Society has long ago confirmed that New York has some of the best pizza in the world. The city, enormous as it is, has hundreds of spots where you can grab a good slice, swimming in an eternal ocean of tomato sauce. But where is the best pizza in NYC? And what makes it stand out among the rest?
To answer these questions, we’ve created a list of the 14 most famous spots for pizza in NYC. Here’s where to go to make sure you’re getting the most out of your authentic pizza adventure in the Big Apple.
Best Pizza in Manhattan
Scarr’s Pizza (Lower East Side)
Since it opened its doors in 2016, one thing has made Scarr’s Pizza stand out. That’s the fact that Scarr Pimentel mills his own grains in the store’s basement, creating a tasteful and nutritious dough.
The thin, slightly sour, and yeasty dough is then covered with a layer of tomato sauce and grated cheese, making the slices even crispier. Oregano then is added to the mix, just to give it a final Sicilian taste.
This is definitely one of the most popular pizza places on the Lower East Side, and the constant crowd in front of the 1960s-decorated venue can vouch for that.
Joe’s Pizza (West Village)
Joe’s Pizza is the king of corner-store, fold-in-half crust, grease drops kind of pizza by the slice. This establishment has been a classic of the West Village since 1975, and is a must-try for NYU students—or any person who has even the slightest appreciation for pizza.
Although it’s not the fanciest and most developed pizza spot, the experience of grabbing a slice at 11 p.m is something to add to your New York bucket list. The owner, Joe Pozzuoli, takes pride in the fact that his shop has been voted “best authentic slice” in numerous publications like GQ and LIVE!.
Rubirosa has been considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Manhattan for quite a while, and the wait lists to get in are proof. But once you’re seated, the Rubirosa Supreme pizza will be worth the wait, with pepperoni slices and tiny meatballs laying atop basil leaves and grated cheese.
There’s also the famous tie-dyed basil swirl pies and vodka crusts to try, as well as gluten-free pizza options.
Mamma’s Too (Upper West Side)
Mamma’s Too is known for its attention to detail. Even the traditional cheese pizza has a modern take. Aged mozzarella and parmesan cheese are the stars, followed by olive oil, tomato sauce and fresh basil.
And that’s only the beginning. Be sure to check out their cacio e pepe, mushroom and sausage, and pepperoni slices, all made in fan ovens and in the square-shaped Sicilian style.
This Upper West Side establishment has mixed “gourmet” style pizza with traditional grab-and-go slices, creating flavorful yet light pizzas. That deserves a standing ovation in our book!
Patsy’s Pizza (East Harlem)
Patsy’s Pizza (2287 1st Ave.) has been around since the 1930s and was one of the pioneers in the pizza-by-the-slice movement. Because of its commitment to tradition and authenticity, the plain cheese slice is usually the go-to for those who want to try out this historical pizza spot, with large circles of mozzarella cheese melted over the tomato sauce.
The pies here are baked in traditional coal ovens, where the crust hits the perfect temperature to form dark chars and give it that extra smoky flavor.
Kesté (Financial District)
Kesté is a classic Neapolitan pizza place in Lower Manhattan. Their crust, thin and soft in the middle and thick, charred and chewy on the corners, pairs perfectly with the well-balanced toppings and sauces. Their sauceless and truffled pizza buffalo mozzarella pizza with prosciutto is one of our go-tos.
In addition to some of the best pizza in NYC, they also have an extensive wine list, and the staff will be more than happy to recommend one to pair with your pizza of choice. The environment is cozy and welcoming, perfect for a date night in the cold weather.
Bleecker St. Pizza (West Village)
This venue is a mix of traditional Tuscan-style pizzas and Italian-American delicacies like calzones and chicken parmesan. One of their classics, the Nonna Maria, involves fresh mozzarella on top of already melted cheese, followed by juicy tomatoes and basil leaves.
Their focus here is the quality of their ingredients, not the presentation of the place. If you’re out late on a Saturday, this is the perfect spot to grab a slice after a night out.
Best Pizza in Brooklyn
Roberta’s is one of those spots to go with a large group of friends. Here you can enjoy an excellent, authentic Neapolitan pizza at the place that started the movement of classic Italian pizzas in New York.
String lights, enormous wood-burning ovens (that give the crunchy and flavorful black burn spots in the crust), and picnic tables decorate the environment. As for the pizza, you can never miss the Famous Original. Or maybe order the Bee Sting and taste honey on top of pepperoni, basil, chilli and cheese.
L&B Spumoni Gardens (Bensonhurst & Dumbo)
This is probably one of the most unique pizzas in the city. Although their rectangular slices have already become popular—and are now served in countless other spots—their “pizza in reverse” preparation method and emphasis on sauce are the novelty here!
The Sicilian square slices from L&B Spumoni Gardens are crispy on the outside with a thick layer of undercooked dough in the center, making it soft and chewy. Aside from that, the pizza has a layer of cheese under the homemade tomato sauce, completing it without the need to add toppings. Substantial simplicity rules here!
At the end of your meal, save room for dessert! Go for the Spumoni, the love child of gelato and ice cream.
Di Fara (Midwood)
A family-run venue that has been operating since 1965, Di Fara prides itself on its homemade dough and hand-torn basil leaves. The slices here are prepared with different types of cheese and the classic Neapolitan mix of olive oil and salty, thin crusts.
Although they have a second location in Williamsburg, visiting the original venue and watching their historical pizza pies being prepared is definitely worth the long wait.
Lucali (Cobble Hill)
Lucali has been at the top of many a list of the best pizza in NYC. Maybe it’s because the venue has a BYOB culture that invites customers to enter with beer and wine bottles to enjoy a well-prepared meal. Or maybe because the pizza dough is rolled with empty wine bottles on top of marble tables.
The result of that is a thin, crackly pizza crust topped with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce, mozzarella, minced garlic and basil leaves. The only downside of the experience is the long wait you’ll need to endure in order to enter pizza paradise.
Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop (Greenpoint)
Paulie Gee’s is an inviting establishment serving grab-and-go, counter-service pizzas. Their green and orange stools and 70s-style decor match the foldable pizza slices made with a crunchy crust and cheesy blanket.
The Hellboy slice, made with spicy honey and pepperoni, is a crowd favorite. Other great options are the sesame-crusted square slice and the Mootz, with multiple layers of cheese, garlic and olive oil.
L’Industrie Pizzeria (Williamsburg)
A small and charming pizza place in Williamsburg, L’Industrie is famous for their dough. It goes through an extensive fermentation process to achieve the perfect consistency, resembling a crunchy slice of bread more than a pizza crust.
Here they focus on ingredients imported from Italy. The result: a pizza pie with burrata and sweet pepperoni, basil, and parmesan over a thin layer of sauce and a thick blanket of melted cheese. Easily among the best pizza in NYC!
Best Pizza in the Bronx
Louie & Ernie’s (Schuylerville)
Louie & Ernie’s serves classic pizza with a crispy edge and a soft, chewy middle. Here you can order their famous anchovy pizza pie or stick to the original, delicious, and nicely sauced cheese slices. Another popular option is the sausage topping, salty and blending perfectly with the tangy tomato sauce.
Their cozy interior is surrounded by a red-brick structure, and the shiny signs on the window make it the ideal Italian-American pizza place in the Bronx.
You know how to find the best pizza in NYC — now it’s time to put your skills to the test and spend a day eating like a local! Join us for our Greenwich Village food tour for a foodie adventure you won’t soon forget!
Camila has lived in New York for over six years. Writing about food, drinks, and travel, she has moved around the city gathering tales, flavors, and restaurant recommendations for her fellow explorers. A lover of bars and baos, Camila can introduce you to the most famous and best-kept secrets of New York!