Where to Find the Best Pizza in Brooklyn
From classic slice shops to innovative pies, the 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), it's highly debatable that Brooklyn has its own pizza style (some have laid claim to inventing it). But however you want to title it, we're here to indulge in all the amazing pizzas the borough has to offer.
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.
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 friends, from Neapolitan to Roman or round to square, below is our list of the 23 best pizzerias in Brooklyn.
American-influenced Neapolitan pies are the focus at Macchina, the five-month-old Williamsburg pizzeria tucked into the rear of the gastropub, The Bedford. It’s a project from the restaurant’s owners Sean Rawlinson and Daddo Walker, who, during the pandemic, decided to flip their events space into a new concept. To make their crispy pies, Macchina makes its cheese in house and ferments its dough for 24 hours before topping pizzas with Italian-American flavors in selections like the Chicken Parm and Shrimp Scampi. Pizzas bake in a stone oven imported from Tuscany, and within a minute or two, they’re ready to go.
Lucali chef/owner Mark Iacono’s and partner Cobi Levy (Little Price) are behind year-old Sicilian slice shop, Baby Luc’s, just down the street from Lucali. Focused on serving their interpretation of square slices, patrons can choose from four slice varieties: Margherita, Pepperoni, Sausage & Peppers, and Ricotta Broccoli Rabe. Despite being a slice shop, the spot offers plenty of seating both inside and out; and for those looking to linger, there’s bottled Negronis and beers on tap.
Chef Andres Rodas and partner Andres Whang––the duo behind Park Slope’s Piccoli Trattoria––debuted Crosta last October with a focus on Neapolitan pies. To build their dough (which yields a crisp and puffy crust), Rodas uses a blend of high-protein flour and King Arthur 00, along with sourdough starter, and ferments the mixture for anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for pies with toppings that range from burrata to pork belly. For fans of deep flavors, the Umami Explosion is layered with Taleggio cheese, fior di latte, smoked mozzarella, roasted mushrooms, sage, egg, and house-made umami powder.
Mo’s General hit the Brooklyn pizza scene last year as 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 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.
Rosie Pizza Bar
Opened last 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 48 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 Bratislav Glisic (Employees Only).
Bar Camillo and its super thin, crunchy-crusted pinsa Romana (Roman-style) pizzas focus on 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.
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 pie selections like the Cherry Stone Clams with parsley butter, to the Neapolitan Meatballs with housemade 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––whose celebrated founder Dom DeMarco passed away earlier this year––is considered the gold standard for a classic NYC slice. This legendary shop (which also counts an outlet on the Lower East Side) excels in round and square pies topped with high quality ingredients from Italy. Back when DeMarco was still building pies, he allowed much of his pizza-making to be dictated by feel rather than by a strict recipe. Now, the team prepares and fires dough the same day it’s made (no long ferment), and 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.
Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, the team behind one of NYC’s most beloved, casual Italian concepts, Frankie Spuntino, debuted F&F three 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 the Regular, a classic tomato pie, to the Hot Sausage & Brown Butter Sage, inspired by one of Frankie Spuntino’s most famous pasta dishes.
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 Giuseppina’s Special Pizza, a savory and sweet calzone option. Many of the pies come finished with a heavy dose of fresh basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
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 worth a visit and, in our opinion, makes a far superior pie.
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, focuses 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 Sicilian Square slices for which the spot is best-known.
Three-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 Large Pie with Basil or calzone. Toppings are up to the diner and usually include pepperoni, shallot, onion, hot peppers, sweet peppers and mushrooms. Take note, this spot is BYOB and cash only.
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 sixth 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 13 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 classic-ish toppings, like the lauded Bee Sting with tomatoes, soppressata, mozzarella, basil, chili, and honey.
Chef Edoardo Mantelli has operated Saraghina for 14 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 New York and Pennsylvania, he ferments his dough for 48 hours and 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.
Nino Coniglio––an 11-time winning World Pizza Champion–– and partner Aaron McCann are behind this 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. The duo ferment their dough for 48 hours and then bake their pies at around 575°F for anywhere from 7 to 11 minutes depending on the pizza. Expect a mix of classic garnishes: tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, Parmesan, and basil, and more cheffy constructions like the Apple Bacon pie, with apples, bacon, smoked mozzarella, Gorgonzola, and crushed walnuts.
When Matt and Emily Hyland’s Emmy Squared launched this first location here in Williamsburg, the duo helped put Detroit-style pizza on the map in NYC. And since then, they’ve expanded their rectangular, caramelized crust empire around the East Coast with 15 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 the Classic, 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.