Best New York pizza
Unlike its beloved original location, which offers only table-side pies, the year-old 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 gives the whole experience a cool 1970s feel.
Fans of Neapolitan pizza felt ghosted when Anthony Mangieri moved his restaurant to San Francisco from the East Village. Luckily, he came back in 2018, and he still crafts virtually every pie that emerges from the wood-fired oven. Each slice, made from naturally leavened dough that’s topped simply with silky mozzarella and flecks of Sicilian sea salt, is so light, you can’t help but order another.
Sure, table service is available, but when it comes to L&B, we suggest ordering your grandma-style pie at the to-go counter and sitting outside. We can’t imagine a better way to spend a post-beach afternoon than snarfing down one of its 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 spumoni, a tricolor ice cream.
This joint has that hip, 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.
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 crusty and chewy.
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.
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.
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 marninara pie known as the Nonna Maria, on your way back from the bar.
Giuseppina's owner and 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 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.
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 Vilalge outpost.
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 sauce, and the Spicy Spring, topped with Fra Diavolo sauce, spicy sopressata and fresh mozzarella. Our favorite? The green machine with pesto sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, olive oil and black olives.
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.
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, even if you're late to the party.
Matt and Emily Hyland hit it out of the park when they opened their thin-crust, wood-fired pizza spot, Emily, in Clinton Hill in 2014. Three years later, the couple is opening their first Manhattan location, taking over the former Blue Ribbon Bakery space in the West Village. Here, the Hylands focus on Detroit-style grandma pies, which are pan-cooked in a convection oven to create a thin, crisp base and crunchy cheese on top. Other pies on the menu include New York and New Haven styles, fired in a century-old wood- burning oven.
Rubirosa is pizza royalty: The founder is of Joe and Pat's fame—he is the son of the owner of the Staten Island institution. 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.
College chums Todd Feldman and Justin Bazdarich had long dreamed of joining their creative and culinary skills and opening 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 and sausage and pickled chilis for a swift kick of flavor.
Thanks to Emmy Squared, you can get a taste of Detroit-style pizza in Williamsburg. Their homage to the style includes the characteristic topping-centric, twice-baked, rectangular 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 the toppings on each pie lies a golden-brown melted cheese, which provides a tasty foundation and crunchy texture to the surprisingly filling slice.
Like an artistic oasis in an otherwise urban landscape, Saraghina brings a foreign flare and a 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 spring, with bites full of ricotta, charred asparagus, and onion with salsa verde and radishes as garnish.
A Staten Island institution 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 ideal supreme pizza that well-known pizza chains strive so hard to imitate. There is nothing like the real thing and Denino’s proves it with every pie.
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, 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.