The 21 Best Pizza Restaurants in Brooklyn
This borough is the epicenter to some of the most iconic and old school joints in NYC.
It’s a fact: NYC is home to the country’s best pizza. Some say it’s the water, others say it’s straight up skill, but regardless, the pizzaiolos in the Big Apple are doing something right.
While Manhattan can lay claim to some of NYC’s pizza OGs (Lombardi’s, Patsy’s, John’s et al), Brooklyn’s storied pizza history dates back to the mid 20th century when spots like L&B Spumoni Gardens and Di Fara brought their signature pies to the borough. Brooklyn even has its very own pizza rivalry in DUMBO with neighborhood institutions Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s duking it out for longest lines.
Even with no shortage of pizza options here, Brooklyn remains the epicenter for some of the most iconic, old-school joints in town. Whether you’re grabbing a slice on the go or dining in to share a pie with loved ones, from Neapolitan to Roman or round to square, below is our list of the 21 best pizzerias in Brooklyn.
Brand-new to the Brooklyn pizza scene is Mo’s General, a modern corner store vending square slices, along with specialty coffee (via SEY), and a number of pastries. Former Craft chef Mac Murdock and partner Max Katzenberg (Olmsted), are behind the new concept, and the foundation of their pizza (and breads) is naturally leavened sourdough, fermented for 24 hours, and adorned with toppings like tomato, cheese, pepperoni; and mushrooms and leeks. Note: Pizza service begins at noon and continues into the evening.
Still in soft opening mode is Lucali chef/owner Mark Iocono’s and partner Cobi Levy (Little Price)’s new square slice shop, Baby Luc’s, just down the street from Lucali. Focused on serving an interpretation of a New York slice, patrons can choose from four slice varieties: margherita, pepperoni, sausage and pepper, and broccoli rabe plus ricotta. Despite being a slice shop, Baby Luc’s offer plenty of seating both inside and out; and for those looking to linger, there’s bottled Negronis and beers on tap. And look for an expanded menu next month with the official debut.
Rosie Pizza Bar
Opened this summer and operated by Giulio Adriani and Aurelio Petra, at Rosie Pizza Bar, patrons can build their own 10 or 14-inch pan pizzas with ingredients like feta, smoked mozzarella, and artichokes, or choose menu items like the Devil, which comes topped with soppressata, jalapeños, and chili honey. While pan pizzas are typically square shaped, the team here makes their pies round––after a 36 hour dough ferment––fired then in a 650°F gas oven for 10 minutes, which yields a thin crust and crisp edges. For booze options, go for cocktails and beer with a selection designed by Employees Only barman Bratislav Glisic.
Despite having opened just a few weeks before the pandemic lockdown, Bar Camillo and its super thin, crunchy-crusted pinsa Romana (Roman-style) pizzas, is still going strong. Pinsa Romana references an old style of pizza-making in which oval-shaped pies are made from a heartier flour blend (high protein wheat and rice flour) with high hydration (yielding a wetter dough that’s pressed flat with one’s fingers), fermented for at least 48 hours, then fired in an electric Pinsa oven at 600°F for two and a half minutes. Pair that pizza with the house cocktail: a negroni. Prior to opening, co-owner and chef Michele Baldacci traveled to Rome to study pinsa-making under world champion pinsa-maker, Maurizio Capodicasa.
Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, the team behind one of NYC’s most beloved, casual Italian concepts, Frankie Spuntino, debuted F&F two years ago. Here, the duo is rethinking the traditional slice shop, using dough naturally fermented for several days, and turning out pies with simple toppings made from great ingredients. Drop by for a slice or order a full 18-inch pie to go, everything from a classic tomato pie to a hot sausage and sage brown butter pie, inspired by one of Frankie Spuntino’s most famous pasta dishes.
This Crown Heights staple, with its rustic, exposed brick dining room plates great Neapolitan pizzas with the requisite char, fired in the restaurant’s substantial wood-fueled hearth. At Barboncino, chef and owner Ron Brown offers a dozen red and white pizzas with mostly classic toppings, from clams to house-made meatballs.
This classic paper plate NYC slice shop isn’t doing anything fancy, just serving very good, crisp pizza by the slice (quite large slices, in fact). Opened by Frank Pinello in 2010, try the classic 20-inch round cheese pie at Best Pizza, which one can accessorize with various toppings. All pies here are fired in the shop’s wood-fueled oven.
Di Fara Pizza
Serving pizza by the slice since 1965, Di Fara is considered the gold standard for a classic NYC slice. This legendary shop (the team now operates two additional), owned and operated by Domenico De Marco, excels in round and square pies topped with high quality ingredients from Italy. And while De Marco has tweaked his recipes over the years, and allows much of his pizza-making to be dictated by feel rather than a strict recipe, he has continued to maintain the reputation as serving the city’s best slice. Interestingly, De Marco prepares and fires his dough the same day it’s made (no long ferment), and he tops pies with a tomato sauce blend made from raw Italian whole peeled tomatoes and a cooked tomato purée. Hand-torn mozzarella and Parmesan add richness, salt, and a touch of umami.
When Matt and Emily Hyland’s Emmy Squared launched this first location here in Williamsburg, the duo put Detroit-style pizza on the map. And since then, they’ve expanded their rectangular, caramelized crust empire around the East Coast with 10 locations. One of the hallmarks of their pies, and partly what makes them so irresistible, is the pillowy, chewy crust, which is the outcome of a 36-hour ferment. Don’t miss their signature two tomato strip classic cheese pie, or the MVP, adorned with a mix of red sauce and vodka sauce, and splashes of pesto.
You can’t talk about Brooklyn pizza without mentioning the Grimaldi’s/Juliana’s rivalry. The story goes something like this: Patsy Grimaldi, heir to the now-sold East Harlem-based pizza chain Patsy’s, once owned the DUMBO pizzeria Grimaldi’s, which specialized in coal-oven Neapolitan style pies that have historically drawn long lines. But in 1998 he sold the pizzeria and later Grimaldi’s was eventually forced out of his original space. In 2012 Pat moved back into that original Grimaldi’s space to open Juliana's (named after his mother), coming out of retirement to one-up his now enemy, Grimaldi’s, which currently operates next door. Despite the drama and confusing history, Juliana’s is definitely worth a visit and in our opinion, makes a far superior pie.
Giuseppina’s Brick Oven Pizza
Lauded for its super crisp, thin crust pies, this straightforward brick oven pizzeria comes from Chris Iacono, brother of Lucali owner Mark Iacono. Giuseppina’s channels a dark trattoria feel with a central wood-burning oven which fires a concise list of 19-inch pies: cheese, white, everything, and veggie, in addition to a savory and sweet calzone option. Many of the pies come finished with a heavy dose of fresh basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Massimo Laveglia and Nick Baglivo are behind this perpetually-packed casual slice shop, where guests sign up for thin crust, burrata-topped pies and eat off paper plates while sitting on a patio table or nearby bench. Pretty much all the pies here standout, and that’s because the team sources excellent Italian ingredients, which also go into their seasonal, weekly-changing Wednesday sandwich specials. At L’industrie, the wine list was curated by those from Stranger Wines around the block.
L&B Spumoni Gardens
This iconic Italian eatery launched by Ludovico Barbati in 1939, focused on Sicilian tomato pie and spumoni and still serves one of NYC’s best slices. While L&B has expanded its menu to offer an array of Italian American plates—from salads and pastas to protein-forward entrees—it’s the pillowy square slices for which the spot is best-known.
How to Book: Call 718-449-1230
Two-year-old neighborhood Neapolitan pizzeria Leo––a project by chefs Joe Scalabrino, Michael Fadem, and co-owner Gavin Compton––continues to earn praise for its natural leavened, organic pizza pies, with hits like their classic margherita, and white clam pie with cream, garlic, chili. Here, the team ferments their sourdough––which is made from American flour (some from New York state) with a bit of semolina––for 24 hours before shaping it and firing it for three minutes. And pairing all that natural pizza with some natural wine is highly recommended.
One of NYC’s most sought-after reservations, unless you know owner Mark Iacono personally, get ready to add your name to a wait list that can last two hours. For the past fifteen years, the self-described “accidental pizzaiolo” has been firing simply adorned, crisp, whole pizza pies via a wood-fueled hearth in a cozy, rustic space. And Lucali’s charming aesthetic is a big part of its allure, as is the difficulty to get in. Sign up for a classic margherita, or calzone. Toppings are up to the diner and usually include pepperoni, shallot, onion, hot peppers, sweet peppers and mushrooms.
This hipstery pizza bistro has won rave reviews for its Neapolitan pies, helmed by chef Mike Fadem, and partners Marie Tribouilloy and Gavin Compton. Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, Ops continues to leaven its pizza dough naturally, fermenting the dough for 26 hours, and using all organic ingredients, including a flour blend comprised of spelt, wheat, and semolina. Pizzas are fired in a wood-fueled hearth for two minutes, which includes the signature Cicero, topped with preserved tomatoes, “many onions,” provolone, mozzarella, and oregano.
There's a good reason why Paulie Gee’s, the Neapolitan pizza spot from its namesake owner, is now pushing 12 years of age. Focused on uniquely topped Neapolitan pizzas, this rustic tavern has earned a devout following for its amazing pies. The pizza to try here is the cultishly beloved Hellboy, which is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, locally made soppressata, Parmesan, and drizzled with chili honey, then cooked in a 1000° F Stefano Ferrara wood-fueled oven for 60 seconds. Paulie Gee also operates a New York-style slice shop around the corner.
The eatery that gets mentioned more than any other when New Yorkers discuss the city’s best pizza, Roberta’s is chef Carlo Mirarchi’s dually dive-y yet hip ode to wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, seasonal veggies, and natural wines. This Brooklyn institution has gone on to launch additional locations around the country and offer frozen pizza to enjoy at home, but the original Bushwick operations continues to remain as its home base. Drop in for perfectly chewy, leopard-spotted pies with generally classic toppings, the most adventurous of which include cream, speck, and Cynar.
Chef Edoardo Mantelli has operated Saraghina for 13 years now, serving as one of the first quality pizza operators in Bed-Stuy. His rustic, white-washed pizzeria focuses on Neapolitan pies whose dough is naturally fermented for 48 hours, then fired for 90 seconds in his wood-fueled 900°F oven. Here, the pizza to try is the classic margherita, and for those who come in for brunch on Saturday or Sunday, the team will add an egg to any pie.
Photogenic, neo-Neapolitan pizzas with the requisite leopard spotting are the aesthetic at this unfussy pizza tavern located in a former auto body shop in Clinton Hill. At Speedy Romeo, chef-owner Justin Bazdarich sources flour locally from Upstate and Pennsylvania, he ferments his dough for 48 hours, and achieves that ideal char from a mesquite wood-fueled hearth in which he fires pies at 775°F degrees. His overall seasonal, Italian-leaning menu celebrates a mix of classic and creative pies, such as the St. Louie, with tomato, Provel cheese, spicy salami, sweet sausage, and pickled chilis.
Another classic NYC slice shop––which now counts a number of outlets across the city––here at Williamsburg Pizza, while round pies are on offer, most lean to the chewy square grandma slice. Expect classic garnishes: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, Parmesan, and basil, and patrons can customize with additional toppings of choice.