Some people can become so devoted to their favorite specific pizza toppings, that many online ordering apps allow you to preset your preferences with the expectation they’re never going to change.
Granted, pepperoni and mushroom with extra cheese never fails to satisfy. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try ordering one of these regional-specialty toppings that might totally change your pizza perspective.
1. TRUFFLES // NEW YORK CITY
Fall is truffle season, and New York’s restaurants and pizzerias love to take full advantage of the fluffy fungi to add flavor. As supplies are shipped through the city’s artery of eateries, you’ll find several locations that add the shaved delicacy to pies.
2. LOBSTER // BOSTON
It’s no great surprise that crustaceans who were occupying the coast just a few hours prior to being served are going to be a town specialty. But Boston does a great job incorporating shellfish on their Italian-inspired wares, too: One of the most notable dishes is at Scampo inside the Liberty Hotel, where chef Lydia Shire takes a thin crust pizza and douses it with heavy cream, garlic, and the meat of an entire two-pound lobster.
3. PROVEL CHEESE // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
If you think you’ve tried every possible cheese variety on your crust, you might have missed St. Louis’s proprietary variation: Provel, a highly-processed blend of Swiss, provolone, and cheddar. Gooey, waxy, and thick, it can be found at area chain Imo’s, which also doubles as the cheese’s distributor.
4. CRAB // BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
While other area pie shops toss crab on their menu, no less an authority than Zagat declared Matthew’s Pizza’s crab deep dish pie to be well worth a road trip. It’s pizza so good that it helped fuel writer David Simon through a stint producing HBO’s The Wire. Simon once said “it’s unlike anything that calls itself pizza anywhere in the world.”
5. FIVE-SEED // LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA
Order the five-seed pie at The Fridge in Lancaster and you’ll get served up a pizza with a blend of sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower, along with sliced dates.
6. SALAD // LOS ANGELES
It seems like a cliché: of course image-obsessed L.A. would spare calories by dousing their pizzas with lettuce. But looks can be deceiving. Grey Block Pizza uses bagel dough as a crust for their trademark salad pizza, topping it with a heaping layer of romaine, chopped vegetables, and lemon-infused feta. It’s thick, crunchy, and has no ability to spare your waistline.
7. BARBEQUE // MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
Barbeque chicken pizza is everywhere, but if you want it done right, head to Memphis and opt for the pork. Coletta’s takes a standard crust and drowns it in pulled pork and their signature barbeque sauce. The pies are so good that Elvis Presley kept a running tab he’d have Colonel Parker (his manager) pay off monthly. If you’re not local, they’ll be happy to ship it to you.
8. MASHED POTATO // NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
New Haven was already renowned for its pizza before the proprietors of Bar decided to take the concept of comfort food to a new level. Their mashed potato pizza is topped with light, whipped spuds and bacon bits.
9. UNCOOKED, A.K.A. OHIO VALLEY STYLE // STEUBENVILLE, OHIO
While some bloggers have compared this practice to topping pizza with a Lunchables box, there’s no denying it’s an intriguing take on preparing a pie. Pizzerias in Steubenville are fond of cooking the dough and then adding uncooked cheese and toppings post-mortem, allowing the heat from the crust to slowly melt the cheese or using a takeout box to effectively steam-cook the top.
10. KANGAROO // SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
The adventurous meat lover may want to venture to Sydney, where local establishments like the Heritage Hotel offer pies topped with rich kangaroo meat. Slices of ‘roo tenders are marinated in a pepper and onion olive sauce. If that’s too tame for you, the Hotel can also serve up a Salt Water Crocodile slice.