WithFletchera Huntleya/Updated: May 23, 2023, 3:26 pm EST
One dish dominates New York: pizza. Whether it's a thin slice from a hole-in-the-wall in one of the outer boroughs or a fancy warm pie from an upscale Manhattan restaurant, New Yorkers can agree on one thing: the cheesy, crunchy, authentic feta is the unofficial king. of the food scene in the Big Apple.
Butwhat makes New York style pizza so special?Many will tell you that it is the unique quality of New York water that makes the crispy batter unmatched anywhere else. While that may be true, it also has to do with New York's Italian culture, which was introduced by the huge waves of immigration from that country in the early 20th century.
Either way, New Yorkers don't play around with pizza. If you want to get your hands on the best slices and pies the Big Apple has to offer, keep reading for our list of the best pizza in five boroughs.
20. Express Pizzeria
If you're craving a hot slice of Brooklyn pizza, head to Espresso Pizzeria in Bay Ridge, a historic Italian-American neighborhood at the end of the subway's R line near the iconic Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. There is an undeniable charm to the simple decoration of this small, simple slicer. an old-school letterboard displaying a simple menu of classic pizzas hangs above hot pizza ovens that produce some of the area's best slices.
If you go there for a piece, don't miss itaromatic homemade bunches of garlicmade with their own dedicated dough, unlike many pizzerias that use leftovers. And don't expect to find Espresso Pizzeria on a delivery app. If you want to pre-order or get Espresso delivered, you have to pick up the phone and call them like we used to.
Nestled among quaint townhouses in Brooklyn's charming Carroll Gardens neighborhood, the pizza at Lucala has become one of the neighborhood's most sought-after pies since the restaurant opened in 2006. , local ingredients draw lines of people waiting outside the Lucali almost a permanent fixture of a cozy little place (not to mention it's BYOB). In fact, it's one of Benyoncé and Jay-Z's favorite pizzas in New York, it's also one of ours, which is why it made our list.
And this place will knock your socks off. The incredibly simple menu consists of only pies and calzones and is displayed on a chalkboard in a rustic interior with wooden furniture and old-fashioned signs. But don't bother calling ahead for reservations—Lucali doesn't take them. And hit the ATM on the street because it's cash only.
18. Neapolitan pizza
Anthony Mangieri, the mastermind behind Una Pizza Napoletana, is a true pizza legend. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Mangieri is completely self-taught in the holy art of pizza making. The pie dough at Una is fluffy on the edges, thin on the inside, and complemented by simple, high-quality, appetizing ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, smoked buffalo mozzarella, and wild Amalfi oregano that pay homage to the chef's Italian heritage.
The current location on Orchard Street in Manhattan's historic Lower East Side is the fifth installment of the famous pizzeria, which has won many accolades for the quality of its cakes, with some even claimingserves the best pizza in New YorkThat's why it made our list. If you want to try one of these bubbly, cheesy wonders, be sure to go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, the only days Una is open, and make your reservations well in advance.
17. Upside-down pizza
Any real New Yorker will tell you to avoid Midtown like the plague. But if you find yourself there late at night craving a warm, crispy slice, hang out with other late-night eaters at Upside Pizza for some of the best pizza in the area. What sets Upside apart is that it usessourdoughinstead of conventional pizza dough, giving it a distinctive crunchy, slightly leavened flavor that's delicious and unique enough to earn a spot on our list.
And it was a hit. Since opening its first location on Eighth Avenue, the Upside empire has expanded to include two other patch shops in Manhattan and one in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. After all, we'd expect nothing less from owner Anthony Falco, who cut his teeth at the famous Roberta's Pizza in Bushwick.
16. Ace's Perfect Pizza
Thin crust pizza enjoys an almost religious reverence in the eyes of some die-hard New Yorkers. But Ace's Perfect Pizza in Brooklyn is here to challenge the status quo with its Detroit-style pies. How many New Yorkers might wonder what a Detroit-style pizza is? It's a deep crust that's rectangular like a Sicilian-style pizza, but baked in a heavy pan that almost looks like cast iron, giving it the signature ultra-crisp surface and fluffy, fluffy dough that at Ace's sports a variety of creative toppings.
For those who like it hot, try the pepper trio pie with jalapenos, peppers, caramels and honey chili, and if you're avoiding animal products, the vegan option includes dairy-free mozzarella and basil leaves. And New Yorkers seem to love this variation of their favorite food. a second Ace location just opened near Rockefeller Center. Because of his generous creativity, Ace ranks 16th on this list.
15. Pizzeria Napolitana Totonno
It's not easy to make a pizza in a coal oven in New York. That's because under New York law, new coal stoves can no longer be built and used, so the only ones still in use were built decades ago, before the law went into effect. Enter Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitana in Coney Island, which opened nearly a century ago in 1924 and still uses a coal-fired oven to bake crisp, cheesy pastries with a distinct, slightly charred flavor. And it's not just the coal stove that keeps customers coming back to this iconic restaurant in the far reaches of Brooklyn.
Totonno's founder, Anthony "Totonno" Pero, started at Lombardi's, New York's first pizzeria, after immigrating from Italy in the early 20th century. And the business remains family-owned, making Totonno's "the oldest continuously operating family pizzeria in America, and possibly the world," according to its website. This legendary restaurant still uses fresh pastries and imported ingredients that keep locals and tourists lining up for more.
Once considered a sprawling working-class residential neighborhood, Bushwick has gained a reputation as a foodie's paradise with new restaurants catering to an increasingly hip, young population. Ops is a prime example of the culinary evolution of a rapidly changing region. Housed in a converted garage, Ops has a dark, cozy atmosphere with brick walls and wooden tables that make you feel right at home when you order a pizza and a glass of natural wine, which is celebrated on the restaurant's drinks menu.
And less is more in Ops. The food menu is impressively short, with a rotating array of seasonal specials alongside classic ready-made pies made with fresh sourdough and baked in a wood-fired oven that are good enough to earn Ops a spot on our list. The venture was so successful that the owners opened a sister store Leo slices in Williamsburg in 2019.
13. Pieces and slices
According to the Cuts & Slices website, "it's supposed to be the atmosphere" when you go there. And it's definitely the atmosphere. Located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a downtown Brooklyn neighborhood, the minds behind this pizzeria aren't afraid to get creative when it comes to coming up with their menu items. While you can always play it safe with a classic slice of cheese or pepperoni, feel free to go bold when ordering from Cuts & Slices.
Shrimp, chicken, and waffle slices are just a few of the far-fetched flavors that have found their way onto the pizza front here. Although it may behard to find oxtail at your butcher, can be found in three different iterations on the menu here, inspired by the area's Jamaican heritage. Cuts & Slices even has Adidas signature shoes with the pizzeria's insignia on the back! So lace up your shoelaces and head to Brooklyn's most daring slice shop, which deserves a spot on our list.
12. Pizzeria Patsy'ego
The first Patsy's Pizza opened in East Harlem in 1933, when the neighborhood was still known for its large population of Italian immigrants. Although the area has changed significantly over the past ninety years, Patsy's still sells cakes made the old-fashioned way in the style of legendary founder Pasquale "Patsy" Lancieri and his wife Carmella.
According to current owner Adem Brija, Patsy's was "the first pizzeria sold by the slice," clearly a concept that took off in New York. Whether you head to the original historic Harlem location on First Avenue or one of the city's other locations, we recommend sticking with the classic cheese slice that put this famous pizzeria on the map and why it made our list.
11. Pizza Scarra
Dimes Square is the epicenter of cool in Midtown Manhattan. Among the vintage shops, trendy bars and young locals drinking espresso is Scarr's Pizza, which opened in 2016 on Orchard Street in the heart of the neighborhood. Scarr's old school, with laminate benches and dark wood paneling, betrays an exclusive Lower East Side location that also serves cocktails and natural wine from the bar behind the pizza counter in the cavernous dining room.
If you come to Scarr's on a particular night, be prepared to wait in line for your slice, but when you finally get it, be equally prepared to fall in love. Scarr's grinds its own beans to make a flour you won't find at any other pizzeria in town. And if you want to try your hand at recreating one of these popular cakes, you can buy a bag of it for five dollars.
10. Paulie Gee
If you ask any resident of Greenpoint, a neighborhood on the north end of Brooklyn, where to find the best pizza in the area, they'll likely point to Paulie Gee's, which opened on Greenpoint Avenue in 2010 and remains the best pizza. position in the area since then. And when you try one of the creative thin-crust pastries that make up this extensive menu, you'll see why this restaurant made our top ten.
One of the most popular cakes, the Hellboy called "Hellboy", is covered with sopressata and "warm honeywhich is infused with chili. Another standout is the "Benny Gee," a play on eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon andlemon hollandaise sauce. If you don't have time to wait for a table at the restaurant (they fill up fast and they don't take reservations), you can visit the slice shop just off Franklin Street for creative high-quality pizza.
9. Lee's Tavern
Many New Yorkers call Staten Island the "forgotten neighborhood." But the city's less populated subdivision has a long history of Italian immigration, which has led to many restaurants offering some of the best authentic Italian food on offer in the Big Apple, including the best pizza you'll find at Lee's Tavern.
At first glance, Lee's looks like your average sports bar, but behind the scenes, they've been making the area's most famous pies since 1940. When it comes to toppings, the menu is dominated by time-honored classics like pepperoni, onion, and sausage. menu, but for those looking for something more exotic, you can order a pizza with a side dishcrispy and crunchy fried squida local favorite.
8. Chrissy'ego Pizza
The unique business model that Chrissy's Pizza maintains is a testament to its greatness. The highly sought-after pies don't have a brick-and-mortar shop to call home—rather, they're made in the kitchen of chef and owner Chris Hansell, who has spent years working at many of the city's most famous pizzerias (many of which can be found in this very list).
Instead of serving slices behind the counter, Chrissy's only takes orders via direct message on its Instagram page, which periodically announces when the pies will be available. Because these thin, crispy pies are made by one man in one oven, Chrissy only makes about 20 pizzas a month out of her Bushwick apartment. So turn on your push notifications and get ready to order from this exclusive place that is number 8 on our list.
7. Louie and Ernie's Pizza
Louie and Ernie's Pizza in the Bronx is a world away from the hip, modern pizzerias that have sprung up in Manhattan and Brooklyn in recent decades. But there is a reason to visit this restaurant on the edge of the district. The modest brick building that houses this Pelham Bay Pizzeria has been home to some of the best pizza in town since the restaurant moved there in 1959 from its original location in East Harlem, which opened in 1947.
There's nothing fancy about Louie and Ernie's menu, which only offers pies with classic toppings and calzones. With over 60 years in business, loyal locals and a steady stream of tourists come from in and out of town to get their hands on one of New York's finest pieces. For its quality and simplicity, Louie and Ernie's ranks #7 on our list.
6. Ruby Rose
If you're looking for a pizza with sophisticated flavor and premium ingredients in Manhattan's hippest area, head to Rubirosa. Opened in 2009 by the son of legendary Staten Island pizzaiolo Giuseppe Pappalardo, Rubirosa has solidified itself as a favorite for pizza lovers in SoHo, making it #6 on our list.
The pizza menu here is short, but the flavor of the cakes is perfectly balanced and prepared with an eye for perfection. We recommend the 'Wódka', which is topped with vodka sauce and fresh mozzarella, or the 'Honey Pie' with fontina, sopressata and spiced honey. But you're not the only one drooling. Reservations at Rubirosa are extremely difficult to get unless you book in advance, and while they save a walk-up, the wait is often an hour or more.
When Roberta's opened its first store in Bushwick in 2008, the neighborhood was still considered Brooklyn's hipster mecca. While many other quality restaurants have opened their doors in the ever-changing neighborhood, Roberta's has maintained its position as one of the best pizzerias in the area, which is why it made our list. The pizzas on offer range from the classic Margherita to the El Supremo with sausage, pepperoni, green peppers and pecorino.
And you can enjoy cakes in an industrial chic setting that reflects Bushwick's past as a center for alternative arts in New York. The Roberta's brand has been so successful that there are now locations in five cities across the United States, and Roberta's Frozen Cakes can even be ordered online.
Lombardi's Pizza in the heart of Little Italy in lower Manhattan is more than just a pizzeria. It is a living monument to pizza in the United States. After all, the title of the first pizzeria in the country is not bad.
Lombardi's began selling pizza in 1905 and has been serving up thin crust pies based on the Neapolitan tradition ever since.What makes Neapolitan pizza special?is the focus on high quality materials and a specific method of preparation, which has even been recognized by UNESCO as a "Cultural Heritage of Humanity". And when you try one of Lombardi's pizzas, you'll understand why. Because of its unparalleled endurance and legacy in shaping New York's pizza culture, Lombardi's ranks #4 on our list.
New Yorkers are notoriously hard to please, especially when it comes to pizza. But L'Industrie opened in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of South Williamsburg in 2017, took the neighborhood by storm and quickly became one of the most desirable pizzerias in all of New York. In fact, the demand was so great that the quartet took over the adjacent space and turned it into a dining room.
And on L'Industrie's menu you won't find anything but pizza. Prepared pies like pepperoni and margherita are served alongside imaginative creations like a fig and bacon pizza and one with fresh burrata. A devout dedication to quality ingredients and a fine execution of the art of Neapolitan pizza earned it the third spot on our list.
2. L&B Gardens Spmoni
Sicilian confections reign supreme at L&B Spomoni Gardens, a restaurant in Brooklyn's Gravesend neighborhood.What makes Sicilian-style pizza so special?is that, unlike typical New York thin-crust slices, the dough-to-topping ratio is much higher, and the pies are baked in large, square pans that give them their characteristic shape.
Italian immigrant Ludovico Barbati built the first iteration of the restaurant in 1938, and it has since grown into three buildings and been run by four generations of family members. And the crispy, chewy, perfectly cheesy pies have yet to be voted the best Sicilian-style pizza in New York, which is why L&B Spumoni Gardens ranks second on our list.
1. From Fara
With so many great pizza places in New York, it's nearly impossible to pick one as the best pie in the Big Apple, but we just did. Di Fara, a pizzeria on Avenue J in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, was opened by legendary pizzaiolo Domenico De Marco in 1965, and De Marco continued to produce the best pizza in New York with the help of his family until his death in 2022.
Imported Italian ingredients and a fiery old oven make the best pizza in New York, if not the world. Don't expect a trip to Di Fara to be quick or cheap. The line often stretches around the block and the cheesecake is $30 (cash only), but if you're a New Yorker and you haven't eaten a piece of Di Fara, can you really call yourself a New Yorker?