How precisely did we rate the pizza in the city that touts itself as the origin of American pies? A city with slice preferences even for the pigeons? So, to start, we consumed a lot of pizza. We discussed which spots today best represent their genre while revisiting both the old and new classics. Does the crust on this Staten Island pizza have the right amount of crackery? Was the idea to sell salt shakers with “coal-oven seasoning” inspired by the char-bubbled pizza? Why did the layer of mozzarella on that traditional New York slice stay in place like the Q train at Dekalb?
Pizza preferences have always been and will continue to be highly subjective. Olive oil-slick and thin For instance, dough bricks made in the style of Detroit cannot easily be compared to Roman pies. If you grew up eating pizza at Di Fara in Midwood while watching Dom DeMarco bake them, you might never want to go to New Jersey. It’s all good now. However, think of our ranking as the order of restaurants we’d go to first if all of these pizzas were accessible to eat in a single liminal space.
We might describe how the pizzaiolo at Lucali stretches out the dough in front of a brick oven on a marble countertop using empty wine bottles as rollers. We could tell you that this cash-only establishment allows BYOB and that the little space has a sacred pizza worship vibe about it. For this guide, it doesn’t important about those specifics or the bothersome reality that waiting in line to eat at this Carroll Gardens staple frequently starts at 4pm. We’re here to speak about pizza, namely the thin New York-style pie with the perfect amount of floppy and crispy crust and tomato sauce that is tasty enough to eat with a spoon. Low-moisture mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, a generous amount of minced garlic, and a few basil leaves make up Lucali’s regular offering (inspired by Dom DeMarco at Di Fara). You don’t have to add more toppings, but you can if you want to. This pizza is the greatest we’ve ever had in New York, and it’s just wonderful on its own. We don’t have a lot in common if you don’t believe it’s worthwhile to wait several hours for.
Even New York is not where it is. When they see a Jersey City pizza shop ranked so highly, some New Yorkers will undoubtedly have this reaction. The blistered, wood-fired pizza at Razza still deserves on a best list for New York, New Jersey, and Mars, even if it weren’t part of the New York Metropolitan area (it is) and weren’t closer to downtown Manhattan than other places on our list (it is). Razza stands out because it is one of the few pizzas that has toppings that are just as exceptional as the char-bubbly dough and the thin yet solid bottom. Given that they stuff their pies full of Jersey-grown hazelnuts, corn, zucchini, and housemade cheese, Razza’s Jersey pride continues to be an important factor in that equation. Take the PATH rail to Razza before your next argument about the best pizza ever.
Pizza by Di Fara
Di Fara has been producing renowned Neapolitan pizzas in South Brooklyn. For the majority of that time, owner Dom DeMarco prepared the pizzas himself from behind the counter, but in more recent years, he’s handed the baton to his sons. You’ll wonder why fresh basil isn’t used on every pizza when you taste the one that is still being made here with a variety of cheeses, olive oil, and fresh basil. Each practically weightless slice will deliver a pleasant crackling as you fold it to swallow it. The crust is particularly salty and crunchy. You’ll feel ecstatic after your first slice, and after your second, you’ll want to curl up in a sleeping bag and watch a romantic comedy.
Salt And Bread
Few locations have baffled us as much as Bread And Salt in Jersey City, despite the fact that we’ve expended a lot of effort trying to figure out what makes a specific pizza so amazing. How is it that despite the thick coating of delicious tomato sauce gripping its top, each bite of this thin, Roman-style pie crunches like a cracker? Why does the pizza stay crispy all the way to the centre? We would start a prosperous pizzeria if we had the answers to these improbable questions. If the crust is your favourite, second favourite, and third favourite component of a pizza, Bread And Salt will probably be your personal number one. Only rosso and margherita pies, each slathered in premium olive oil so they shine like a trophy or a slip-and-slide, are currently available, and only in half or full pies. There are a few high-top tables put up at the counter, but you can also take your pies (as well as sandwiches, bomboloni, and focaccia) to the nearby Riverview-Fisk Park.
Ops Ops developed their sourdough before society in 2022 got on board with naturally-leavened bread. Since they began serving food here in 2016, their wood-fired, puffy-crusted pizzas have gotten tangier each time we’ve visited. Each slice stays straight when you hold them up in the air, but the crust expands out like a balloon, giving Ops’ pies a style that falls between crispy New York and soppy-in-the-middle Neapolitan. Actually, it makes no difference what you label the style. It’s important that you feel compelled to go their dimly lit Bushwick sexy sourdough pizza emporium (DLBSSPE) on a weekly basis like you owe them a starter check. Try the “Cicero,” which is properly described on the menu as having “many onions,” and the “Pops,” which is topped with guanciale and pecorino. Do your best to follow any pie where mozzarella is included because Ops pulls their own mozzarella virtually every day in-house. If you’re dining with a party, we’d also recommend a calzone or the thicker square pie, both of which proudly display the funk of the dough.
Pizza parlour L’Industrie
L’Industrie establishes a new benchmark for outstanding slices in New York. Due to a protracted fermentation process, each bite of blistered thin crust puffs and crunches, tasting more like bakery bread than traditional pizza. A layer of rich mozzarella stays properly in place thanks to minimal tomato sauce and ideal oven temperatures, while a proper stream of orange grease flows down your wrist when you fold a piece. This slice shop in Williamsburg differs from most others in that they place a higher priority on Italian imports. The end result is a Frankenstein of the thin crust you’d see in Roman variants, with basil and grated parmesan on every slice and toppings like almost-sweet pepperoni and velvety burrata. Pizza from L’Industrie is the kind you’ll want for no apparent reason, like on an unplanned Tuesday when a leaf lands on your head and makes you think of basil.
Carroll Gardens, a neighbourhood in New York City, is unofficially the birthplace of pizza talent. It is home to several iconic pizzerias, including the best pizza joint in the entire city. And one of the neighborhood’s highlights is this slice store from The Franks, who also own Frankies 457 Spuntino and Franks Wine Bar right next door. It is located in a converted garage. You’ll understand why it takes time to develop exceptional flavour when you bite into the airy, slightly acidic crust with bubbling edges after their dough has been fermented for three days before being baked in a beautiful Swedish electric oven. Consider ordering the New York-style slice from Frankies 457 Spuntino, which is topped with sage and brown butter sausage and serves as a pizza version of a well-liked pasta dish.
Slice Shop Paulie Gee
The best spots to get a slice are typically not places you want to hang out and stay for a while. But Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop is unique. It’s a counter-service restaurant that has the appearance of a local pizzeria from the 1970s, and it serves delicious, foldable New York-style slices with dough that is equally chewy and crispy. Not to be missed are their pretty tasty square slices with sesame-crusted underskirts. Their garlicky white slice (called “The Mootz”) demonstrates that several layers of rich cheese and a drizzle of olive oil can do just fine without tomato sauce, and their “Hellboy” slice, with hot honey and spicy pepperoni, is one of the best things in New York City that you can buy for less than $5. Grab an orange booth, gather some pals, and enjoy an authentic pizza party.
Leo is a member of the group behind for Ops in Bushwick, another outstanding restaurant on this list. Leo specialises in acidic sourdough pies like their sister establishment, but with a totally distinct selection of toppings. Since the sourdough crust gives the shucked littlenecks a combination of acidic and sweet flavour, their briny clam pie will cause you to reevaluate any loyalty to bivalve mollusk pizza you may have previously appreciated. Grab the provola and potato square slice at Leo’s slice shop if you’re in the neighbourhood and want a slice or two to go. You get a delightful char in every mouthful of Leo’s naturally-leavened pizza.
It’s nearly impossible to resist the gravitational pull of Scarr’s, in part because of the LES’s stereotypically hypebeast-like throng that hangs out in front and in part because a slice from this place will make you wonder how a crust can taste so good. Scarr’s mills their own grains in-house to make a wholesome dough, which is one of the reasons the pizza is so wonderful. The surface of the slightly yeasty crust is covered in browned cheese, and the tomato sauce underneath is tangy. There are traces of oregano in the sauce that make me think of Sicilian bushels of the herb raining down into sizzling vats of passata. You’ll get the greatest pizza on the LES if you stick with thin-crust pieces; we’ve found the square slices to be inconsistent and doughy. Not to mention, the setting is equally active, which will encourage you to stay and party.
Totonno Pizza House Napolitana
Marlon Brando was born, Calvin Coolidge was elected president, and Totonno’s opened at Coney Island. And even after more than 90 years, they continue to produce excellent coal-oven pizza. Someone who had previously worked at Lombardi’s, the first pizza restaurant in New York City, in Nolita, opened the establishment. With only two menu options—small and large pies—his family still runs the show, particularly his granddaughters Cookie and Antoinette. Each pizza has a thin crust and is evenly covered with tomato sauce and cheese, resembling a red-and-white leopard design. Just make sure to consume your pizza as soon as possible because the crust won’t remain crispy for long. Of all, this is a metaphor for life, and it’s just one more thing that this quaint establishment in Coney Island has to offer.
Pizza by Ace’s Perfect
The best Detroit-style pizza in the city is produced by Ace’s in Williamsburg. Although their store may appear to be just another pizza shop, it’s actually a place where you can relax, enjoy a glass of wine or beer, and play Mario Kart on the N64. While they also serve Sicilian pies and slices, a Detroit-style dish should certainly be your first choice at Ace’s. If you’re alone, get a small and top pizza with pepperoni to keep it straightforward. You’ll receive four light slices with a crunchy cheese webbed crust that will make you incredibly happy.
When it was 15 degrees outside, we once went to Mama’s Too to enjoy their Sicilian squares from a gas oven. It was entirely worthwhile for us to wear pants underneath our regular clothing. That was the first time we tasted their mushroom and sausage slice and the cacio e pepe pizza, which has four different varieties of cheese and cracked black pepper and will enrich your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Even the greatest slices here are not those. The house triangle slice with fresh basil is almost as outstanding as the one at Di Fara, and the square pepperoni slice is worth the trip across the city. This pizza is big, surprisingly light, and a little crispy; you’ll want to eat a lot of it, as Pac-Man eats those little dots.
Pat & Joe’s
If you were a resident of lower Manhattan in 2022, you might have assumed that the only eatery that serves a pie with an exceptionally thin crust and superb vodka sauce is Rubirosa. Breaking news Joe & Pats, a renowned restaurant on Staten Island, provided recipes and inspiration for Rubirosa (for context, the owner of Rubirosa is related to the team who started Joe & Pats). We advise against adding more than one additional topping to any given pie because the crust is practically as thin as matzoh. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing because it means you can eat more of the cracker-thin pizza you’ll want to devour here. Although they also have a restaurant in the East Village, if you don’t live in Staten Island, this place alone is worth the journey.
This pizza resembles the images that up when you search for “NYC pizza” on Google. However, calling it ordinary would be completely incorrect. This East Harlem restaurant boasts that it developed the idea of selling pizza by the slice in the 1930s. It bakes its pizza in a coal oven, giving each piece a noticeable blackened char. However, if you visit the original East Harlem store, it makes no difference if you order a full pie or simply a piece at the counter. What matters is that you must get the plain because it is what brought you to Patsy’s in the first place. The plain is soft and thin, yet it supports the thick circles of mozzarella cheese and the vivid red sauce.
Pizza at Louie & Ernie’s
This pizzeria opened in East Harlem before moving, some ten years later, into a small brick building on the first floor of a white house near Pelham Bay. We don’t know who resides in that home, but we hope they often consume Louie & Ernie’s New York-style pizza. Our preferred topping at this establishment is a cheese pie with crumbly-salty sausage on top, whether you order a full pie or a slice on a paper plate. These pies’ borders crisp up while the interior remains soft, just like the pies at NYC’s best old-school eateries.
Long lines are still common at Rubirosa, one of Manhattan’s top Italian restaurants, but the pizza is still worth it. There is a complete menu of gluten-free beauties that are shockingly thin and have all the same delicious toppings, in addition to providing exquisite Staten Island-style, crackery crust vodka and tie-dyed swirl pies.
Even though searching for this place on Google returns results for every pizza joint in the area, the wood-fired slices at this establishment are so amazing that you won’t wait the two minutes necessary for them to cool off. One of the saucier slices on this list, the granny square yet manages to be substantial enough to have a crust that is crispy and foccacia-like. Choose the white slice with ricotta and caramelised onions if you don’t want tomato sauce drips to spoil your clothes. Sesame seeds are scattered along the crust’s edge and provide as a nutty counterpoint to the creamy ricotta and meaty onion chunks.
Spumoni Gardens L&B
Pizza and ice cream are the main attractions at L&B Spumoni Gardens, much like a seven-year-birthday old’s celebration or the best corporate meetings. The famed Sicilian square slice served here is thick and rectangular, with a crispy bottom and a substantial amount of soft, chewy, slightly undercooked dough in the centre. Tomato sauce, melted cheese, and more tomato sauce are all added to the top to create a shockingly hefty, gooey pie that is worth walking several miles across town for. There is enough food on each slice without adding toppings. However, you must finish your meal with spumoni, a mix of ice cream and gelato. Here, sharing a whole pie at a picnic table with friends is a traditional summer activity in NYC.
Inn at Lee
The atmosphere inside Lee’s Tavern gives off the impression that it has been stuck in a time when cell phone reception and the New York Mets baseball team were created. Every table at this Staten Island sports tavern that opened in the 1940s has two cracker-thin crust pizzas leaking onto paper plates, at least one pitcher of light beer, plus other food. With slightly burned bottoms and crust bubbles you could break with a gentle tap, these pies are some of our favourite Staten Island-style pies. Even if you were taught that mollusks and cheese don’t mix, you should always order their clam pie. Clam pie from Lee’s Tavern is evidence why most food laws are absurd. The fresh chunks of garlic, mild, low-moisture cheese, and salty clams go so well together that they ought to start their own LLC.
Pizza Shops in Staten Island That Are The Best
Although Emily in Clinton Hill is no longer the hip restaurant it once was when it first launched in 2014, they continue to produce some of the best pizza and burgers in the city. As a result of Roberta’s “Bee Sting,” pepperoni, jalapenos, and hot honey—found on their “Colony” pie—have become standards for pizza toppings in New York City. Emily’s crust is still delicious and light, and the dough has some delightful leoparding crawling all over it.
Without the influence of their chewy-fluffy crust, Roberta’s Roberta’s is credited with helping to launch the new Neapolitan style in this city, and this list of pizzas would likely look very different. Roberta’s continues to bake its pies in a sizable wood-burning oven at temperatures high enough to produce black char flecks, just like they did in 2008. Although they currently operate a facility in Los Angeles and sell their pies in the freezer section of Whole Foods, the crust here is still fairly nice. Importantly, this is still a great location to bring 10 people for an impromptu pizza-fueled outside meal.
We would nearly never send someone to Joe’s after trying their sourdough thin-crust and square selections. There are areas of bubbling caramelised cheese in the Upside dough that make us grateful for fire. The square slices are not to be missed, particularly their cheese-free Sicilian, which is topped with thin slices of garlic, crisped basil leaves, and wonderfully seasoned tomato sauce that is peppery but not overly sweet.
Pizza by Joe
Nearly every street in the city has a slice business that aims to achieve the perfect blend of flexible crust, stretched mozzarella, sweet tomato sauce, and grease puddles. And due to its reputation as one of the best, Joe’s on Carmine Street is listed in this directory. Although Joe’s cheese slice is no longer the best in its class, it still folds as though it were made with a perforated edge running through the centre. Eating this pizza, even only once at 11 p.m. in front of seniors from NYU, is considered to be a rite of passage.