I am of Italian descent from the greater New York City area, so it should be no surprise that I love pizza. My interest was piqued when my niece Samantha recently posted a ranking of the “101 Best Pizzas in America," according to the Daily Meal® website, which conducted the voting on 700 pizza shops by 78 food experts. The list contains the name of the restaurant, its signature pizza, and its city/state.
I decided that this data was worthy of bringing into JMP and exploring further (don’t judge me). So I imported the list, looked up every address, and ran the JMP Geocoder Add-In to ascertain the longitude and latitude of each restaurant. (You can download the add-in with a free JMP User Community account.) I then used Recode to create a new column for US regions, and started to investigate the data.
I first decided that Tabulate would be a good place to start to see which region has most of the winners (you know where this is going, don’t you?). I clicked on the box for Order by count of grouping columns to sort the data in descending order.
Let’s take a look:
And, as I expected, the Northeast had the most. But I didn’t expect that it would contain more than half of the total. My next surprise was that the Southwest narrowly beat out the Midwest for second place. (Oh, I can see all the nasty emails from my Chicago in-laws and friends pouring in.)
Then I drilled down by state:
Again, no surprise that New York is numero uno, but it was nice to see that Connecticut (CT) trounced New Jersey (NJ) for the number two spot. (More emails, sigh, but I concede that Jersey is cooler because they have The Boss.)
California was the big winner in the Southwest – more on that later. And of course Chicago dominates the Midwest.
Still, there was more to learn by looking at the data plotted on a map. So here it is using Open Street maps:
First I looked at California (CA) to see where its winners were located:
Six of the 10 California places are in San Francisco, with two more in Oakland and Berkeley. So, good for you, folks in the Bay Area!
But ultimately, I was most interested in the Northeast:
And what did I learn? The biggest concentration of the best pizza in the US is Brooklyn, New York. From my hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut, all 53 of the places in this area are within a 150-mile radius. But most importantly to me, the No. 1 spot goes not to a pizzeria in New York City, but to Frank Pepe of New Haven, Connecticut, just 20 miles from where I grew up.
I’ll definitely need to have a slice when I’m visiting family. But hey, since they are all within driving distance from Bridgeport, maybe I should hit them all.