Traditional pizza giants New York and Chicago need to get their act together.
The honor of best pizza city in the United States goes to Portland, Oregon, according to Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya, authors of the upcoming encyclopedic “Modernist Pizza,” scheduled to be released in October.
At three volumes and almost 1,700 pages, the lengthy tome spans everything from the history of pizza and more than 1,000 recipes, pizza-making techniques and tools plus tips to where to get the best pie.
Myhrvold — who was CTO at Microsoft from 1996 to 2000 before leaving to pursue his other passions — told CNN Travel that the book took almost four years to writer and included visits to 250 pizzerias.
Yet Portland coming out on top as pizza king was a surprise to him.
“We knew Portland had undergone a foodie Renaissance of sorts in the last 20 years. But I didn’t particularly think that pizza was going to be as good there as many [other] places,” Myhrvold said.
The Modernist team went to big cities and smaller towns across the United States, including New York, Chicago, the Old Forge, Pennsylvania; and the Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois.
What made Portland the standout? Myhrvold said it came down to innovation and passion to deliver the best and credits two specific artisan joint — Apizza Scholls and Ken’s Artisan Pizza — as jump-starting the quality pizza scene.
“There’s just a huge, vibrant community of people making great pizza,” he explained of the decision they reached.
These are some of the pizza restaurants that received special nods and write-ups in “Modernist Pizza” in case you want to try them out for yourself. As well as checking out the menus, be sure to look into operating days and hours and your dine-in, takeaway and delivery options:
— Lovely’s Fifty Fifty: Myhrvold says it’s arguably one of the two best pizza restaurants in the country (the other being Razza in Jersey City, New Jersey). Lovely’s other specialty is ice cream. 4039 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR 97217.
Others that get special praise, in alphabetical order:
— Apizza Scholls: 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97215.
— Handsome Pizza: 1603 NE Killingsworth St., Portland, OR 97211.
— Ken’s Artisan Pizza: 304 SE 28th Ave., Portland, OR 97214.
— Nostrana: 1401 SE Morrison St. Ste. 101, Portland, OR 97214
— Red Sauce Pizza: 4641 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213.
— Scottie’s Pizza Parlor: 2128 SE Division St., Portland, OR 97202.
— Sizzle Pie: 926 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97205 and other locations.