Pizza lovers in California can enjoy some of the best pizza joints in the country, including one that has been ranked #1 on a new list.
Yelp released its top 100 pizza places in the U.S. on Monday, Jan. 23, and featured five locations in five California cities: Pasadena, Laguna Niguel, Covina, San Diego and Los Angeles.
To find the best pizza places in the country, Yelp identified businesses in the pizza category and ranked those places based on the total volume of reviews and ratings and other factors.
#1 786 degree flavor — Pasadena
Last year, 786 Degrees’ Los Angeles location was ranked #10. Now self-taught chef Ali Hyder’s pizza restaurant in Pasadena is ranked #1 on Yelp.
Like its Los Angeles counterpart, Sapori Di 786 Degrees offers wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with halal meats.
Yelp reviewers think of one pizza above all others, and that’s the Bombay Tikka Masala Pizza.
It’s made with tikka masala sauce, San Marzano tomatoes, tandoori chicken kebabs, mango chutney, burrata, paneer, roasted sweet peppers, cilantro, olive oil, grilled onions, Himalayan salt and “a sprinkling of kaffir lime.”
“Tender chicken in masala sauce. The pizza crust was like wood-fired naan,” the reviewer wrote. “This place won my heart through my stomach.”
Reviewers also recommended llama mushrooms, Tuscan shrimp, and Istanbul pizza.
Pasadena is located 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
#8 B+C Pizza – Lake Nigel
B+C Pizza doesn’t look like a pizza parlor from the outside. But inside the bakery, the owner makes pizzas that Yelp reviewers can’t seem to get enough of.
“It’s a golden pizza. It’s basically a talking tool for pizza. You can’t see it or know it’s there unless someone tells you,” one reviewer wrote.
The pizza shop is an owner-operated one-man show, say Yelp reviewers. And to get one, customers must order online.
The menu includes 10 different 16-inch pizzas. The burrata pizza is particularly popular with reviewers. It is made with tomato sauce, pesto, mozzarella and grated grana.
“We ordered the burrata pizza for the first time and it exceeded our expectations! The crust was thin and crispy, which we love with a good sauce,” wrote one reviewer.
Other pizzas include shiitake and rosemary; garlic white; pepperoni, garlic and basil; crispy potatoes; and fennel sausage, Calabrian chili and honey.
Laguna Niguel is located 55 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
#13 Italian Pasta and Pizza — Covina
A family from the Amalfi Coast, Italy, moved to the Los Angeles area and started Italia Pasta e Pizza, serving homemade food. Neapolitan pizza with ingredients from Italy.
“Simply sensational and delicious Napoletan pizza from a wonderful Italian family!” one Yelp reviewer wrote.
The pizza place has a food truck located at 5101 N. Barranca Ave. in Covina. Pizzas include margherita, pesto and salsicia with sweet Italian sausage, mushroom, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil.
Yelp reviewers rave about the burrata pizza.
“Who puts homemade burrata in the middle of their pizza???? It’s just one of the ingredients that sets them apart,” said another reviewer.
The food truck offers lasagna and tiramisu.
Covina is located 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
#88 Caprese Kitchen — San Diego
Cucina Caprese started as a catering company and recently opened a brick-and-mortar location in San Diego.
The “intimate” and “cozy” restaurant serves wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, pasta, salads and small bites.
“Everything we tried tasted like something you’d eat in Italy,” wrote one reviewer.
Popular pizzas noted by reviewers included ham and rocket. It is baked with San Marzano pizza sauce, fior di latte made from agerola, fresh arugula, Parma ham, shaved Parmegino and extra virgin olive oil.
#89 Esko’s Pizza — Los Angeles
Esco’s Pizza has created a menu to “bring the taste of the East Coast to LA.”
Pizzas include Maestro Sausage, Meat Lover, White, Chicken, Sicilian Square, Buffalo Chicken, and White Celery.
The white clam pizza was a hit with reviewers. It’s topped with baby balsamic vinegar, lemon, garlic, chili flakes, mozzarella cheese, garlic oil, and fresh basil.
“My partner ordered some clay pizzas for us and WOW. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s amazing. Garlic goodness with tender balsamic goodness… Their crust is perfect and they sell big chunks of New York,” wrote one reviewer.
Esco’s Pizza also offers sandwiches, pasta and salads.
Customers can order an 18-inch pie or a slice.
This story was originally published January 24, 2023 12:30 p.m.
Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National real-time reporter covering Washington state and the western region. He is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Department of Journalism. He lives in Phoenix.