America is in love with pizza. According to CBS News in Minnesota, it's more popular than chicken wings for Super Bowl snacking.
Though a Margherita pizza is pretty much perfection, go beyond the classic alchemy of dough, sauce, and cheese and the sky's the limit.
Miami eateries are skipping predictable combinations in lieu of custom creations topped with bold flavor combos that are anything but boring. Here are the eight most interesting pies to try when you feel like you're stuck in a pizza rut.
1. Call Me Gaby. Head to this Italian restaurant in the South of Fifth neighborhood for a selection of unique pies.
2. Sugar Factory. The South Beach Sugar Factory makes a pizza for every sweet tooth. This decadent pie will leave you licking your fingers with the flavors of sweet Nutella cream, strawberries, and bananas. The sinful treat is topped with semisweet dark chocolate shavings ($17). 1144 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-604-0323; sugarfactory.com.
3. 800 Degrees Kitchen. A quick glance at this pie might make you think it's typical, but the first bite will tell you otherwise: The tomato sauce is spiked with a splash of Grey Goose. In addition to the extra punch, this alla vodka pizza also includes fresh mozzarella, pecorino, sweet onion, and pancetta. The red chili flakes add just the right amount of heat ($17). 2956 NE 199th St., Aventura; 305-902-4363; 800degrees.com.
4. Matador Room. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Latin/Caribbean version is prepared with a mix of fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients: avocado, jalapeño, ricotta, agave, cilantro, and lime ($14), which you can savor in the eatery's historic dining room or at the atmospheric bar. 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4600; matadorroom.com.
5. Malibu Farm. For those days when you can't decide between gyros or pizza, Malibu Farm offers the perfect solution. This cheery outpost inside the Eden Roc serves a specialty Greek salad pie crowned with a healthful mix of hummus, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and kalamata olives ($23). 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-5579; edenrochotelmiami.com.
6. Boulud Sud. Downtown Miami is home to Boulud Sud, a great place for gourmet Mediterranean upgrades on classic pies. Chef Clark Bowen offers his take on a lamb flatbread with a freshly made thin crust topped with a perfect combination of flavors: fresh cuts of lamb, grilled eggplant, and tasty pine nuts. But it's the labneh — the thick Middle Eastern yogurt cheese — that makes the fusion an unexpected one: a mix of creamy, tangy, nutty, and spicy with crusty bread ($19). 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-421-8800; bouludsud.com.
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7. 222 Taco. This North Bay Village taqueria's take on pizza is a Cali-style Mexican pie with a layer of flour tortilla loaded with salsa, queso, black bean, and your choice of meats or veggies ($8). 1624 79th St. Cswy., North Bay Village; 833-222-8226; 222ta.co.
8. Soul Tavern. Pizzas here are named for the five elements — fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. The Beets and Roots, a "water" pizza, can be made with vegan cheese and a gluten-free crust. Traditional red sauce is substituted with roasted beet purée that's topped with lotus root, red beets, black sesame, mozzarella, and baby arugula ($17). 1801 West Ave., Miami Beach; 305-925-0799; soultavern.com.