United States of Pizza

Pizza state-by-state.

United States of Pizza: Maryland

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From Baltimore to Bethesda, Silver Spring to Frederick, the quality of pizza in Maryland is rising. In order to find out the best places for slices and pies in the great state of Maryland, we checked in with Marylanders among the Serious Eats community, plus friend of Slice (and Maryland pizza expert) Pizzablogger and Richard Gorelick from the Baltimore Sun. As usual, we'd appreciate your tips—where are your favorite Maryland pizzas?

Where to Eat Pizza in Baltimore

Joe Squared

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Joe Squared Pizza [Photograph: Joe Squared on Facebook]

This popular pizzeria prides itself on "mixing up flavors to produce the unusual." There's a chicken, corn, and apple pizza and a crab pizza topped with zucchini, red onion, cilantro, and garlic sauce. There's even an Irish pie topped with corned beef, potatoes, and onions. Joe started out growing herbs on the roof of the pizzeria, but now has a small greenhouse nearby. Richard Gorelick of The Baltimore Sun told us that Joe Squared is in his Baltimore top three: "Coal-fired, thin-crust pizzas with a non-stop parade of quality toppings. I keep my eye on the weekly specials, which recently have included Brussels sprouts and pancetta, and duck and hummus." Another Baltimore Sun writer praised the crust in a recent review,

The dough, which [Joe] Edwardsen claims to make with sourdough starter smuggled in from Italy, was top-notch. The larger pizzas can stretch up to 16 inches and are served on elevated metal wire racks to keep the pizza from getting soggy in the middle. The pizza here costs more than mass-produced pies, but its fresh ingredients and subtle flavors make it worth it.

133 West North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201;410-545-0444; ‎joesquared.com

Iggies

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[Photos: Pizzablogger]

One of Baltimore's most popular pizza spots is Iggies in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. Pizzablogger reviewed Iggies on Slice last year, and interviewed owner Lisa Heckman. He especially recommended the Margherita:

The Margherita is definitely my favorite pizza at Iggies. To start, it is one of the few places in Baltimore that serves a Margherita which uses an actual tomato sauce, or "ragu" as Iggies lists, instead of sliced tomatoes. The sauce at Iggies is always bright, fresh and has a good note of acidity to it. It's high quality tomatoes that have been drained and strained to get to the tomatoey heart of the matter and it's one of the best schmears of sauce in the city. Mozzarella is made in house and arrives out of the oven with some texture to it and still "alive", as some Italians refer to it, instead of completely melted into the pizza. I definitely like my basil whole or roughly torn, as opposed to julienned, and the Iggies margherita delivers this as well. Some bites deliver just sauce and cheese, others just sauce and basil and others that delicious amalgamation of sauce, cheese and basil.

Iggies turns out some unusual pizzas: the Il Corridore is loaded with mozzarella, red onion, parmesan, and pistachios; the Pera Saporita has pears, gorgonzola, and a balsamic reduction; and the Anatra has roasted duck, blue cheese, asparagus, red onions, and mozzarella. Richard Gorelick of The Baltimore Sun told us he loves Iggies; which he called "Mt. Vernon's favorite BYOB. It's the handmade ingredients (dough, mozzarella) here that make the thin-crusted pizzas so good."

The Pizzablogger's video of Iggies piemaking in action [Video: Pizzablogger on Youtube]

Serious Eater Laura A. also wrote us recently to recommend Iggies:

The toppings were fresh and delicious. They had a brussels sprout pizza on special that is the most similar to the one at Motorino [in NY] that I've seen anywhere. My one complaint is that the crust was too dense to be anything like a true Neapolitan style and not crispy enough to make it something else.

818 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202; 410-528-0818; iggiespizza.com/

Bagby Pizza Company
Last year the Bagby Pizza Company opened on Fleet Street and they've definitely been making their mark on the Baltimore pizza scene. Serious Eater Plainslicer recommended the plain slice to us, and he's not the only fan. Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan recommended Bagby in a recent New York Times piece about the area east of Baltimore's Inner Harbor:

Among a handful of places that have sprung up on Harbor East's outer edges is Bagby Pizza Co...in the former Bagby Furniture Company Building, a red-brick former factory that's on the National Register of Historic Places. In an airy, high-ceilinged setting, the restaurant serves thin-crust pies with a variety of toppings: sweet fennel sausage, sopressata, grilled honey chicken or Southwestern skirt steak.

Mary K. Zajac of the Baltimore City Paper warns that the crust is super-thin, but she likes most of the toppings:

If you dig the kind of crust that snaps like a cracker when you bite into it, Bagby's pizza is for you. Bagby's employs the too-rare practice of changing up the cheeses as well as the toppings on their specialty pizzas, so that each pie tastes a little different from the other. The gourmet meat pizza (small $10.99; regular $16.99) boasted mozzarella and asiago, as well as caramelized onions, sweet fennel sausage, and sopressata that gave it a salty, lusty heartiness, while the gourmet vegetable (small, $10.99; regular, $16.99) substitutes Grana Padano for the mozzarella as a cheesy bed for wild mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, and roasted artichokes. All those components held their own on the pizza, giving it a sort of green freshness and verve, something that was lacking in the day's special, spicy shrimp pizza (regular, $14.99) which was simply bland.

1006 Fleet Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202; 410-605-0444 ‎bagbypizza.com

B.O.P. Brick Oven Pizza

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B.O.P Brick Oven Pizza [Photograph: B.O.P. on Facebook]

B.O.P. has been producing quality pies in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore for the last twelve years. In the Baltimore City Paper, Erin Sullivan writes:

This expatriate New Yorker is ever on the hunt for a reasonable facsimile of the pies from home. [While B.O.P....] hasn't put an end to the search, the place does make a great, wood-fired pizza that's closer than any others I've come across in Baltimore. A 10-inch tomato and cheese pizza ($7.95) was satisfyingly simple—the cheese was stringy and melted till it was golden (don't you hate it when the cheese on your pizza is reminiscent of warmed-over glue?), the sauce sweet and tangy, and the crust perfectly grainy (semolina, maybe?). At B.O.P., you're encouraged to "build your own," so we ordered a couple of slices ($2 apiece, plus extra for each topping) with our pie. Gorgonzola and roasted red peppers were pure salty-sweet yum, though they did weigh down the crust and make the slice tough to eat without a fork. Fresh-shaved garlic and sun-dried tomatoes were a little overpowering

800 South Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231; 410-563-1600; boppizza.com

Italian Graffiti

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[Photo: Pizza Blogger]

Italian Graffiti opened in 2009, and Pizzablogger is wild about it: "The corner slice I bought today was easily the best pan/square/Sicilian pizza I have had in Baltimore....and it's not even close." Pizzablogger continues:

The Margherita here is definitely the best Margherita pizza based on a NY Style pizza I have yet to try in the Baltimore area. Fior di latte is added in sensibly sized chunks. The cheese is of a good quality...The sauce doesn't suffer from the addition of too much garlic or overspicing because the sauce is decent enough to begin with. Shredded basil and a drizzle of olive oil are added post bake to complete the minimalist construction that is the margherita. There is nothing to hide behind with this type of pizza and the result with the Italian Graffiti Margherita is simple, clean and well delineated flavors. This is my go-to pizza when getting a whole pie in Baltimore.

1635 Fleet Street, Baltimore, MD 21231; 410-534-5454; italiangraffiti.net

Matthew's Pizza
This spot has been serving pizza since 1943, and it has quite a following, especially for its Old Bay-spiced crab pizza. Baltimore Magazine describes their pies as "old-fashioned comfort pizza with a thick, doughy crust and chunky toppings." Slice'r mem296 says that discovering Matthew's "made me ecstatic. I was so pleased to have finally found a pizza place that used good ingredients...The cheese is quite salty and gooey, and I love it. Chunky tomato sauce. That being said, it is horrible reheated or eaten cold. I only eat Matthews pizza in the restaurant, fresh from the oven." Pizzablogger reports that Matthew's is only for lovers of deep dish and pan pizza:

Matthew's serves up pizza which is unique in that it skews towards deep dish without quite getting there...My recent visit was my sixth trip to Matthew's and I must say just about everything about this place looks and feels right. I can't think of another place in Baltimore that screams old school pizzeria any more than Matthew's does....For me at least, the overall soft, thick, somewhat gooey quality that defines these pizzas largely overwhelm any individual flavors and sit a little heavy in the stomach after eating...if you do like a heartier pizza made with quality ingredients, bits of crispy crust where the oily pan pressed up against the dough while cooking and a lotta Bawlmer love and charm, this is your place...If there is one, my favorite pizza at Matthew's is the Great White (sweet onions with hand grated mozzarella and imported Reggianito cheese). Arriving with a relatively heavy amount of roughly chopped onion peeking out here and there from a browned, salty cheese layer which has a crisp, brittle outer crunchiness from being slightly burnt, this pizza is akin to someone peeling off the very top portion of some tasty mac and cheese and then laying it on top of a flaky, oily pizza crust. The onions really add a flavorful note to this pizza and, regardless of whether it could be considered actual pizza or a casserole, it tastes pretty damned good.

3131 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224; 410-276-8755; matthewspizza.com

Of course, that's not all the pizza in Charm City.

We've also heard good things about Zella's (1143 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21223), Johnny Rad's (2108 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231), Potomac Pizza (multiple locations throughout Baltimore), Pasticcio Italian Kitchen (1330 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21208), Chef Paolino Cafe (726 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD; 410-747-4949), Fortunato Brother's Pizza (6374 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21212; 410-377-7300), Vito's (6304 York Road, Baltimore, MD 21212; 410-323-8486; vitosowingsmills.com), Rocco's Capriccio (846 Fawn Street, Baltimore, MD 21202; 410-685-2710; roccosinlittleitaly.com), and Mamma Roma (8743 Piney Orchard Parkway, Odenton, MD 21113; 410-695-0247; mammaromarestaurant.com).

Where to Eat Pizza in Bethesda, Glen Echo, and Cabin John

Mia's Pizza

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Mia's Pizza [Photograph: Bankbryan on Flickr]

Mia's is a well-known Bethesda spot with a wood burning oven. Jane Black of The Washington Post writes:

The crust is thin, with a fine yeasty flavor, and a top and bottom that show signs of having been gently licked by flames...I tend to head for the "salsiccia," decorated with sausage and pepperoni, and the "Alsace," true to its title with sweet onions, Gruyere cheese and diced ham. Far less of a treat is the "rustico," which is scattered with a vapid pesto and undercooked potato slices.

Slice contributor Adam Lindsley stopped by Mia's last fall, and wasn't that impressed with the sauce or cheese on his Margherita, but liked the crust:

On one hand, it's thick (about 1cm) and dense, quite doughy, without much airiness or spring to the crumb. On the other hand, it's very flavorful, yeasty, perfectly salted, and decently charred on the undercarriage. While I found the rest of the pizza just slightly above average, I came back to that crust again and again. Probably too bready for some, but I thought it made a great snack, even hours later. Think of a chewy, moist bagel smashed flat and you won't be far off. They even offer a Pizza Bone Dipping Sauce to dunk your end crusts into for a mere 95 cents, though I thought they were plenty flavorful on their own.

On Slice, Adam Kuban reports:

The pies I had at Mia's were flavorful, crisp, chewy, and well-balanced. I had a Margherita ($12.95) and a Salsiccia (tomato sauce, sausage, pepperoni, portobello mushrooms, oregano, "spicy sprinkles," mozzarella, and Parm; $12.95). Mia's is a wood-oven place, making smallish, personal-size pies with thin crusts

4926 Cordell Avenue., Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-718-6427; ‎miaspizzasbethesda.com/

The Corner Slice
For quick, hot New York-style slice, Serious Eaters pointed us toward The Corner Slice in Bethesda. In 2005, Corner Slice was featured among NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's top pizza picks in Washingtonian magazine.
901 Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-907-7542; thecornerslice.net

Wild Tomato
Damian and Stephanie Salvatore, who own Persimmon in Bethesda, recently opened this 43-seat locavore's delight in Cabin John. Kate Nerenberg of the Washingtonian Best Bites Blog reports: "The neighborhood-joint feel is echoed in Buffalo wings (a little greasy and short on sauce), a wedge salad (a good mash of buttermilk dressing, bacon, and blue cheese), and pizza (great crust, fresh vegetables)."
7945 MacArthur Blvd., Cabin John; 301-229-0680

Vace's Italian Deli

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Vace pizza with sopresatta and mushrooms [Photograph: Timir D. on Yelp]

A few folks pointed us toward Vace's. Yelper Aaron M. declares it the "best pizza in Bethesda, as far as I'm concerned. Tomato sauce is flavorful, and it goes over the cheese." Yelper Tom D. clarifies: "I don't think this Vace is as nice as the one in Cleveland Park—but the pizza is just as good."
(4705 Miller Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814; vaceitaliandeli.com/)

Other good Bethesda-area options include Geppetto Restaurant (10257 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-493-9230; geppettorestaurant.com ), Besta Pizza (4707 Chase Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-657-1114; mybestapizza.com), and M&N's Pizza (7750 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-656-6262; mandnspizza.com).

Where to Eat Pizza in Rockville

Matchbox: Rockville Vintage Pizza Bistro
The Rockville branch of this wood-fired pizza bistro opened in December 2010 with quite a bit of buzz. Brian Patterson of the Maryland Gazette.net reports:

By design, [the pizzas] emerge with their toppings and crust blistered and singed...The topping on the Smoke and Fire pizza is hot in both senses of the word—and delicious, with roasted peppers, sliced onions, chipotle chilies, tomatoes, garlic puree and smoked gouda cheese. The pie is sprinkled on the way to the table with a nest of basil chiffonade. The white anchovy and caper pizza is generous with both of those briny treats, and it is topped after baking with a handful of baby arugula. While the crust is good, those mighty ovens merit a more deeply flavored and textured dough.

Nevin Martell of Express Night Out warns: "When it comes to the pizza, the Spicy Meatball is not for wimps—the crushed red pepper, fiery meatballs and fresh garlic puree work triple overtime to torch taste buds."
1699 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD; 301-816-0369; matchboxrockville.com

Giuseppi's Pizza Plus
Another Rockville option is Giuseppi's. Eve Zibart of the Washington Post reports:

Giuseppi's in Rockville may not advertise its pizza as a healthful item, but it has developed a sort of special-interest style: a low-sodium crust and a tomato sauce that tastes pretty low-salt as well. That rather careful pinch makes the dough, which comes up quite nicely puffy and crisped from the hearth, a little less interesting on its own than it might be, but it may be a question of habit: There are those who swear it's just like their New York favorites. And again, if you do add one of those salty meat toppings, you won't notice. (Here's a suggestion: white pizza with fine, crunchy bacon, fresh spinach and fresh tomatoes, like a BLT by the slice.)

Pizzas are also available partially cooked so you can finish baking at home.
199-L E. Montgomery Ave., Rockville, MD 20850; 301-424-0413; giuseppispizza.net

Where to Eat Pizza in Gaithersberg

Slice of Old Towne
This neighborhood spot (complete with red checkered tablecloths) is praised for its cheesesteaks as well as its pies. Justin Rude of the Washington Post reports:

The crust is light, salty and slightly sweet. The 18-inch New York-style pizzas are neither over-sauced nor over-topped...The Pizza Bianco is a favorite among regulars and is topped with olive oil and garlic with freshly sliced mozzarella, ricotta, basil and oregano.

201 E Diamond Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877; 301-330-9099

Coal Fire
Several Serious Eaters recommended Coal Fire to us, but this pizzeria (which has branches in Gaithersburg and Ellicott City) has also garnered some mixed reviews. Pizzablogger concludes:

On a good day, pizza here is thin crusted, pleasantly charred and tasty goodness topped with quality sauces, home made mozzarella cheese and high quality toppings which are used with restraint, resulting in pizzas with a good balance of flavors and a solid harmony of crispy, soft, dry and wet textures. CFP can be one of the very best places to order pizza in the state of Maryland on a good day, with a nice space, good service and a friendly staff to boot. However, inconsistency has raised its head here over the last three months and the pizzas have suffered as the result during my last four visits.

116 Main Street; Gaithersburg, MD 20878 and 5725 Richards Valley Road; Ellicott City, MD 21043; coalfireonline.com/

Other Gaithersburg pizzerias we've heard good things about include Zio's Italian Restaurant (9083 Gaither Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20877; 301-977-6300) and Starvin Marvin (211-C N. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877; 301-963-6400)

Where to Eat Pizza in Silver Spring

Pacci's Pizzeria
Tom Sietsema recommends Pacci's in a recent Washington Post review:

Much of what you need to know about Pacci's Neapolitan Pizzeria unfolds right inside the door. That's where chef Rosario Granieri and crew transform soft balls of dough into crisp 12-inch crusts based on that holy trinity of (pizza) building blocks: Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. Credit for the char on the pies, available in nearly 20 variations, goes to a red-tiled, oak-fueled oven that heats up to 870 degrees.

Executive Chef Rosario Granieri hails from Naples, and the crusts at Pacci's are tender and soft at the center. Carole Sugarman of Bethesda Magazine complains that the moisture from the cheese and sauce can get things pretty soggy:

That's what happened to the crust on the Margherita pizza at Pacci's—it got mushy from its tomato topping early on in the meal. Ditto for the Quattro Stagioni, a pie with four different varieties in one (two slices of each). Conversely, La Saporita, a white pizza with fewer moisture-prone ingredients--smoked provolone, friarielli (a bitter green), homemade sausage and fresh basil—was almost burnt. But the char seemed to fit the smoky, earthy taste of the toppings, resulting in the best pizza of the night.

8113 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 301-588-1011; paccispizzeria.com

Armand's Chicago Pizza
In 1975, Lew Newmyer opened his first Chicago-inspired deep-dish style pizza shop in Washington D.C. 35 years later, he has eleven pizza restaurants throughout the capital and Maryland. Though some reviews are mixed, Yelp user Deb L. is a huge fan: "Armand's," she writes, "you are my guilty pleasure. I know I shouldn't like you as much as I do, but I adore you! Utterly adore you! With your deep dish, gooey deliciousness, and the brilliant burst of flavor that hits my tongue as soon as I take a bite." Some Yelpers are fans of their New Mexican pizza, topped with ground beef, salsa, Colby cheese, jalapenos, and black olives.
1909 Seminary Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 301-588-3400; ‎armandspizza.com

More pizza in Silver Spring: Z Pizza (815 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 301-495-5536; zpizza.com), Ben Yahuda Cafe & Pizzeria (1370 B Lamberton Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20902; 301-681-8900; ben-yehuda-pizza.com), and Manny and Olga's (8107 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 301-608-8050; ‎mannyandolgas.com/)

Where to Eat Pizza in Frederick

Il Forno Pizzeria

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[Photo: Pizzablogger]

Pizzablogger gave Slice a look at this wood-fired pizza joint. He had quite a few criticisms and a few bits of praise:

The pies I had were in desperate need of salt. Salt in the crust, salt on top of the pizza, get some friggen salt already!...The tomato sauce was as advertised, a little chunky. And it's pretty good as well....The chunkier sauce and sensible spicing definitely has a little bit of that 'made by Grandma' quality to it...The undercarriage was nicely cooked, with some developed browning and a nice outer crispiness to it. The crumb was both overly chewy and dry...The poor heat distribution in the oven, coupled with the long cooking time, left a lot of uncooked dough, so the crust verged on raw in some places. The uncooked dough created the overly chewy and gummy texture while the long cook time dried out the portions of the crumb which were adequately cooked.

But it's possible the timing of Pizzablogger's visit (3:00 pm, when the restaurant was pretty empty) played a role in the oven management issues.
1035 W Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21702; 301-846-0422; ilfornopizzeria.com

More Frederick options: Milano's Pizza (540 W. South Street Frederick, MD, 21701; 301-662-0064; milanospizzafrederick.com/) and Capone's Pizza (10 Hillcrest Drive, Frederick, MD 21703; 301-631-9400).

Where to Eat Pizza in Hagerstown and Williamsport

Tony's Pizza Time Café
On Hagerstown Eats, Anne Chovey praises the non-pizza options at this Italian spot, but she's impressed by the pizza too: "Then it is on to the pizza—so many choices. Crazy Tony's with bacon-cheese fries, Jimmy the Greek with feta cheese, spinach and artichokes and Mi Casa Su Casa with taco meat, nacho cheese and sour cream. Wow!"
10 E. Salisbury St., Williamsport, MD, 301-223-6266

Hagerstown may not be a hotbed of pizza options, but there are a few we've heard good things about, including Rocky's New York Pizza (907 S Potomac Street Ste 1, Hagerstown, MD 21740; 301-791-6810) and Tony's New York Pizza and Italian Restaurant (14224 Pennsylvania Ave, Hagerstown, MD 21742; 301-739-8669)

Where to Eat Pizza in Essex

Pizza John's
Pizza John's has been a go-to pizza joint for locals in Essex since 1966. Pizzablogger told us that it's the "best pizza, by a landslide, I have tried in Eastern Baltimore County."

The Baltimore City Paper checked it out after a major renovation:

The owners didn't mess with the giant pizza chef statue out front; he still stands, glowing light-bulb eyes and outstretched pie, as he has since the Carter administration. Service remains the same, too—order at the counter, wait for your number to pick up your food. Pizza John's makes its own dough and sauce, and the 12-inch house specialty Works pie ($11.55; $17.75 for 16-inch) came off the best. The thin, thin, thin crust was as supercrispy as flatbread and an enjoyable base for the load of pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and black olives that it bore. The pizza, however, tasted very low on cheese. And the sauce, instead of the usual tomato, was a ground-beef meat sauce.

113 Back River Neck Road, Essex, MD 21221; 410-687-7733; pizzajohns.com

Where else to go in Essex? Try Season's Pizza (1004 Eastern Boulevard, Essex, MD 21221; 410-780-7005; seasonspizza.com); Mustang Pizza & Subs (705 S Marlyn Avenue, Essex, MD 21221; 410-687-5070;mustangpizza.com); Bello Vitto's (6048 Rossville Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21221; 410-780-0172)

Where to Eat Pizza in Annapolis

Squisito Pizza & Pasta

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Squisito's Pizza & Pasta [Photograph: Squisito's on Facebook]

Squisito Pizza & Pasta is an ever-expanding Maryland chain that serves New York-style slices (and a crab-topped pizza.) Pizzablogger warns that quality can vary at different locations, but "when they get it right this is a pretty good NY Style pizza...Squisito tends to be a little heavy handed with the mozzarella. Ordering your pizza with light cheese strikes a much better balance between the holy trinity that is crust-sauce-cheese."
1007 A Bay Ridge Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403; 410-990-9800; squisitopizzaandpasta.com‎

Other Annapolis pizza options include Vocelli Pizza (909 Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis, MD 21403; 410-267-0003; vocellipizza.com) and Bertucci's (2207 Forrest Drive, Annapolis MD 21401; bertuccis.com)

Where to Eat Pizza in Ocean City

Mione's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
When asked about Ocean City pizza, Pizzablogger answers: "maybe beach pizza is meant to be more perfunctory than noteworthy?" But he chooses Mione's (located in the Ocean City Factory Outlets) as his favorite of the Ocean City spots. Yelper Jackie M warns that the "slices are as big as your head!"
12741 Ocean Gateway # 980, Ocean City, MD 21842; 410-213-2231

J&J's Pizzeria
This West Ocean City spot has a wood-fired oven. Tripadvisor user ocandhappy recommends it: "The sauce, the cheese, the crust..they get it all right!"
12445 Ocean Gtwy # 6, Ocean City, MD 21842; 410-213-0303; ocitalianfood.com

Piezano's Pizza and Italian
Piezano's seems to be a favorite among beach visitors. Tripadvisor user Wanetadrift reports: "Pizza had a real thin tasty crust, white garlicky sauce and melted mozzarella. Very good. 8 large pieces was plenty for the 4 of us." On Citysearch, Karen G. pronounces: "This is the best pizza on the boardwalk. It is thin crusted and really good."
300 South Atlantic Avenue, Ocean City, MD 21842; 410-289-7433 ‎

A few more pizzas to check out in Ocean City: Caruso Pizza (Wicomico Street and Downtown Boardwalk, Ocean City MD 21842; 410-289-1990 ocean-city.com/caruso.htm); Pizza Tugo's (11623 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD; 410-524-2922‎); Lombardi's (9203 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842; 410-524-1961; lombardisrestaurant.com‎); Dough Roller (several locations in Ocean City), and Fat Daddy's (216 South Baltimore Avenue, Ocean City, MD; 410-289-4040; www.fatdaddysocmd.com‎)

Noteworthy Pizza in the Laurel Area

Facci
Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post raved about this spot, which starts with Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes, then cooks the pizzas "for no more than 90 seconds in a 900-degree, wood-stoked fire. The result is crisp, yeasty and a little smoky." Sietsema liked the Quattro Stagioni, Richard Gorelick of The Baltimore Sun liked another pie topped with arugula and wild mushrooms.
7530 Montpelier Road, Laurel, MD 20723; 301-604-5555; faccirestaurant.com

Other places to get pizza around Laurel and Fulton: Lucero's Pizza (11200 Scaggsvile Road #107, Fulton, MD 20759; 301-604-7744; lucerospizza.com); Three Brothers Pizza (13600 Baltimore Avenue #210, Laurel, MD 20707; 301-317-8888;threebrotherspizza.com); Pizza Milano (9105 All Saints Road #H, Laurel, MD 20723; 301-776-6000; pizzamilano.ebizz.net)

Where to Eat Pizza in Brunswick

King's Pizza
With a population of 4,894, Brunswick is hardly the place you'd expect to find a great New York Style pizzeria, but Yelper Whitney M. says King's Pizza is the genuine article:

You wouldn't expect to find real NY-style pizza complete with garlic knots in a little railroad town in Maryland. But King's Pizza truly delivers. The real test was when we took my friend who's from NY and is something of a self-proclaimed pizza snob. She was a little skeptical, but admits that this is the real deal.

215 Knoxville Road, Brunswick, MD 21716; 301-834-9999

Other places for pizza in Brunswick include Lallos Pizza (840 Jefferson Pike, Knoxville, MD 21758; 301-969-0067) and Wing N Pizza Shack (100 Souder Road, Brunswick, MD 21716; 301-834-5555)

Where to Eat Pizza in Cumberland

Garlitz's Pizza
The western side of the Maryland is relatively bereft of quality pies, but the folks on YahooLocal like Garlitz's in Cumberland. Angel_eyes_6250 explains:

We go back often: It's a small family business that offers pizza, subs, and wings. The pizza is very good and is cut into big pieces. Always have gotten hot pizza and food each time I have ordered from them. The pizza sauce is a little sweet.

10801 Kreighbaum Road NW, MD 21524; 301-722-7733 ‎

Other places to get pies in Cumberland Fox's Pizza Den (206 Greene Street, Cumberland, MD 21502; 301-759-3697; foxspizza.com‎); Jerry's Subs & Pizza (Locations throughout Maryland jerrysusa.com‎); Carmichael's Restaurant (209 N. Mechanic Street, Cumberland, MD 21502; 301-777-2523
www.carmichaelsrestandpub.com‎);
and Puccini Restaurant (12901 Ali Ghan Road Northeast, Cumberland, MD 21502 ;301-777-7822; puccinirestaurant.com‎)

Statewide Chains

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Pizza at Ledo [Photograph: Shoot First, Eat Later]

Ledo Pizza
Ledo Pizza territory stretches cross the southeast, from Maryland down to Georgia and Florida. The first store opened in Adelphi, Maryland in 1955, and two thirds of Ledo branches are located in the Old Line State. Ledo serves square pizza, beloved by generations of Marylanders.

Serious Eater scatteredsong gave us a few Ledo's tips:

I have been eating Ledo's, well, since I can remember, and yes, I do find it undercooked so I always order it "extra-crispy" but even then most of the time I end up throwing it in the oven for an extra ten minutes or so and then its perfect (though I do like my pizza VERY crispy and brown). I think Ledo's can seem meh but you have to know which toppings are good. The best Ledo's has to offer, imho, is their pepperoni pizza, with thick-cut slightly-spicy greasy pepperoni with a great flavor, and I do love the flavor that Ledo's use of smoked cheese adds.

Multiple locations throughout Maryland and the southeastern United States; ledopizza.com

Other statewide chains include Jerry's Subs & Pizza, New York J&P Pizza, Vocelli Pizza, and Pizza Boli.

More, More, More!

Whew, that's what we've got, but we know it's just a drop in the bucket. Maryland experts: where do you like to eat pizza in the Old Line State? If you've got a favorite, let us know in the comments!

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