Thanks to the internet, the best pizza across the country -- from Chicago deep dish to square Detroit style -- is available to almost anyone, so why settle for your usual local pizza delivery when you can order gourmet pizza online?
Chances are if you order a cheese pizza from a chain or the neighborhood joint on you're going to end up waiting two hours for it to arrive while everyone stares at the empty bowl of wings. But with a little bit of expert planning, you can order a pie in advance that's even better than delivery -- and far surpasses what you're going to find in the frozen food aisle at your local grocery store.
Plus, these pies won't show up cold. Well, they will, but intentionally. And each of these pizzas are near-legendary in their respective home cities, which makes ordering them any day of the year a great idea. Below, a guide to the best frozen pizzas you can order online and stick in your own oven, whatever the occasion.
The famously chewy crust and perfectly melted cheese -- all from your oven in just five minutes -- make us wonder what kind of witchcraft is going on over there at the Roberta's HQ in New York's Bushwick neighborhood, where this no-frills pizzeria has been feeding hungry hipsters for the last decade. What time of day is it? Doesn't matter, there's definitely still a line for a table after all these years. If you can't get Fresh Direct, order on Goldbelly.
This thin crust pie from Table 87, the definitive home of the coal-fired slice, is the best you can get without actually making a trip to the iconic Brooklyn spot on Atlantic Avenue. Just pop this margherita pizza in the oven for seven to nine minutes -- way faster than delivery. And so much more delicious. If Fresh Direct doesn't deliver near you, get it on Goldbelly.
Feed the whole crew with these heavy pies that have been legendary in Chicago ever since Lou's opened in 1971. (There are now 52 locations in the area.) Nowhere else can you get this kind of flavor magic -- flaky buttery crust loaded with tomato sauce and slathered in gooey cheese. Choose from a wide variety of toppings (definitely put spinach in your order) and know that you can even order heart-shaped versions. Awwww.
It would be unfair to mention Lou Malnati's and not Gino's East, another Chi-town fave with graffitied walls that have been around since the '60s. (Why do locals like one over the other? It's hard to say; it's like asking a Chicagoan why they like the Cubs over the Sox. You're just kinda born liking one over the other.) We'd advise going for the Meaty Legend, which is loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon and more bacon -- but if you find it's sold out (which happens), the second best thing is this pair of pies topped with sausage and pepperoni only.
This go-to from the Lou (that's Midwestern speak for St. Louis) has a cracker-thin crust that comes with tons of different topping options: Buffalo chicken, hamburger, deluxe (pepper, onions, mushrooms, sausage and bacon) and all the options in-between. Just make sure when you take it out of the oven you cut it into squares, which is exactly how they do it in the Lou.
The dense dough of this rectangular pie is stacked with pepperoni, ham, applewood smoked bacon and Italian sausage -- so basically every meat imaginable. The Detroit delicacy gets a caramelized crust when the cheese warms up in the oven, and the result is worth writing a Motown ditty about.
You fancy, huh? These pizzas (if that's what you want to call them) are made with puff pastry, which add a buttery goodness to the veggie version, and make you look like you really know what you're doing in the kitchen.
This Old Forge, Pennsylvania darling has a thick airy crust that comes two ways: Choose from the traditional red, or keep it clean with just cheese, rosemary and olive oil.
This story was written by Julie Vadnal for Chowhound.