Sorry, Tripadvisor: San Diego and Las Vegas are not the Top Pizza Cities in America   

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 8 2013 8:52 PM

Tripadvisor Loses Its Mind, Proclaims San Diego and Las Vegas to be Top Pizza Cities in America

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CORONADO,CA - JANUARY 4: The USS Ronald Reagan heads out to sea with the San Diego skyline in the background January 4, 2006 at Naval Air Station Coronado, California.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Reasonable people can and do disagree as to whether the best pizza is to be found in New York City or just someplace relatively near New York City such as New Jersey or Long Island or Connecticut. But the basic contours of the Philadelphia-to-Boston pizza belt are clear to everyone except the people of Tripadvisor.com who not only conducted a study of their users to determine where the best pizza in America is, but touted the results in a press release even though the findings are obviously absurd.

How absurd? Well the top result was San Diego. And how abusrd was that? Just check out the writeup (with emphasis added):

Those traveling to seaside SoCal can enjoy authentic tastes of Italy just miles from the Mexican border. With more than 100 nearby pizzerias, those with an appetite can grab a slice at Bronx, Filippi's, or Golden Hill's Pizzeria Luigi where mouthwatering toppings include sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and homemade meatballs. A TripAdvisor traveler commented, "The pizza was just as good as being home in New York."
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And how about number two pizza destination Las Vegas?

While visiting Vegas, travelers can step away from the slots todouble down on some pie. Favorite shops include Secret Pizza located on the Strip, Nora's where diners can devour the "Snow White" pizza featuring a medley of cheeses, and Grimaldi's which boasts coal fired brick-oven pies made with "secret recipe" dough and the perfect combination of cheese and sauce. "Brooklyn pizza in the desert," commented a TripAdvisor traveler.

Where is Brooklyn? What is the Bronx? Where is Grimaldi's original location? That's right. New York City!

Now to be clear. Compared to how things were 20 or even 15 years ago, pizza has improved outside the Pizza Belt. For example, there's a Grimaldi's in Las Vegas. And a combination of higher rents and psychological anchoring around the "dollar slice" concept has led to a degradation in the average quality of New York pizza. But San Diego? Las Vegas? No! All Tripadvisor is telling us here is that Tripadvisor ratings aren't something we should take very seriously.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.