When I took a job offer in 1999 to do a show in Detroit, I left my home state of New Jersey with a certain sadness. The first week I was there and ordered a pizza from a mom and pop joint (never go national as any solid Jersey guy knows) that sadness went to five alarms. I quickly realized the rest of the country had no clue what pizza was.

So it’s with great pride that I tell you TheDailyMeal.com has 4 NJ pizza locations included on their list of the best 101 pizza places in the United States. (Now, obviously, Jersey pizza should be most of the list, with maybe 30 spots held out for NYC joints, but they are a national publication so they had to play the game.)

One even landed in the top 5.

Razza #4

This Jersey City pizza shop routinely has multiple hour waits for a table. Last year they were at #3 on the same list.

Star Tavern #36

In Orange, their thin-crust bar pies are hugely popular and landed them at #32 last year.

Santillo’s #58

In Elizabeth, this small brick oven shop has a long history. The same family has had it for 100 years. And you enter through a side door down kind of an alley. How perfectly Jersey is that? They were #47 last year.

Pizza Den #64

In Princeton, they offer several types of pizza including sauceless (what’s fun about that?) and a wide range of toppings including baby kale (well, it IS Princeton). It’s their first time on the list which ought to help business.

Wherever you go for a pizza in Jersey as long as it’s a mom and pop shop you’re almost sure to get something good. If you love pizza, just never move away.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.