Whether you prefer them thick and saucy, thin and crispy, loaded with toppings, or simply covered in cheese, the definition of the perfect slice of pizza comes in all shapes and sizes.
The winners in this list have perfected the art of slinging the beloved savory pies — from square-shaped Detroit-styles and thick Chicago deep dishes, to thin, crispy New York-styles and classic Neapolitans.
No matter what East Coasters like to say, it’s no secret the West Coast is home to some of the best pizza makers in the nation.
Six Southern California pizza shops ranked in the Top 100:
- Bronx Pizza – San Diego (7th)
- 786 Degrees – Los Angeles, CA (10th)
- Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana – Fullerton, CA (#34)
- DeSano Pizza Bakery – Los Angeles, CA (#39)
- Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store – Newport Beach, CA (#60)
- Vegan Pizza – Garden Grove, CA (#68)
Operating since 1997, Bronx Pizza has achieved iconic status in San Diego for its classic New York-style thin-crust pizza. Its super-simple website boasts “lifetime accomplishments” of the staff as having “a handful of college degrees, a few felony convictions, several years of attendance in twelve-step programs, dozens of tattoos,” and “too many burns to count.”
786 Degrees – Los Angeles, CA
With two locations in Pasadena and Sun Valley, 786 Degrees proudly declares that the place is “For Pizza Addicts Only!”
Unique creations include:
- BumbleBee – Hot honey soppressata with Calabrian chilis
- Bombay Tikka Masala – Tandoor baked chicken Kebab, mango chutney, paneer
- Bulgogi Gangnam Style – 36-hour marinated beef seasoned with sesame, scallion, pears and apples
- El Chapo “Flavor that is hard to capture ” – Mexican beef chorizo, grilled onions, cilantro
- Plenty of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options as well
Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana – Fullerton, CA
Nestled in the heart of downtown Fullerton, this family-owned pizzeria focuses on traditional Neapolitan-style pies. Their delicate slices are all baked in a hand-made oven fueled only by wood.
Hailing from a multi-generational family of “pizzaiolo” (Italian pizza makers), diners can enjoy delectable flavors featuring classic margherita, chicken pesto, black truffle, prosciutto crudo, salame piccante and more.
Located in Tinsel Town, this pizzeria focuses on the craft of authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas. When creating their pies, the “strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana” are followed, according to the owners.
Diners can enjoy a laid-back atmosphere while chefs prepare pizzas using fresh ingredients sourced from Campania.
Popular topping include, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, shrimp and pesto, prosciutto, pancetta, Calabrian peppers and more.
This beloved Orange County spot features not only some of the best pizzas around, but is also a love letter to the Beatles.
Fans adore its laid-back atmosphere decked out in Beatle decor while enjoying flavorful creations including the Hawaii Five-O, meatball ricotta, Buffalo chicken, vegan and a white pizza with a four-cheese blend using New York ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, and garlic.
The shop has since expanded to three O.C. locations in Newport Beach, Irvine and Aliso Viejo.
You don’t have to follow a plant-based diet to fall in love with Vegan Pizza in Garden Grove.
This quaint shop packs a punch with its flavors, offering vegan versions of classic pizzas and calzones. With a variety of vegan-friendly creations including Indian-style with a coconut curry sauce, a “Philly Cheez Steak” with vegan protein, Spicy Thai, Barbecue Chik’un and much more.
Other vegan goodies include pastas, Buffalo wings, chili cheese fries, and a variety of desserts.
Winning eateries were determined by ranking each business’s total volume of ratings and reviews.
Edit: A previous version of this article listed 5 Southern California restaurants and had inadvertently omitted Bronx Pizza in San Diego.