The 10 Best Pizza Places In New York
Let's face it: travel is (mostly) about trying new food. Each city has its own unique flavor — the one dish you must have while you're there. In New Orleans, it's gumbo. In Philadelphia, it's the Philly cheesesteak. And in New York City? Easy: it's pizza.
But who has the best pizza in New York? Some would call it the age-old question. To help you out, here’s our list of the 10 best pizza places in New York City.
Denino’s Tavern and Pizzeria
If you were thinking about checking Staten Island out during your trip, Denino’s Tavern and Pizzeria is a great excuse to do so — and if it wasn’t on your itinerary before, it definitely will be once you take a look at what they’re serving up.
This cozy family-owned diner first opened its doors in 1937 and three generations later it remains a time-honored testament to the incredible influence Italian-American immigrants have had in making New York City what it is today.
Denino's brick-oven crusts and generous toppings speak to culinary greatness decades in the making, and it shows. Boasting a tried and true pub-style menu, there’s something at Denino’s for everyone — not just pizzas — but their famous clam pie is well worth the twenty-five-minute ferry ride all on its own.
Although the title of “Best Pizza Place in New York” remains hotly contested to this day, one thing’s for sure: Denino’s definitely tops the list in Staten Island.
Di Fara in Brooklyn might serve the most famous pizza in New York City.
To be honest, it doesn’t look like much from the outside. It’s also crowded, and the fare is notoriously expensive: $30 for a regular cheese pizza. But it all makes sense when you realize that each slice is handmade by Di Fara’s 84-year-old owner, Domenic DeMarco — and that he’s been doing it since 1965.
And the pizza itself? Well, there’s a reason that the late Anthony Bourdain called it “the best of the best” back in 2007. Thirty dollars is nothing when you realize you’re chowing down on a one-man show of culinary craftsmanship, especially considering the fresh cheese and tomatoes come straight from DeMarco’s home country, Italy.
As Ben Gilbert of Business Insider wrote in 2019, “Every bite is a punch in the face of flavor, accented by sharp parmesan and herbaceous fresh basil.” How many other pizza places can you say that about?
If you take a trip to the Big Apple and you don’t stop for a bite at Joe’s Pizza while you’re there, did you even go to the city at all? Many New Yorkers would say no.
Joe’s is as quintessential New York as is the Statue of Liberty, and the pizza is as classic as the name implies. It’s simple, no-nonsense pizza, and it hits exactly the right spot every time.
To be clear, there are a few Joe’s Pizzas hanging around the city, but the one you want to visit is located on 7 Carmine Street and has been around since 1975. Like most Joe’s Pizza regulars, Top Chef Alex Guarnaschelli recommends the plain slice, which you can get for just $2.75.
Mark Iacono’s Lucali is one of the newer restaurants on the list, meaning it doesn’t exactly qualify as a tenet of “classic New York.” Since its debut in 2006, however, it’s managed to make quite the name for itself — not only as a serious contender for best slice in the city but as one of the best culinary experiences overall.
Located just a 20-minute drive from Di Fara, in Brooklyn’s Caroll Gardens, Lucali is similarly hard to get into — but if you’re willing to wait an hour or three to be seated, you’ll be able to see for yourself why it’s the go-to spot for celebrities, pizza connoisseurs, and well-read tourists alike.
The menu is rustic and intentional; like DeMarco, Iacono also gets his ingredients imported. Momofuku founder David Chang calls Iacono's creations “not over the top" and "more cared for than others.” Lucali serves pizzas and calzones, and you should definitely try both while you’re there (for the full experience, of course.)
A tip, though: the restaurant is BYOB, so be sure to pack your own refreshments beforehand!
Prince Street Pizza
Prince Street Pizza makes square pies that are anything but square. They’re best known for their non-traditional pizzas, so this might be the best pizza place in New York for someone looking to try something a little more dynamic than a simple cheese or pepperoni.
Take the Spicy Spring, for example, named for its spicy garlic sauce and topped with irresistible thumb-sized pepperoni rounds. Or the cheeseless Broadway Breadcrumb, which you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
The crust is nice and fluffy — a welcome deviation from New York City’s neverending obsession with thin crusts, if you’re craving something way a little more chew.
We’ll give you three guesses on where this pizzeria is located.
John’s of Bleecker Street
Now to one of the oldest joints on the list. John’s of Bleecker Street, founded way back in 1929, serves whole pies only — no slices! But that’s really no issue, considering nobody could ever have just one slice of John’s coal oven anyway.
John’s is pure, reliable 20th-century New York City eats, and locals say the menu hasn’t changed since founder John Sasso’s day, so this place is any pizza historian’s dream — and it boasts some of the best New York style pizza in New York.
The actual restaurant is a must-see too if you’re up for a super-cool blast from the past, complete with red neon lighting and graffiti-covered walls.
The best part? The decades-old coal oven gives the crust a distinct flavor you can’t quite get anywhere else. No single slices? No problem. Small pies start at just $17.50.
Koronet on Broadway makes really, really big pizza. One of their $3.75 jumbo slices is reportedly the size of three and a half regular slices, according to Serious Eats, and barely stands up under its own weight if you try to pick it up.
Sure, plenty of places do jumbo pizza, but here’s the impressive part: Koronet’s pizza is actually good. Maybe it isn’t a culinary revelation, but it doesn’t have to be.
With the amount of bang you get for your buck, it’s perfect if you’re seeing the city on a budget — or if you just really like the idea of eating a slice of pizza that’s bigger than your head.
Emily specializes in super thin-crust pizzas with sweet, funky toppings like honey and pickled chilis.
Emily is located in Brooklyn, but there’s also the Emmy Squared and the Emily West Village, both of which sport more pizza-centric menus. That said, if you’re only going to go to one, go with the original. While you're there, get the sweet-and-spicy The Colony, which has been lauded as one of the best new pizzas in New York.
Roberta’s also flies in the face of traditional New York-style pizza in a way no one in New York can seem to resist. It’s another stylish Brooklyn joint (take a look at more Brooklyn restaurants here) and particularly unique for its fresh take on Neopolitan pizza.
Roberta’s makes pizza you never knew you needed. The crust is thick and chewy and the tomato sauce is done just right, but the toppings are most likely what earned Roberta’s Pizza the 2 Michelin stars.
Despite the Michelin stars and chain expansion, however, Roberta's Pizza is anything but uptight or unwelcoming to tourists. In fact, with its dim lighting and crowded-yet-comfortable atmosphere, the restaurant still feels like the city’s best-kept secret.
If you’re looking for a high-end twist on a New York City classic, head to Bushwick and grab a Roberta's Pizza specialty like the Night Ripper or Bee Sting.
L&B Spumoni Gardens
If you’re on a treasure hunt for authentic Italian eats, you should stop by L&B Spumoni Gardens, which was founded by Ludovico Barbati over 80 years ago.
Spumoni actually refers to a kind of gelato served here, but L&B Spumoni Gardens is probably better known for its pizza at this point, and for good reason.
You can order your pizza two ways, Neapolitan or Sicilian — but if you’re here, you should go ahead and opt for the Sicilian, because it’s pretty rare to find elsewhere in the city.
At $3 a square, Spumoni Garden’s sweet, doughy Sicilian pie is particularly unconventional because of the way it’s baked: the cheese is layered underneath the tomato sauce, rather than the other way around.
After you’re done? Give the spumoni a try!
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