The Pizza Belt is defined as “the area of the United States where the chance of obtaining an adequate-to-good slice of pizza from a randomly chosen pizzeria is greater than 50 percent.”
Taken at its strictest, The True Pizza Belt runs, more or less contiguously, hugging the coast, from southern New Jersey to Providence, R.I. (The map reproduced above provides a general but necessarily inexact guide.)
Lowering the chances to one in three, or slightly expanding our definition of “adequate,” gives us The Greater Pizza Belt Area, a zone spanning Washington D.C., to Boston, Mass., going no further inland than Albany, N.Y.
Chicago is not in the Pizza Belt. I have no desire to discuss Chicago-style pizza.
Neither is San Francisco, for Christ’s sake.
Indeed: Beyond the Greater Pizza Belt Area is a wasteland. In most parts of California, for example, the chance that a randomly-chosen pizzeria will produce adequate-to-good slices of pizza is close to one in eight; in Los Angeles it is lower than one in ten. Here, there is bad pizza—in the vast wilderness, in الربع الخالي. We do not speak of it.