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New York Pizza Guide – The Best Pizza In NYC

Slices at Marios Pizzeria in the Bronx
Image: ©2foodtrippers

New York City is famous for many foods from donuts to bagels, not to mention corn beef sandwiches and cheesecake. Locals and visitors can eat almost any global cuisine, much of it on a 24/7 basis if they look hard enough.

As for us, we’ve eaten a lot of great food in NYC over the years including the eight years when Mindi lived on the Upper East Side and the nine years when Daryl worked in the Garment District. After all, New York is one of the best food cities in America and as well as the world.

Plain Slice at Best Pizza in Brooklyn New York
Slices rule the pizza roost in New York City. We ate this hot slice at Best Pizza in Williamsburg. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

To be clear, we don’t just eat pizza in NYC. We’ve dined at many of the city’s top restaurants. We’ve also slurped soup dumplings, inhaled sushi and noshed on knishes.

After all these years and all this food – we are loud and proud with our love for New York pizza. We can’t get enough of the cheap eats New York favorite and never say no to eating best pizza in NYC.

Discover more iconic American food favorites you need to eat at least once in your life.

Brief History of Pizza in New York City

Robertas Pizza in Brooklyn
New Yorkers borrowed elements from Naples to create pizza more than 100 years ago but today’s New York pizza, like this Neapolitan-esque pie from Roberta’s, is a local classic. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Far from a passing fad, pizza has a long history in New York City. Though Naples is the city where Margherita pizza was invented in 1889, New York joined the pizza party a few years later in 1905 when Napoli native Gennaro Lombardi opened the self-named Lombardi’s in New York’s Little Italy.

Lombardi prepared his pizzas in a coal-fired oven, a practice that the 100+-year-old pizzeria uses to this day, and sold them for a nickel each. However, much has changed in the NY pizza scene during the past century starting with the pricing.

Dom DeMarco at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn
Pizza patriarch Dom DeMarco started creating pizzas by hand in Brooklyn in 1964. The pizza legend passed away in March of 2022 but his legacy lives on. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Prices have risen, with posh pizza places in New York charging $20 and higher for hand-crafted, wood-fired pies throughout the city. Expect to spend a couple bucks or more for a single slice whether you eat-in, get takeaway or order pizza delivery.

Fun Fact
Manhattan’s Industry Kitchen sells a Guinness World Record 24K pizza for $2,000 with a $700 optional Almas Caviar supplement. Luxury pizza toppings include Stilton, Foie Gras, Platinum Ossetra Caviar, Truffle and 24K Gold Leaves.

Eating Slice Pie at Leo in NYC
Move over Italy! NYC pizzas are big, bold and delicious. We ate these tasty slices at Leo in Williamsburg. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Although modern-day pizza was invented in Naples and perfected at Pepe in Grani in Caiazzo, New Yorkers embrace the savory pie as their own. Thicker and cheesier than Neapolitan pizza, New York pizza is its own glorious thing.

What Makes New York Pizza Unique

Pizza Dude at Emilios of Morris Park in the Bronx
Ordering pizza is easy in New York. Pick your toppings, pay the bill and take a bite. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

New Yorkers typically eat pizza by the slice, each big enough to be a meal. Dainty diners nibble on slices after patting off extra grease, but real New Yorkers simply fold their slices in half before gobbling them down in one sitting.

New York pizzaiolos hand toss dough before adding tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and optional toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms and sausage. For extra zing, pizza aficionados often sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, dried oregano and hot pepper flakes over their pizza slices.

Pepperoni Slice at Mamas Too in New York City
The toppings at pizzerias like Mama’s Too elevate NYC pizza slices to a higher level. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Fun Fact
Some people speculate that the minerality of New York City’s water supply differentiates the city’s pizza from all other pizza. Many of these same people make the same claim regarding the city’s bagels but tests have proven that belief to be a fallacy.

New York Pizza Guide

Margherita Slice at Artichoke in Brooklyn
New York slices are so big that one paper plate isn’t always big enough. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

New York City has hundreds if not thousands of pizzerias in all five boroughs, many selling single slices in addition to full 18-inch pies. Considering that NYC is 784 square kilometers, that’s a lot of space to cover in a search for the best pizza in New York!

Old school pizzerias like Lombardi’s and its spin-off Totonno’s still sling pies to hungry pizza lovers while young upstarts like Milkflower do the same with the kind of pies more typically eaten in Naples. Yes, Neapolitan pies are now readily available in New York City.

Pizza Crawlers at Zero Otto Nove in the Bronx
Three generations of pizza lovers conquer The Bronx. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

In our never-ending quest to experience the best pizza around the world and at home, we recently ate our weight in excellent pizza at respected pizzerias in all five boroughs. From the traditional to the sublime, we share our thoughts on each.

We plan to visit pizzerias every time our travels bring us home to New York. Check back often as we’ll update this guide accordingly.

Book a 4.5-hour Half Day Pizza Tasting Tour that covers Manhattan and beyond.

Best Brooklyn Pizza Shops

Best Pizza in Brooklyn New York
Best Pizza may or may not be the best pizza in Brooklyn but it’s pretty darn good either way. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Although New York’s first pizza shop (Lombardi’s) opened in Manhattan, Brooklyn is arguably the epicenter of the megacity’s vibrant pizza scene. This borough has the largest number of notable pizza shops – both pizza veterans like Totanno’s and a slew of modern creators – and enough hungry hipsters to keep them all in business.

After dipping our toes in Brooklyn’s pizza waters, we recommend the followings Brooklyn pizza shops:

L’Industrie Pizzeria

Massimo Laveglia at L Industrie Pizzeria in Brooklyn New York.jpg
Massimo Laveglia adds passion to his pizza at L’industrie Pizzeria. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We don’t blame you if you’re initially confused by L’industrie in Williamsburg.

First there’s the French name. Then there’s the Italian owner from Tuscany who prefers Roman pizza over Neapolitan pizza but likes New York pizza the best. Don’t worry – it all makes sense after a bite or two.

Massimo Laveglia acquired the French name with the lease in 2017 and decided to keep it to avoid the expense of changing it. Based on the pizzeria’s success and expansion, he clearly made a good decision.

Pizza Slices at Lindustrie in Brooklyn
We joined the inevitable queue and ordered three slices at L’industrie. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Laveglia shared pizza philosophy with us as he spun pies in a hot electric oven and topped them with premium ingredients like burrata, tartufo and fig jam. Choosing among nine options was a challenge since we wanted to eat them all.

“The secret is all in the dough,” he said.

The pizzeria’s splendidly flavored and textured dough goes through a three-day cold fermentation. It’s worth it. We tasted the results in every crunchy, lightly charred slice that retained enough thickness and heft to carry top quality ingredients like Liuzzi low moisture mozzarella, zesty sauce, pepperoni charred into tiny little cups and gorgeous green basil.

Pizza Slices at L Industrie Pizzeria in Brooklyn New York
Our three slices at L’industrie featured ingredients like burrata, pepperoni cups and fresh basil. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

After eating three magnificent slices, we agreed that L’industrie deserves the top spot in this Brooklyn section. They were that good. And we’re not alone. The buzz for L’industrie followed us to Philadelphia where the pizzeria’s reputation is legend among the best Philly pizza shops.

Pro Tip
End your meal with soft serve gelato if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat. Expect flavors like pistachio and olive oil.

The original L’Industrie Pizzeria is located at 254 S 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA. There’s now a second location in Manhattan.

Di Fara Pizza

Outside Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn
Crowds patiently wait on this street corner outside Di Fara Pizza. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Don’t expect to eat quickly at Di Fara Pizza, Brooklyn’s most lauded pizzeria.

Proving that New York pizza isn’t synonymous with fast food, octogenarian Dom DeMarco took his sweet time when preparing round and square pizzas at his nondescript Midwood pizza institution. Outside, eager fans patiently waited in line for the chance to pay premium prices for slices of DeMarco’s premium pies.

Dom DeMarco passed away on March 18, 2002.

Round Pie at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn
Round or square, each pizza at Di Fara is crafted by hand. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

DeMarco immigrated from Caiazzo, Italy before opening Di Fara in 1964. After creating 100+ pies daily for more than five decades, he achieved pizza cult status as well as respect from food luminaries including the late Anthony Bourdain.

Square Slice at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn
Fresh snipped basil made the flavors of this square pizza pop. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Not surprising considering his birthplace, DeMarco primarily used Italian ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella from Caserta and extra virgin olive oil. He grew many of his own herbs at the pizza shop, snipping fresh basil sprigs on each pie.

Pro Tip
Start early and make Di Fara the first stop on your Brooklyn pizza crawl. Otherwise, you’ll spend much of your day waiting for handcrafted slices of pizza history.

Di Fara Pizza has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the original Midwood location at 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY 11230, USA.


Speckenwolf Pizza from Roberta's in Brooklyn
The Speckenwolf pizza at Roberta’s is an audacious pie topped with mozzarella, speck, mushroom, onion and oregano. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Roberta’s is a Brooklyn pizzeria mashup that combines traditional Neapolitan techniques with modern American toppings. Open since 2008, the popular pizzeria is a firm part of its Bushwick neighborhood as well as a destination for pizza lovers who trek to the hipster haven.

Carlo Mirarchi helms the kitchen and creates sophisticated food that transcends pizza, earning a coveted James Beard nomination for Best Chef in New York City. But let’s focus on his pizza, the reason that we (and many others) eat at Roberta’s.

Pepperoni Pizza from Robertas in Brooklyn
Look at the char on this Roberta’s pie. The Brooklyn pizza shop fires its pie to near perfection. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Expect to eat pizza at Roberta’s made with housemade cheese, freshly grown herbs and a range of ingredients that run the gamut from the simple to the divine. Mirarchi and his team cook their pies in a wood oven, creating the kind of char more commonly experienced in Naples.

For our Roberta’s meal, we ordered takeaway pies and shared them with friends at their Bushwick apartment. Standout pies were the Bee Sting topped with tomato, mozzarella, basil, soppressata, chili and honey and the Speckenwolf topped with mozzarella, speck, mushroom, onion and oregano.

Pro Tip
You can make advance reservations at Roberta’s if your party is ten or more people. Otherwise, plan to wait for a table or opt to take away your pizza. You can also order delivery depending on your location.

Roberta’s has multiple New York pizza locations. We ordered from the Bushwick location at 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, USA.

Best Pizza

Kitchen at Best Pizza in Brooklyn New York
The team at Best Pizza cranks out pizzas like they’ve been doing it for decades. As it turns out, the pizzeria has been open since 2010. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We discovered Best Pizza the old fashioned way – from a recommendation. Since that recommendation came from Innis Lawremce, the pizzaiolo at the outstanding pizzeria Ollie’s Pizza in the Catskills, we weren’t surprised that we liked our slices. Add an an old-school wood-fire oven plus an accomplished chef (Frank Pinello) who honed his culinary skills at the Culinary Institute of America and Roberta’s and it’s even less surprising.

What is surprising about Best Pizza is its atmosphere. The space looks like one of a thousand Brooklyn neighborhood pizzerias with its casual decor, overhead fan and straight-up menu. A deeper look reveals touches like craft beer, gluten free dough and square Grandma slices.

But we know you have one question and one question only…

Is Best Pizza the best pizza in Brooklyn?

Pepperoni Pizza Slices at Best Pizza in Brooklyn New York
Served on a paper plate, our pepperoni slices at Best Pizza were as classic as it gets. However, top quality ingredients took them to the next level. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While we liked Best Pizza a lot and rank it toward the top of the pack, it’s not our favorite. That nod goes to L’industrie. But Best’s pizza is still pretty darn good and, when it comes to value, may be the best of them all.

At the time of our visit, Best Pizza’s prices skewed a bit lower compared to other top Brooklyn pizzerias. In other words, we didn’t feel bad about ordering an extra slice for ‘research’ purposes.

Pro Tip
Grab a seat if you want to eat a quick slice or two. Otherwise, you’re probably better off opting for takeaway or delivery.

Best Pizza is located at 33 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA.


Slice Pie at Leo in New York City
Leo takes the New York pizza slice to new levels with its NY Slice Pie. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Open in Williamsburg since December of 2019, Leo got immediate attention due to its owners who also own Ops in Bushwick. But don’t confuse Leo as an Ops copycat. For starters, it’s bigger. Then there’s the electric oven that Leo’s team uses to bake naturally fermented sourdough pies.

Leo’s signature pizza is its NY Slice Pie – a whopper of a pizza with eight big slices topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, provolone, garlic, oregano, chili and pecorino cheese. We ordered pepperoni and red onions as additional toppings on the pie during our afternoon visit.

Dining with friends afforded us the opportunity to order two different pizzas including a seasonal pie topped with sweet corn, peppers and onion. We also ordered a Caesar salad loaded with anchovies, parmesan and bread crumbs as a counterbalance to our pizzas plus a liter of draft rosé wine to wash it all down.

That wine was priced at $56 which leads us to our one complaint about Leo. While we expect high prices at New York restaurants, the $150+ bill for a pizza meal for four was a hard pill to swallow. That being said, we recommend Leo’s pizzas but consider yourself warned about this pizzeria’s prices.

Pro Tip
Pre-book Leo’s family style set menu if your group is between seven and fifteen people. The set menu includes Antipasti, Caesar Salad, Butter Beans, Pizzas and Dessert.

Leo is located at 123 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

Pizza Slices at Artichoke in Brooklyn
Artichoke takes New York pizza in new directions with its eclectic toppings. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

New York pizzerias that serve slices are a dime a dozen, but ones serving slices with artichoke on top are less common. Far from traditional, Artichoke’s thick slices have funky toppings like artichoke dip and crab in addition to more standard accouterments like pepperoni and meatballs.

Francis Garcia and Sal Basille opened their first Artichoke pizza shop in the East Village back in 2008 and have become one of NYC’s most popular pizza chains with locations in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and outside NYC.

We shared a slice of artichoke pizza at Artichoke’s Bushwick location and liked it for what it was – a thick, dense yet tasty slice that left us full for hours.

Pro Tip
Don’t try to fold your slice of artichoke pizza since it will probably be too thick.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the Bushwick location at 18 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237, USA.


Coppa and Carciofi Pizza at Saraghina Restaurant in Brooklyn
This Coppa and Carciofi pizza was generously topped with house-made mozzarella, hot coppa, roasted spicy artichokes and basil. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

More than a character in Fellini’s 8 1/2, Saraghina is also a neighborhood restaurant in Bedford-Stuyvesant that serves pizza in an upscale setting. Inside diners get a front row view to the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, while outside diners enjoy a bucolic atmosphere in the middle of the city.

Edoardo Mantelli, Saraghina’s chef and co-owner, hails from Milan but his pies are straight out of Naples with a Brooklyn twist. Mantelli takes advantage of seasonal, local ingredients and combines them with more traditional toppings.

During our visit, we shared four pizzas among five people. Our favorite was the Coppa and Carciofi pie topped with mozzarella, hot coppa, roasted spicy artichokes and fresh basil. That being said, we also enjoyed the Napoli pie loaded with San Marzano tomatoes, house-made mozzarella, Sicilian anchovies, kalamata olives, garlic, oregano and basil.

Pro Tip
Saraghina has a bakery and tapas bar if you’re craving more than pizza.

Saraghina is located at 435 Halsey Street, Brooklyn, NY 11233, USA.

More Brooklyn Pizza

Salsiccia Pizza at Saraghina Restaurant in Brooklyn
Some New York pizzas require a fork and knife like this pie we ate at Saraghina Restaurant in Brooklyn. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The more time you spend in Brooklyn, the more pizza you can eat. Here are additional options to keep you busy for a couple weeks of dedicated pizza dining:

Book 4.5 hour Best of Brooklyn: Half-Day Food & Culture Bus Tour to taste Brooklyn’s pizza plus additional Brooklyn food favorites.

Best Manhattan Pizza Shops

Outside of Emilios of Morris Park in the Bronx
Did we mention that most New York pizza shops offer delivery? It’s a definite plus when it’s cold or rainy in the city. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

As Frank Sinatra sang in the iconic song about New York – if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. But when it comes to making pizza in New York, it’s best to leave it to the experts.

Since the first American pizzeria opened in Manhattan, eating pizza in this borough is a must for food travelers exploring this borough. And by exploring, we mean eating some of the best pizza in Manhattan.

Lower Manhattan

Keste Pizza in New York City
Some of the best New York pizza makers hail from Italy including Robert Caporusicois at Keste Pizza & Vino. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The bottom half of Manhattan has a lot of good eats and pizza is no exception. We share our favorite pizza joints in this part of the city for those times when you want a slice of New York pizza or need an entire pie.

Scarr’s Pizza
Scars Pizza Sign in New York City
Scarr’s Pizza isn’t a fancy pizzeria and that’s okay. This Lower East Side joint is all about the pizza. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Located in a neighborhood once associated with pushcarts and pickles, Scarr’s Pizza is one of the most lauded slice shops in Manhattan thanks to its owner, Scarr Pimentel. Before opening his self-named pizzeria in 2016, Pimentel learned the pizza ropes at several pizzerias, most notably Lombardi’s.

You may wonder why Scarr’s Pizza is special and no, it’s not because of its slushy machine. The team at Scarr’s mills their own wheat before shaping and fermenting their dough in the pizzeria’s basement. These steps make a difference in the pizza’s airy crust that has both an excellent crunch with just the right level of chewiness and a unique wheaty flavor.

Pepperoini Slice at Scarrs Pizza in NYC
We paused to photograph our pepperoni slice at Scarr’s Pizza before we scarfed it down. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While Scarr’s Pizza offers a range of toppings including chicken sausage, vegan cheese and meatballs on regular, Sicilian and grandma slices, we kept our order simple with one regular cheese slice and one regular pepperoni slice. We also skipped the menu’s appetizers and heros. It was a good move.

Eating the cheese slice gave us the opportunity to appreciate Scarr’s thin yet super airy, bubbly crust. The pepperoni slice wasn’t all that different from the cheese slice except for the joyous addition of pepperoni.

Pro Tip
Grab an outside table unless you’d rather sit inside Scarr’s Pizza’s retro dining room which feels more like an old-school bar than a slice shop. Either way, you should probably visit the restroom facilities before you hit the road.

Scarr’s Pizza is located at 22 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002, United States.

Joe’s Pizza
Pizza Slice at Joes Pizza in New York City
Slices at Joe’s Pizza are as old school as they get. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Joe Pozzuoli opened Joe’s Pizza in 1975 after immigrating from Naples years earlier. Not much has changed in over 40 years at Pozzuoli’s original location except a move down the block.

The barebones pizzeria is still selling plain slices as well slices with fresh mozzarella and Sicilian squares. Additional toppings are available, but nothing too fancy at this joint.

We shared a plain slice, cut in half and served on a paper plate, during our afternoon visit. We each folded our half slice and quickly devoured it. Was it remarkable? No. Did it taste like New York pizza should taste? Heck yes.

Pro Tip
Go to Joe’s Pizza when you’re downtown and have a late-night pizza craving. The Greenwich Village pizza institution is open until 4 am Sunday through Tuesday and until 5 am Wednesday through Saturday.

Joe’s Pizza has multiple New York City locations. We ate at the West Village location at 7 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014, USA

Kesté Pizza & Vino
Pizza at Keste in New York City
We sometimes eat Margherita pizzas to test a pizza maker’s skills. This pie at Keste passed our test with flying colors. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Robert and Giorgia Caporusicois are more than New York pizza makers with a Naples connection. This father-daughter pizza making team trained with Antonio Starita, a notable Neapolitan pizzaiola at Starita, before opening the original Kesté Pizza & Vino in the West Village.

Lauded by periodicals like New York Magazine, Food Network Magazine and Food & Wine, the team at Kesté channels Naples as they prepare pizza in a wood-fired oven. They then add special toppings like burrata, white truffle cream and Crespone salami.

We shared pizza and wine with friends when we dined at Kesté. Our pies were on point with crispy crusts and tasty toppings. We rarely say ‘no’ to burrata when it’s on a menu, and this meal was no exception.

Pro Tip
Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free diners can eat pizza at Kesté Pizza & Vino. The West Village pizza restaurant offers a range of dietary pizza options.

Kesté Pizza & Vino has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the West Village location at 271 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, USA.

Two Boots Pizza
Pizza at Two Boots Pizza in New York
Cornmeal crust differentiates the pizza at Two Boots. Toppings like jalapeno peppers and andouille sausage take it to the next level. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Two Boots Pizza is a New York pizzeria where Louisiana collides with Italy. The clash of cultures and cuisines seems odd on the surface, but the resulting Cajun-flavored, thin-crust pizza creations are winners.

With a name inspired by the boot-like shape of both Italy and Louisiana, Two Boots originally opened in the East Village back in 1987 before spreading its reach. Original owners Doris Kornish and Phil Hartman created a whimsical space and unique menu that have stood the test of time.

We ate at the original Two Boots back in the early 90’s when its funky menu was a revelation and recently returned with friends to try the fusion pizza again. After sharing a slice of Bayou Beast pie with spiced shrimp, crawfish, andouille, jalapenos and mozzarella cheese, our tingling taste buds thanked us for the blast to the past.

Pro Tip
Skip the plain and pepperoni slices and pies at Two Boots. Instead, order something more fun like the Bayou Beast slice we ate or another equally quirky option.

Two Boots Pizza has multiple New York locations. We ate at the location at East Village location at 42 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009, USA.

Speedy Romeo
Pauls Boutique Pizza Speedy Romeo in New York City
Speedy Romeo created an instant classic with its Paul’s Boutique pizza. We devoured this piece of art at the pizzeria’s Lower East Side location in Alphabet City. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Taking wood-fire pizza preparation in a different direction, owners Todd Feldman and Justin Bazdarich have been serving St. Louis style pies since they opened their original Speedy Romeo location in Brooklyn back in 2012. Though a classically trained chef, Bazdarich’s menu skews toward the wacky when it comes to pizza toppings.

Traditionalists can order a Margherita pie here, but more adventurous diners will want to try a St. Louie pie with San Marzano tomato sauce, provel, Italian sausage, pepperoni and pickled chilies. Popular in St. Louis, provel is a processed cheese that combines cheddar, Swiss and provolone cheese for maximum meltiness.

Inspired by the Beastie Boys reference, we couldn’t resist sharing a ‘Paul’s Boutique’ pie with friends Vince and Larissa of Riss’ Knishes fame. To create this unique pie, Bazdarich tops an everything bagel crust with Katz’s pastrami, mustard-infused bèchamel, smoked red sauerkraut, fontina cheese and 1000 island dressing. The result is so wrong that it’s right.

Pro Tip
Dine at Speedy Romeo on a Monday or Tuesday night if you like to pair wine with your pizza. Select bottles are half price on these nights.

Speedy Romeo has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the LES location at 63 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002, USA.

More Lower Manhattan Pizza
Pizza Slices at Joes Pizza in New York City
Why take a bite out of the big apple when you can bite into pizza instead? | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Four pizzerias are just a start when it comes to exploring the birthplace of New York pizza. Here are additional Lower Manhattan pizza shops including Lombardi’s, the original NY pizzeria:

Book a 2-hour Little Italy Italian Food Tasting Tour to sample pizza and more in Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Manhattan Above 14th Street

Nicks Pizza in New York City
This New York pizza included all three colors of the Italian flag. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

It’s just a quick subway ride from downtown Manhattan to neighborhoods like Midtown, the Upper West Side and Harlem. Check out these uptown Manhattan pizza shops after you head north and cross the city’s invisible line at 14th Street.

Mama’s TOO!

Mamas Too in New York City
Weekdays are a good time to visit Mama’s Too since the crowds are more manageable. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Open since 2017, Mama’s Too is a relative baby but don’t let its age fool you. Frank Tuttolomondo grew up working in his family’s pizzeria, which not surprisingly is named Mama’s Pizza. It was only a matter of time before he opened his own pizzeria in the same neighborhood and not much longer before the New York Times gave his humble UWS pizzeria a star. That accolade may seem surprising but, after tasting the pizza ourselves, we heartily agree.

Mama’s Too isn’t a typical Upper West Side pizzeria or a copycat of the original Mama’s. Instead, Tuttolomondo has ramped things up with a brick-oven, high quality ingredients and a fresh approach to pizza toppings. The crust on his pizza is simultaneously light and crispy, channeling elements from pizzas we’ve eaten in both Naples and Rome but this pizza, available in both round and square pies, carries plenty of heft.

The space is simple and seating is limited. But who really cares about formality when the pizza tastes so good? Clearly not the crowds who often queue for over an hour on weekends for slices and the occasional whole pie.

House Pizza Slice at Mamas Too in New York City
The opposite of an afterthought, Mama Too’s House Slice comes topped with aged mozzarella, plum tomato sauce, freshly grated parmigianno-reggiano and fresh basil. It’s a showstopper despite its lack of meat and gourmet toppings. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Wanting to order every slice on the compact menu during our 2002 visit, we settled on three seemingly simple slices – House Slice, Pepperoni Square and Funghi. Trust us – it was a challenge thanks to other contenders, namely Cacio e Pepe, Vodka, Poached Pear and Angry Nonna.

We suspected we were in for a treat as we watched a Mama’s Too employee grate 2-year Parmigiano-Reggiano onto our House Slice which was already topped with aged mozzarella, plum tomato sauce and ginormous fresh basil leaves. We weren’t disappointed. Nor were we disappointed with our cheesy Pepperoni Square with its layers of ooey-gooey cheese and slightly spicy pepperoni cups.

Pepperoni Slice at Mamas Too in New York City(1)
Topped with a dozen or so pepperoni cups, this Pepperoni Square at Mama’s Too was special. It was also gone in a matter of minutes. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Ironically, the Funghi slice with caramelized onion, sautéed crimini mushroom, aged mozzarella and whipped ricotta, was both the most complicated slice and our least favorite. It was good, maybe even great – it’s just that the other two slices were even more special.

We’re currently dreaming about the slices we ate at Mama’s Too. Clearly, we need to return and sample more of their pizza for research purposes.

Pro Tip
While you can place your pizza order in advance, you can’t revise any toppings or order slices to take away.

Mama’s TOO! is located at 2750 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, United States.

Patsys in Harlem
Patsy’s Pizzeria has been making people happy in Harlem since 1933. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Don’t look for a wood-fired oven when you dine at the original Patsy’s, an East Harlem pizza institution since Pasquale ‘Patsy’ and Carmella Lanceri opened it in 1933. No flash in the pan, Patsy’s has been charring its pies in a coal-fired oven for more than 80 years.

Due to prohibitive environmental regulations, pizzerias with coal ovens like Patsy’s are a charming rarity in today’s New York. The restaurant’s basic pie keeps it simple with a thin crust, grated mozzarella cheese and tomato. Non-purists can add a variety of toppings or order specialty pies instead.

Slices at Patsys in Harlem
These slices at Patsy’s went straight from the coal oven to our bellies. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Although Patsy’s has a proper dining room, we chose to scarf down slices on the sidewalk right outside the popular pizzeria. Since Patsy’s allegedly introduced the slice concept to New York and is the only NYC pizzeria currently cooking slices in a coal oven, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Pro Tip
Visit an ATM before you eat at Patsy’s. This restaurant does not take credit cards.

Patsy’s Pizzeria has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the Harlem location at 2287 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10035, USA.

Nick’s Pizza
Red and White Pizza at Nicks Pizza in New York City
The red and white pizza at Nick’s justifies a special trip to the Upper East Side. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Nick Angelis creates formidable Neapolitan pizza creations at Nick’s Pizza without a coal-fired oven or even a wood-fired oven. After opening his original pizzeria in Forest Hills in 1993, he eventually expanded to New York’s tonier Upper East Side.

Nick’s specializes in thin-crust, brick-oven-style pizza topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and basil. In addition to offering over 20 toppings, the restaurant offers a unique option – pies that are half red and half white.

We shared a signature half and half pie with our friend Kate when we dined at Nick’s. As we alternated between tangy white slices and sweet red slices, we wondered why more pizzerias don’t offer this option.

Pro Tip
Mix it up and order a calzone to go with your pizza.

Nick’s Pizza has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the Upper East Side location at 1814 2nd Avenue New York, NY 10128, USA.

San Matteo Pizzeria e Cucino
Margherita Pizza at San Matteo in New York City
The team at San Matteo transported us to Campania with their classic Margherita pie. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Fabio Casella and Vincenzo Scardino recreated the flavors of Salerno, a scenic port city 50 kilometers southeast of Naples, when they opened San Matteo Pizza and Espresso Bar in 2010. In addition to creating Neapolitan pies in a wood-fired oven, the Salerno natives produce sweet and savory panuozzi with ingredients procured locally and from their homeland.

Their panuozzi, a puffy pizza dough sandwich, has become quite the rage in NYC. Whatever you order, nab a window seat and enjoy an excellent streetside view with your meal.

Pro Tip
Order a Negroni and drink like an Italian local when you dine at San Matteo Pizzeria e Cucino.

San Mateo Pizzeria e Cucino is located at 1559 2nd Avenue New York, NY 10028, USA.

Rosa’s Pizza

Rosas Pizza in New York City
Rosa’s Pizza my have a new location pizzeria but it’s no newcomer to the Penn Station neighborhood. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

For decades, Rosa’s Pizza was a staple for commuters, travelers and sports fan who passed through New York’s Penn Station. Though not fancy or trendy, the train station pizzeria sold some of the best slices in the city without fanfare, long waits or big ticket pricing.

Needless to say, it was a sad day when Rosa’s Pizza closed due to renovations in Penn Station’s LIRR concourse. Like many, we wondered where we’d grab a quick slice big enough to share before hopping on a NJT, LIRR or Amtrak train.

Pizza Slice with Sausage at Rosas in NYC
Slices at Rosa’s Pizza are substantial in both size and flavor. However, the pizzeria has shakers filled with grated cheese, red chili flakes and garlic powder for those who want just a little bit more. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We didn’t have to worry for long since Rosa’s Pizza re-opened on 7th Avenue, mere steps from Penn Station. However, we couldn’t help but wonder if the menu would remain the same at the new location.

After checking out the new location, we’re pleased to report that the slices are just as big and equally tasty as ever. Our favorite slice is the one topped with sausage. The others are probably good too but this is the one we order every single time since it’s delish.

Pro Tip
Don’t feel compelled to rush. This pizzeria is open until 3:45am every day of the week.

Rosa’s Pizza is located at 425 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001, United States.

More Upper Manhattan Pizza
Big Slice at Artichoke in Brooklyn
Pizza slices are big in New York City. We have no problem with this situation. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Since there’s no such thing as too much pizza, we also recommend checking out the following acclaimed uptown pizzerias:

Best Queens Pizza Shops

Milkflower in Queens
Milkflower is a popular pizzeria in Astoria, a neighborhood better known for Greek food. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Queens isn’t the borough with the most pizza shops or the most famous pizza shops. However, don’t skip this diverse borough during a dedicated NYC pizza crawl.

It only makes sense that Queens has good pizza. The culinary melting pot has a range of global cuisines from countries like China, Greece, Mexico and Thailand. Italy certainly belongs in the mix.


Willy Mo Pizza at Milkflower in Queens
Milkflower’s Willy Mo pie comes adorned with meatballs, tomato, garlic confit, mozzarella, basil and grana padano. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We’re not gonna lie. We ended up at Milkflower in our quest to eat pizza in all five boroughs. We typically eat other cuisines when we visit Queens, but we were game to give Queens pizza a try.

The parking gods were on our side as we pulled our car into a parking space right by the restaurant. Within moments of entering, we got a good vibe. It all came together when we bit into a Willy Mo pie topped with broken up meatballs, tomato, garlic confit, mozzarella, basil and grana padano.

Pete and Danny Aggelatos opened their Neapolitan pizza shop in Astoria back in 2013 and immediately earned respect for their wood-fired pies made with top quality ingredients. The duo seamlessly blends traditional toppings like sausage and mozzarella with new-fangled options like kale and brussel sprouts.

Pro Tip
You can request an outdoor table during warmer months.

Milkflower is located at 34-12 31st Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106, USA.

Slices at Joe and Pats Pizzeria in Staten Island
We actually ate this pizza at in Staten Island. Next time, we’re eating more pizza in Queens. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

More Queens Pizza

Queens may be newer to the New York pizza game but don’t rule out this player. In addition to Milkflower, plan to try pizza at the following Queens pizzerias:

Best Staten Island Pizza Shops

Statue of Liberty from Staten Island Ferry
The view of Lady Liberty is reason enough to take a free ferry ride to Staten Island. Pizza is another reason. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Staten Island lives under the radar when it comes to New York boroughs, perhaps because it’s the only borough not connected to the city’s main subway system. However, Staten Island is easily a highlight of any NYC pizza crawl starting with a ferry ride from lower Manhattan and ending with the main event – pizza.

Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria & Restaurant

Pepperoni Slice at Joe and Pats Pizzeria in State Island
Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria loads a lot of ingredients on its thin crust pizza. Pictured here is a pepperoni slice. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

A ferry trip to Staten Island would be incomplete without a stop at Joe & Pat’s, the borough’s thin crust pizza institution. Despite a fire in 1999, the spot has been a popular destination since Naples transplants Giuseppe (Joe) and Pasquale (Pat) Pappalardo opened the shop in 1960.

As an ode to the owners’ heritage, Joe & Pat’s produces cracker-like Neapolitan style pizza right in the restaurant for all to see. Workers pull dough and add toppings in rapid motion to keep up with a stream of mostly local customers.

During our visits, we enjoyed the pizzeria’s famous vodka pizza, a tangy pie with vodka, tomatoes, cream and mozzarella. However, our favorite slice was the crunchy, pepperoni loaded with cuplike pepperoni slices.

Pro Tip
Visit the newer Manhattan location if you don’t have time to take a ferry ride to the original Joe & Pat’s.

Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria & Restaurant has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the original location at 1758 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314, USA.

Nonna’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria

Pizza Dudes at Nonnas Old Fashioned Pizzeria
The friendly crew at Nonna’s makes some mighty fine pizzas in Staten Island. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We didn’t see any nonnas (i.e. Italian grandmothers) cooking at Nonna’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria in Staten Island when we ate there. However, we felt right at home at the Staten Island pizzeria near Great Kills Park.

Although Nonna’s is known for its Alfredo Bacon specialty pizza and square Sicilian slices, we opted to share a sausage pie with our friend Marie, a Pennsylvania native with Staten Island ties. We did our best to finish the tasty pie while sitting in Nonna’s back dining room but eventually raised a white flag in gluttonous defeat.

Pro Tip
Grab some garlic knots to eat in your car if you’re getting takeout.

Nonna’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria is located at 27 Brower Court, Staten Island, NY 10308, USA.

Tony’s Brick Oven

Slice at Tonys Brick Oven in Staten Island
Set in a strip mall, Tony’s Brick Oven serves pizza pies and pizza slices in Staten Island. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Not surprisingly based on its name, Tony’s Brick Oven uses a brick oven to prepare New York pizza as well as garlic knots and other Italian specialties. Popular among Staten Island locals, the neighborhood pizzeria welcomes strangers to their daily pizza party.

As for us, we stopped at Tony’s to cap off our Staten Island pizza crawl. Full already, we managed to squeeze in a slice of Margherita pizza though we only planned on eating a bite or two.

Pro Tip
Stop at Tony’s on your way to or from the ferry. The pizzeria is just a short car or bus ride from the terminal.

Tony’s Brick Oven is located at 1140 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10305, USA.

More Staten Island Pizza

Sausage Pizza at Nonnas Old Fashioned Pizzeria in Staten Island
Though we enjoyed this pie from Nonna’s, there are more great pizzerias on Staten Island. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

If you’re traveling by car, you can check out the following additional Staten Island pizza shops during your visit to New York City’s least populated borough:

Book a Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour when you need a break from eating New York City pizza.

Best Pizza in The Bronx

Pepperoni Slice at Marios Pizzeria in the Bronx
The Bronx is a fine borough when it comes to pizza slices. We ate this slice at Mario’s Pizzeria. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

As the classic song goes, “New York, New York, a wonderful town. The Bronx is up and The Battery’s down.” Anybody who forgets The Bronx during a comprehensive pizza crawl will miss an integral part of the New York pizza experience.

With almost 1.5 million residents, many of them pizza eaters, The Bronx hosts its fair share of the city’s pizza shops. Though many are in Belmont, the bulk are spread around the borough for all to enjoy.

Zero Otto Nove

Zero Otto Nove in the Bronx
The dining room at Zero Otto Nove looks more like an Italian street than a Bronx pizzeria. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Like many of the best New York pizza restaurants, Zero Otto Nove has a Campania connection. Owner and Chef Roberto Paciullo was born in Salerno, less than an hour from Naples, moved to the US in 1970 and opened his original Zero Otto Nove in 2007. It’s now a pizza institution on Arthur Avenue.

Zero Otto Nove literally translates to 089, Salerno’s area code. Living up to the name, the upscale Belmont restaurant calls on its Italian connection with a full menu featuring fresh ingredients like olives, anchovies, smoked mozzarella and cured meats.

Margherita Pizza at Zero Otto Nove in the Bronx
The Margherita pie at Zero Otto Nove is a Neapolitan classic. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Arthur Avenue may be more know for old school Italian eateries, but Zero Otto Nove is a thoroughly modern restaurant that creates classic Neapolitan pies and calzones in a wood-fired oven. Crowds come from near and far to experience the trattoria’s atmosphere and food.

We shared a Margherita pie with family members Linda and Max during a calorie-loaded Bronx pizza crawl. After we sat in Zero’s chic dining room and cut into the Neapolitan classic, we didn’t put our utensils down until the last bites were gone.

Pro Tip
Stop by the Arthur Avenue Retail Market before or after your meal. The popular Italian market is just a one-minute walk from Zero Otto Nove.

Arthur Avenue Retail Market is located at 2344 Arthur Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10458, USA.
Zero Otto Nove has multiple New York pizza locations. We ate at the location at 2357 Arthur Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10458, USA.

Louie & Ernie’s Pizza

Pizzaiola at Louie and Ernies Pizza in the Bronx
John Tiso skillfully prepared our pie by spooning ground meatballs and mushrooms over pillowy mounds of shredded mozzarella cheese. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Unlike many of the top Bronx pizzerias, Louie and Ernie’s Pizza isn’t on or near Arthur Avenue. Instead, the old-school NYC pizza joint is located in residential Pelham Bay next to Schuylerville and not far from the Westchester border.

Don’t let this remote location impact your decision to visit Louie and Ernie’s. This casual pizzeria has been wowing customers since 1959 when brothers Louie and Ernie opened the joint until today when brothers John and Cosimo continue the fraternal tradition.

Meatball Pizza at Louie and Ernies Pizza in the Bronx
The large pies at Louie and Ernies Pizza are big enough to share with friends. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

During our visit, we shared a large crunchy, thin-crust pie topped with meatballs on one side and mushrooms on the other. Though the mushroom side was tasty, the beefy, porky meatballs were the more favorable topper for our classic New York pie.

While enjoying our meal in the bright, frill-free, booth-filled dining room, we were joined by a large group of NY highway patrolmen. This classic pizza joint is obviously a local go-to spot for those in the mood for solid pizza.

The short menu at Louie & Ernie’s includes calzones and slices in addition to pies. The servers are friendly and efficient, even serving us utensils with our meal. Though we used a knife and fork to separate the pie’s eight loaded slices, we happily ate the hefty slices with our hands.

Pro Tip
Bring cash to Louie & Ernie’s Pizza. At the time of our visit, the shop didn’t take credit cards and they didn’t deliver.

Louie & Ernie’s Pizza is located at 1300 Crosby Ave, The Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Emilio’s of Morris Park

White Slice at Emilios of Morris Park in the Bronx
We ate this white slice at Emilio’s of Morris Park. The combination of garlic and ricotta was a winner. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Just a few miles from Belmont and Arthur Avenue, Emilio’s of Morris Park has been serving pizza, pasta and other food to Morris Park locals since 1989. Specialties at this Bronx pizzeria include chicken vodka pizza and ricotta (white) pies.

Bronx native Richie DiNardo bought Emilio’s in 2006. He has kept the pizzeria on course for the past decade.

During our visit, we sampled two sizable slices – plain and white. While we found the plain slice to be ordinary, the white slice was a revelation with strong garlic flavor and plenty of ricotta atop a mozzarella base.

Pro Tip
Don’t skip Emilio’s ricotta (white) pie despite its higher price. We paid $5 for a slice at the time of our visit which was relatively expensive but worth it.

Emilio’s of Morris Park is located at 1051 Morris Park Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Mario’s Pizzeria

Marios Pizzeria in the Bronx
Mario’s Pizzeria is a fixture in its Bronx neighborhood. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Our Bronx pizza stop at Mario’s Pizzeria was a happy accident. We had asked our nephew Max to map us to Mario’s Restaurant and somehow ended up at the wrong Mario’s. Oops!

Despite our circuitous arrival, we enjoyed eating classic slices at the no-frills Wakefield pizza shop. We felt at home in the friendly Bronx spot among a crowd of pizza-loving locals.

We’ll try the ‘other’ Mario’s another time, but for now we’re happy to have eaten at this Mario’s.

Pro Tip
Make sure you type the correct Mario’s into google maps since it’s apparently a popular pizza name in the Bronx.

Mario’s Pizzeria is located at 3824 Dyre Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10466, USA.

More Bronx Pizza

Emilios of Morris Park in the Bronx
Pizza is popular in The Bronx just like in New York’s other four boroughs. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

For convenience, start your Bronx pizza crawl on Arthur Avenue but don’t stop there. We suggest checking out the following pizzerias in addition to the ones where we ate pizza in The Bronx:

NYC Planning Checklist

NYC Pizza Video

But wait, there’s more! Watch our YouTube video to see us eat pizza in lower Manhattan.

Hungry For More Pizza?

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About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We self-funded our trips to New York City and purchased the pizzas featured in this article.

Original Publication Date: March 29, 2019
Republish Date: June 18, 2021


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Check out Loretta’s Pizza in Country Club Bronx, thank me later =)


Friday 13th of May 2022

I grew up in Washington Heights in the 60's. The two pizzarias bassically sustained me growing up. When I first read of Di Faras in Brooklyn I felt a connection to my childhood. And when in 2017 I and my wife traveled to New York City for a week I made a point of taking her there to have the real deal at Di Faras. We weren't disappointed. We got there before it was crowded and got to sit inside and watch Dom D'Marco personally make our pizza. It was wonderful. My wife got to see why I always raved about New York PIZZA! Rest in peace Dom. Another connection to my childhood lost but the memory remains!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Sunday 29th of May 2022

Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories. He was quite the legend and will be missed.

Caroline Jones

Wednesday 11th of May 2022

There is an absolutely fantastic pizza place in Mamaroneck, New York. It’s called Sal’s Pizza on Mamaroneck Avenue. It really, really, really is worth a visit.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Sunday 29th of May 2022

Thanks for the tip!


Sunday 8th of May 2022

Too bad you didn’t spend some real time in Queens. I have lived in Manhattan , Brooklyn, and Queens and whenever I’m near Queens I stop at either New Park pizza in Howard Beach or Amore in Whitestone, both of which I would put up against most of the pizza places you reviewed. Good job overall, but noticeable oversight.


Sunday 10th of January 2021

You missed Captian's pizza. It was right across the street from Emilio’s of Morris Park

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