The Brass Monkey at Little Star Pizza, San Francisco
Little Star does the Beastie Boys proud with their off-menu pie, the Brass Monkey. It adds fennel-packed chunks of sausage to their "Little Star" deep dish loaded with mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, and a mixture of ricotta and feta cheese. It hits all the right notes in one comforting, crunchy cornmeal crust.
The Apollonia at Una Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
Named for Mangieri's daughter, the Apollonia is a Saturday-only pie. Quarter-inch cubes of Italian salami are sparsely scattered over a Neapolitan crust topped with buffalo mozzarella, fresh garlic, basil, sea salt, black pepper, and a thin layer of beaten egg.
Cold Cheese at Little Vincent's Pizza, Huntington
Lovingly called Little V's, the cold cheese slices here reign supreme. Take a solid NY slice, heat it, and top it with a generous handful of cold mozzarella for a game changing twist.
The #7 at Pie-ology in Fullerton, CA
Pie-ology's #7 with added mushrooms makes a good case for championing Pie-ology for the "Chipotle of Pizza" award.
Janis Joplin at Shorty's Pizza in Tucker, GA
Housed in a barn on a highway mostly lined with industrial parks, Shorty's is cranking out top hit pies from their Modena wood-fired oven, like this Janis Joplin. The cracker thin white pie is topped with sliced apple, bacon, walnuts, gorgonzola and comes with honey to drizzle on top. It might just have you singing "Pizza My Heart."
Girella at Don Antonio, NYC
Before he was a pizza maker, Roberto Caporuscio was a mozzarella maker. The Girella puts the house made cheese center stage with a cheese roulade that is filled with arugula and proscuitto cotto and then sliced into rounds that melt and fuse to the expertly made ricotta topped crust.
Ramp Pizza at Motorino, NYC
This past spring Mathieu Palombino offered a ramp pizza that we hope we'll see again this spring. The garlicky sweet characteristics of the chopped ramps are really a perfect pairing for pizza.
Wood-Fired Pies at Toby's Public House, NYC
Toby's corners the market on wood-fried pies in the Little Italy neck of the woods. And while these may not be destination-worthy pizzas like some others around town, the hybrid New York-Neapolitan pies sport good char and flavor that make a compelling argument for stopping by when in the 'hood.