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The best pizza in New York City

On the hunt for the best slice? We sent a pizza expert across the five boroughs to find New York’s best slices and pies.

Photograph: Bob Wong

We are fortunate we live in a city where the pizza is so good, even the dollar slices aren't half bad. Think of all the good pizza we eat in a given year. Yes, even the vegan and deep-dish varieties. Now think about all the good pizza we don't! It’s tragic. Among the best pizza in the world, most of it resides within our five boroughs. When Gennaro Lombardi opened up shop in 1905, he set in motion the most delicious machine on Earth: the New York pizza machine. To this day, Lombardi's, John's, and Grimaldi's enjoy lines down the block while other amazing coal-fired pizzerias remain hidden gems awaiting your patronage. Slice joints like Joe's in the Village, New Park Pizza in Howard Beach, and L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst helped define the quintessential New York street slice, but others in your own neighborhood have been slinging more than suitable replicas for generations. Kesté is the besté when it comes to serving traditional pies at the best Italian restaurants (where authentic customers order in actual Italian); and, if you can't get a reservation there, why not try somewhere that you can? Whether you want to avoid long lines, be in the know about the next big thing, or give a new shot to an overlooked favorite of yesteryear, here is the best New York pizza you haven't had (yet).

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best New York pizza

1

NY Pizza Suprema

Hidden in plain sight, NY Pizza Suprema greets Penn Station travelers in the shadow of Madison Square Garden. With the amount of foot traffic this pizzeria enjoys, they could skimp on ingredient quantity and quality but they choose not to. Instead, the chefs use the same family recipe since they opened in 1964 featuring some of the best cheeses from Italy and Wisconsin, perfectly ripened canned tomatoes from California, on a firm yet chewy classic New York crust. The never ending behind-the-counter dough tossing exhibition alone is worth the cost of the perfectly constructed slice. $20.

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Midtown West
2

Mushroom and onion at Lucali

This unmarked Carroll Gardens gem combines hipness with pizza perfection for a laid-back dining experience patrons won't soon forget. The venue’s wait and minimalist menu in this BYOB joint may raise some concern but all of that will disappear once you take your first bite of Lucali wood-fired brick oven pizza. Owner and chef Mark Iacono takes to his dough as a sculptor to his marble, carefully crafting every pizza as if it were a one-of-a-kind piece of art. After pressing out the dough and spreading the sauce, he adds fresh mozzarella and a careful mixture of sharp cheeses to maximize the flavor of each pie. The onions and mushrooms are skillfully layered in order to enhance, rather than overpower, the essence of the other ingredients. The end result is nothing short of perfection. Expect a true masterpiece with each and every Lucali pie - anything less is likely not Lucali. $30.

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Carroll Gardens
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3

Mushroom and pepperoni at Giuseppina

Giuseppina's owner and Founder Chris Iacono proudly credits his apprenticeship at his brother's pizzeria, Lucali, for his vast knowledge of dough preparation, oven maintenance, and topping distribution. Although there are subtle differences between the brother's pies, they are both equally and uniquely perfect. Chris Iacono's use of top tier ingredients like a cheese blend consisting of low-moisture mozzarella, homemade fresh mozzarella, and imported Italian parmigiano reggiano, along with hand-cut pepperoni, fresh mushroom, Italian olive oil and fresh basil epitomizes Giuseppina's commitment to quality. The incomparable sauce comes from a secret family recipe passed down to the owner from his grandmother named Giuseppina. Its cash only and not cheap, but, considering the high quality ingredients, time and love that goes into making each perfectly modeled pizza, it's a bargain at any price. $28.

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Chelsea
4

Plain cheese at Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria

Topped with creamy mozzarella melted in cubes upon a rich bed of savory tomato sauce spread to the edge of a thin crisp crust, a Joe & Pat’s pizza takes simple ingredients and prepares them exquisitely. It’s a recipe that has been perfected over the past 50 years and we hope it never changes. $14.

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Staten Island
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5

Personal Spectacle Too at Paulie Gee’s

Paulie Gee loves good pizza. So much so that he dedicated his retirement to the art of pizza making. Using freshly grown basil, homemade fresh mozzarella, and a secret tomato source, Paulie perfected an entire recipe book in his very own backyard (that backyard contains a wood-fired brick oven that he built himself.) In 2010, he opened his own pizzeria in a public space so now everyone can be a dinner guest at Paulie Gee's. Expect him to sidle up to your table for a chat about the pizza. $17.

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Greenpoint
6

Personal Rubirosa Supreme at Rubirosa

When trapped in tourist-infested Little Italy, look north! Rubirosa's triangular sign will guide you the two short blocks to some of the best pizza in the city. At the core of each pie are simple ingredients cooked expertly in a gas-powered oven by a family that has been in the industry long before Rubirosa's 2010 opening. The recipe that was perfected at Joe and Pat's is just as good now as it was over 50 years ago. The Rubirosa Supreme creates a salty-sweet medley by combining hand-cut spicy pepperoni, diced basil, and flavorful meatballs atop a firm crust that is both strong enough to withstand the weight of the ingredients and yet soft enough to fold like a typical New York slice. Not only will the slice defy your previous expectations of pizza, it will defy the laws of physics! $21.

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Nolita
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7

Pepperoni at Di Fara Pizza

Di Fara is the Mecca to which all die-hard pizza lovers should make a pilgrimage. It won't be on your way somewhere. You will wait a lot to be served then pay a lot to get your slice. You will either have to wipe down your own table or you won't even get one. It will be worth it. The amount of care Domenico DeMarco dedicates and the quality of ingredients ensures that each and every pizza that exits those conventional ovens will find its way into a very lucky person's face. There's a reason the dining room is filled with plaques, trophies and accolades. $30.

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Midwood
8

Pepperoni at Totonno’s

Anthony "Totonno" Pero began making pizza at Lombardi's, America's first pizzeria, back in 1905. After distinguishing himself as a master pizzaiolo, Totonno opened his own pizzeria in Coney Island in 1924. It still stands in the same location and is still run by the same family. Fortunately he still uses the same recipe because it ain’t broke. True to its philosophy, only top quality ingredients are used here, including imported Italian olive oil, homemade mozzarella and savory tomato sauce. The secret of Totonno's success lies in their mastery of the coal burning oven. Maintaining a temperature of around 600'F enables the pizza chef to evenly and thoroughly cook the toppings and outer edge without risking the potential carbon-filled bitterness that comes with over charring. A visit to Totonno's may seem like a bit of a trek, but it's one of Coney Island's biggest (edible) attractions. $22.

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Coney Island
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9

Large Square at Rizzo’s Fine Pizza

Known for its crisp Sicilian pie, Rizzo’s has become an institution in Queens since 1959. Since then, the menu has expanded but it’s the Rizzo signature slice: the thin crusted “Sicilian," that will keep you coming back. The recipe includes copious amounts of rich, tangy tomato sauce with a single slice of creamy mozzarella, flanked by bits of sharp and mild, grated cheeses. All of these rest atop a thin, crispy gas-powered oven crust. The first one’s free....for real - tell them it's your first time! It won't be your last. $20.

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Astoria
10

Sausage pie at Louie & Ernie’s

Louie and Ernie's pizzeria is frankly adorable. The staff is friendly, the ambience is warm, and most importantly the pizza is delicious. Catch a glimpse of the heavily Bronx-accented teenage pizza chefs precociously preparing pie after pie and you'll notice something more than wise-beyond-their-years pizza knowhow: pride. The staff is clearly proud of their product and the Louie and Ernie legacy. One visit and you'll be proud of yourself for discovering it. $20.

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The Bronx
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Best pizza in NYC

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Related best pizza in NYC coverage

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See readers' picks of the best pizzas

The people’s picks for the 25 best pizzas in New York

Shocking news! New Yorkers love to argue about pizza. Who knew? Well, everyone, obviously—that’s why, when we presented our list of the 25 best New York pizzas, we also asked you guys to rearrange the list as you saw fit. Here are the results.

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By: Time Out New York contributors

Comments

51 comments
Stuart F

Three rules of pizza .....

1.  Travel food,  served through window from restaurant, don't have to go inside, eat while walking down the street

2.  Always served on piece of wax paper, never on a plate.  Absolutely never with fork and knife !!

3.  Crust must crack when folded, that's amore !!

  Add Three Boys from Italy in Bronx to the list.  Closed now for renovations from fire, but will reopen soon !

Thomas P

The spicy spring from prince street pizza is only the greatest pepperoni sicilian on earth and yet it is not on this list. Shame on this list!

Marybeth L

You forgot Adrienne's Pizza Bar in Financial District.

Cecilia C

Have you ever tried CATALDO'S ?

554 Vanderbilt avenue Brooklyn NY!

Nastassja L

So many good ones in the Bronx and you have just one on the list

David B

Sorry you guys missed pizeria no 28 on Carmines. Its as good as Johns on Bleecker used to be 20 years ago- the best. Each part of the pizzas are great- from the crust, the sauce, the cheese to the toppings. And it comes together so well.

Jackson M

I like it and I will say it is the best and cool for the fun. I love it and I hope it will be cool and nice for the  fun. I like them and I will make a plan to go there after finishing my https://www.goldenbustours.com/lasvegas-tours/. This Pizza is looking yummy and delicious. Thanks for it. 

Scott S

I'll take your Spumoni and raise you Juliana's. I'm married to a native Sicilian, so I trust her opinion. 

Bryan R

Spumoni gardens is the best Sicilian pizza in NY. One would think it would be higher in the ranking.

Ralph C

Best pizza is out of truck in Oceanside Ny. They have a brick oven in a truck and it's amazing. It's called Pronto Ny

Elias R

I have been searching all over for New York style pizza in my hometown. It's taken quite a while but I have found a place much like the second suggestion on here. Like you said, their specialty is sweet marinara and fresh mozzarella. The simple but excellent ingredients are a mark of a great pizza. New York gets it done right.

Ronnie D

Keste's Margherita isn't the best Neapolitan pizza outside of Naples - Luzzos' is. Couple that with the fact that you don't even mention Luzzo's, and you've got a pretty lackluster and unqualified list. 

Gene C

They hit the nail on the head with Louie & Ernies in the Bronx. All their pies are great but the sausage pie featured in this article is awesome. Forget those hipster losers in Brooklyn. Take a trip up to The Bronx

Joe R

Not on the list is prince street pizza and artichoke, these places are awesome

Kathy P

Joe's on Carmine Street is still the best.  I don't know how anyone can possibly patronize Di Fara in Brooklyn -- they are the nastiest people in all of Brooklyn.  Their pizza cannot be good enough to make up for the awful people that run the place -- skip it!

Nadia I

Given that America is really bad at making cheese, I don't think the pizzas here can ever match up to the real pizzas of Italy!

Lee H

@Nadia I Don't ever speak ill of America and her cheeses. USA USA USA.

Rebecca C

HELL YEA @ Roberta's, L&B's and Di Fara! I want to like Totonno but their pies are flavorless and soggy.

Talmage D

I agree that New York has some of the best pizzas in the country. I"m going out there in a couple of weeks, and I'm really looking forward to the food. I'm glad that I was able to find a couple of new places as well. It's always fun to try new kinds of pizza.

Ronnie D

@Talmage D New York doesn't have "some" of the best pizzas in the country - it has MOST of the best pizzas in the country, as well as the whole world. Go to other states and they barely even have "pizza" outside of Pizza Hut and Dominoes.

Antonio R

@Ronnie D @Talmage D you haven't been out of NYC much, there are great places all over the country. Next time you travel, get off the main roads, you'll be surprised.

Agree NY has some of the best though.   

Our M

I would quite happily eat anyone of those pizzas but Kesté are my favourite!

Steve K

Is there a special reason that you buried the addresses SO completely?

Omar A

Shame on you! Not having Lomabrdi's in the list is a sin!

T G

Hipster heavy. Only one place from the Bronx mentioned? Disgraciad....

Jeff P

By far the best pizza in NYC is at a place not on this list.  And since it's small, and I go there often, there is no way I'm sharing it here.  Tough luck suckers.

Paulie Bag 'A Donuts in Brooklyn

You are looking for trouble with a list like this one. So many undeserving pies here, and many glaring omissions (New Park, Juliana's, etc.). Definitely a marketing/PR agenda being served here by the magazine. L&B Spumoni Gardens is mentioned though, as is Difara, Patsy's East Harlem and others. Sal's & Carmine's is still good by the way, but only when Carmine is there. Motorino should not be in the mix at all, and some of the others are truly awful.

Arthur B

@Paulie Bag 'A Donuts in Brooklyn I can assure you there was no marketing/PR agenda with this piece.


frank lamotta

Awesome Pizza!!! Definitely have to try it...Best in New York!!

Elizabeth

Luzzo pizza is I have tried johns & difara but Luzzo definitely was my favorite the best pizza I've ever had.

Paul

I've tried motorino , Napoli 28, johns bleeker , etc. and so far the best of all was Luzzo's the pizza is incredible

Frank

Luzzo's definitely the best pizza I've been everywhere in the city I'm a pizza lover. And Luzzo is the best I've ever had

Matthew

Luzzo's is by far the best pizza in New York not just in the city it's traditional Neapolitan pizza where pizza was invented so if you want to know what real pizza is supposed to taste like Luzzo's is definitely the best place to go. And to the guy who mentioned new park pizza in Howard beach should get his head checked because new park shouldn't even be in the top 50 best. It's ok but no where near the best

john

The best pizza is Luzzo in NYC every place associated with luzzo group has by far the best pizza

tracy

the BEST pizza in all of nyc is campo di fiori, in park slope. authentic, good. no bs.

Ken Kelso

Hi, my favorite Pizza places in NY are, Brothers in Fresh Meadows, Amore in Flushing. Lucia's in Flushing, Pizza Suprema in Manhattan and Patsy’s. I haven't tried Difara's yet.

Karen B

@Ken Kelso I grew up with Brothers. Is it still there? Really?

John

There are at least 5 pizzerias better than Motorino's within 2 blocks. People just mention it because it was a favorite of Rachel Ray's. It's really just a blob of undercooked dough. I like Luzzo's a lot, but my favorite is No. 28's pepperoni pizza (preferably a round pie, not a rectangle). I think they put a little pepperoni juice in the sauce. Their other pizzas are good as well.

robert a

Apparently, the editor was unwilling to travel outside of young hipster areas to write this article. How bout L&B in Gravesend. Bet that she doesn't even know what borough Gravesend is in.

Ronnie D.

Artichoke's MARGHERITA pizza is in the top 15, but not even a MENTION of Luzzo's in the East Village; clearly an amateur pizza eater is behind this.

Guest

This list is a joke without New Park Pizza in Howard Beach

Steven Miglio

Pasta la pizza,baby(formally Pontillos) has the best New York style pizza and unbelievable other dishes... Not mention catering by Pasta Fazul's Fazul himself... Try it and if you like it tell your friends and family... If you don't "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT"

Steven Miglio

Pasta la pizza,baby(formally Pontillos) has the best New York style pizza and unbelievable other dishes... Not mention catering by Pasta Fazul's Fazul himself... Try it and if you like it tell your friends and family... If you don't "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT"

Tony

Please per piacere per favore per carita per baco. Leave italian pia alone. Uffa Merida secca pizza ok

Marissa

I agree wholeheartedly with Holly. VIPizza in Bayside definitely does not get the recognition it deserves.

pizzafan

This system isn't even based on the same type of pizza. it goes from traditional to the overpriced fancy pies. Have a rating based on the standard margarita of each place. its an unfair rating. TONY you disappoint me.