Pizza may have been born in Italy, but it was perfected in New York. From dollar slices to $40 gourmet pies, the city has a pizza for every personality – and don’t get us started on the toppings (brussels sprouts or buttery clams, anyone?). Whether you fold your slice or use a knife and fork, here are the top spots to chow down at.
Name a celebrity – any celebrity – and chances are, a photo of them enjoying a slice of pizza is hanging on the wall at Joe’s. Pino “Joe” Pozzuoli, an Italian immigrant originally from Naples, Italy, founded this venerable joint in 1975, and it still doles out one of the best “plain” slices – yes, that’s what New Yorkers call a cheese slice – in the city: crispy crust, a swathe of tangy sauce, and a light blanket of mozz. Go ahead and order two.
Sure, you can buy Roberta’s frozen pizzas at Whole Foods now, but they don’t compare to the inventive pies churned out at Roberta’s original Bushwick location. Go wild and opt for the Beastmaster, which combines gorgonzola, sausage, onion, capers, and mozzarella for a bizarrely addictive taste explosion, or keep things simple with the Margherita. There’s no wrong choice.
A battle for the best pizza in Dumbo has been waging for years now. And while the lines for Grimaldi’s next door may be longer, any real New Yorker knows Juliana’s is better. It’s run by the original owner of Grimaldi’s, and each pie is perfection cut into eight slices. Order a No. 4 with tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula. You can thank us later.
Joe & Pat’s
This place is reason enough to hop on the ferry to Staten Island. Joe & Pat’s has been slinging delicious cracker-thin-crust pizzas since 1960, and while it now has a Manhattan location, you need to go to where the magic began. Can’t decide which pizza to order? Go for the Tri-Pie for a winning combination of tomato, vodka, and pesto sauces topped with fresh mozzarella.
Prince Street Pizza
If you’re a pepperoni fan, you simply have to stop by this cozy SoHo joint for a square slice of the Spicy Spring Pie. The buttery, thick-crust pizza is topped with fra diavolo sauce, fresh mozzarella, and spicy pepperoni. But this isn’t your normal flat pepperoni – we’re talking about mini pepperoni cups bursting with salty, spicy goodness. You may have to stand in line, but it’s worth it.
Una Pizza Napoletana
Ingredients are king at this Lower East Side Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant, where chef Anthony Mangieri makes what the New York Times called “unmistakably the finest sit-down pizza in the five boroughs”. Yes, this is fancier (and pricier) than your normal slice, but one bite of the pristine, pillowy soft crust of a Margherita pie here will transport you instantly to Naples.
The pizza at this Upper West Side favorite is like some magical hybrid of a New York slice and a Neapolitan pie – puffy and light, yet still somehow foldable. The secret? For the “house slice”, owner Frank Tuttolomondo tops the crust with mozzarella before putting on the sauce, keeping the thin crust airy and crispy. Want something a little different? Try the cacio e pepe Sicilian pie, which is just as creamy, cheesy and peppery as the namesake pasta.