Michigan named 5th best ‘pizza state’ in Food & Wine list

Michigan

A Margherita pie is seen served at the famous Lombardi’s Pizza in New York City, which has been recognized as the first pizzeria in the United States. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — The editors at Food & Wine’s recently published their own list of the best “pizza states” in America, and Michigan ranked fifth for its Detroit-style pie.

The list starts with a lengthy tribute to a Detroit pizza shop.

“At Buddy’s you’ll find good pizza, nice people, and excellent gossip overheard from the bar, which seems to be populated by patrons who’ve known each other for a very long time, but then again, this is Detroit; people can be wonderfully chatty,” wrote Food & Wine senior editor David Landsel in his lengthy ranking, published Tuesday.

Two West Michigan restaurants also got a shout-out from the publication.

“Don’t neglect the rest of the state—Fricano’s wafer-thin pies have been the pride of Grand Haven since before anybody else in the state was serving pizza, based out of an 1800s era boarding house,” wrote Landsel. “The slightly thicker style has been a hit at Mr. Scrib’s, in Muskegon and Grand Haven, for generations.”

But New Yorkers might not be thrilled with Food & Wine’s opinion of its pizza.

New York — while still earning a favorable review — didn’t finish in first place. Instead, the top honors went to New York’s neighbors in the Tri-State Area, with New Jersey and Connecticut coming in first and second, respectively.

“Long before the pandemic, New York’s aggressive self-belief in its own pizza had started to seem a little dated,” wrote Landsel.

That’s not to say that Landsel — a native New Yorker who compiled the list with only a “certain amount of collaboration” from Food & Wine’s other editors — doesn’t still enjoy New York pizza. New York’s “overwhelming availability of a decent-to-exceptional” slices set the state “well apart from the rest,” he says. But, specifically in New York City, he argues that some of the most recognizable names in New York pizza have become “undependable.”

New Jersey, meanwhile, is currently the best “pizza state” in the country, according to the Food & Wine editor, who made special note of Jersey City’s Razza and Bread & Salt restaurants, for their “glorious showcase” of pizza.

“The state is one in an elite group remaining true to their heritage, through long periods of time when others were too busy crashing ahead into the future to care about theirs.”

Also ahead of New York on Food & Wine’s list is Connecticut, with Landsel giving a nod to the “concentrated pool” of pizza-making talent in New Haven, demonstrated at mainstays such as Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza.

Illinois followed New York in fourth place, earning its ranking not only for deep-dish pizza but also its thin-crust varieties.

California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio and Missouri rounded out Food & Wine’s top ten list of best “pizza states.”

The rest of the county, however, wasn’t completely left out of the fun. As somewhat of a consolation prize, Food & Wine included its editors’ assessment of the best pizza options in every other state, for folks who don’t mind eating 11th-rate (or lower) pizza.

—WOODTV.com staff contributed to this report.

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