When searching for the best pizza, Gothamites tend to gravitate toward classic New York–style folding slices and bubbly, Neapolitan-inspired rounds. While we’re always down for a classic pie from Italian restaurants or a good ol’ pepperoni slice, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit there are times we crave the thick, casserole-like quality of a meaty Chicago deep-dish. Since cheap eats cravings are meant to be satisfied, we happily deviated from the thin-crust norm (and sub-par slices from 24-hour pizza spots), and rounded up the standout eateries slinging deep-dish slices. Unfortunately, they’re in short supply here in NYC, but a cheesy Detroit corner slice or spongy Sicilian square will also do the trick in a pinch.
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Best deep dish pizza in NYC
Scores of hungry New Yorkers and homesick Chicagoans have been flocking to this neighborhood pizzeria since North Shore native Emmett Burke first opened its doors in 2013, and for good reason: The Chicago-style deep-dish pies are heart-slowingly authentic. Consider the Gabe Froman—a 10-inch round of crackly golden crust blanketed with layers of melty mozzarella, tangy-sweet tomato sauce, fresh spinach and half-moons of crumbled sausage and spicy pepperoni. Ask for a side of house-made dill-infused ranch for dipping. You can thank us later.
Bushwick’s late-night pizza bar dishes out fluffy, inch-thick rounds of the Greek variety (think Chicago-style light). Baked in a shallow pan, Archie’s serves pizza by the pie or slice, offering cash-strapped customers massive quarter-pie slices for only $4. When in doubt, go for the vegetarian slice of the day, which can include anything from jalapeño and pineapple to onion and mushroom. Then test your tolerance with the smorgasbord of hot sauces, with flavor profiles ranging from mild savory garlic to hellfire habanero.
This Detroit-style spin-off of Clinton Hill’s divine wood-fired darling Emily is good enough to convert any folding-slice disciple. The rectangular, pan-baked Emmy pie boasts six slices of buttery, inch-thick air-pocked dough festooned with gooey mozzarella, zippy banana peppers and thinly sliced red onions, complemented by tangy, cilantro-mint ranch drizzles and a side of dipping marinara.
Well-cemented as a Gotham paragon, Prince Street Pizza slings line-worthy Neapolitan and Sicilian slices of equal quality. Sink your teeth into the gummy, hallmark crust of the Sicilian-style square adorned with a splatter of tangy sauce, ribbons of gooey cheese and pockets of spicy pepperoni. Wash it all down with a cold Peroni as you cross Prince Street.
Brooklyn’s beloved Bensonhurst stalwart has been dishing out doughy, Sicilian squares since 1939. Locals and day-trippers alike line up for a taste of the famously thick slices slathered in sweet red sauce and generous layers of melted mozzarella and crumbled parm. Don’t forget to save room for the legendary spumoni: creamy swirls of vanilla, chocolate and pistachio ice cream piled high in a paper Dixie cup.
Pizza and dive bars go hand in hand
As our waiter lifts a thin cross-section of Kalbi ribeye from a mist of dry ice, he announces his intent to lay the marbled meat on the in-table grill by shouting, “Hami-kal yakimasu! Sei-no?,” to which the waiters and patrons cheer, “Yoisho!” This is standard practice at the New York flagship of this theatrical Tokyo-born chain, founded in 2010 by twin brothers and restaurateurs Sunbong and Sunchol Lee (yakiniku refers to the lesser-known, Korean-influenced Japanese barbecue, while futago translates to “twins”). Located in the food-dense Flatiron District, the restaurant occupies a long, spare room lined with exposed brick, wood paneling and a tilework portrait of the twins. It’s clear the brothers aspire for a modern, rather than traditional atmosphere throughout: bathrooms are fitted with high-tech Washlet toilets, the soundtrack mixes hip-hop with Korean pop and regulars receive name plates on the wall (one is cheekily marked “P Diddy”), along with gratis desserts and a pair of custom engraved golden tongs. Despite the restaurant’s casual ambience, you’ll have to call in advance to reserve their hamideru kalbi ($45; well-worth in the investment), as there are only ten orders per night of this half-pound imported Japanese black Wagyu, cut into four distinct segments and served with lettuce leaves, red bean paste and fresh wasabi. For appetizers, you won’t find any better than the sinfully tender filet or rare steak with toasted garlic ($15), followed closely by a sear
Venue says: “Best imported Japanese "wagyu" beef! Enjoy Japanese BBQ in the stylish dining atmosphere!”