Wondering where to eat the best pizza it in NYC? Check out our epic New York Pizza Guide that spans the boroughs. We ate at dozens of New York City pizza shops in our quest for New York’s best pizza and share our favorites in the guide.
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.
We’ve dined at many of the city’s top restaurants including Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, Nobu and Keanes. 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 the 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
Far from a passing fad, pizza has a long history in New York City. Though Naples claims pizza glory after inventing Margherita pizza 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can make advance reservations at Roberta’s if your party is ten or more people. Otherwise, plan to wait for a table or take away your pizza to enjoy in your apartment or hotel room. 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Since there’s no such thing as too much pizza, we also recommend checking out the following acclaimed uptown pizzerias:
Best Queens Pizza Shops
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.
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.
You can request an outdoor table during warmer months.
Milkflower is located at 34-12 31st Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106, USA.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Pizza Video
But wait, there’s more! Watch our YouTube video to see us eat pizza in lower Manhattan.
Hungry For More Pizza?
About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. 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.
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.
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Original Publication Date: March 29, 2019
Republish Date: June 18, 2021