Best pizza in New York

The city's finest pies.

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New York’s pizza wars are legendary, with every chest-thumping Gothamite jockeying for the last word. The mystical combination of dough, sauce and cheese is as much a part of the culinary identity of NYC as hot dogs and soft pretzels. That’s why we combed the city’s grimiest slice joints and upmarket Neapolitan pizzerias to bring you this list of the very best pizza in New York City. Did we miss your favorite NYC pizzeria? Join the conversation in the comments.

Franny’s

  • Critics choice

Thin, bubbly, locavore pizzas are the soul of this operation, helmed by husband-and-wife team Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg (Savoy). A sausage-and-cheese pie isn’t just a cravings-sater—it’s a work of art. The chewy, charred pizza, with coins of funky house-cured meat, buffalo mozzarella and fragrant Parmesan cheeses, a sauce that’s so sweet it reminds you that tomatoes are fruit, plus a drizzle of olive oil, is among the city’s best. Note: The place is popular, and they don’t take reservations.

  1. 295 Flatbush Ave, (between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave), 11217
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Wild Rise

  • Critics choice

Bringing pizza back to its preindustrial origins, the team behind Wild Rise eschews consistent one-strain commercial yeast for wild yeast—a collection of strains of the microorganisms, imported from Campagnia—to leaven its dough. The diversified yeast produces more complex flavor in these funky pies, which are dolled up with milky buffalo mozzarella, sweet Italian plum tomato sauce and fragrant torn basil, then baked in a custom-built, steel-insulated cylindrical oven. The springy char-kissed crust boasts deep earthy and tangy notes that stand up to the bold flavors of the spot's primo ingredients—ultra-porky pepperoni and pungent hard-neck garlic. Choose from winners like marinara, Margherita, cremini with pepperoni, and shiitake and garlic.

  1. 68 Jay St, (at Water St), 11201
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Motorino

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Pie-maker Mathieu Palombino is a born-and-bred Belgian, yet his pizza pantry hits every Neapolitan note. His imported flour is of the doppio zero variety, while the tomatoes he uses are San Marzano, canned at the peak of ripeness. His cheese of choice is either tangy buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte, which is house-made at Motorino each morning. Then there’s the oven, a bell-shaped, ceramic-floored colossus that’s fed a combination of cherry, oak, birch and hickory woods and fired up to 900 degrees—each pie requires about one minute inside. That fancy flour produces a bubbly crust and the sauce more than holds its own: The DOP tomatoes come across bright and tart, an ideal foil to the dose of grassy olive oil and hit of musty pecorino that anoints each pie just before it’s served. Stick to one of the Margheritas to get the most out of the tangy buffalo mozzarella or the milder fior di latte. Motorino strays from the classics with seasonally inspired pies, including a version topped with brussels sprouts and speck.

  1. 349 E 12th St, (between First and Second Aves)
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Forcella

  • Critics choice

Pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani’s pies boast all the vaunted Neapolitan bona fides: Caputo 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes and a blistered, pillowy crust. But his montanara, a flash-fried pie inspired by a version he grew up with in Naples, is the real star here. This nouveau round—puffy and golden with a kiss of tangy sauce, creamy mozzarella and torn basil—has earned its rightful place in Gotham’s pizza pantheon.

  1. 334 Bowery, (between Bond and Great Jones Sts)
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Kesté Pizza & Vino

  • Critics choice

If anyone can claim to be an expert on Neapolitan pizza, it’s Kest’s Roberto Caporuscio: As president of the U.S. branch of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, he’s top dog for the training and certification of pizzaioli (a former dairy farmer and mozzarella maker, he’s also intimately familiar with that most essential cheese). In addition to all the hallmarks of the Neapolitan product—San Marzano tomatoes, doppio zero flour, scorching-hot wood-burning oven—Caporuscio uses a slow-speed mixer to work his dough. Then, he gently stretches it into a round with his hands, since it’s far too soft for tossing. Man, does he get it right. Puffed with warm pockets of steaming air, it’s tender yet resilient, stretching ever so slightly as you tear it with your hands. All over the golden surface is an even spotting of tiny black blisters, just enough to deliver that brick-oven sear, but not so much that any single bite tastes burnt. Whatever you put on it, from the classic Margherita toppings to butternut squash puree with smoked mozzarella, it’s as close to the platonic ideal as we’ve found.

  1. 271 Bleecker St, (between Cornelia and Jones Sts)
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Lucali

  • Critics choice

Brooklyn’s pizza legacies are legion—from Grimaldi’s in Dumbo to Ditmas Park’s fabled Di Fara. To this noble lineup add Lucali. The artisanal intent at the candlelit pizzeria is visible in the flour-dashed marble counter where the dough is punched and stretched, and in the brick oven from which it later emerges crisp and blistered. There are just two items on Lucali’s menu: pies and calzones, adorned with milky, elastic mozzarella and simple toppings like chewy rounds of pepperoni or slivers of artichoke. There’s no wine list, but the unobtrusive staff will happily extract a cork from your own bottle—Grimaldi’s could learn a thing or two.

  1. 575 Henry St, (between Carroll St and 1st Pl)
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Don Antonio

While tourists bumble into Sbarro looking for a New York slice, pizza aficionados have been busy colonizing this pedigreed newcomer—a collaboration between Kesté’s talented Roberto Caporuscio and his decorated Naples mentor, Antonio Starita. Start with tasty bites like the frittatine (a deep-fried spaghetti cake oozing prosciutto cotto and béchamel sauce), before digging into the stellar wood-fired pies, which range from standards such as the Margherita to more creative constructions like the Rachetta, a racket-shaped pizza with a “handle” made of ricotta-stuffed dough. The main event, however, should be the habit-forming Montanara Starita, which gets a quick dip in the deep-fryer before hitting the oven to develop its puffy, golden crust. Topped with tomato sauce, basil and intensely smoky buffalo mozzarella, it’s a worthy new addition to the pantheon of classic New York
pies.

  1. 309 W 50th St, (between Eighth and Ninth Aves)
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Di Fara Pizza

  • Critics choice

For more than 40 years, Italian-born Domenico De Marco has eaten a slice of his own pizza every day—a one-man quality-control outfit. You know he’s doing something right. His painstakingly crafted Neapolitan pies—cracker-thin crust with a pleasing char and a subtle Parmesan zing—are widely considered to be among the city’s best. Herbs growing in the window boxes flavor the sauce, and the dough is made fresh several times a day. The wait can feel interminable and the scruffy surroundings lack charm, but you didn’t trek to Midwood for the scenery.

  1. 1424 Ave J, (at 15th St), 11230-37
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Paulie Gee's

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Pizza hobbyist turned pro Paul Giannone produces truly original pies at this rustic Greenpoint eatery. The best pizzas here are mixed-media masterworks with gorgeously blackened crusts covered in crispy nooks and pillowy bubbles. The Honey Jones—a frequent special featuring honey from a Brooklyn beekeeper, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, cherries and wispy prosciutto—beautifully balances sweet and salty. The Rooftop Pie includes crunchy Brooklyn-grown kale, gorgeously singed atop mozzarella and sausage. Ask for a seat in the back for a view of the roaring oven—a custom-built, while-tiled dome that burns up to 1,000 degrees.

  1. 60 Greenpoint Ave, (between Franklin and West Sts)
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Co.

  • Critics choice

Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey applies his bread-baking skills to the pizza trade at this unassuming north Chelsea pizzeria. The pies here live and die by Lahey’s famous no-knead pizza dough, which produces an exceptional firm-chewy crust blistered crisp and fast in a searing 900-degree oven. Individual, minimalist pies include the "flamb" (bchamel, Parmiggiano, buffalo mozzarella, caramelized onions and lardons) and the balanced Boscaiola with mushroom, sausage and a hot chili kick.

  1. 230 Ninth Ave, (at 24th St)
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Users say

14 comments
Rinaldo
Rinaldo

La pizza piu buona del mondo diggeribbile ingredienti di prima qualita e solo LUZZO east village nyc is the bestttttt I love

Michelle
Michelle

The best pizza is Luzzo's forever

Lee
Lee

I love luzzo's is the best pizza

joseph
joseph

Amazing pizza its like a slice of heaven! They have the best mozzarella I have ever tasted and its just perfect! I could eat 2 all by myself, the staff is so nice and on point, definitely should try it out!!! Enjoy!!

mando
mando

You will never have pizza this good anywhere but at luzzo pizza..the ingredients are excellent and its a great vibe there I recommend everyone to go there..

Daniela
Daniela

Luzzo in nyc has the best pizza. It's a great atmosphere and their food is amazing. Highly recommended.

joe
joe

Best Pizza in NYC LUZZO PIZZA!! AMAZING SAUSE THAT YOU CAN DRINK IT AND FRESH MOZZARELLA. THAT IS TO DIE FOR!!! CHECK IT OUT.

aleXander
aleXander

Joe's. 7 Carmine Street. That's all there is to it.

Jim Farley
Jim Farley

I'm sure these restaurants have great pizza but consider Manetta's in Long Island City, Queens. In business for 25 years and noted for their pizza because they only use fresh ingredients, including buffalo mozzarella, imported from Italy. On the buffalo mozzarella pizza, they also add spec ham, imported from the Italian Alps. Check out the NY Times article on Manetta's.

T.O.T.
T.O.T.

Brooklyn Pizza (Fulton St., Brooklyn) has my vote and top of all my best pizza list.

T.O.T.
T.O.T.

Brooklyn Pizza (Fulton St., Brooklyn) has my vote and top of all my best pizza list.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Co. Was overpriced and slightly boring. We need real, NYC pizza at a good price. Try harder, timeout.

pizzaiolo76
pizzaiolo76

Where is Keste'? NYC n.1 pizza...?!?!