The Best Pizza Styles, Ranked

Someone had to say it.
Neopolitan-style wood-fired pizza at Fireflour. Photo by Jennifer Flaa.
Neopolitan-style wood-fired pizza at Fireflour. Photo by Jennifer Flaa.

One of the most difficult things we've ever had to do is look at pizza with a critical eye. Pizza is pizza, after all. Whether it has just come fresh out of the oven or has been reheated after a couple of days, pizza is always wholly satisfying. It is the food equivalent of a bear hug -- it feels good and we never want it to end. Despite our undying love for this food, the truth is that some are better than others.

A quick look at the many types of pizza highlights the fact that we are a nation of pizza lovers. But it also means that we must rank these pies, in a completely subjective ordering from worst to best pizza style because.

Despite the fact that we assigned this task to ourselves, you should know that this was really, really hard. Sure, there are pizza styles enjoyed in this country that just aren't that great -- no matter how much we love them -- so they were easy to rank poorly on the list. But many of our nation's pizzas are delightfully delicious in their own unique ways, and it was challenging to say one was better than the next. But we gave it our best shot.

You should know right off the bat that not every single pizza style in the nation is represented here -- there are just too many. But the ones that are part of the list were considered and judged with great respect and love.

Here it is, the best pizza styles ranked in order from worst to absolute best:

Bagel Style Pizzas (Also Known As Pizza Bagels)
We love pizza. We love bagels. And we love pizza bagels. But despite all that love, they don't hold a candle to REAL pizza.
Crazy Fast-Food Style Pizza
Pizza Hut
New England Greek Style Pizza
Mr. Ducke/Flickr
There's a certain charm to the Greek pizzerias that dot the New England landscape, but the fact that the crust almost always tastes like the cardboard box the pizza is delivered in is a sad state of affairs for pizza everywhere.
Fast Food Style
There will always be a soft spot in our hearts for Papa John's garlic sauce and Domino's cheese overload. The fact that you can get them delivered and that they're almost always on sale is also a plus. But, in terms of goodness, eh.
Deep Dish Style Pizza
Great concept. Disappointing reality.
Stuffed Style
I Believe I Can Fry/Flickr
Same as deep dish, but double the crust. And crust is good. Stuffed style is basically a pizza pot pie.
St. Louis Style Pizza
James G. Milles/Flickr
We know that there's a lot to love about this cracker-crisp style of pizza, but leavened dough will always be better. SORRY.
French Bread Pizza
Not traditional, BUT WE DON'T CARE.
Trenton Style Tomato Pies
Nick Sherman/Flickr
New Jersey's claim to fame.
Sicilian Style Pizza
Ohmygod, yes.
Montanara Style Pizza
lulun & kame/Flickr
Ahem, this pizza dough is FRIED before topped and cooked in the oven.
Pan Style Pizza
Nick Sherman/Flickr
More specifically, Pequods from Chicago. There's nothing like it.
New York Style Pizza
Classic, greasy and cheap. Just the way we like it.
Grandma Style Pizza
If you didn't know, now you know. This is one pizza worth a trip out to Long Island for.
New Haven Style Apizza
Yes, little unassuming New Haven makes some of the best pies around. Apparently, it's thanks to their the water supply. (And yes, they renamed pizza to "apizza.")
Neopolitan Style Pizza
Was there ever any doubt?

*(We know that this style of pie still has strong ties to Italy, but it has been fully adopted by Americans too so it gets included. Plus, it's the best.)

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