The Best Pizza in America According To GQ’s Alan Richman.. Like He Knows

1 8 slice rating

Posted By: Pizza Expert on May 19th, 2009
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best_american_pizzaSomehow, Alan Richman is supposed to be an expert on pizza. Seemingly out of nowhere, this GQ writer is somehow a pizza expert that knows the pie so well, he can name the best ones in the country and where they’re made.

He makes two mistakes: 1) He attempts to lay claim to the title of Pizza Expert and King of Pizza when we all know full well who really holds that title. 2) He names pizzas and pizza joints around the country, but fails to include any Florida pizzas on his list.

Both fatal mistakes, as we shall see.

As the real pizza expert who’s spent decades honing my craft as a connoisseur of all things pizza pie, I can tell you that Richman knows zilch. Nadda. Zip. Ze nothing.

What he does know how to do is write an extremely verbose commentary on pizza. I’ll admit that, compared to myself, his writing skills are superb and he definitely knows how to paint a picture of beautiful pizzas and sparkling taste buds. Sadly, while he’s a great painter of words, he’s picking the wrong subjects for his canvas.

Everyone knows that inventing things does not imply being the best at it or perfecting it. Richman was right with his assessment that while the Greeks and/or Italians invented the pizza, it took Americans to make it superb. Face it, in a world dominated by French and Asian cuisine, the pizza is one of the few things Americans can compete with with culinary prowess.

Note that DiGiorno is missing from Richman’s list. Good work on that too, I say that, since they have chosen to not include us as a free pizzatweetup recipient. Too bad he missed so many others that should have been on the list, though.

OK, Mr. Richman, it’s time to go to school. Some of your picks were pretty good and I give you props for boosting some lesser-known joints whose pizza is definitely worth traveling for. All that said, though, class is now in session and the Pizza Expert is going to show you what real pizza is all about.

Here’s Alan’s list of Top 25, for reference. I’ll go into what’s missing and wrong here afterwards:

1. Great Lake (Chicago)
2. Lucali (Brooklyn)
3. Pizzeria Delfina (San Francisco)
4. Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)
5. Bob & Timmy’s (Providence, RI)
6. Sally’s Apizza (New Haven, CN)
7. Tomato Pie (Los Angeles)
8. Co. Company (Manhattan)
9. Tocconelli’s (Philadelphia)
10. Totonno’s (Brooklyn)
11. Tarry Lodge (Port Chester, NY)
12. Frank Pepe (New Haven, CT)
13. Luigi’s “the Original” (Harrison Township, MI)
14. Gialina (San Francisco)
15. Buddy’s (Detroit)
16. Antica Pizzeria (Marina Del Ray, CA)
17. A16 (San Francisco)
18. Al Forno (Providence, RI)
19. Galleria Umberto (Boston)
20. Famous Joe’s (Manhattan)
21. Tomatoes Apizza (Farmington Hills, MI)
22. Osteria (Philadelphia)
23. Santarpio’s (Boston)
24. Niki’s (Detroit)
25. Una Pizza Napoletana (Manhattan)

There’s the boy’s list. Now for the one you should be reading if you’re looking for the nation’s top pie tossers and pizza makers. These are ones he missed.

L&B Spumoni Gardens (Brooklyn, NY)
Di Fara’s (Brooklyn, NY)
Rosa’s Pizza (Queens, NY)
Tucci’s PIzza (Boca Raton, FL)
Kitchenetta (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Spacca Napoli (Chicago)
Ninos’s of Boca (Boca Raton, special pie they make for me)

The Pizza Expert has spoken. Sorry, Richman, real pizza ain’t for kids. Class dismissed. And for the record Sally’s is not better then Frank Pepe’s!

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44 Responses to “The Best Pizza in America According To GQ’s Alan Richman.. Like He Knows”

  • KristenNicole wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 9:53 am

    hilarious post. thanks for this

  • Marsh wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 9:59 am

    And GQ writer…you missed out tons of other great places. Ever hear of Long Island?

  • Owen O'Malley wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 10:09 am

    I trust the “real pizza expert”…not some glitzy GQ writer guy…even though the “real pizza guy”…has GQ Coverboy looks.

  • johnsjoh wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 10:11 am

    You go Craig!

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 10:18 am

    Right it is bad enough they didn't include me on one of their covers! Now this!!

  • alberto wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 10:20 am

    Thanks pizza expert!!

  • Dr. Rosen wrote:

    19 May 2009 at 10:38 am

    Ninos get's my vote for the best in Boca. ! Steve's Wood Fire in Boca get's my vote for the worst attitude of pizza makers and the most overpriced micro sized pie I have ever seen.

  • Elaine C wrote:

    20 May 2009 at 5:23 pm

    So happy you mentioned Nino's of Boca. Very good pizza. (I like the thin crust). Excellent service. You feel like family when you are there. Craig, I always enjoy reading your reviews!

  • […] worstpizza.com: Pizzaexpert says there ain’t room enough in these here United States for two pizza experts, Richman. And yes, we know, he’ll have to review each one of these on his site. […]

  • […] worstpizza.com: Pizzaexpert says there ain’t room enough in these here United States for two pizza experts, Richman. And yes, we know, he’ll have to review each one of these on his site. […]

  • […] worstpizza.com: Pizzaexpert says there ain’t room enough in these here United States for two pizza experts, Richman. And yes, we know, he’ll have to review each one of these on his site. […]

  • John Fatte wrote:

    21 May 2009 at 6:49 am

    You are both so full of shit your list stinks worse than you do. I noted that the entire middle of the country was completely overlooked. How dumb can you be with the heavy Italian influence in some noteworthy cities where the pizza prospers.

    I'm in Omaha, and there are at least some worthy contenders…

    Zio's
    LaCasa's
    Mama's
    Sortino's

    All of these have great pizza, and all with a different recipe. You're choice depends a lot on your specific taste preference. And there in lies the problem with a list. Everyone has their own favorite. In fact, on some days, you may prefer one restaurant's pizza, but on another day, you may prefer someone else's.

    And might I add that I prefer may home made pizza to any store bought one. I use nothing but the best and freshest ingredients and have yet to find a person that didn't love my pizza.

  • billhanifin wrote:

    21 May 2009 at 8:47 am

    At least one joint from Buffalo NY should be on the top list. Who ever heard of great pizza in Phoenix?

  • CB wrote:

    21 May 2009 at 1:02 pm

    From a born and raised Brooklyn native now living in FL, I have to disagree. I haven't had one slice here in FL, Orlando, Jax, Miami, anywhere, that can compare to John's or Grimaldi's or Patsy's back in NYC. Spumoni Gardens is good, but there are at least 10 other places on that level in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst alone, it definitely doesn't belong on a list of the top 25 in the country. I am surprised that John's on Bleeker St in NYC is not on the list. And to the guy from Omaha that says there are some contenders, this is a pizza discussion, not steaks…. Oh yeah, Peter Lugers in Brooklyn would take that discussion too.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:

    21 May 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Please name the other places that compare to Spumoni Gardens, in case there are new places I need to try! I do not think John's is all that great actually, nor did our other reviewer here, grimaldi's is touch and go as well as Patsy's. Maybe the original one is still good, but the “franchised type” locations are sub-par compared to it. I also forgot to mention Lento's in Bay Ridge, that is some good pizza as well!

  • Rodney Mason wrote:

    21 May 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Chicago Pizza Cafe in Frisco, TX.

  • Fred wrote:

    26 May 2009 at 4:12 pm

    L&B's? Really? Only if you re talking squares. And the guy was a joke the second he didn't Mention Di Fara's…at the top of the list.

  • pizzaamateur wrote:

    02 Jun 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Hey “Pizzaexpert”

    Seems like your data comes from only two places, and those that are closely intertwined; NYC and the East Coast of So. FLA. Throw in Spacca, in Chicago, which I frequent, and you call yourself the expert?

    As a novice I ate a Spacca, Great Lake, A-16 and Delfina all just last week.

    Do youself a favor. Leave your little world, tour this great land of ours, try something outside your geo-centric bubble, and then have at least a qualified opinion.

    Until then, you know what to do with your Pie-hole!

    More pizza-traveled than you…

    Pizzaamateur

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:

    02 Jun 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Send me in a review to see how well traveled you are! Would love to see why that place is so great!!

  • gerald wrote:

    05 Jun 2009 at 12:15 pm

    so basically all you know is pizza in new york city and florida. wow, great list you dufus.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:

    05 Jun 2009 at 12:18 pm

    We have reviews from all over! Regardless where it is from a pizza expert knows pizza!

  • dave wrote:

    08 Jun 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Your such a ditz, criticize someone and not even mention the majority of the best… stay home and order in pizza hut, why not have the balls to tell us how many of the top 25 you visited? What a loser…….
    Totonno’s Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jason wrote:

    08 Jun 2009 at 12:39 pm

    There is a wonderful pizza shop in/around Durham, North Carolina called Randy's (http://www.randys-pizza.com/). It is better than the pizza that I've had locally in South Florida (including some of those shops on this list). I recommend it highly to anyone in the area or travelling through. As I have eaten at several of their locations, I find that there is a significant difference between the various locations and recommend their MLK location – get the medium with jalapeños for two hungry people.

  • Mike wrote:

    11 Jun 2009 at 7:29 am

    Please, everyone knows chicago Pizza kicks NY pizza @ss. Nobody likes cardboard with ragu on it….

  • Adam wrote:

    01 Jul 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Dude, do your homework. Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix is the best pizza in the country, maybe the world. Anyone who knows anything about pizza knows about it. Wise up.

  • ridge wrote:

    02 Jul 2009 at 12:40 pm

    lento's has been closed for a few years now so i wonder if your failure to find better slices is more the result of lack of exposure than new places opening. anyway, even when they were still open they didn't belong on a best pizza list. interesting/unique, yes. pretty tasty, yes. best, not even close. you don't even need to leave bay ridge to find better (try the grandma slices at bay ridge pizza or even peppino's or grandma's). also, imho, spumoni gardens pizza just isn't that great, especially their round. i'll go there for spumoni but i don't go out of my way for the pizza. if i'm in bensonhurst it usually means i'm in my car and totonno's is only a five minute drive away (or was and will be again soon..supposedly reopening later this month).

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:

    02 Jul 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Wow, I haven't been to lentos for many years! That reminds me! I used to really enjoy the slices there.

    Definitely agree with you on Totonno's though, well worth the wait and drive. Spumoni Gardens however serves the perfect upside down sicilian in my opinion!

  • jbl wrote:

    08 Dec 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I think you meant: “And for the record Sally’s is not better THAN Frank Pepe’s!”

  • jbl wrote:

    08 Dec 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I think you meant: “And for the record Sally’s is not better THAN Frank Pepe’s!”

  • NADDAN wrote:

    09 Dec 2009 at 9:20 pm

    BEST PIZZA IN U.S.A. IS IS IS CAPRICCIO IN TAMPA BAY !!!!! NOW YOU NOW THE THRUTH AND DEAL WITH THAT. OR PROOF ME AM WRONG.

  • NADDAN wrote:

    10 Dec 2009 at 4:20 am

    BEST PIZZA IN U.S.A. IS IS IS CAPRICCIO IN TAMPA BAY !!!!! NOW YOU NOW THE THRUTH AND DEAL WITH THAT. OR PROOF ME AM WRONG.

  • vinpieman wrote:

    09 Jan 2010 at 4:25 am

    lentos, is gone in bayridge, there is a family owned lentos up and running in staten island, also pizza that compares with lentos is star tavern in west orange n.j has that old lentos feel and thin crust,someone had to steal the recipe even thou thay benn around for a wile!!!!!

  • Dom's Disciple wrote:

    24 May 2010 at 12:09 am

    Yeah, DiFara's is the first place I look for on any so-called expert's list. If I don't see DiFara, I move onto the next article.

  • patron8 wrote:

    01 Jul 2010 at 11:35 pm

    You have to try Rosario's Italian Restaurant in Carson, CA! Best pizza ever! Look it up baby.

  • 1213 wrote:

    08 Sep 2010 at 6:52 pm

    The abbrev. for Connecticut is CT not CN duh

  • Imalwaysright wrote:

    27 Sep 2010 at 1:38 am

    NOT AT ALL. BEST PIZZA IS IN STATEN ISLAND, NY.

  • Phil1336 wrote:

    01 Jan 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Anyone who mentions New Haven “apizza” without mentioning The Modern Apizza on State St in New Haven has disqualified themselves from being a so called Pizza Maven. I have eaten many times at every restaurant in New Haven CT (with the exception of national chains) and have found the Modern Apizza to be consistent in serving a world class pizza. No disrespect to Frank Pepes or Sally`s but The Modern Apizza gets the “Gold”!

  • East Boston » parcelsrealestate.com wrote:

    05 Aug 2011 at 5:52 pm

    […] to the connoisseurs of culinary experience. The local restaurant Santarpio’s was listed in GQ (May 2009) among the top 25 pizza places in the COUNTRY! Recently, the owner of Daedalus restaurant in […]

  • Mike Normand wrote:

    15 Aug 2011 at 11:23 am

    Well, seems to me your list and Mr. Richmans are extremely close.  You may think he doesn’t know as much about pizza as you but his taste seems be pretty close.  Pizza is a very subjective thing, what you like I may not.  Talk about a fatal mistake, your list does not include Totonnos’ in Brooklyn.

  • Pete wrote:

    04 Nov 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Yea i agree try randy’s its good
    Las Vegas Pizza

  • […] The Best Pizza in America According To GQ’s Alan Richman.. Like He Knows Post comment […]

  • Freddy Benson wrote:

    05 Jul 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Oh, please.

  • Freddy Benson wrote:

    05 Jul 2014 at 4:03 pm

    pffffht, sure

  • Freddy Benson wrote:

    05 Jul 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Spend some time in Springfield, Massachusetts. And southern California. Are you too cool for that? Eff San Francisco. Get an STD or worse from the pizza handlers up there.

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