Pizza is one of the most polarizing foods out there. Whether you love a thin slice from New York or a deep dish from Chicago, you have strong opinions about it. We know — we won't even go into the whole using utensils to eat your pizza or folding it lengthwise to chow down.
To celebrate National Pizza Month, we calculated the top cities in the country with the most pizza spots compared to the total number of dining establishments in specific towns. Why? Because a variety of pizza should surround a pizza lover. The following cities came out on top for more pizza places compared to all dining options.
One of the largest cities in Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre can be overlooked in favor of nearby Scranton. But, this gem of a city sits right on the Wyoming Valley as the Susquehanna River runs near the city.
Nature surrounds the city with the Falls Trail's 7.2-mile hike to more than 20 waterfalls and the Paddy Run. The Downtown Riverfront Park system provides up to 91 acres of open space for those who love the outdoors.
Those hiking opportunities will come in handy. When compared to other dining options in the city, 17.16 percent of Wilkes-Barre restaurants are pizza places. Angelo's Pizzeria, Nello's Pizza, Antonio's Pizza and Pronto Pizzeria are some of the local favorites.
If you like the sound of those cheese odds, one-bedroom apartments in Wilkes-Barre go for $954 a month on average.
Manchester feels vibrant and young, thanks to its large college student demographic. The city's many colleges, including the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, power the many pizza spots. Out of the city's many restaurants, 17.39 percent are pizza places. Souvlaki Pizza, cash-only Jimmy's and Vintage Pizza offer some of the best pies in town.
The New England area city sees a lot of snow, so you better be a winter bunny. For those into slopes, the McIntyre Ski Area has some of the best ski slopes in the area. And while winter lasts for seemingly forever, residents in the city flock to Hampton Beach — only 40 minutes from downtown.
One-bedroom apartments in Manchester will set you back $1,283 a month.
Don't miss the Trenton-style Tomato Pie, a thin crust pizza topped first with cheese, and then finished with a lightly crushed tomato. This style comes from Philly but made its way to Trenton. One of the ones that took a spot on the best pizza list is Delorenzo's Tomato Pies, a mainstay in Trenton since 1947.
You can live in bustling Trenton and find a good one-bedroom for $1,178 a month.
Surrounded by Lake Superior, Duluth has a lot more to offer than snow. The Minnesota port city has the country's only all-freshwater aquarium, beachfront outdoor trail within Canal Park and, yes, also pizza.
You can find your favorite cheesy pie in Duluth since 17.82 percent of its dining scene is composed of pizza-focused restaurants. Right on Canal Park, Neapolitan-style Vitta Pizza boasts its famous Tomasso pizza, a pie topped with prosciutto, goat cheese, pepperoncini peppers and arugula. Ready for something different? Try Bulldog Pizza's pickle pizza.
And that's just two of the pizza joints where you can be a regular. You can find a one-bedroom apartment in the city for $1,321 a month on average.
Surrounded by farmland, Youngstown has made the U.S. News Best Places to Live multiple times. The Rust Belt city has seen dark times due to the collapse of the steel industry but has rebuilt itself with a thriving shopping, arts and dining scene right downtown. The tight-knit community comes out regularly for festivals and events and business incubators have kept talent within the city.
Youngstown also brings a good slice of pizza to the plate, with 17.99 percent of restaurants being a pizza place in the area. The median home price remains affordable, but if you're not quite ready to buy, you can rent a one-bedroom for $706 a month.
Not that Charleston! West Virginia's Charleston is one of the biggest cities in the state and its capital. Nestled between the Elk and Kanawha rivers, Charleston has incredible charm, all displayed in its downtown area. The city used to only attract outdoorsy folks, but lately — as seen in "Southern Living" — Charleston has experienced a renaissance with the rise of young entrepreneurs.
Charleston is also a destination for pizza lovers, with Giovanni's Pizza and Lola's Pizza cooking up an excellent slice. The residents have plenty to choose from, though, as 18.02 percent of its restaurants are pizza joints.
Elkhart is best known as the "RV capital of the world" as it's home to many recreational vehicle manufacturers. The small town is home to more than 50,000 residents. While there aren't many commercial centers in the area, the city still boasts a dining scene that's filled with family-owned pizza spots.
Beyond pizza, you can find a 36-acre botanical garden, multiple museums and the Lerner performing arts center. Most of the residents travel to South Bend about 15 miles away for most entertainment.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $752 a month.
Sitting right on the Connecticut River, Springfield is part of the Knowledge Corridor, along with Hartford, since it hosts more than 30 universities and colleges. Sheraton Hotels, among others, also call the city home.
Thanks to its broad college student demographics, the area has attracted many great pizza places — nearly 20 percent of its dining scene. Right on Main Street, you can find Red Rose Pizzeria, Mamma Mia's Pizzeria and Villa Pizza. The city also has a long history of Italian restaurants, with some dating back to the 1950s.
If you're not a student, you can still find good one-bedroom apartments in the city for $1,200 a month.
The setting of everyone's favorite show, "The Office," Scranton attracts fans of the show to tour the hangouts spots within the show. Pizza by Alfredo's, while fictional, has attracted many to the real Alfredo's Pizza Café for a slice.
Scranton has a small-town feel that can be seen across its residential neighborhoods and its adorable downtown area. At the end of the summer, the town throws a three-day festival called La Festa Italiana to celebrate Italian food and culture. What better place to find the best slice pizza? Choose between N.Y.-style Buona Pizza or Pizza by Pappas for pan-style pizzas.
While Michael Scott is nowhere to be found, Scranton still attracts many with its affordable lifestyle. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $999 a month.
Right at the heart of the commonwealth, Worcester has grown a diverse community only an hour outside of Boston. The city boasts nearly one million people within its city limits and has many theaters, concert venues, outdoor parks and the most pizza places per capita in the country. Worcester takes the No. 1 spot on our list, with 21.75 percent pizza spots per capita when compared to its overall dining scene.
The city's architecture attracts young families, and the nearby colleges bring students to the downtown area. Worcester's economy is quickly growing due to its thriving tech and manufacturing industries.
The rent for a one-bedroom remains affordable despite its proximity to Boston. You can find an apartment for $1,394 a month.
Still not convinced that these are the top 10 cities for pizza lovers? Here's a look at how other U.S. cities did.
|Rank||City||State||Population||Total Dining Businesses||Total Pizza Businesses||Share of Pizza Businesses||Pizza Businesses per 100k people|
|39||Port Saint Lucie||FL||189,344||221||33||14.93%||17.43|
Surprised by the list above? Here are the top 10 cities with the most overall pizza restaurants. In this list, we just looked at the cities with the most pizza businesses, without considering a percentage or per-capita calculation.
|Rank||City||State||Population||Total Dining Businesses||Total Pizza Businesses||Share of Pizza Businesses||Pizza Businesses per 100k People|
|5||New York (Manhattan)||NY||1,664,727||6,129||346||5.65%||20.78|
To determine the best cities for pizza lovers we looked roughly 11,000 cities that had at least one pizza business. We then took a standard deviation plus mean of all total dining establishments to eliminate outlying cities with minimal business counts. From there, we divided the total number of pizza establishments by total dining businesses of the remaining cities. This gave us the percentage of all restaurants in a specific city that were pizza businesses. The cities with the highest percentage of pizza restaurants were deemed to be the best cities for pizza lovers in our quantitative report.
Per capita calculations were based on dividing the total number of pizza businesses in a specific city by that area's population, then multiplying by 100,000 to determine the number of pizza businesses per 100,000 people.
Data used in this report comes from the following sources: