The best city for pizza in the U.S. is … San Diego?
That’s according to a new survey from TripAdvisor, which ranked the SoCal spot as the nation’s top pizza city, followed by Las Vegas, Boston and New York at a dismal fourth.
But New Yorkers and pizza experts alike know that the only city in the country that can make a pie worth writing home about is the Big Apple.
“I would definitely put New York at the top. The greatness of a pizza city has to do with the availability of pizza, the variety of pizza and its quality, and New York is just perfect with that,” said Scott Wiener, who has toured the country’s best pizzerias and runs a pizzeria tour company that takes patrons to New York’s best slices. “There’s the whole range of dollar slices to $22 pies and everything in between.”
Wiener added: “San Diego doesn’t really have a landscape of pizza ... It wouldn’t even be on my top 10.”
Indeed, some pizza chefs in the city were appalled not only that San Diego would top the list, but that New York would rank so low.
“New York is clearly the best city in the country for pizza,” said Jonathan Greenberg, owner of Rosco’s pizza in Crown Heights.
“It’s something that was sort of born and developed over many years in this city, and people have been working on it for generations,” he said. “There’s just so many people out there with great recipes for dough, delicious sauce, know how to balance a pizza.”
Sefedin “Dino” Ndreci, 46, who has been a chef at Mezzaluna for 10 years and in the pizza business for 30, agreed that New York’s pies are the tops.
“I’ve had Florida pizza, Virginia pizza and Washington pizza, and it just doesn’t taste good,” he said. “I make the pizza, so I know. New York pizza is the best, no comparison on that list.”
Efrain Aquino, 48, who has worked at Two Boots pizza for 18 years, agreed.
“My job is to make and taste pizza, and nothing compares to New York pizza,” he said. “The water for the dough on the West Coast isn’t the same, so it just can’t be. I’ve heard of pizza places on the West Coast trying to get East Coast water to make the dough the same!”
New Yorkers stood strong behind their city’s pizza. Julia Russo, 18, of Chelsea, is going to school on the West Coast, but said nothing compares to a floppy, foldable NYC slice.
“I’ve never heard of California being known for pizza!” she said. “Why would I pay for pizza anywhere else when I can just buy it here? New York City pizza is different.”
Eric Lurio, 56, also of Chelsea, agreed.
“I’ve spent much of my life eating pizza,” he said. “While all the casinos [in No. 2 Las Vegas] have some first-rate pizza places, they imported all the equipment and the people from New York.”
He added: “Nothing compares to New York.”
But just how insulted should New York be about this? Maybe not so much.
“You can’t take any of these lists too seriously,” Wiener said. “You never know what’s going on in the background or who is writing it.”
Here are the top 10 cities for pizza, according to TripAdvisor.
1. San Diego
2. Las Vegas
4. New York
7. San Francisco