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Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

The 29 best pizza places in NYC

The best pizza in NYC as tasted by Time Out experts—including dollar slices and gourmet pies with mile-high toppings

Written by
Bao Ong
,
Amber Sutherland-Namako
&
Time Out contributors
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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 electeds 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 USA. 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

A pizzeria we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

  • 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, and yes, it does have another easier location in Williamsburg, but a trip to the original 56-year-old standard-setting shop is essential for pizza lovers and dabblers everywhere. It's also where original owner Dom DeMarco still makes the dough and hand-tears basil each day. 

  • 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Bushwick
While the slices at this no-frills-yet-elegant eatery are indeed delicious—try the Juno with broccoli rabe and potatoes—its exciting natural wines place it in a league of its own. People love Ops’ choice bottles so much, the owners opened a wine shop, Forêt Wines, in nearby Ridgewood.
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Gravesend
  • price 2 of 4

Sure, table service is available, but when it comes to L&B, the pro move is to order your grandma-style pie at the to-go counter and enjoy it al fresco. There's no better way to spend a post-beach afternoon than snarfing down one of those saucy, pillowy squares in the sun. Save room for the titular tricolor ice cream.

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

Mama’s Too gives a jolt to the Upper West Side’s restaurant scene. Even its basic house pie, made with aged mozarella, fresh tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, parmegianno reggiano and basil is evidence of Mama's expertise and attention to detail.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Lower East Side

This joint has that back-in-the-day vibe we love: With its wood-paneled walls, counter stools and neon beer sign, the interior screams 1960s without feeling contrived. But we’re really here for pies by Scarr Pimentel, who mills their grains in the basement. The result is a light slice that's easy to follow with another.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Coney Island
  • price 2 of 4
It’s hard to believe this gem has remained in the same space, run by the same family, since 1924. (Dig the checkerboard floor tiles and red-laminate tables.) The philosophy hasn’t changed,
either: Totonno’s still uses only top ingredients—imported Italian
olive oil, house-made mozzarella and savory tomato saucebefore slinging pies into a 600°F coal-burning oven.
  • 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. Those deep dish pies are available with a couple dozen topping options, including that other Windy City fave, Italian beef. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • East Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4
This buzzy hangout demonstrates what happens when chefs handle pies with the same gravitas as fine dining. One of our favorites, the Bee Sting, balances tomatoes, mozzarella, caciocavallo, sopressata, chili, basil and spicy honey. Grab a seat outdoors and order some salads and charcuterie to create your own tasting menu. 
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4
Sometimes, all we want is a no-fuss New York slice in all its cheesy glory, even when fancier options exist. And there’s a reason Joe’s finds its way into every New Yorker’s diet at one point or another: A plain slice is only $3. The blistering cheese atop a puffy, thin crust never fails to tempt us.
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

Unlike its beloved original location, which offers only whole pies to dine in, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop is all about, yes, the gooey, cheesy, portable classic New York sliceThe space’s slime-green stools, faux-wood Formica tables and letter-board menu give the place a cool 1970s feel.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Nolita
  • price 1 of 4

Grab a Neapolitan- or Sicilian-style slice at this pizza joint, located in the space where the original Ray's Pizza once stood. Four signature pies boast neighborhood-inspired names like the thin-crust Mercer Margherita, made with fresh mozzarella, basil and marinara, and the Spicy Spring, topped with fra diavolo sauce, spicy sopressata and fresh mozz. Our favorite's the Green Machine with pesto sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, EVOO and black olives.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4
Pizzaiolo and Instagram personality Frank Pinello—who also appeared on Ugly Delicious and hosted The Pizza Show—demonstrates traditional dough throwing technique to a young Brooklyn audience. His thin-crust slices are the perfect munchies after a rooftop hang at Night of Joy, which is right down the street.
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  • Greenpoint
From the team behind the meat-free Champs Diner, terrific vegan pies like a seitan sausage varietyare riffs on standards. And do not be alarmed by the name; “screamers” are what pizza chefs call mushrooms because that’s the sound they make in the oven.
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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

This much-hyped pie emporium serves thin-crust, Tuscan-style pizzas along with classic Italian-American standbys like heros, calzones, and chicken Parmesan. It stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a dependable stop for a fortifying slice of their speciality, a marinara pie known as the Nonna Maria, on your way back from the bar.

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

Owner-founder Chris Iacono proudly credits his apprenticeship at his brother's pizzeria, Lucali, for his skills. Chris Iacono's use of top-tier ingredients like hand-cut pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and a cheese blend consisting of low-moisture mozzarella, homemade fresh mozz and imported Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano epitomizes Giuseppina's commitment to quality. The incomparable sauce comes from a secret family recipe passed down to the owner from his grandmother named, fittingly, Giuseppina. 

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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. Since then, the menu has expanded but it’s the Rizzo signature slice—a thin squarethat will keep you coming back. The formula includes copious amounts of rich, tangy tomato sauce with a single slice of mozzarella, flanked by bits of sharp and mild grated cheeses. All of these rest atop a thin, crispy, gas-powered oven crust. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Staten Island
  • price 1 of 4

A Staten Island stalwart since 1937, Denino's has been a pizza stalwart for over eight decades. Layering the perfect amount of hearty meats (including homemade sausage), savory tomato sauce and tasty veggies, its Garbage Pie embodies the pizza ideals that well-known chains strive so hard to imitate. Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby, and Denino’s proves it with every order.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 1 of 4
Even in New York, we can never have enough good slice joints.
This one could easily go unnoticed in the bustling Gotham West Market along Eleventh Avenue, but its grandma squares, light and covered in garlicy sauce, are among the best in the biz. 
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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Clinton Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Over the course of almost a decade in operation, Speedy Romeo has perfected its menu to keep you coming back. 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. 

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  • Restaurants
  • The Bronx
  • price 1 of 4

Pugsley is inexpensive, convenient and open late. A gong often rings when pizzas are made or land on tables, which, according to a quirky explaination authored by owner Sal Natale, printed, laminated and posted in the shop, is intended to help you recall and actualize goals. If your goal in life is to eat Pugsley's pepperoni pizza, it’s a win-win.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Nolita
  • price 2 of 4

Rubirosa is pizza royalty: The founder is the son of 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 yet soft enough to fold like a typical New York slice. 

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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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