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New York pizza for families

Bring on the cheesy goodness! Your kids think it's the perfect treat—honestly, we really can't argue.

Photograph: Courtesy Deidre Schoo
Roberta's

Whether you love it decked out in buffalo chicken, cheesy as humanly possible or simply in the form of classic margherita pizza, one thing's certain: Nothing beats a slice of New York pizza. When you're at the end of a long day after exploring NYC museums or you're burning off energy at some of the city's coolest play spaces, find a slice at one of these epic pizzerias. Fortunately, these picks understand that you're usually traveling with the whole clan—they'll accommodate you and all the little ones, too.

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Roberta's

Critics' pick

Kids love this spectacular wood-fired pizza because it has all the right answers: No, it's not greasy. Yes, you can pick off the basil. No, it's not too charred. Yes, you can have some more. You love that the menu contains produce (like tomatoes and lettuce) grown in the restaurant's own backyard, the mozarella is homemade and honey comes from its very own beehives. Their simple Margherita ($13) is a classic. Take your kids on a garden tour so they can play with their food before it arrives on their plates ($10 and up, email @ robertaspizza.com to make a reservation). Be sure to roll in early, around 4:30 or 5pm—this place get insanely packed.

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Williamsburg

Luzzo's

Neapolitan pizzaiolo Michele Iuliano pulls Southern Italian rounds from a century-old wood-fired oven at this East Village flagship. The family-friendly spot needs no frills in terms of décor—their charred pizzas provide any sense of hominess that the appearance may lack. Kids will dig into simple pies like the Bufala (mozzarella, marinara and basil) or the Campana (topped with mozz, marinara, cherry tomatoes, shaved parmesan and basil), while Mom and Dad take advantage of toppings with a kick, such as spicy salami or hot cherry peppers.

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Juliana's

Patsy Grimaldi—the flour-dusted legend behind Grimaldi's, which has since changed hands—busts out of retirement to reclaim his pie shop's first location, along with its original coal oven. Your whole brood is more than welcome—pizza has, after all, been in Patsy's family for eight generations. The menu spotlights iconic red-sauce fare, including classic pies (Margherita, white pizza) and desserts ranging from the classic cannoli to a proprietary chocolate-and-raspberry flavor from nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. To top it all off, the antique jukebox playing Patsy's favorite Sinatra tunes might make you feel like you're a part of the pizzaiolo's family, yourself.

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Brooklyn Heights

Di Fara Pizza

Critics' pick

The painstakingly crafted Neapolitan pies—cracker-thin crust with a pleasing char and a subtle Parmesan zing—are widely considered among the city's best; dough is made fresh several times a day. There are also cheesy calzones and plenty of specialty toppings on offer. To keep kids occupied during the wait at this classic pizza joint, point out the window boxes full of herbs used to flavor the sauce.

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Brooklyn

Eataly

Critics' pick

Young or old, everyone can find something that strikes their fancy at this sprawling Italian food complex. The hard part is deciding what—and where—to eat! Six full-service restaurants serve pizza, gelato and everything in between, but little ones will love chatting up the friendly pizzaiolos turning out nearly 200 pies per hour (boasting such quality topping as fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella, basil, garlic and more) from the resident woodburning oven. Be sure to look out for their Passport to Eataly food tours for kids, too.

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Flatiron

Denino’s Pizzeria Tavern

Denino’s pizza is worth traveling for, so grab the kids, hop on the ferry and make a day of it. The classic cheese pie at this family-owned Staten Island spot is tough to beat, but with a huge menu of pizzeria classics, including meatball heroes, salads, mozzarella sticks and garlic bread, there’s sure to be something for every member of your crew.

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Staten Island

L&B Spumoni Gardens

Since 1939, this Bensonhurst original—where Brooklyn families, sometimes even multiple generations, gather on the outdoor patio—has served one of the best Sicilian slices in town. Candy-sweet tomato sauce is generously slathered over tall, doughy rectangles with a crunchy browned bottom. Each one is finished with squares of melted mozzarella and zippy strands of Parm. Line up to grab slices or setlle in for a true famliy-style experience. Kids will love capping their meal with a scoop of neon-green pistachio spumoni.

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Brooklyn

Franny’s

Critics' pick

Husband-and-wife team—and parents of two—Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens met while working at the organic-minded restaurant Savoy, and have successfully combined a progressive food philosophy (locally sourced, sustainable ingredients) with old-world equipment (a wood-fired oven) to delicious effect. This beloved Brooklyn pizza staple, considered by many to be one of the city’s best, has plenty to offer little eaters. Kids can enjoy treats like a simple tomato, mozzarella and basil brick oven pie ($17) and a cheese-and-pesto-stuffed calzone ($18). Long waits and hungry tummies can make for cranky kids; avoid that by making a reservation if you’re dining with six or more.

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Prospect Heights

Nick’s Pizza

Though the pizza here isn't fired in a brick or coal oven, the crust comes out beautifully charred and the pies are quaint: The small plain cheese, slathered with a deliciously zesty tomato sauce, is covered with melted rounds of locally sourced fresh mozzarella and torn basil. You can also order pies half red and half white (with ricotta cheese) if the kids dig it. Curl into a cozy booth for a truly tasty slice!

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Forest Hills

Motorino

Critics' pick

There’s a pie for everyone at this laid-back Neapolitan wood-fired pizza joint, which has locations in the East Village and Williamsburg. Picky tots can go for the classic Margherita ($15), while parents may want to try the Brussels sprout pie with pancetta ($16). Stop in for a midday meal with the kids and get the prixe-fixe lunch special (Mon through Fri; 11am–4pm) including their choice of pizza, plus a green salad ($17.07).

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East Village

Comments

1 comments
Frank S
Frank S

Pizza Loves Emily in Clinton Hill should, at the very least, get a nod here.