Best pizza in the U.S.? Not in NYC or Chicago, list says

Grimaldi's Pizzeria, which features a coal brick oven, near the Brooklyn Bridge November 30, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

It's a long-simmering debate that bubbles up every year. What American city serves up the best pizza - New York or Chicago?

Neither, according to a new survey. What's more, the Windy City's famous deep dish pie doesn't even crack the top 10.

On Wednesday, TripAdvisor released its list of the top 10 American cities for pizza and the No. 1 spot goes to ... San Diego.

That's right. The low-key city with a reputation for safe neighborhoods and killer whales serves up the tastiest pizza in the land, according to reviews and opinions posted on the travel web site.

"Better known for burritos and beaches than marinara and mozzarella, travelers now have yet another reason to visit sunny San Diego," said TripAdvisor's Brooke Ferencsik.

The site says that San Diego boasts more than 100 pizzerias with places like Bronx, Filippi's and Golden Hill's Pizzeria Luigi topping the list.

Coming at No. 2 is another surprise: Las Vegas. But Sin City can claim its high spot in part because of a New York import: Grimaldi's, which serves up brick-oven pies to perfection. "Brooklyn pizza in the desert," said one TripAdvisor commenter.

Boston claimed the third best pizza, on the strength of Regina, located in the Italian North End, and Santarpio's in East Boston.

New York - dubbed "home of the American pizza" by one TripAdvisor traveler - settled for fourth place on the list. Citing pizza legends like Lombardi's and Patsy's, the site said diners will not have to look far to "enjoy the city's trademark thin crunchy crust, gooey cheese and savory toppings."

Rounding out the top 10: Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

Chicago may have been snubbed by TripAdvisor, but the city has not lost its legions of deep-dish fans. In March, Travel + Leisure readers named the Windy City No. 1 on its list of best pizza towns.