4 Greater Cleveland restaurants lauded by Food & Wine; Ohio ranked as 9th best pizza state

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Food & Wine magazine has ranked Ohio the ninth best pizza state in the country, citing a slew of restaurants including Greater Cleveland spots Geraci’s, Harlow’s, Il Rione and Mama Santa’s.

The ranking is a timely look at pizza, a sector of the restaurant industry that held up well during the pandemic, with its delivery distribution already established at a time when the takeout model was being embraced and enhanced.

“Pizza-wise, this is as balkanized a state as you will find, each city and region very much into their own style,” writes the magazine’s David Landsel.

Says the magazine about the four places:

“In Cleveland, there are pan-style pizzas topped with a provolone at institutions like Geraci’s in University Heights, now over a half-century old, or Mama Santa’s, in the city’s Little Italy. … At some point, however, you’ll be happy to snap back to the pizza present, and there have been some impressive new developments – there are the lovely, neo-Neapolitan pies at Il Rione, one of Cleveland’s best restaurants, summer nights and Margherita pizzas on the patio at Harlow in Lakewood. …”

The magazine did a nice job of covering the entire state, with Steubenville, Youngstown, Columbus, Miamisburg and Dayton all getting nods, as well as Akron for its accompanying cheese-topped salads (clearly a hat tip to Luigi’s).

By the way, it was an East Coast triumvirate at the top, with New Jersey, Connecticut and New York taking the first three spots, respectively.

Here’s the full list.

I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. And tune in at 7:05 a.m. Wednesdays for “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” with Munch Bishop on 1350-AM The Gambler. Twitter: @mbona30.

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