Great pizza is transcendent. At its best, it manages to be both regionally diverse and universally beloved. People ride or die hard for their hometown joints and local styles. The influence of nostalgia and uniquely seasoned ovens means that no two pies are ever the same, even if the ingredients are. More than that, there are so many variations that you can find amazing pizza riffs to explore all over the world.
So which cities around the globe have the best pizza? Is Detroit-style better than Seattle’s best pie? Can an NYC slice beat a Roman one? We’re going to have to make some tough calls. So let’s approach this ranking from the POV that all pizza styles can coexist in a world where our pizza love knows no bounds.
There are sure to be some blind spots and cities plain left out of a list of only 20 of the best pizza cities across the entire planet. Feel free to come @ us in the comments.
20. ISTANBUL, TURKEY
We’re going bold with the first pick, by shouting out the very pizza-ish (and very beloved) street food of Turkey — Pide. A piping hot fresh pide with some spicy minced lamb, funky cheese, and olives is a culinary delight. The base is a leavened flatbread (close to pita) on the thicker side that remains nice and chewy. The toppings range from standard salami to minced meats to an array of vegetables and fruits, all with plenty of cheesy goodness.
When walking the streets and bazaars of Istanbul, keep your eye out for “pidecisi” or “pideci.” They’re generally hole-in-the-wall bakeries where pide dominate. Hocapaşa Pidecisi is one of your best bets and the perfect spot to try a pide for the first time. If you’re feeling adventurous, order your pide with a fresh egg on top.