(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Just the word “pizza” evokes a joyful response from most. Delicious discs of hot, cheesy goodness melting into warm, chewy dough, what’s not to love?! Finding the best pizza throughout Los Angeles was no small task. Besides the vast number of pizza joints recommended to me — pizzas seem to be getting bigger and bigger along with my waistline — topping out at 21 inches at Tomato Pie. Following are some of the best pies in town, from deep-dish Chicago-style, wood-fired and gourmet to my personal favorite, NY thin crust. Dig in and enjoy. – Liz Laing

(credit: La Rocco's Pizzeria)

La Rocco’s Pizzeria

3819 Main St.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 837-8345
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In my opinion, La Rocco’s has the number one pizza in LA, especially if you like NY-style. The crust is thin and perfectly crisp and the dough has a wonderful taste. The Whitestone is the best white pie I’ve ever had – sweet, creamy ricotta and garlic is a combo made in heaven. You can’t beat the daily special of two slices and a drink for only $6.95.

(credit: Vito's Pizza)

Vito’s Pizza

846 N. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 652-6859
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This is one place that was recommended to me more than any other and it’s easy to see why. Located in a strip mall on La Cienega Blvd., you’d never know what an amazing find this is until you wander in and see Vito himself. He gets up every morning at 4am to start making pizza dough — what dedication! Great toppings are found on this NY-style thin crust. Try the Pesto White pie or the Veggie Pie pictured here, and the service is fantastic.

(credit: Zelo Pizzeria)

Zelo Pizzeria

328 East Foothill Blvd.
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 358-8298 ‎
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No doubt about it, the pizza at Zelo is unique. They start with a thick, deep-dish cornmeal crust and after adding some creative, gourmet toppings like and the result is outstanding. The number one seller is the Corn Pizza with smoked mozzarella, corn, balsamic marinated roasted red onions, and chives, followed by the Potato and Pancetta pie.

(credit: Tomato Pie)

Tomato Pie

2457 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 661-6474
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These guys go above and beyond to get an authentic NY-style tasting pizza, baking their pies in a barrio style gas oven and investing in their own water filter system to make super soft and clean water. The results is a nice fluffy dough with a crispy bottom. Tomato Pie’s number one, award-winning pizza is the Grand Ma (crushed, marinated tomatoes over an olive oil base, fresh garlic, basil, oregano, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses). It’s got great retro atmosphere with East-coast inspired dishes.

(credit: Mulberry Street Pizzeria)

Mulberry Street Pizzeria

240 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 247-8100
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Autographed head shots adorn the walls of Mulberry Street Pizzeria — owner is actress Cathy Moriarty — but the true attention goes to these outstanding NY-style pizzas. This neighborhood pizza joint has become somewhat of a landmark pizzeria since 1991, known for their friendly service and huge, scrumptious pies. Among the most popular are the Lasagna Pizza (ricotta, tomato sauce and crumbled sausage) and the Spinach White (ricotta, fresh spinach and garlic).

Pitfire Pizza

12924 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(424) 835-4088
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Pitfire Pizza’s wood-fired pizzas are crisp, puffy and beautifully browned. Try the Burrata with wild arugula, caramelized onion, hazelnuts and a pesto drizzle. Kids will enjoy mini Mac ‘N Cheese and kid-sized pizza. Finish your meal with soft-serve ice cream topped with homemade salted caramel sauce.

(credit: Kelly Campbell)

Pizzeria Mozza

641 North Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0101
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Combine famous chefs Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali, with restaurateur Joe Bastianich, and you have a recipe for success. This is gourmet pizza at its finest. Must try dishes include: fried squash blossoms with ricotta, brussel sprouts with prosciutto breadcrumbs, classic margherita pizza, and the Butterscotch Budino for dessert (sweet and salty goodness). Make a reservation in advance to avoid a long wait.

(credit: Joe Peeps New York Pizza)

Joe Peep’s

12460 Magnolia Blvd
Valley Village, CA 91607
(818) 506-4133
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Don’t let the graffiti or hole-in-the wall atmosphere dissuade you. Joe Peeps has the best pizza in the Valley. Two styles of pizza are offered: the famous 5969 calorie pizza and the “Blue Collar,” a lighter and less expensive version. Pizza lovers may have to wait up to an hour for this incredible NY thin crust loaded with toppings, but might spot a celebrity while waiting.

(credit: facebook.com/pages/The-Gourmet-Pizza-Shoppe/)

The Gourmet Pizza Shoppe

120 E. State Street
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 792-3313
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Located in historic downtown Redlands, the Gourmet Pizza Shoppe is a family-run business, opened since 1998. Deciding what to order can be a challenge, as they offer 90 varieties of pizza! Unusual seasonings and toppings make this place unique. Veggie lovers will enjoy the Jack Sprat, with mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, green onions and cashews.

(credit: Michael T.)

Tony’s Little Italy
1808 N Placentia Ave., Unit B
Placentia, CA 92870
(714) 528-2159
More InfoThis Chicago-style, deep dish pizza takes time to make, but be patient; it’s worth the wait. The stuffed pizza is thick, cheesy and super good. It may be a small store, but the pizzas have a big taste. Be sure and order 30 minutes ahead of time when picking up your pie.