Most New Yorkers would agree that Gotham is best known for two things: stellar cheap pizza and exorbitant rent. The latter fueling our endless quest for the best cheap eats in NYC. And although we’ll happily indulge in a late-night dollar slice at one of several 24-hour pizza spots or go in on pizza delivery just to save a buck or two, sometimes we crave a touch of ambiance that only an authentic eat-in New York pizzeria can provide. From $3 slices to $12 calzones, these za joints are serving up some of our favorite cheap New York pizzas.
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Best cheap pizza in NYC
Don’t let the crowds deter you—the line moves quickly at this iconic, standing-room-only pizza joint (where it's not uncommon to have a celebrity sighting). A plain Neapolitan-style slice will only run you $3.21, but take it from us and throw another buck toward the Spicy Spring square slice, a thick and doughy Sicilian-style crust topped with Fra Diavolo sauce, spicy pepperoni and gooey mozzarella ($4.52).
The cheese-and-pepperoni classics are joined by the Hellboy (pepperoni with Mike’s Hot Honey) and Freddy Prince (an upside-down Sicilian with a sesame-seed bottom) slices at the Greenpoint darling’s casual spin-off. True to Brooklyn form, the 1970s-diner space’s menu has four vegan pies.
The artisanal intent at this 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. Affordable highlights include the massive five-cheese calzone (small $12, large $22). BYOB and cash only.
Proud to be the first pizzeria in Brooklyn to offer coal-oven pizza by the slice, Table 87 takes its toppings just as seriously as its crackly, coal-fired crust. You may have even seen them on Shark Tank pitching their individual slices packaged and sold for the freezer section of your local grocery store. The extra large slice rings up at just $4, so you might as well treat yourself to a cold Peroni (or two) to boot.
If you’re going to pay for artisanal pizza, it’s best served fresh: Here, piping-hot plain cheese slices will set you back $3.25, a whole dollar cheaper than Artichoke. Drop down another $3.75 to try a leopard-spotted white slice jazzed up with caramelized onions and sesame seeds, and wash it down with a Mexican Coke.
For more than 40 years, Italian-born Domenico DeMarco 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 regular pies—cracker-thin crust with a pleasing char and a subtle Parmesan zing—are widely considered to be among the city's best. Herbs grown in the window boxes flavor the sauce, and the dough is made fresh several times a day. Just remember to bring some of your own dough, as this joint’s cash only (pie $28, slice $5).
This family-owned shop in Bensonhurst has been slinging the best Sicilian slices since 1939. Unlike the average pie you'll find, the Sicilian variety involves a rectangular tray of puffed dough topped with mozzerella, tomato sauce and parm (in that order). While you can sit in their dining room and enjoy a whole pizza, either just for yourself or with others, you can take out a Sicilian slice for only $2.75.
In 2011, the cultish joint Lucali opened a spin-off in South Slope, helmed by Chris Iacono. The 40-seat eatery offers an identical menu of classic calzones (small $12, large $22) and thin-crust pizzas (pie $22, each topping $3-$8). As at the original, guests can watch flour-dusted chefs punch and pull mounds of dough in front of a wood-fired oven. And drinkers, take heart: Unlike BYOB Lucali, Giuseppina's serves beer and wine. Cash only.
Ivan Orkin’s claim to fame is obviously ramen (Ivan Ramen). But the chef is a culinary globe-trotter, and his latest stand at Hell’s Kitchen’s Gotham West Market focuses on staples from his hometown of New York. Orkin tackles the city's quintessential dish, the might pizza pie, serving up pies with an elegatly light crust, most appreciated in Corner’s no-nonsense Margherita slice ($3.25).
Dough technician Joe Pozzuoli has perfected the thin-crust slice ($2.75). It's well charred, with zesty tomato sauce and a blanket of fresh mozzarella. Best of all, only one or two pies are baked at a time, so the slices are burn-your-tongue fresh. One warning: Don't mix up this place with the unrelated Famous Joe's down the block.