Ohio Ranks High Among Most Pizza-Loving States

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Ohio might not be where others around the nation think of when it comes to great pizza, but it’s not a surprise the Buckeye State loves pizza more than most.

With National Pizza Day arriving Feb. 9 and the Super Bowl coming up Sunday with Kansas City taking on San Francisco — Ohio sports betting sites list the 49ers as a 2-point favorite — we decided to look at the states who love to eat pizza the most.

BetOhio.com utilized two combined data points to develop the ranking of the 50 states in terms of loving pizza. We utilized Statista.com to get the pizzerias per capita in each state and Google Trends to get the searches for “pizza” over the past 12 months (Feb. 1 2023 to Feb. 1 2024). Once acquiring that information, we averaged out the ranking of the states to get our final rankings.

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Pizza Loving States

Overall Rank, State Pizzerias Per Capita Rank “Pizza” Search Ranking Total Average Ranking
1. Rhode Island 1st (37.3 pizzerias) 1st (100 interest) 1
2. Connecticut 2nd (36.8 pizzerias) 2nd (88 interest) 2
3. Pennsylvania 3rd (36.2 pizzerias) T-3rd (86 interest) 3
4. Delaware 6th (34 pizzerias) T-3rd (86 interest) 4.5
5. New Hampshire 8th (33.5 pizzerias) T-3rd (86 interest) 5.5
6. Massachusetts 7th (33.6 pizzerias) 6th (82 interest) 6.5
7. New Jersey 4th (35.7 pizzerias) T-10th (70 interest) 7
8. Ohio 9th (32 pizzerias) 7th (78 interest) 8
9. Iowa 5th (34.6 pizzerias) 12th (69 interest) 8.5
10. Indiana 13th (29.1 pizzerias) 9th (74 interest) 11

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Ohio Comes in at No. 8 in the Country

If Ohio betting apps took wagers on such things, it would be a huge upset to not see New York or Illinois in the Top 10, since pizza from two of the nation’s largest cities has such a devoted following. But that size drives down the number of pizzerias per capita, so other states made the list, including Ohio at No. 8. Ohio ranks ninth in number of pizzerias per capita and seventh in the search interest.

The list leans heavily to New England and the East Coast. With Rhode Island at No. 1, Connecticut at No.2, New Hampshire at No. 5 and Massachusetts at No. 6, New England has four of the top six in the country for states that love to eat pizza. Pennsylvania sneaks in at No. 3, while Delaware (No. 4) and New Jersey (No. 7) also rank above Ohio.

There’s Ohio Valley-style pizza, which includes cold toppings on a square crust that has a sweet tomato sauce. It has its roots in World War II veteran Primo DiCarlo, who ate pizza in Italy in the war, and he came home to Steubenville, Ohio, to start his own pizzeria. That spread to West Virginia, too.

There are lots of lists for Ohio’s best pizza and enjoytravel.com has a list of the Top 25 places in the state. It has Yellow Brick Pizza in Columbus at No. 1, with Cleveland’s Crust at No. 2, Old Scratch Pizza & Beer in Dayton at No. 3, with Cleveland’s Citizen Pie Roman Cafe and Cincinnati’s Taglio rounding out the top five.

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Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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