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Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

The absolute best pizza in NYC

The best pizza in NYC as tasted by Time Out experts—from dollar slices to pies piled with mile-high toppings

By Bao Ong and Time Out contributors

In New York, the pizza's so good that even the dollar slices are excellent. But with so many options, it's difficult to know which pie shop is worth the trek. We put together our most comprehensive guide to slices across the five boroughs, whether you're looking for a classic cheap eats slice from a pizza delivery, a saucy stop at one of the city's time-honored mom and pop shops, or a high-brow option from one of New York's best Italian restaurants. Now more than ever, pizza in New York is experimental and accommodating to all kinds of dietary restrictions (hello, gluten free pizza!), while many of the old-fashioned spots have kept the same charm as ever.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

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

Photograph: Noah Fecks

Juliana’s - Time Out Market (temporarily paused)

Restaurants Pizza DUMBO

There’s nothing that says “I love NY” more than eating a classic slice of New York pizza in view of the Brooklyn Bridge. And who better to provide that perfect pie than the first name in pizza, Patsy Grimaldi? Now, that’s amore. We’re damn proud to have him playing pizzaiolo at Juliana’s in Time Out Market. 

Best New York pizza

Ops pizza, nyc, new york city, wine
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

1. Ops

Restaurants Pizza Bushwick
While the slices at this no-frills-yet-elegant eatery are indeed delicious—try the Juno with broccoli rabe and potatoes—it’s also one of the only pizzerias that offers exciting natural wines, placing it in a league of its own. People love Ops’ curation of choice bottles so much, the owners opened a wine shop, Forêt Wines, in nearby Ridgewood.
Paulie Gee's Slice Shop
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

2. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Pizza Greenpoint

Unlike its beloved original location, which offers only table-side pies, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop is all about, yes, the classic New York slice—that is, gooey, cheesy, portable chews. Bonus: The space’s slime-green banquette stools, faux-wood Formica tables and letter-board menu give the whole experience a cool 1970s feel.

L&B Spumoni square pie
Photograph: Time Out/Melissa Sinclair

3. L&B Spumoni Gardens

Restaurants Pizza Gravesend

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. There are two rules here: Fight for that Parmesan shaker, and no matter how stuffed you are, you must finish your meal with a scoop of "rainbow" spumoni, a tricolor ice cream.

Mama's TOO, pepperoni pizza
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

4. Mama's Too

Restaurants Pizza Upper West Side

Mama’s Too gives a much-needed jolt to the Upper West Side’s sleepy restaurant scene. Trust us, the plain slice is about as close to a transcendental experience as you can get. Only one bite will convince you that this pie is the ideal marriage of crust and chew.

Scarr's pizza
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

5. Scarr's Pizza

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 the food from owner Scarr Pimentel, who mills his grains in the basement. The result? A featherweight pie that’s to die for.

Lucali, pizza, pie, brick oven
Photograph: John Marolakos Photography

6. Lucali

Restaurants Pizza Carroll Gardens

Unless you’re Beyoncé and JAY-Z, who once reportedly snubbed the Grammys for a pizza date here, there’s no shortcut to nabbing a table at Lucali: Just put down your name at 5pm for an hours-long queue. When it’s your turn, take advantage of the BYOB-only policy and match your favorite wine or beer with some stellar thin-crust pizza.

Di Fara Pizza
Photograph: Courtesy Di Fara

7. Di Fara Pizza

Restaurants Pizza Midwood

Let’s cut to the chase: You may have to wait for more than an hour at this Midwood pizza institution. Sure, you can always head to its new Williamsburg location, but while the food there is still delicious, the outpost lacks the 50-plus-year parlor’s ambience. At the original, pizzaiolo Dom DeMarco continues to coax the bubbling dough out of the oven. 

Corner Slice
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

8. Corner Slice

Restaurants Pizza Hell's Kitchen
We can never have enough good slice joints. Tucked into a corner of Gotham West Market along Eleventh Avenue, this beauty can go unnoticed. Opt for the grandma-pie squares, which are light and covered with a garlic-tinged sauce. Who can argue with forking over a few crumpled dollars to have a filling meal?
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

9. Roberta’s

Restaurants Pizza East Williamsburg
A pizza pioneer, this sustainable-food mecca and buzzed-about hangout spot proves that chefs can treat pies with as much care and creativity as fine dining. One of our favorites, the Bee Sting, boasts a perfect balance of tomatoes, mozzarella, caciocavallo, sopressata, chili, basil and spicy honey. Pro tip: Grab a seat outdoors, and order some salads and charcuterie to round out your feast.
Photograph: Courtesy Molly Tavoletti

10. Upside Pizza

Restaurants Pizza Midtown West
Amazing fare near Port Authority? We’re shocked, too. This 'za newcomer, which bursts with bright-pink, ’90s-era decals, has some of the best bites near the dreaded transportation hub. Started by Eli Halali (of 2 Bros. dollar-slice fame) and Noam Grossman, Upside elevates the humble New York–style fold-up with infusions of lemon-cream white-wine sauce in its house specialty, the Falkowitz.
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

11. Totonno’s

Restaurants Pizza Coney Island
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.
Joe's Pizza
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

12. Joe’s Pizza

Restaurants Pizza West Village
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.
Prince Street Pizza
Photograph: Noah Fecks

13. Prince Street Pizza

Restaurants Pizza Nolita

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? The Green Machine with pesto sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, EVOO and black olives.

Best Pizza
Photograph: Courtesy Best Pizza/Deidre Schoo

14. Best Pizza

Restaurants Pizza Williamsburg
Frank Pinello, that rare pizzaiolo to become an “Instagram personality”—he was also on Ugly Delicious and hosted The Pizza Show on VICE—shows off the traditional technique of throwing dough 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.
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

15. Screamer's Pizzeria

Fun fact: Vegan pizza can be damn good. From the team behind the meat-free Champs Diner, Screamer’s pies are riffs on classics—only, here, the sausage is made with seitan, so you don’t have to choose between principles and gluttony. Another fun fact to share with your table? “Screamers” are what pizza chefs call mushrooms because that’s the sound they make in the oven.
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

16. Dellarocco's

Restaurants Pizza Brooklyn Heights
Most of the time, it’s extraordinarily hard to imagine ordering a white pie. Sauce is a key ingredient to the pizza trifecta, right? Wrong—at least at Dellarocco’s, which has an extensive, excellent white-pie menu, tricked out with toppings such as porcini, fennel sausage and truffle cream.
Photograph: Courtesy Gail Henry

17. Bleecker Street Pizza

Restaurants Pizza West Village

This much-hyped pie joint serves thin-crust, Tuscan-style pizzas along with classic Italian-American standbys like heros, calzones, and chicken parmesan. They stay 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.

18. Giuseppina

Restaurants Pizza South Slope

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. 

Joe & Pat's Pizzeria, pizza, pie
Photograph: Courtesy Joe & Pat's Pizzeria

19. Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria

Restaurants Pizza Staten Island

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. And now, you can get a taste at the East Village outpost.

20. Rizzo’s Fine Pizza

Restaurants Pizza Astoria

Rizzo’s has been an institution in Queens since 1959. Since then, the menu has expanded but it’s the Rizzo signature slice—a thin crusted squarethat 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. 

Louie & Ernie's Pizza
Photograph: Courtesy Louie & Ernie's

21. Louie & Ernie’s

Restaurants Pizza The Bronx

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 chefs precociously preparing pie after pie and you'll notice something more than just wise-beyond-their-years pizza knowhow: pride. The staff is clearly proud of their product and the shop's legacy. One visit and you'll be proud of yourself for "discovering" it, even if you're late to the party.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/ Heidi V.

22. Speedy Romeo

Restaurants American Clinton Hill

College chums Todd Feldman and Justin Bazdarich had long dreamed of joining their creative and culinary skills to open up a restaurant together. Lucky for them, and luckier for all of us, their dream has become a reality. Speedy Romeo's Saint Louie pie bursts out of the gate delivering non-traditional provel cheese (a blend of provolone, Swiss, and cheddar) with savory pepperoni, sausage and pickled chilis for a swift kick of flavor. 

Photograph: Courtesy Jill Futter

23. Emily

Restaurants Pizza West Village

Matt and Emily Hyland hit it out of the park when they opened this wood-fired pizza spot in Clinton Hill in 2014. Three years later, the former couple opened their first Manhattan location, taking over the former Blue Ribbon Bakery space in the West Village. Fired in a century-old wood-burning oven find New York and New Haven styles dressed in everything from parsley pesto to squash puree to Korean wing sauce. 

Photograph: Courtesy Rubirosa

24. Rubirosa

Restaurants Pizza Nolita

Rubirosa is pizza royalty: The founder is of Joe & Pat's fame—he is the son of the owner of that Staten Island institution. 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. 

Emmy Squared
Photograph: Time Out/Jake Cohen

25. Emmy Squared

Restaurants Pizza Williamsburg

Thanks to Emmy Squared, you can get a taste of Detroit-style pizza in Williamsburg. Their homage to the rectangular style includes the characteristic toppings-loaded, twice-baked, deep dish pies. The Roni Supreme combines hand-cut pepperoni and Calabrian chiles for a tasty zing and a memorable sting with every bite. Beneath each pie's toppings lie a golden-brown melted cheese, which provides a tasty foundation and crunchy texture to the surprisingly filling slice. 

Stone Bridge Pizza & Salad
Photograph: Courtesy Stone Bridge Pizza & Salad

26. Stone Bridge Pizza & Salad

Restaurants Fast food spots Midtown

Farm-to-table takes on a new meaning here: Much of the ingredients are sourced from Stone Bridge's very own farms in Schuylerville, New York, where they use hydroponic technology—both good for the environment and pizza lovers.

Photograph: Courtesy Saraghina

27. Saraghina

Restaurants Italian Bedford-Stuyvesant

Like an artistic oasis in an otherwise urban landscape, Saraghina brings a foreign flare and fantastic flavor to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Named after a character in the film 8 1/2, Saraghina churns out pizza that exceeds 8 1/2 on any taste scale. The Ortolana screams out the best of fall, with bites full of charred radicchio and squash drizzled with fermented honey. 

Denino's Pizza, cheese pull, pie
Photograph: Courtesy Denino’s/Edgar Rios

28. Denino’s

Restaurants Pizza Staten Island

A Staten Island stalwart since 1937, Denino's has been pioneering pizza innovation for over eight decades. Layering the perfect amount of hearty meats (including homemade sausage), savory tomato sauce and tasty veggies, the 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 pie.

Pugsley's Pizza, pie, heart shaped
Photograph: Courtesy Pugsley's Pizza

29. Pugsley Pizza

Restaurants The Bronx

If US News & World Report ranked college pizzerias, Pugsley's would have to be ranked #1: Inexpensive, convenient and open late. Order a full pie, and you're invited behind the counter to bang a suspended gong. According to a sign penned by owner Sal Natale, who is as eccentric as he is Italian (and he's very Italian), you are to associate your goals with the sound of the gong. If your goal in life is to eat Pugsley's pepperoni pizza, it’s a win-win.


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