Ah, the steamy, floppy, doughy, cheesy goodness that is New York City pizza! You will hear these magnificent creations referred to as “pies” because, well, they are! You can feel comfortable ordering by the “slice” or by the “pie,” for example “I’d like one large cheese pie, please.”
You really cannot go wrong; even the free mini pizzas you earn with each drink at some dive bars (e.g. Crocodile Lounge) are…acceptable. But given we are known for our pies here, we aimed to compile a list of the very best, and our staff favorites!
Prince Street Pizza (NoHo): You know it’s good before even trying it due to the line out the door. This shop is known for their square pies constructed out of airy, fluffy dough, topped with sauce and cheese and whichever toppings you choose. The pepperonis are tiny and sprinkled on generously making for the perfect bite every time you go in for more!
Joe & Pats in the East Village (East Village): A delightful family-owned pizza joint that serves simple and high-quality ultra-thin crust round pies. They are known for their quality sauces, which can really make or break a pizza. Try the vodka sauce for something a little out-of-the-ordinary!
Rubirosa (SoHo): Get the Tie Dye pizza, which is a masterpiece round pie with vodka sauce, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pesto spiraled over the top. A delightful combination of simple flavors and quality ingredients.
Scarrs Pizza (Lower East Side): This joint has unique and delicious takes on traditional pies, including a classic New York-style cheese pizza with Pecorino Romano cheese, and a “Hotboi Original Pie” which is pepperoni and cheese with hot honey drizzled on top.
Two Boots (East Village, West Village, Williamsburg BK): A quirky shop with the absolute best vegan & specialty pizza. They can swap out any crust for a gluten free crust and accommodate any dietary restrictions. How is this vegan pizza better than a lot of regular pizzas? We don’t know! What is the little stripe of green sauce they drizzle on top? We don’t know! But we need more!
LB Spumoni Garden (Bensonhurst BK): Treat this experience like a pizza pilgrimage. This is, hands down, the BEST pizza you will ever taste. It is a trek to get to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn from almost anywhere in the city, but the pizza makes it well worth your travels. Order the traditional Sicilian-style pizza. They will bring you a huge, fluffy, rectangular beast of a pie and you will wonder why it’s so light on the cheese. It’s because it’s UNDER the homemade sauce that smells and tastes like it is a family’s secret recipe passed down from the origins of Italian-American cooking. Try a bite and you’ll understand why we sent you here. We just hope it doesn’t ruin the concept of “pizza” for you since it will set your standards so high.
Goodfellas (Long Island City): If you are looking for a traditional, no-frills New York-style pie, look no further. We recommend the classic cheese pizza here so you can use this as your baseline for NYC pizza. Order your pie from a little window on the street corner, and enjoy it in a nearby park or even standing there. This is how New York-style pizza should taste. You will understand why we fold our pizzas as well; it’s floppy and we are usually in a rush!
Artichoke (East and West Village, Chelsea, FiDi, Midtown, Bay Ridge, Bushwick, Park Slope): Try the Artichoke Pizza here (not the regular cheese or toppings) if you want something different, yet delicious. It is a white pizza with a creamy sauce, cheese, and artichokes as a topping. It is fluffy and salty comfort food that can quickly become your go-to should you be close to any of its locations.
Any 99 cent pizza shop (all over Manhattan): You may wonder how a pizza shop which sells slices for 99 cents stays in business. We don’t ask questions; we are just glad they are here. Do not worry that it is lower quality because of the price. Quite honestly, this is some of the best, most simple and standard pizza you can get here.
Joe’s Pizza (Original location in West Village): a NYC staple. Simple and delicious thin-crust New York-style pizza with a crispy bottom. It has expanded to locations all over the city including Midtown, East Village, Williamsburg BK, and it provides a standard and delicious slice.
Grimaldi’s (DUMBO): A beloved pizza shop (rated #1 by Zagat) located right underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. It has expanded with locations all over the country due to popular demand. Their pies are round with a thin crust, tomatoes, mozzarella and a raised border, making this a Neapolitan-style pizza. You cannot pay with a credit card here. Cash only! Also, they do not sell “pizza by the slice”; they only sell whole pies! But who are we to complain about that. The more Grimaldi’s, the merrier! If you love a good drama, you will also love reading about the riveting feud with Patsy’s Pizzeria in the 90’s!