Roberta’s Pizza in New York

There’s no shortage of cities claiming to serve the nation’s best pizza but two places stand out for their distinct styles, passionate locals and seemingly endless supplies of excellent options.

New York City and Chicago are arguably in a league of their own when it comes to perfecting the timeless combination of cheese, sauce and dough but only one can come out on top.

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Let’s see how each stacks up and which travelers prefer in 2019.

Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple

New York City’s thin-crust and wide slices are perfect for folding. It’s the ideal walking pizza, a hit with multitaskers and my personal favorite.

When it comes to finding the perfect pizza in the Big Apple visitors can’t go wrong. The depth of deliciousness here makes it incredibly challenging to single out any one place in particular.

Nonetheless, there are some standouts worth mentioning, including Di Fara in Brooklyn as you’re unlikely to come across a better Neapolitan pizza in all your travels.

Meanwhile, nearby Lucali is so popular with celebrities and others that diners have to show up before 5 p.m. and put their name on a list in hopes of getting a taste.

Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street Pizza was named the second-best pizzeria in America by TripAdvisor last year while The Boom Pie from nearby John’s of Bleecker Street was named the fourth-best pizza in the country by The Daily Meal in 2018.

Roberta’s was once a hidden gem but is now poised to become a nationwide chain following its recent expansion in Los Angeles.

Best Pizza is another worthwhile pitstop. Opened in 2010 by The Pizza Show host Frank Pinello, this joint specializes in 20-inch cheese and white pies topped with all of your favorites and even offers gluten-free options.

For something different, head to L&B Spumoni Gardens for one of their world-famous Sicilian pies. The cheese goes right on top of the dough and is covered in red tomato sauce before being topped with Parmesan.

Chow Down in the Windy City

Deep-dish pizza is the most famous Chicago style. The pan-baked pie allows for ample room for cheese and sauce, resulting in a super satisfying slice.

You can’t mention Chicago’s iconic deep-dish pizza without giving a shoutout to Giordano’s, a Windy City tradition dating back to 1974. The stuffed deep-dish pizzas here are nothing short of legendary but you can also order hand-stretched thin crust or crispy extra thin crust.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria goes back even farther than Giordano’s though and The Daily Meal named its Chicago Classic the third-best pizza in America last year.

Lincoln Park’s Pequod’s Pizza and the Art of Pizza in Lake View are two additional standouts when it comes to pan pizza or deep-dish in Chicago.

And when Chicagoans are in the mood for a thin-crust Chicago-style pizza they often head to Vito and Nick’s Pizzeria, an old school cash-only spot that’s been winning over hungry locals and visitors alike with its cracker-thin crust for decades.

The list goes on and on but how does it compare to the offerings 800 miles east?

And the Winner is…

Travelers have spoken and they say New York City bests Chicago when it comes to pizza. Unfortunately, someone has to finish second. But I have a feeling the folks in Detroit, Las Vegas, New Haven, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. have something to say about that.