients—flour, water, salt and yeast—nothing goes to waste at Napoletana, and timing is everything. Each pizza only needs 60 to 90 seconds in the wood-fired oven to char the crust. Pair the Napoletana—fresh mozzarella, basil and Italian sausage—with a glass of vino rosso for a fancy yet affordable dinner.

New York Pizza
Multiple locations
These sister pizzerias with deceptively similar websites offer New York-style pizzas loaded with with toppings at reasonable prices. Try the Pesto Shrimp for a change of pace.

Oak & Rye
303 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
All hail the Scotty 2 Hottie honey pizza with soppressata, basil, crushed tomato and pepperoncini oil. Another option to consider from this hip LG eatery’s signature fire-wood oven is the Cortéz, a Mexican pizza far removed from the nightmares of Taco Bell. The Cortéz comes with chorizo, jalapeños, crema, radish, lime-pickled red onion and cilantro.

Palo Alto Pizza Co.
2450 Park Blvd, Palo Alto
As a pizza and Bay Area sports haven, this pizza company has a ton of unique slices. All sauce and dough is made from scratch in-house with fresh ingredients. Their top-selling pie, The Cardinal, takes its name from nearby Stanford and was featured on the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley.

Pappa Georggeo Pizza
4658 Pearl Ave, San Jose
Papa G’s has an excellent selection of meat-focused pizzas and they’re not shy when it comes to toppings. Take the Carnivore Delite, a mouth-watering meat tower of Italian sausage, ham, pepperoni, salami Monterey Jack, cheddar and whole-milk mozzarella.

Parktown Pizza Company
1350 S Park Victoria Dr, Milpitas
Before we get to the pies, try one of the 46 craft beers on tap. Once that’s done, consider one of their special Indian pizzas. The Sultaan comes with masala-marinated chicken, red onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, mozzarella and creamy curry sauce. Parktown also provides a great place to catch a game with friendly staff and 70-inch TVs.

Patxi’s Pizza
Multiple locations;
Perhaps the South Bay’s premier spot for authentic Chicago-style deep dish, Patxi’s crust is thick yet tender and the toppings are laid on so heavy that even the heartiest eaters have trouble beyond two slices. The flaky, biscuit-like crust also goes well with honey found on each table.

Multiple locations;
Many consider Pieology to be the masters of the BYOP crazy, and they’ve earned this acclaim with fresh dough made in-house daily to go with loads of toppings—don’t forget to add the pesto “after bake.”

Pinocchio’s Pizza
8400 Church St, Ste. A, Gilroy
Family owned and operated for 40 years, Pinocchio’s doesn’t measure portions or weigh ingredients—instead they go by feel. Dough and sauce is made fresh every day, and it shows in their classic Margherita with fresh basil and tomatoes.

Pizzetta 408
387 S First St, Ste. 104, San Jose
“Maestro” Dave Perez, certified by the Naples-based Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), blew everyone away this spring when his pizzeria opened in the SoFA Market. Perez’ custom-built, wood-fired oven creates a thin, chewy Neapolitan crust with a delightfully smoky taste.

Pizza Antica
334 Santana Row, San Jose
It’s hard to believe this place opened 10 years ago. Pizza Antica takes guests back to Rome thanks to their Neapolitan-style pies. With two sizes and plenty of choices, we recommend some caramelized onions or squash blossoms to add an extra kick. The potato pizza also stands out.

Pizza Bocca Lupo
87 N San Pedro St, San Jose
San Jose’s first AVPN-certified pizzeria, located inside San Pedro Square Market, has all the usual Neapolitan favorites, including the Margherita and Bianca. They’re also one of the few places to serve a brunch pizza, the Danielo Pie (weekends only), which has eggs, pancetta, potatoes, mozzarella and parmesan.

Pizz’a Chicago
Multiple locations;
A classic—and not just because Metro has an old mural on the side of the downtown San Jose location—Pizz’a Chicago crust has a cornmeal crunch while staying fluffy on the inside. Pick up a knife and fork for the Joliet Jake, which comes with mozzarella, dried apricots and portabella, shiitake, crimini and button mushrooms.

Nobody does Chicago deep dish quite like Patxi’s. Photo by John Dyke

Nobody does Chicago deep dish quite like Patxi’s. Photo by John Dyke


Pizza My Heart
Multiple locations
This award-winning chain has been in business for nearly 40 years thanks to their unique creations, available as a pie or by the slice. The classic Big Sur (or Little Sur for veg-heads) is the can’t-miss pie for anyone who wants to know what Pizza My Heart is all about. Saturday visitors should try their Figgy Piggy (figs, bacon, feta and sage) for an eye-popping flavor combo.

Rosie’s New York Pizza
1285 The Alameda, San Jose
Rosie’s serves up New York-style thin crust featuring 100 percent Italian-made cheeses in this quaint little joint on The Alameda. Their Garlic Knots are a must-try: doughy, garlicky and chewy balls of carby goodness.

Sammy G’s
330 S 10th St, Ste. 100, San Jose
Located inside the old Robert’s Bookstore by San Jose State, this favorite of students and faculty loves taking risks with crazy combos and unusual toppings. Buffalo chicken, pulled pork and tater tots are just a few of the wild ingredients.

Seniore’s Pizza
940 Monroe St, Santa Clara
Seniore’s offers specialty pizzas for just about pizza sauce lover. The King Special comes with spinach, artichoke hearts, olives, chicken, salami, feta cheese, pesto and red sauce. For something a little more creamy, try the Pesky Chicken with white garlic sauce, marinated chicken, onions, Canadian bacon, spinach and pesto. Order by the slice or go big with a Godzilla pie of 24 inches.

Skip’s Place Pizza
299 1st St, Los Altos
A small yet comfortable dine-in joint with plenty of vegetarian options, we recommend their Spinach and Walnut with roasted garlic and basil pesto. The Greek is a flavorful favorite with a chopped mix of garlic, artichokes, black and green olives and feta cheese.

Stackers Pizzeria
18572 Prospect Rd, Saratoga
Stackers’ affordable supreme pizzas sustain no shortage of Santa Clara University students. But if the combo seems a little safe, try their Gyro pizza with white creamy garlic sauce.

Stuft Pizza
1426 Dempsey Rd, Milpitas
We tried to avoid chains in our list here, but this Stuft franchise offers so much more than the average corporate chop shop. In addition to delicious, billowy pizzas, Stuft also excels with an incredible array of TVs for sports fans and a gorgeous new craft beer bar in neighboring IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop.

448 California Ave, Palo Alto
Native Italian chefs Franco Campilongo, Kristyan d’Angelo and Maico Campilongo have mastered the art of pizza, specifically Neapolitan style, which led them to bring the tradition of true Italian cuisine across the pond. Their Neapolitan features a rich San Marzano tomato sauce, topped with a fine fior di latte mozzarella, hearty anchovies and oregano.

Tony & Alba’s
3137 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose
A South Bay institution, this old-fashioned pizzeria uses brick ovens to pack a real crunch. Behind the scenes, T&A takes three days to develop their dough and they make sure to only serve pies piping hot. Choose from either the New York-style thin or Sicilian-style thick crust. Sadly, they don’t serve their famous slices a la carte (someone start a petition!).

Tony DiMaggio’s Pizza
3852 Monterey Rd, San Jose
Celebrating their 40th year of serving up some of the finest Italian food on the South Side, Tony D’s is the home of the original Stromboli. Think a pizza folded into a nice, neat doughy pillow—but with mustard! One bite and you’ll be a believer.

2022 Broadway St, Redwood City
Vesta caters to individuals with small plate choices. The organized restaurant has a simple menu that separates pizzas by red and white sauces. All are handcrafted and wood-fired. A good pick is the Pork Meatballs pizza with arugula, jalapeño aioli and parmigiano reggiano.

Via Mia
Multiple locations
One of San Jose’s favorite spots for fast delivery, Via Mia has spent 25 years loading their pies with generous toppings—but don’t forget to go online and grab one of their coupon deals. The Greek Feta is a longtime favorite of veg-heads.

Multiple locations
It’s hard to go wrong with any of the 12 specialty pizzas at Vito’s Famous Pizza in Sunnyvale, which is connected to Vito’s New York Style Pizza in San Jose. But for those watching their figure, Vito’s also has a Weight Watchers pizza that includes mushrooms, eggplants, tomatoes and garlic.

Willow Street Wood-Fired Pizza
1072 Willow St, San Jose
This quaint brick building in Willow Glen opened its doors in 1991 and has continued to hone their pizza craft ever since. The restaurant uses a wood-fire oven to make their gourmet pies. We recommend their Italian pizza with spicy tomatoes, mozzarella, fontina, garlic and calabrian peppers, or the Prosciutto di Parma with housemade mozzarella, baby arugula and Italian lemon oil.

Zume Pizza
Delivery zone from Mountain View to Atherton;
Forget about watching a pizzaiolo creating the perfect pie. At Zume, Pepe, Giorgio, Marta, Bruno and Vincenzo are pizza-making robots. The robots perform the skills needed to make a pizza, and the cheesy names—such as Cheazy-E—offer a variety of choices. As a delivery-only joint, Zume could be the first of similar offshoots to come.