Jersey Shore Pizza War 2024 Recap: Who Has the Best Pizza at the Shore?

Judges and winners of the Jersey Shore Pizza Wars

On April 8, 2024, the Garden State had a war at the shore—a pizza war, that is! Sixteen pizzerias across the Jersey Shore competed for the title of best pizza, and at the end of the night, a winner was crowned!

About War at the Shore

War at the Shore was created and hosted by Chef Umberto Turelli, chef and owner of Zi Marie’s Original Pizzeria Trattoria, in Toms River and cohost of What’s Cookin’ Jersey Shore, on Youtube. Throughout the year, Umberto and cohost Andrea Tarr reviewed and interviewed over 75 pizzerias, and Umberto chose his 16 favorites to be finalists in the pizza war.

From there, it was up to the judges and the audience to select their top three pizzas across the Jersey Shore. Each placement receives a trophy, and first place receives a perpetual trophy. The trophy will be engraved with the winner’s name, and in 2025 the top pizzeria will come back to defend their title. If they win for a second consecutive year, they get to keep their perpetual trophy for another year. 

The event took place at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, in Toms River. In one room, the 16 pizzerias were set up, awaiting the judges. The main ballroom housed tables, a live band, the trophies, and food vendors, one of which was Ob-Co’s Donuts for any judges with a post-pizza sweet tooth. 

The Judges

Pictured, from left: Chef Geoff Johnson, Johnny C the Pizza Guy, Chef Eddie Goldberg, Bill Spadea of 101.5, Chef and Pizza Wars founder Umberto Turelli, Chef David Burke, and Enzo Ferrante.

The panel of judges was made up of five chefs and pizza enthusiasts:

  • Chef Geoff Johnson
  • Johnny C the Pizza Guy
  • Chef Eddie Goldberg
  • Chef David Burke
  • Enzo Ferrante

Once the judging began, the panel went around the room tasting one slice from each finalist and marking down their thoughts.

The audience had a chance to vote as well. This was important, as audience participation counted for 40% of the final decision. Upon entry, each guest received a token to use for voting.

The Finalists


The finalists included the following pizzerias:

  1. Manzano’s, Waretown
  2. Frankie Fed’s, Freehold Township
  3. Zoni’s Brooklyn Brick Coal Oven Pizzeria, Middletown
  4. Tramonto’s Pizza, Ocean Township
  5. Peel, Ocean Township (Oakhurst)
  6. Slice House, Toms River
  7. PaciDough’s, South Toms River
  8. Joe Diano’s Tomato Pies, Point Pleasant Borough
  9. Romeo’s Pizza, Freehold Township
  10. Romeo’s Italian American, Freehold Township
  11. Verace’s Pizza, Toms River
  12. DeCaro’s Pizzeria & Italian Eatery, Brick
  13. Capricci Pizzeria & Restaurant, Howell
  14. Calabria Pizza & Italian Grill, Absecon
  15. Red Star Pizza, Southampton
  16. Filippo’s Pizzeria & Grill, Glassboro

While each finalist had their pizza to showcase—some with thin crust, some with thick crust—all had different recipes of their signature plain pies. Plain was required to allow for a level playing field.

Many finalists showcased their personalities with decorated stations backdrops, lights, signs, and other decor to make their tables shine. Romeo’s 33 Pizzeria gave out free zeppole to voters who supported them! 

Once the judges tried their slices, I got to try samples from a few finalists. I really got a taste (literally) of all of the different pizza styles New Jersey has to offer. Whether you are into thick or thin crust, more cheese or more sauce, the Garden State has you covered.

Who Has the Best Pizza at the Shore?

And finally, the big winners!

If you are a pizza lover, get yourself to next year’s War at the Shore! It’s a fun night to support local business, taste amazing pizza, and maybe even find a new favorite of your own!

More on War at the Shore