Food Paradise: Pizza My Heart

When Jack Brooks wrote "That's Amore," the first image he reached for was a big pizza pie. With apologies to St. Valentine and all those greeting-card companies, we're with the old-school crooner on this one. Let it be known that February's purest celebration falls on the 9th—National Pizza Day. Say cheese, lovers.

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Filippi’s Pizza Grotto (San Diego, CA)

Raised in Naples, Italy, Vincent DePhilippis brought his love of that city’s pizza to the California coast, where his clan has now been making Italian food with traditional family recipes for more than half a century. It goes without saying that their Special (topped with house-made meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers and olives) is just that.

Ian's Pizza (Madison, WI)

Born in Madison and now a hometown honey in Milwaukee, Seattle and Denver as well, Ian’s all-time bestselling mac 'n cheese pie sports creme, mozzarella, macaroni noodles (natch) and cheddar cheese. Though it’s well-loved, this dish thrives on casual relationships, too: It’s available by the slice and for late-night encounters ('til 3 AM at some locations).

Slab Sicilian Street Food (Portland, ME)

Winter in Maine is no joke, and frozen northerners go big (and look to passionate southern Italy) when they thaw themselves out. Steve’s Original Full Slab Pizza features fresh, hand-mixed old-world dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, oregano, olive oil and pepperoni—and weighs in at a whopping eight pounds.

Tano’s Pizzeria (Chicago, IL)

Candlelit dinners for two have their time and place, but the Monster version of Tano’s Special stuffed pizza—a layer of dough loaded with sausage, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, green peppers and mozzarella, then topped with a second layer of dough and tomato sauce—is 18"x26." You’re going to need to call in reinforcements to tackle this one.

Pizza Dads (Philadelphia, PA)

The City of Brotherly Love’s Patrick Pizza is an ode to—what else?—the Philly cheesesteak. It’s a white pie featuring brisket, sautéed onions, cherry peppers, mozzarella and a choice of aged sharp provolone or Cheez Whiz.

Koreatown Pizza Co. (Los Angeles, CA)

Ready to get a little freaky with your next order? Get thee to Los Angeles, where this year-old Wilshire Boulevard eatery’s Potato Pie arrives with mayonnaise, potato wedges, ground beef, mushrooms, onions and corn.

Dimo’s Pizza (Chicago, IL)

The team at Dimo’s prides itself on out-of-the-box offerings (like vegan pop-up tastings), and their Chicken n’ Waffles pie—with fried chicken, melted butter, mozzarella and homemade mini waffle bites strewn on a creme fraiche and topped with honey—is no exception.

Slim & Husky’s (Nashville, TN)

To paraphrase Wu-Tang Clan, Pizza Rules Everything Around Me at Slim & Husky’s, a "Pizza Beeria" where the artisan pies boast locally-sourced ingredients and the craft brews hail from the neighborhood. The P.R.E.A.M. pizza comes together with white sauce, the house cheese blend, spinach, pepperoni, pulled Italian sausage, mushrooms and red onion.

Little Star Pizza (San Francisco, CA)

Little Star’s namesake pie might look like a classic Chicago deep dish, but it’s all California under that marinara, where mushrooms, onions and garlic share space with spinach that’s been blended with ricotta and feta.

Krave It Sandwich Shop & Eatery (Bayside, NY)

Krave It’s Cheeseburger Pizza means never having to choose between a sandwich and a pie: The answer is, simply, yes. This "straight-up comfort food" is topped with everything from meat and cheese to fried eggs, French fries and actual buns.

Brother Bruno’s Pizza, Deli & Bagels (Wayne, NJ)

There are breakfast pizzas, there are dessert pizzas...and, in Jersey, there’s breakfast-dessert pizza. Brother Bruno’s Jelly Donut Pizza begins with a strawberry-crumb-cake-stuffed crust, then gets another layer of berry goodness and, of course, chunks of powdered pastry.

Pizzeria Lola (Minneapolis, MN)

Keep your eyes peeled for a seasonal special with citrus, spice and everything nice at the Twin Cities’ Pizzeria Lola, where the Seoul Chicken pie comes with spicy Korean marinated pulled chicken, a medley of onions and peppers, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. (If you want to heat things up even more, they’ve got you covered with red pepper flakes.)

The Urban Oven (Los Angeles, CA)

After slinging picture-perfect artisanal pies for food-truck crowds and catered events, the folks behind Urban Oven opened their first restaurant in downtown LA, where you can pull up a chair for inventive pizzas like the Mattino (a pretty little breakfast-inspired number with egg, bacon, a rainbow of thin-sliced potatoes, caramelized sweet onion and Grana).

Emmy Squared (Brooklyn, NY)

The pizza pros at New York City’s Emmy Squared celebrate their love of Detroit-style pie (that is, porous, airy crust topped with generous amounts of marinara and cheese and served in a steel pan). Their Margarita Pizza is simple and perfect: sauce, gooey-runny burrata, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil.

Buddy’s Pizza (Detroit, MI)

In Detroit itself, in turn, locals have picked up square pies at Buddy’s since 1946. The famed eatery’s Great Lakes Pizza Collection includes Lake Ontario, featuring Buddy’s "Motor City cheese blend," fresh cilantro, Canadian bacon, grilled pineapple and the house barbecue sauce.

Pizzeria Orso (Washington, DC)

White-pie aficionados queue up in Falls Church, Virginia for Pizzeria Orso’s signature Neapolitan version. It’s smothered with buffalo mozzarella, Tuscan Parmesan, fontina, Grana, ricotta and garlic—and, for an extra Washington, a fresh egg.

Antico Pizza Napoletana (Atlanta, GA)

Fancy a devilishly spicy pie? Head to Antico Pizza Napoletana in Atlanta, where the award-winning Diavola will get your lips tingling with flavorful sopressata and Calabrian chiles.

Preux & Proper (Los Angeles, CA)

In downtown Los Angeles, the future of pizza looks a bit like classic New Orleans, thanks to a decadent lineup of deep-dish biscuit-dough pies. It’s All Gravy features a stick-to-your-ribs combination of house-made andouille sausage, smoked mozzarella, slow-cooked egg and (you guessed it) country sausage gravy.

Pequod’s Pizza (Chicago, IL)

There’s no shortage of Chicago-style deep dish pie in the Windy City, but the caramelized-cheese-crust version at Pequod’s is so beloved that the restaurant’s team opened Whale Tale, a sister spot two doors hungry diners-to-be would have somewhere to bide their time. (Each Pequod’s buzzer comes with a complimentary coffee, cocoa or soda at Whale Tale while you wait.)

Tony’s Brick Oven Pizzeria (Gulfport, MS)

Tony’s signature thin-crust offering is all about the waterfront. The Shrimp Pizza is topped with infused olive oil, Roma tomatoes, spinach, red onions, roasted garlic, a sprinkle of cheese...and a very generous helping of Gulf shrimp.

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