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Brooklyn DOP
Photograph: Courtesy of Rod Morata

The 31 best pizza places in NYC

The best pizza in NYC includes simple slices and elaborate whole pies.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Imagine a town so certain of its pizza superiority that its denizens seem to go to pieces when officials dare to dine with knives and forks, its highest elected officials take to social media to battle the matter and some ascribe mystical powers to the local tap water that helps form the dough. That’s Pizza Town, baby, less commonly known as New York City. 

And it's true; NYC does have the best pizza in the country. We root for other locales to come in second and third, but the number one spot is and always has been reserved for these five boroughs that form one perfect whole. Its available almost everywhere, made to suit every taste and style and there probably is something to that whole water deal. Call it a pie, a slice or just plain dinner, this is the best pizza in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Time Out Market New York
  • Time Out Market
  • DUMBO

New York City pizza is the subject of frequent debate. Opinions swirl about how to eat it, what to call it, and whether or not there’s really something special in our water. But even New Yorkers tend to quiet down when presented with a perfect pie like the expertly tossed, beautifully sauced and brilliantly topped varieties chef Michael Ayoub has been making right here in Brooklyn since 2004. Ayoub’s Fornino is known for its riffs on pizza through the ages, so try a traditional pie or sample something new to you.

Best New York pizza

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Midwood
  • price 2 of 4

Yes, you may have to wait for more than an hour to try this Midwood institution, but a trip to the original standard-setting shop founded by the late Domenico DeMarco in 1965 is essential for pizza lovers and dabblers everywhere. Slices and whole pies are both available. 

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 2 of 4

Although it's been open since 2006, Lucali's wait times are as long as ever. Its frequent appearances on local and national best pizza lists keep the interest high, so get there right at 5pm and prepare to build up an appetite in the area for several hours. It's BYOB, so you can take a stroll and pick up beer form Bonafide Deli's huge, carefully curated walk-in selection, or a couple of bottles of wine from the cavernous Evergreen liquor store a short walk away. Lucali also technically takes reservations, but it's a little like playing the lottery. (You can do that at Bonafide, too.) 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Bushwick

Another pizza place so nice it's worth a reservation, Ops is a little easier to get into, and it has a wonderful, comprehensive wine list. You can also grab a marinara, Margherita, or juno (broccoli rabe, potatoes, provola, ricotta salata) to go and grab a bottle from the same owners' shop Forêt Wines to pair at home. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lower East Side

Scarr's has a wood paneled, neon sign-ed, throwback fashion that everybody loves to snap, but pies the product of Scarr Pimentel's house-milled grains are more satisfying than a thousand views. That extra in-house step helps to create light slices and squares with the classic toppings. Scarr's flour and dough are also available for purchase. 

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

Unique to New York (save for one location in Michigan), this is the slice people think of when they think of a New York slice. Large, foldable and cinematically cheesy, it's a huge part of the local pizza tapestry.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Coney Island
  • price 2 of 4

Family owned and operated Totonno's has occupied the same space since 1924, with the present day checkerboard tiles and olde-timey famed photos and newspaper clippings to prove that vintage. It's been "temporarily" closed for the duration of the pandemic, and phone calls were unanswered at press time. A Facebook post from earlier this year seems to extend that provisory pause, and tease possible future nationwide sales.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

Now with four locations in New York City and State, Zero Otto Nove’s first restaurant opened in the Bronx in 2008, but its charming interior has more of an "old country by way of a community theater" aesthetic. Its long list of pizza includes all the hits, and pasta, meat and fish mains are also on the menu. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

NYC had a serious paucity of Chicago-style pizza before Emmett's came to town in 2013, and we've been enjoying its pizza casserole with knives and forks ever since. Proprietor Emmett Burke followed this Windy City facsimile with Emmett’s on Grove late last year. The newer of the two takes on Chicago’s paper-thin tavern-style pies with aplomb, and the duo combines to create a mighty Midwestern presence among our abundance of fold-’em-up favorites.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • East Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

Formerly an impossible to get into hipster haven, Roberta's pizza is now sold frozen in your grocer's freezer. Makes you think. Have a taste of the original, like the oft-mentioned Bee Sting (tomato, mozzarella, soppressata, basil, chili, honey), inside or out, where it all began. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

Although more elaborate options exist, even Mama's basic house pie, with aged mozarella, fresh tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil is evidence of Mama's expertise and attention to detail. There's also no phone, no advance orders, and, perhaps just like at your own mama's, "all menu items come as is, unfortunately no half/half options, slices, or changes to the pizzas on the menu."

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

Where the original Paulie Gee's leaves a little mystery, this one's conceit is right in the name: slices! Nab a cheese, pepperoni or popular Freddy Prince (fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, Pecorino-Romano and a sesame seed bottom), and nab a stool in the 1970s-style shop. 

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  • Greenpoint

Terrific vegan pies like a seitan sausage variety are alternatives to the typical from the team behind meat-free Champs Diner. And there's no need to shout; “screamers” refer to mushrooms, for the unsettling sound they make in the oven.

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Giuseppina's
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • South Slope
  • price 2 of 4

Owner Chris Iacono worked at his brother Mark's pizzeria, Lucali, before opening this Park Slope spot. Top-tier ingredients like hand-cut pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and a cheese blend of low-moisture mozzarella, fresh house made mozzarella and imported Parmigiano-Reggiano demonstrate a commitment to quality. Grandmom Giuseppina's secret sauce recipe comes between those and the thin crust. 

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Red Hook
  • price 2 of 4

Once largely for those in-the-know, Pizza Moto transitioned from moveable pizza feast popular at Smorgasburg and the like to permanent brick-and-mortar fixture in 2015. We like the lightly charred crust encircling its Margherita, mushroom and pepperoni pies, but un-fans of the acquired taste may prefer the smoked trout Caesar salad or wood-fired eggplant parm.

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Rizzo’s Fine Pizza
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Astoria
  • price 1 of 4

Rizzo’s is a Queens institution dating back to 1959. Its menu has since expanded, but the Rizzo signature slice—a thin square—remains a top item. It includes copious amounts of rich, tangy tomato sauce, a single sheet of mozzarella and sharp and mild grated cheeses atop a thin, crispy crust.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Clinton Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Speedy Romeo's been tinkering with topping combos for more than a decade. They're mixing pastrami and kraut, pairing bechamel and meatballs, and, in the Saint Louie pie, spotlighting the less locally seen provel cheese (a blend of provolone, Swiss, and cheddar) beneath savory pepperoni, sausage and pickled chilis for a swift kick of flavor. 

  • Restaurants
  • Park Slope

This Park Slope newcomer got its start as a pre-vaccine pandemic project before opening on 5th Avenue this summer. Studied attention to sourcing, ingredients and the magic and science of pizza making pay off in very good Margherita, Sicilian and grandma varieties. There's also wine, beer, and seating inside and out. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
  • price 2 of 4

Named for a character in the film 8 1/2, Saraghina's pizza's at least a 9. Mingle your Coppa & Carciofi (mozzarella, hot coppa, roasted spicy artichokes and basil) with wine by the liter; an option there ought to be more of in this town. 

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Nolita
  • price 2 of 4

Rubirosa's got sauce in it's veins, with family ties to Staten Island institution Joe & Pat's. The namesake pie, the Rubirosa Supreme, features a salty-sweet medley of hand-cut spicy pepperoni, diced basil, and mini meatballs atop a firm crust that's both strong enough to withstand the weight of the ingredients and soft enough to fold like you mean it. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

The original Emily in Clinton Hill opened to quick accolades for its wood-fired pies in 2014. This more recent addition in the West Village carries on with its own century-old oven and New Haven styles dressed in ingredients like parsley pesto, squash puree and Korean wing sauce. 

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