Like many Americans, I’ve been obsessed with pizza since my first bite, but I’ve also been writing professionally about pizza since 2008.
My annual coverage of America’s best pies as a pizza expert for The Daily Meal have been syndicated by national publications and portals including MSN, Yahoo, The Huffington Post, USA Today and FOX, and my pizza expertise and writing has been covered and cited by numerous websites, news outlets and books over the years.
But I’m not just the founder and curator of one of the country’s most popular pizza lists, my writing as a pizza expert has also focused on openings, and on pizza anthropology like investigating the poetry of pizza in Naples and the link between pizza and red pepper flakes. I’ve written about pizza in Brazil, Italy, and America and for publications including Rough Guides, Tasting Table, Food52, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, and TimeOut New York. And in 2018, I released my first book, Buffalo Everything:
My longtime colleague, Colman Andrews, former editorial director of The Daily Meal had this to say to say about my pizza cred:
“Mr. Bovino has selflessly devoted much of his life to the study of pizza. He knows pizza like Clapton knows guitars. He lives and breathes pizza, and of course eats it every chance he gets. He’d walk a mile for a Margherita. If there were a Pizza Studies Department at Harvard, he’d be its Dean and its Distinguished Professor. You do not want to get into an argument about the finer points of pizza style with this guy, trust me; you’ll just end up with mozzarella on your face.”
Call it an obsession, call it a problem, but if you’re interested my pizza writing (and coverage of it) through the years, check out this sampling.
101 Best Pizzas in America 2018 Every year, The Daily Meal sets out on an intrepid search for America’s best pizzas. Quixotic? Yes. Well-intentioned and comprehensive? Check. It’s also methodical, and we’d argue, the most reliable snapshot (or Instagram story — wink, wink) of pizza greatness at that moment. This marks our seventh ranking of America’s best pizzas, and the sixth time we’ve set out to find the 101 best.
101 Best Pizzas in America for 2017 Since 2012, The Daily Meal has ranked America’s best pizzas, and it’s been a half-decade that’s seen America’s pizza landscape go from spectacular to otherworldly. It’s no small feat to set out to rank the best pizzas in America, but for the sixth year in a row, we’ve sought the nation's best pies and slices, considering more places than ever in our quest for the best.
101 Best Pizzas in America for 2016 For the past four years, The Daily Meal has ranked America’s best pizzas, and every year the same pizzeria — the legendary Frank Pepe’s in New Haven, Connecticut — has claimed the title. While technically it might be correct to say that the emperor has no cheese (Pepe’s signature pizza is a clam pie with “no muzz”), there’s nothing wrong at all with the reigning champ …
101 Best Pizzas in America for 2015 This is our fourth annual attempt to seek out America’s best pizza, and our third 101 (our first list covered a mere 35 — what were we thinking?). You know the expression, “It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it”? Well, we love pizza, but we make this list as hard on ourselves as we can. It’s one of The Daily Meal’s most compulsively tracked rankings …
101 Best Pizzas in America for 2014 Ask the average person who makes the best pizza, or read articles, blogs, and best-of lists by pizza “experts,” or wade into online comments, and you’ll find that there is a light side and a dark side — two flavors, if you will — of Pizza Opinion: The all-consuming love for one’s own favorite cheesy, roof-of-mouth-burning slice; and the dark, fiery vitriol reserved for those who dare challenge the superiority of thin-crust over deep-dish, sweet sauce over savory, or any number of other divisive pizzalogical issues.
101 Best Pizzas in America for 2013 Pizza! If you grew up obsessed with it — postgame pizza, movie-night pizza, baby-sitting pizza, college dorm pizza, New York-, New Haven-, Neapolitan-, deep-dish-, St. Louis-, Detroit-style pizza, pizza! — and pursued that Americanpassion for cheese, sauce, and bread with an adult fascination for seeking the best slice, the finest pie, the Platonic Neapolitan, then the idea of naming America’s best is likely contentious …
35 Best Pizzas in America for 2012 Pizza! If you grew up obsessed with it — postgame pizza, movie pizza, baby-sitting pizza, college pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza! — and followed that American passion for cheese, sauce, and bread with an adult pursuit of the best slice, the finest pie, the Platonic Neapolitan, then the idea of naming America’s best is likely contentious …
America’s 35 Favorite Pizzerias “Can’t believe you missed…” “Not one from Chicago? I’m afraid you are an idiot.” “Artie, you’re out of your mind…” Over the years, readers’ comments have strengthened the lists with nominations and even helped to add experts to vote. But this powerful pizza zeitgeist has always made us curious about what a list would look like as voted by the public. Think you can do better? We’d like to see you try. No, really! So this year, we opened up voting to discover America’s 35 favorite pizza places, according to you …
50 Best Pizzas in New York As New York’s casual and hardcore pizza lovers alike will point out, there’s really only one place that matters. Hey, it’s hard to argue with New York when it can lay claim to America’s pizza birthplace: Lombardi’s, opened in 1905 as the nation’s first pizzeria. So while determining America’s best pizza may be a worthwhile pursuit, one The Daily Meal has tackled the past three years, the only list of pizzas real New Yorkers will ever trust is one featuring their favorite joints …
Best Pizzas in Chicago Even those who love and proselytize the buttery, flaky, crust and cheese-and-sauce overload that is Chicago deep-dish style will tell you what you may not know about the city’s pie scene: there’s more nuance to Windy City pizza than cast iron and waiting half an hour for your pizza to cook. With so many pizza icons, determining Chicago’s best was extremely difficult, but this year’s panel of experts narrowed it down to 15 spots that were better than the rest.
The Best New York Pizzas (TimeOut New York) In 1905, Lombardi's opened as New York's first pizzeria, bringing the simple dish to Gotham’s Italian restaurants. Owner Gennaro Lombardi helped train a generation of pizzaioli, dispatching thin-crust acolytes all over the city. The onetime exotic immigrant food quickly became synonymous with Gotham, and arguing over the city’s best pizza has become a classic New York pastime. With that in mind, we trekked all over town to find out if old favorites still lived up to their reputation and if new pizzerias could rise to the fierce competition.
Touring the Pizza Belt, Where America's Best Pies Live (Food52) If your curiosity and passion for pizza go a little beyond loving the occasional slice, chances are you’ve sought out a few iconic pit-stops along the Pizza Belt. Part theory, part geographical region, the Pizza Belt provides an essential checklist of pies that should form the backbone of a pizza passionista’s authority. For the uninitiated, this has nothing to do with notching famous places on your own belt. As pizza academics know, the theory was first put forth by Serious Eats’ founder Ed Levine in his 2005 book, Pizza: A Slice of Heaven.
Building the Country’s Best Pizza Pie (The Daily Beast) There are 36 slices of pizza in my freezer. No, these aren’t leftovers from a Super Bowl party. In fact, they’re not even from one pizza place. For lack of a better term, it’s my pizza library that I have carefully built from visiting pizzerias across America (as the TSA says, “pie does fly”), and around New York’s five boroughs. Each piece is carefully enveloped in plastic wrap, and labeled with the name of the pizzeria and date that I acquired it. These are little magic carpets that transport me to the past, saucy flux capacitors that make it possible to revisit people and places—estranged, distant, far-flung. Late at night, I’ve counted them instead of sheep and they’ve been central to several marital, ahem, disagreements (not that I argue it’s sane).
Is America’s Pizza Capital Buffalo, New York? (The Daily Beast) I’ve eaten pizza at many of the most well-respected pizzerias in America. For starters, Di Fara in Brooklyn, Bianco in Phoenix, Frank Pepe in New Haven, Beddia in Philadelphia, and Great Lake in Chicago before it closed. They and so many other places have merits. But I’m going out on the line and putting a decade of pizza cred built by writing about and visiting hundreds of pizzerias in New York City and across America to say that Buffalo-style pizza is America’s most underappreciated regional style. There, I said it. I’m in love. Buffalo has awesome pizza.
The Best Pizza in NYC for Every Budget (First We Feast) Pizza is the first food of independence. A few bucks enable a kid to enter the free market economy, and the words, “I left money for pizza,” kickstart life unsupervised. It's a hunger equalizer, powering campaigns, construction sites, term papers, mega-mergers, and eight-hour shifts. But given New York’s pizza heritage (the birthplace of American pizza) and proficiency at styles, comparing pizzas fairly can be challenging.
The Most Underrated Pizza in NYC (First We Feast) New York's reputation for great pizza—and the cheap price of a slice—breeds a city full of "experts" who wouldn't think twice about declaring which joint makes the best version. And the rankings! They can make you crazy. So let's forget about ranking Platonic pies. The lists most useful to pizza passionistas can sometimes be the ones that highlight places that aren't world-famous. Allow your blood pressure to fall as we talk about most underrated pizza instead.
The United States of Pizza: The Best Pizza From Each of the 50 States (First We Feast) They say pizza’s like sex—that even bad pizza is still, well, pizza. “And pizza’s never bad” the thinking goes, right? Maybe. It makes me suspicious that whoever first said that actually hadn’t had very much sex, very good sex, or, for that matter, good pizza. In the quest for America’s best, I’ve had pretty average—and at times downright bad—slices that’ve made me wish I’d swiped left on them. But I've also held out for pies cooked to perfection by pizzaiolos across the nation, at places I’ve had long, torrid affairs with.
The Rise of the $38 Pizza, Exclusive and Elusive (The New York Times) New York is known for its obsession with cheap pizza: the $1 slice, the sporadic price wars, the hand-wringing over each new increase in the average cost. Then there is the other, pricier side of the city’s pizza addiction: the $7 slice at the revered Di Fara Pizza in Midwood, Brooklyn. Or the advance tickets required for a $25 lunch at Margot’s Pizza, a pop-up that opens roughly one Saturday a month in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
Cornering the Pizza Market (Tasting Table) New York’s pizza scene is having a bit of a square moment right now. Roberta’s and Emily, two of the city’s most destination-worthy new-school pizza shops dropped news recently that they will start serving square pies—Roberta’s officially debuted its pie at a restaurant takeover at Humboldt and Jackson late last week, and Emily will open a sandwich and square pie spot called Emmy Squared sometime early next year …
COVERAGE Some press generated by my 101 writing over the years.