The 30 Best Pizza Places in NYC
A new wave of pandemic-era pizza joints plus the classics.
"THE BEST PIZZA IN NEW YORK CITY" is a bit of a misnomer. The best pizza, after all, is only in NYC. Even if you could perfectly preserve a fresh slice—born from our signature tap water, prepared according to the basic specifications of the Italian immigrants who first brought it stateside, and crisped in a real deal NYC coal or wood burning oven—and eat it across state lines, it still wouldn’t taste quite as good as it would within the boundaries of the five boroughs. Call it magic or cognitive bias, the holy trinity of cheese, sauce, and dough just tastes better here.
And the rest of the globe knows it. You’ll find “New York style” slices in world capitals, international airports, and in US cities that claim confidence in their own regional takes. Behind every California, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, or New Haven-style pie, there’s always an NYC facsimile hiding out on the menu, whispering, fuhgeddaboudit. Sure, it’ll do in a pinch, but you haven’t truly experienced pizza until you’ve had it in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, or Staten Island.
And if there were ever an era for this comfort food, 2021 is it. During the pandemic, a new wave of pizza joints—from pop-up specialty pies by acclaimed chefs to plant-forward shops—have opened up to add to NYC’s rich pizza landscape. Already craving a slice? Here are 30 places to find some of the city’s top pizza.
If you’re reading about Stretch right now for the first time, it’s likely too late for you to secure one of their highly sought after pizzas today. But get in line, because this pop-up pizzeria at the Breads Bakery Union Square location, run by modernist chef Wylie Dufresne, is worth the anticipation. Inspired by the pizzas he made to feed his family at their Connecticut home during quarantine, Stretch makes use of Breads’ pizza oven, Dufresne’s newest dough-making and stretching skills, and his award-winning sense for ingredient combos. Four different 12-inch pies, at $19 each, include the Everything pie (cream cheese, aged mozzarella, everything bagel spice and chives) and the Couch Potato (fingerling potatoes, sour cream, rosemary, scallions, aged mozzarella and Parmesan).
How to order: Pre-order on Tock to pick up Tuesday - Thursday between 5 pm - 8 pm.
Black Seed Pizza
Relocating from the East Village to Bushwick this week, Black Seed Pizza is the pizza venture from Montreal-influenced bagel shop Black Seed Bagels. Helmed by chef Bobby Hellen (formerly of GG’s) and made in a wood-fired oven, the cornerstone of the Sicilian-style pies is 36-hour fermented dough that boasts the flavor of sourdough bread plus a crispy exterior and chewy interior reminiscent of, well, a bagel. A super-herbaceous, organic San Marzano-style tomato sauce and the blend of mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, and Grana Padano cheeses sends it over the edge and into decidedly elevated Sicilian pizza territory—just like how Black Seed’s bagels are fancier (and pricier) than other shops’ offerings. A side order of the Everything Spice Cheesy Bread further ties this delightful bagel shop-serving-pizza concept together.
At this red sauce Italian eatery swapping hearts of palm for deep fried calamari and a signature meatless blend to roll meatballs, Zazzy’s plant-forward menu offers a taste of what’s likely to be a new norm in NYC’s pizza scene. With two locations in the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village, classic New York-style pies are topped with dairy or vegan cheese, both wonderfully melty and topped to order. Choose from specialty ingredients like kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes and more, or go old school with locally made sausage and creamy fior di latte.
The newest project by Loring Place’s chef Dan Kluger, this grandma-style takeout-only pizza shop chefs up the humble rectangular pie. Eight selections start at $22 for offerings like the OG, topped with tomato sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, basil, chilies and parmesan; and nontraditionalists may opt into the Spanakopita, layered with fresh spinach, herbs, feta, fontina, mozzarella and pickled jalapenos. Whole wheat and gluten-free crusts are both available, as are salads, spicy turkey meatballs, and a free ice cream sundae for all orders over $30 on Sunday nights.
Founded by popular ‘90s restaurateur Pino Luongo, and pizzaiolo Ciro Verde, this destination pizzeria is making a name for its wood-fired pies and, perhaps more importantly, focaccias. Available for both takeout and dine-in, Coco is a spot to impress (hello, post vax date night). Be sure to try the deeply dimpled, robiola cheese-stuffed Focaccia Robiola, glossed with white truffle oil, a warm-up for a slew of various composed red and white sauce pies. Gluten-free cauliflower dough is also available. An Upper East Side location is also slated to open soon.
How to order: Order takeout via website and delivery via Slice, or call 646-850-1003 for reservations.
In addition to running his eponymous Tribeca spot, Restaurant Marc Forgione, chef Marc Forgione took over Peasant—the longstanding Nolita eatery opened in 1999 by chef Frank DeCarlo—only two months before NYC’s original COVID lockdown last year. After initially launching his pizza pop-up, Peasant Pizza, at the restaurant this January, its success helped make it a permanent addition to the dinner menu. Inspired by both Neapolitan pizza and a classic NYC slice, the rotating selection of three pies, in addition to a seasonal special, is available for both onsite dining and delivery.
How to order: Via website.
Il Buco Alimentari’s pandemic-driven to-go pizza concept is at least one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 era. Named for chef Justin Smillie, his pizza was inspired by cast iron pies baked at home during early quarantine. Using the food he made for his kids as inspiration for a takeout restaurant, Smillie now bakes his Sicilian durum wheat crusts solo, then re-bakes them with NoHo-meets-Sicily toppings. Think Lacinato Kale, anchovy, pickled chilies, stracciatella and parmesan or the perfect combo of green Tomato, stracciatella, mozzarella and provolone.
How to order: UberEats
With a menu focused on pinsa, an ancient style of Roman pizza, this Brooklyn spot became a welcome addition to the city’s pizza scene right before the start of NYC’s first lockdown. The fior di latte mozzarella that tops every pie is imported from Campania, and they offer a variety of Roman antipasti like carciofi and house marinated anchovies, butter, bread.
Best has always lived up to its name, especially before quarantine on those late nights at 1am on a Saturday when you’re the last to nab a cheese slice. A wood-burning oven kisses pies with a distinct char and basil leaves add a hint of freshness. The slices here are better than they need to be for a late-night nosh, and now you can have them delivered to you in the daylight.
Dani's House of Pizza
A Queens staple unlike any other in the city, Dani’s is known for its sweet sauce, slathered on round pies ripe to be adorned with a variety of traditional pizzeria toppings. First opened by Albanian immigrant Ramiz Dani, the shop sticks to its original recipes, with a few modern concessions. More recent menu additions include vegan cheese and an extensive array of salads, pastas, sandwiches, and sides.
How to order: Call 718-846-2849
Denino's Pizzeria Tavern
A tavern with locations in Staten Island, Manhattan and New Jersey, Denino’s captures thin-crust SI pizza in its prime, replicating the crisp crust layered with rich red sauce, mozzarella rounds and shreds of basil for all who crave the destination-worthy pie. Naturally, you can also add on all manner of meats, fresh garlic, olives, and even the unfairly divisive favorite of '80s-era teens playing pranks on their teachers—anchovies.
How to order: Call 718-442-9401 or via website
Di Fara Pizza
Perhaps the ultimate pilgrimage for anyone interested in NYC pizza lore, this old school shop dates back to 1965, when Italian immigrant Domenico De Marco ("Dom") opened what would become one of Brooklyn’s most legendary pizza joints. Imported Italian ingredients, plus the keen eye of a pizzaiolo in his early eighties make this thin pie (also sold by the basic slice, but you’ll want to pile on specialty toppings like soppressata, prosciutto, and broccoli rabe) worth the trip.
How to order: Call 718-258-1367 for the original Midwood location. Di Fara lovers nationwide can also order frozen pies via Goldbelly.
This modern pizzeria is dedicated to crisp Detroit-style pies. Yes, Emmy Squared and its sister restaurant, Emily, were born in the Instagram era, but the truly attractive pies are just as delicious as they are filter-friendly. The Roni Supreme, polka-dotted with pepperoni, plus Calabrian chilis for an extra kick, might even inspire you to put the phone down.
A converted garage transformed into one of Brooklyn’s top slice destinations in 2019. Purveyed by the duo of Franks behind Frankies Spuntino and the like, F&F’s slices are crisp, cheesy perfection, engineered to have both the perfect topping ratios and crust, thanks to insight from top Phoenix pizzaiolo Chris Bianco and sourdough whiz Chad Robertson. For a special treat, go for anything with Frankie’s homemade sausage, like the fennel sausage and broccoli rabe pie with mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino romano, and sicilian oregano.
How to order: Order via website or by calling 718-407-6575.
Founded in 2004 by Brooklyn native, Michael Ayoub, Fornino runs two operations in north and south Brooklyn. And both its Pier 6 and Greenpoint locations offer equally delicious wood fired pies that come in a wide selection of offerings. Choose from three styles of Margherita, the Ortolana (eggplant, zucchini, roast pepper), the Monzese (fennel sausage, mozzarella, oregano), the Tartuffo E Speck (truffle cream, speck, shiitake, mozzarella), and more.
How to order: Seating is available both indoors and in the garden and sidewalk in Greenpoint, as well as the rooftop at Pier 5, order pickup or delivery via website.
Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria and Restaurant
A Staten Island staple since 1960, the incredibly thin crust topped with bright tomato sauce and gooey strings of cheese is nothing short of an ideal slice. If you’re eager to get fancy, opt for the tri-pie, which splits the pizza up into thirds spread with the pizzeria’s signature tomato sauce, vodka sauce and pesto sauce, all loaded with fresh mozzarella.
How to order: Call 718-981-0887 or via Slice
Nearly synonymous with a New York pizza itself, Joe’s is the iconic grab-and-go meal, the spitting image of what a pizza slice emoji or tattoo would look like—it’s that familiar. Large slices are reheated in the oven until the crust is crisp, the cheese is melty (but not mouth-burning) and the sauce bubbles between the two.
How to order: Call 212-366-1182 for West Village location and check website for additional locations
L&B Spumoni Gardens
Dense, fortifying, pies are sold by the square or tray at this 80-year-old pizza counter that houses a fancy throwback red sauce joint behind closed doors. Go for a tray of Sicilian pizza, and sink your teeth into a layer of sweet tomato sauce bubbling atop ropy cheese and thick, doughy crust. Make sure you get a few uncorrupted bites in before you go to town on the grated parmesan and red pepper flakes—why gild the lily?
How to order: Call 718-449-1230 (full menu)
From the team behind Bushwick’s ragingly popular pizza joint, Ops, this hip Williamsburg restaurant specializes in naturally fermented breads, Neapolitan pies made with sourdough crusts, and square Roman-style slices with a thin crust alongside an impressive natural wine program. You can also order pantry items like olive oil, canned tomatoes, Variety coffee beans, and more via their online ordering platform.
Louie & Ernie's Pizza
Started by a pair of brothers (Louie & Ernie) in Harlem in 1947, this pizzeria migrated north to Pelham Bay in 1959 and operates in a charming house-turned-restaurant today. Slices and pies are joined by half-a-dozen meat and cheese calzones should you need a little pizza-adjacent app while you wait for your order. Crust is yeasty and crisp, and the thin layer of sauce and shredded cheese make for an easy folded slice, if that’s your thing.
How to order: Call 718-829-6230. Frozen pies are now available to-go via pickup, with shipping coming soon.
Owned by pizza guru Mark Iacono, beloved by American royalty Beyoncé and her husband, and popularized by seemingly every pizza-lover and liker in the tri-state area, Lucali is a bucket-list pizzeria for many. Ask for basil and garlic atop your large pie, plus a side of sauce for dipping. Cash only.
How to order: Pandemic pizza delivery is suspended. Show up at 5 pm to put your name on the list.
If you’re eager to indulge, Macchina’s $25, Insta-famous burrata pizza is your answer. Add some chicken parm sliders, a side of deep fried mac and cheese balls, and everything-style garlic knots if you’re ordering to satisfy some munchies.
Named for the Roman goddess of the harvest, Ops stays true to its muse with fresh, high-quality ingredients stacked on a naturally leavened pizza dough. Margherita pizzas are adorned with house-made mozzarella, and seasonal pizzas are topped with special limited-time treats.
How to order: Via Caviar
Paulie Gee's Slice Shop
Located a few block’s south of Paulie Gee’s restaurant, Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop opened in 2018 and offers a more truncated, though still very satisfying, experience and menu. After grabbing a slice, enjoy it at one of the spot’s many classic NYC pizzeria-style seating of orange booths. Beer, merch, and bottles of Mike’s Hot Honey are also for sale.
Roberta’s burst onto the Bushwick dining scene more than a decade ago and it’s grown more beloved with every passing year. Perhaps predicting the phone-eats-first phenom, both the space and the pies are photogenic. Choose from a roster of expertly crafted options like the Famous Original, swiped with red sauce, melty mozzarella, sharp Caciocavallo and parmesan and a sprinkle of chili flakes and oregano, or design your own with twenty-some-odd toppings. A Domino Park location is also now open.
Rose & Joe's Italian Bakery
Below the rumble of the Q train at Ditmars Boulevard, beyond cases of rainbow cookies, biscotti, cannoli, and St. Joseph’s Day pastries, this narrow bakery hides a destination-worthy pizza counter. Oversized grandma-style (similar to a Sicilian with a thinner crust) slices topped with pepperoni, spinach, olives or just a trove of shredded mozz are warmed in a pizza oven for prompt, commuter-friendly service.
How to order: Call 718-721-9422
Founded by Aj Pappalardo, the son of Giuseppe Pappalardo, the founder of Staten Island’s Joe & Pat's, Rubirosa is a legend in its own right. The Pappalardo family recipe is served as a classic pie, though many prefer the gussied up pizzas, adorned with mini meatballs and roasted garlic—or the beloved Tie Dye style pie with vodka and tomato sauce, plus wonderfully gooey globs of mozzarella.
Owner and pizzaiolo Scarr Pimentel grew up in slice joints at the tip of Manhattan. As an adult, he learned the art of NYC pizza crafting at top spots like Joe’s, Artichoke and Lombardi’s. And after he noticed the crumbling quality of slice joints in recent years, Pimentel read up on how to open his own place. His 1980s-themed storefront trades in high quality ingredients, like the signature organic stone-milled flour that creates an airy, yielding vehicle for stringy cheese and flavor-packed pepperoni. In all its kitsch, Scarr’s serves up an excellently refined back-to-basics slice.
How to order: Caviar
Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano
The beachside boardwalk may evoke notions of hot dogs, but Neptune Avenue is home to one of New York’s last coal-burning ovens, making for a crisp, delightfully charred pizza crust. Its cooking time might be longer, but worthwhile, for slightly burnt but still gooey mozzarella immersed in chunky tomato sauce and just enough residual grease.
How to order: Via Uber Eats