Ranking pizza is one of the seminal foodie endeavors of our time, and Food Network bravely wades in by undertaking the herculean task of compiling the 52 Best Pizzas in America's Biggest Cities, spanning from Los Angeles to New York, from Portland, Oregon, to Miami, Florida.
To the credit of author Dan Gentile, an Austin-based writer, the list is more than respectable, hitting all of your major cities and pretty much nailing the smartest picks.
So that means essentials such as Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona; A16 in Oakland, California; and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.
But Texans love to be loved, and the list accommodates more than gallantly — including not just your big-deal cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas, but even lesser-noticed towns such as Corpus Christi (Authentic New York Pizza, a mom and pop) and El Paso (Grimaldi's, the chain, but hey it's El Paso).
For Dallas, the winner is Cane Rosso, the beloved Neapolitan chain founded by impresario Jay Jerrier, whose saga Gentile recounts: from his honeymoon in Italy to the chain's first location in Deep Ellum to the juggernaut it is today. In addition to the fine pizza, Gentile praises the house-made burrata and spinach-artichoke dip in a bread bowl.
Austin's top pick is Via 313, home to "gluttonous" Detroit-style square pizzas with four slices that are "enough to destroy the biggest appetites." Whether it's a plain pie or the Detroiter with a double dose of pepperoni, every pizza at Via 313 has a "perfect pillowy crust" with "just a hint of cheesy caramelization" on the outside.
For the top pie in Houston, he likes Pi Pizza, the Neapolitan-style pizzeria that began as a food truck and has gone on to create "some of the most-innovative pies in the Lone Star State," such as wild Texas venison sausage, scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, cheddar cheese, and cream gravy. Those sound fabulous, but as Houston CultureMap food writer Eric Sandler reported in May, founder Anthony Calleo is no longer with the concept, which could be concerning.
Fort Worth makes the list with Pizza Snob, the quick-serve pizzeria that the story says "has the cred," with dough made in-house that proofs for 72 hours "to create a golden, buttery textured canvas" for ingredients like beer-glazed onions, candied jalapeños, and baby portabella mushrooms sautéed in red wine, and an admirably quick completion time of two minutes or less.
San Antonio is justifiably praised for its Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, which has been doing authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas for 12 years. Gentile applauds what he calls the best all-Italian wine list in the city as well as the seasonal spring pie, with spicy sausage, leeks, kale, roasted mushrooms, creamy fontina, and house-pulled mozzarella.
The full list, which requires many click-throughs but is not onerous, is here.