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Best Pizza In NYC: 22 Unmissable New York City Pizza Places

Best Pizza In NYC: 22 Unmissable New York City Pizza Places

New York City is globally renowned for its classic on-the-go pizza slice. But if you’re visiting the city for a just a few days, how will you know where to grab a slice of the best tasting pizza in NYC?

Or maybe you are a local looking to switch up your routine and sample some delicious new slices? Whatever the case, we promise you will be dreaming about these pizzas long after your visit.

So we have broken down this guide into several categories to make it easy for you to find the best pizza location nearest you.

This is how we structured this pizza guide:

  • Best pizza in Manhattan
  • Best pizza in Brooklyn
  • Pizza in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island
  • Best Pizza in NYC by map
  • Honorable mentions
  • Best NYC Pizza tours
  • History of New York style pizza

Okay, let’s devour the best pizza in NYC!

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Table of Contents show

What Part Of New York Has The Best Pizza?

The topic of best pizza in NYC and best bagels in NYC is sure to spark a fiery debate amongst local New Yorkers. Having lived in New York City ourselves, we have eaten our way through numerous delectable slices in each New York borough.

From our extensive pizza experience in New York, we can tell you the competition is strong. We don’t believe one borough has the best kind of pizza because each borough offers a different pizza adventure.

This is why we created a comprehensive list of the 22 top rated, famous and historic pizza places in New York City. This best pizza list was drawn from our personal favorites and top Google ratings.

Are you in a hurry?

Don’t worry, we’ll get straight into the action with lists of the best pizza places in Manhattan, Brooklyn and one from each of the other New York boroughs. But if you have a bit more time and you are interested in learning about the iconic pie in NYC, keep reading until the end of this guide.

Song E' Napule pizza oven with white tiles
Traditional New York City pizza oven at Song E’ Napule

Best Pizza In NYC Manhattan

Delicious mouthwatering pizza can be found all over New York City, but Manhattan is the only borough that can claim its the birthplace of the American-Neapolitan pizza. This is what we know today as the classic NYC slice.

We figured Manhattan would also likely be your first destination when visiting the city. So if you have just arrived and you want to fill your New York City itinerary with tasty food, this is where you can find the best pizza in Manhattan, NYC.

Keep in mind many of the popular pizza locations in New York have multiple locations while some famous pizza joints have been serving customers in their original location for decades.

The world famous Manhattan skyline as seen from Top of the Rock at Sunset
Manhattan skyline view with the Empire State Building at sunset

1. Corner Slice (Hell’s Kitchen)

Corner Slice is a popular neighborhood bakery in Gotham Market West offering something on the menu for everyone. Their speciality is a square slice with all the toppings you could ever hope for.

At Corner Slice, a longer fermentation process creates a light and airy but also crunchy and crispy crust. With all baking completed on site, Corner Slice also offers pastries and coffee.

Type of Pizza: Sicilian Squares

Address: 600 11th Avenue at W 45th Street

Location: Google Maps

Website: cornerslicenyc.com

2. FUMO (2 Locations)

Offering a wide selection of upmarket pies, FUMO is a great place to take a bunch of friends or bring a date. The atmosphere sets the stage with a bright modern feel serving pizza, pasta and cocktails.

FUMO is great for all dietary needs including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. If you are on a budget, keep in mind happy hour is Monday through Friday 4-7pm with $6 snacks and $6 wine.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pies only, no slices)

2 Locations:

  • 1600 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10031 (Harlem, original location)
  • 2791 Broadway, New York, NY 10025 (Upper West Side)

Instagram: fumo_harlem

Outside of Joes Pizza in Times Square one of the best pizza places in NYC
Joe’s Pizzeria storefront on Broadway

3. Joe’s Pizza (5 Locations)

Created by Pino Pozzuoli who immigrated from Naples Italy, Joe’s has been around since 1975. We love Joe’s because this is one of the most traditional slices in town. It’s not a fancy slice and few toppings are offered but its always hot and ready.

Still using the same recipe from 1975, Joe’s has withstood the test of time and increased competition. Open until 4am across multiple locations, Joe’s is often the perfect spot for a late night snack.

Pizza-Tip: Joe’s accepts cash only

Type of Pizza: Classic NYC Slice

5 Locations:

  • 7 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014 (Greenwich Village, original location)
  • 150 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)
  • 1435 Broadway, New York, NY 10018 (Times Square)
  • 124 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038 (Lower Manhattan)
  • 216 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (Williamsburg)

Website: joespizzanyc.com

4. John’s of Bleecker Street (West Village)

Founded in 1929 by Italian immigrant John Sasso, a former employee of Lombardi’s, this iconic pizza spot is still family owned and operated with an interesting back story.

When John lost his original lease on Sullivan St, he dismantled his original coal-fired oven and moved it to 278 Bleecker St exactly where it has remained still churning out pies today. Crispy, chewy and perfectly charred, this pizza will keep you coming back for more.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pie only, no slices)

Address: 278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Location: Google Maps

Website: johnsofbleecker.com

Bleecker street Pizza storefront
The easily recognizable Bleecker Street Pizza

5. Koronet Pizza (Morningside Heights)

This pizzeria is famous for their jumbo slices. Seriously, these 32 inch pies are one of the biggest slices in town and the slices will be bigger than your face.

Open late, Koronet Pizza is a very popular spot after a boozy night out. However, don’t be surprised if it is packed full during lunch and dinner too. It’s open until 2am on weekends and until 4am on weekdays.

Type of Pizza: JUMBO Classic NYC slice, Sicilian, Grandma slices

Address: 2848 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Location: Google Maps

Website: koronetpizzany.com

6. Lombardi’s (Nolita)

A comprehensive list of the best pizza in NYC would not be complete without the original Lombardi’s pizzeria. Lombardi’s was established in 1905 as America’s first family of pizza and has been recognized by the Pizza Hall of Fame as the first pizzeria in the United States.

While several other pizza makers in the city learned their technique from Lombardi and branched out on their own, the fantastic pies served at this location have continued to sell out for decades. If this is your first visit to New York City, we highly recommend you try a slice of history from Lombardi’s.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pie only, no slices)

Address: 32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Location: Google Maps

Website: firstpizza.com

Woman walking into Lombardi's pizzeria
Kristen walking into Lombardi’s Pizzeria

7. Patsy’s Pizzeria (2 Locations)

Similar to Lombardi’s listed directly above, Patsy’s Pizzeria is one of the originals. Opened in 1933, the coal-fired oven used to create these delicious pizzas has since been grandfathered in and continues to produce mouthwatering pies year after year.

Patsy’s is an Italian restaurant that also happens to serve amazing food in addition to pizza with two locations in the City. It is rumored Frank Sinatra considered this iconic spot to be one of this favorites.

Type of Pizza: Sicilian coal-fired (entire pies only, no slices)

2 Locations:

  • 801 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017 (MIdtown East)
  • 61 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023 (Upper West Side)

Socials: Facebook | Instagram

8. Prince St. Pizza (Nolita)

Prince Street Pizza is home to the original spicy pepperoni square! But Prince Street Pizza serves both Neapolitan and Sicilian squares so there is something here for everyone.

We have to rave about the the tiny Ezzo pepperoni cups used on these pizzas. The Ezzo is cut thick and then folds up when cooking to yield a perfect crispy edged pepperoni cup. These small and crispy pepperonis will make your mouth water just thinking about them.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (slices available), Sicilian square, Soho squares

Address: 27 Prince St A, New York, NY 10012

Location: Google Maps

Website: princestreetpizzanyc.com

9. Ribalta (Greenwich Village)

For that traditional Italian experience, Ribalta sources many ingredients from Italy. But the remaining ingredients come from the local Union Square Greenmarket. So you can support local markets and experience true Neapolitan pizza all in one visit!

Ribalta’s is one of the few restaurants on the list and makes a great place for dinner with friends or family. Not only is the Neapolitan pizza delicious, but the bottles of wine are priced fairly and soccer matches are displayed on the high ceiling walls.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan

Address: 48 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Location: Google Maps

Website: ribaltanyc.com

Prince Street Pizza storefront
Prince Street Pizza Storefront

10. Rubirosa Pizza & Ristorante (Nolita)

Another Italian Restaurant on the list, Rubirosa is famous for its vodka pizza sauce. Yes you read that right, vodka pizza sauce. Our favorites here include the the Tie Dye or Honey Pie. You can’t go wrong with either option, trust us!

Rubirosa is perfect for any occasion and they also have an extensive gluten free menu. If you are looking for a pizza joint in NYC that has reinvented the American classics, Rubirosa’s is truly it!

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pie only, no slices)

Address: 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Location: Google Maps

Website: rubirosanyc.com

11. Scarr’s Pizza (Lower East Side)

Opened in 2016 by Scarr Pimentel, Scarr’s Pizza has quickly built up a strong reputation. What makes this pizza unique is the stone milled flour made right in their basement from grains sourced from nearby Upstate NY.

We passed Scarr’s one day while sightseeing and were lured in by the atmosphere. There is certainly an energy here so try a slice while sipping on a frozen margarita. Offering both classic NYC slices and Sicilian squares, you will be spoiled for choice at Scarr’s Pizza.

Types of Pizza: Classic NYC slice, Sicilian squares

Address: 22 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Location: Google Maps

Website: scarrspizza.com

Woman walking into Song E' Napule Pizzeria
Kristen walking into Song E’ Napule

12. Song’ E Napule (Greenwich Village)

If you want to try a piece of Naples without leaving the States, Song’ E Napule is your chance. Chef and owner, Ciro Lovine uses flour, olive oil and meats all imported directly from Italy.

This is one of our favorite pizza places in NYC because it is one of the best options for authentic Neapolitan pizza. The crust is characteristically chewy, airy and a little crunchy. So if you do stop in, be sure to try the Buffalo Mozzarella!

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pie only, no slices)

Address: 146 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

Location: Google Maps

Website: songenapule.us

Outside awning of Underground Pizza in the financial district
Underground Pizza storefront in the Financial District

13. Underground Pizza (Financial District)

Located in the financial district and only a few blocks from Wall Street, this is the perfect place to stop either before or after your visit to the Statue of Liberty. The service is always quick and you won’t have to wait long after placing an order.

We have eaten here several times and our slices were always delicious. Make sure you come hungry because Underground Pizza serves very large NYC style slices which have to be folded in half to eat. The staff are always a pleasure and it’s honestly just a great no frills place for a quick on the go slice!

Type of Pizza: Classic NYC Slice

Address: 3 Hanover Square #2615, New York, NY 10004

Location: Google Maps

Website: undergroundpizzany.com

Best Pizza In NYC Brooklyn

Now that we have covered pizza in Manhattan, we must talk about pizza in Brooklyn. There is a good chance you will be heading to Brooklyn at some point during your visit and it’s only right you sample some New York City pizza here too!

Want a night to remember? Grab pizza from the famous Grimaldi’s or highly rated Juliana’s before walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset.

Welcome to Brooklyn sign on the Brooklyn Bridge
Welcome to Brooklyn sign

14. Best Pizza (Williamsburg)

Aptly and cleverly named for the digital age, Best Pizza was opened in 2010 by Frank Pinello. This former bakery has become one of the hottest spots to grab a slice in Brooklyn.

Known for their fresh ingredients, Best Pizza also serves up hero’s (subs), salads and gluten free options. We love the grandma square as its doughy, cheesy and topped with delicious sweet and tangy tomatoes.

Type of Pizza: Classic NYC slice, Grandma slices

Address: 33 Havemeyer Street

Location: Google Maps

Website: bestpizzawilliamsburg.com

15. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (3 Locations)

Founded in 1990 by Patsy Grimaldi and nestled right by the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi’s has become one of the most famous pizza places in New York City. Like true traditional coal-fired pizza, the pies at Grimaldi’s are known for their thin crispy base and unique smokey flavor.

Grimaldi’s prides themselves on the fact they use fresh ingredients, handmade mozzarella, a secret sauce and a 100-year-old dough recipe. You will not be disappointed here and you may need a reservation depending on when you visit.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pies only, no slices)

3 Locations:

  • 1 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (Brooklyn, original location)
  • 656 6th Ave, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron District)
  • 411 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ

Website: grimaldispizzeria.com

Grimaldi's coal brick oven pizzeria popular pizza place in DUMBO Brooklyn
Grimaldi’s outdoor seating area

16. Juliana’s Pizza (Brooklyn Heights)

Another interesting NYC pizzeria backstory. Juliana’s main rival pizzeria is Grimaldi’s but the two share a lot in common. Not only were these pizzerias founded by the same person, Patsy Grimaldi, but they sit adjacent to one another right by the Brooklyn Bridge.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Patsy Grimaldi came out of retirement in 2012 about two decades after selling his original shop, Grimaldi’s. Juliana’s uses a similar coal-fired oven for the pies and also serves delicious pasta dishes. Despite Grimaldi’s popularity, Juliana’s consistently has a better user rating on Google.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pies only, no slices)

Address: 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Location: Google Maps

Website: julianaspizza.com

17. L&B Spumoni Gardens (2 Locations)

Open since 1939, the pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens is always made fresh on the premises with no frozen or prepackaged foods. This is an old-school pizza joint serving both Sicilian squares and ice cream.

Recent reviews always seem to compliment their thick sweet marinara sauce (and even Calamari if you want a seafood kick!). The place is truly a gem with flavorful crust giving off serious parmesan breadstick vibes.

Type of Pizza: Sicilian Squares

2 Locations:

  • 2725 86th Street Brooklyn, NY, 11223 (Gravesend)
  • 46 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (

Website: spumonigardens.com

Long line outside of L'Industrie in Williamsburg
Long line of people at L’Industrie Pizzeria

18. L’Industrie Pizza (Williamsburg)

Owned by Florence native, Massimo Laveglia, L’Industrie combines the best tastes of Italy with the authenticity of the NYC pizza slice. L’Industrie takes great pride in their ingredients and imports several from Italy to achieve that characteristic taste.

But what sets this highly rated pizzeria apart is traditional thin crust paired with so many delicious topping options. Be sure to try the fig jam and bacon or the portobello mushroom and truffle sauce pies. This pizzeria is one of our all time favorites.

Type of Pizza: Classic NYC Slice

Address: 254 S 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Location: Google Maps

Website: lindustriebk.com

19. Pizza Loves Emily (2 Locations)

There is no other place in the city where you will feel the love of pizza more than Emily. As a husband and wife team, Matt and Emily, work together to bring you pizza and other high-quality foods directly from the heart and always served with love.

Wood-burning ovens create the signature red, pink and white appetizing pizzas that line the menu. Our favorite is of course the Emily, a white pizza with mozzarella, pistachio, truffle sottocenere and honey.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pies only, no slices)

2 Locations:

  • 919 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Clinton Hill)
  • 35 Downing St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Website: pizzalovesemily.com

Three large slices of New York style pizza in a cardboard box
Three pieces of greasy New York City pepperoni pizza

Best Pizza In NYC – The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island

Few first time visitors to New York will venture from Manhattan and Brooklyn. But if you are heading to the other boroughs of NYC, you are in luck because the pizza here is just as tantalizingly delicious.

Whether you are headed to the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island, there is plenty of pizza to go around. If you have enough time, why not try to sample pizza from all five boroughs?!

20. Louie & Ernie’s (Pelham Bay – Bronx)

If you are looking for a slice that has a little bit of kick on the first bite, look no further. Louie and Ernie’s are known for center loading their pies. This means they put a pinch of black pepper in the center so your first bite is one to never forget.

Louie and Ernie’s has become popular for their white and sausage topped pizzas but their calzones are also a wonderful choice. Or better yet, pick up a frozen 12 in pizza to enjoy another day.

Pizza-Tip: Cash Only

Type of Pizza: Classic NYC Slice, Sicilian Slices

Address: 1300 Crosby Ave, The Bronx, NY 10461

Location: Google Maps

Website: louieanderniespizza.com

21. Milkflower (Astoria – Queens)

Milkflower offers a hip atmosphere, wood-fired pizzas, small Italian plates, salads and craft beers. So all in all, you can’t really go wrong. Like a true Neapolitan, the crispy crust is always soft and chewy.

With about 15 different pies aptly named, you will have fun choosing your new favorite pizza in NYC. Our favorite is the ‘willy mo’ with meatballs, tomato, garlic confit, mozzarella, basil and grana padano.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan (entire pies only, no slices)

Address: 34-12 31st Ave, Astoria, NY 11106

Location: Google Maps

Socials: Facebook | Instagram

22. Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria & Restaurant (Staten Island – 2 Locations)

Family owned and operated since 1960, Joe and Pat’s produces slices with a super-thin flat crust, bright tomato sauce and several splashes of gooey mozzarella. But they also serve classic pasta dishes and Italian entrees if you are looking for a more refined option.

Interestingly, a deep-tissue massage is what gives the dough its characteristic crunch. While the menu offers pies with various toppings, be sure to try the 1960s original which is definitely a classic.

Type of Pizza: Neapolitan, Sicilian, Grandma (entire pires only, no slices)

2 Locations:

  • 1758 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10314 (Mid Island)
  • 168 1st Ave., New York, NY 10009 (Ukrainian Village)

Website: joeandpatsnyc.com

Man eating a large pepperoni slice of Joe's pizza
Mark enjoying a large slice of pepperoni pizza from Joe’s

Best Pizza in NYC by Map

Would you like to see the locations of each pizza place spread throughout the New York?

Here’s a link to our Best Pizza in NYC Map so you can see exactly where you can pick up a slice.

And here’s what you need to do once you open the map:

  • Click or touch your screen to activate the map.
  • Scroll around New York City to find each of the 22 best places to eat pizza in NYC as listed in this guide.
  • Pick the closest option or one from the list that you really like the sound of.
  • Either select directions from your location or your hotel.
  • Follow the walking or subway route to grab your slice!

Map Key:

  • Burgundy – Best Pizza Places in Manhattan
  • Blue – Best Pizza Places in Brooklyn
  • Green – One each from Queens, Bronx and Staten Island

Note: Many of the pizza places listed above now have multiple locations throughout NYC. We have included the original location for each of our top rated pizza joints in the map.

But we have also included second locations for some of the harder to reach original locations for those who might only visit Midtown and Lower Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn.

Tip: Choose some of your favorite pizza places from the list above and pin them to your Google Maps or Apple Maps. You can then easily find them when walking around the city.

Two classic NYC slices of pepperoni pizza
Two large slices of pepperoni pizza on a disposable plate

Honorable Mentions for Best Pizza in NYC

We could have easily made this best pizza in NYC list go on forever. It was a very difficult task putting together this small list of the best pizza places in New York.

We have included some additional pizzerias below if you are continuing the quest to find the best pizza in NYC:

  • Di Fara’s Pizza
  • Luigi’s Pizza
  • Nolita Pizza
  • NY Pizza Suprema
  • Paulie Gee’s
  • Roberta’s
  • Sottocasa
  • Totonno Pizzeria

Best Pizza In NYC Tour Options

If your feeling overwhelmed by the amount of pizza joints in New York City, we completely understand! Instead of trying to find all of these locations yourself, why not have someone else do the hard work?

Booking a pizza tour in New York City is one of the best ways to sample some of the best pizza the city has to offer. Below are some top rated pizza tours:

  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk – Pizza walking tour through Little Italy and Manhattan to three different pizzerias. This tour has been featured on the Travel Channel and Food Network.
  •  Half-Day Pizza Tasting Bus Tour – Run by Scott’s Pizza Tours, climb aboard a big yellow school bus for a pizza tour of NYC to 4 different pizzerias.

Foodie Review: Heading to Las Vegas any time soon? Read our Las Vegas Secret Food Tour Review to see if you should book your foodie tour today.

Three large pieces of New York City pizza
Three large slices of New York Style pepperoni pizza

History Of The New York Style Pizza: The Neapolitan-American

The very first pizza was served in Naples, Italy during the late 1880s.

According to legend, when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples, they were served a pizza with colors that proudly displayed the same as the Italian flag.

Their pizza consisted of tomatoes (red), white (mozzarella), and green (basil leaves). This is what we now know as the classic Neapolitan style pizza, specifically the Margherita.

Who Started Pizza First In NYC?

It wasn’t until Italian immigrants from Naples came to the United States that pizza started gaining popularity in New York. Most immigrants came to start a new life and look for other work, but they never expected their pizza to make a popular statement in NYC.

The first documented and licensed pizzeria in New York City began with Gennaro Lombardi in 1905. He began selling his pizza out of his grocery store on Spring Street in Manhattan.

Lombardi slightly adapted his families Naples recipe using local ingredients and cooking methods, which resulted in the Neapolitan-American with tomato and mozzarella cooked in a coal burning oven.

In Naples, pizza was traditionally cooked with wood and intended for only one person. But these New York style pizzas were much larger and cooked using coal.

The coal could be burned efficiently at higher temperatures making the process cheaper. Lombardi’s pizza became so popular he stopped selling groceries and focused entirely on selling pizza.

These new large New York style pizzas allowed Lombardi to sell pizza by the slice. The price at this time was roughly a nickel per slice.

Several of Lombardi’s employees broke out on their own as the pizza craze in New York city gained momentum and popularity in the following decades.

These new pizzerias only helped to spread New Yorkers love of pizza all throughout the city. Antonio Totonno Pero, an employee of Lombardi’s, left the shop in 1924 to open Totonno’s in Coney Island.

In 1929, John Sasso, another former Lombardi’s employee, opened John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street. In 1933, Patsy’s opened in Harlem as he was rumored to be a former employee of Lombardi’s as well.

If you are visiting the city and want to try a slice of history – Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, John’s and Patsy’s are still going strong today. 

Pizza in New York City Post WWII

Post World War II, pizza continued to boom in New York City as slices became a fast, fun food. GI’s returning from the war were excited to enjoy pizza they had previously experienced in Italy. Pizzerias began springing up all over New York to keep up with the demand.

But concerns over air pollution, led New York City to ban coal-fired pizza ovens. So nowadays, pizzas in New York are baked in gas-fired ovens which are cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Several different kinds of pizza for sale
Two workers making many different kinds of pizza in New York City

Now that you understand the history of the famous New York pizza slice, it is important to know there are many different kinds of pizza in the city. You can’t compare a classic NYC slice to a Neapolitan and call one of them the best pizza.

The classic NYC slice, the Sicilian square and the Neapolitan are the three most popular kinds of pizza in New York City. But all three kinds of pizza area very different. Finding the best pizza in NYC is a multi-layered process with numerous winners.

The ovens in New York also play a very important role in the pizza making process and this can significantly alter your pizza experience. New York City pizza is cooked in either a historic coal-fired oven or in a newer oven with gas and wood options.

Coal-Fired Pizza: New York’s Original Slice

A coal-fired pizza will always have a nice char to the bottom and often produces a crispy outer crust. These coal-fired pizzas have a chewy center giving them a distinct and unique taste without overcooking the toppings.

As mentioned above, coal-fired pizza is America’s oldest kind of pizza but coal-fired ovens in NYC have since been banned. The only coal-fired ovens in the city today have been grandfathered in over time. You will quite literally be tasting the history of pizza with every slice in these coal-fired ovens.

Gas-Fired or Wood-Fired: New York’s Newest Pizza

After coal-fired ovens were banned in New York City, the next oven options were either gas or wood. While both types of ovens cook at high temperatures, there are a few differences.

A gas-fire oven is easier and more practical to use. These ovens char the crust in a similar way a coal oven does, but these ovens provide a cleaner alternative and a larger cooking space as well.

A wood-fire oven adds an authentic smokey flavor in addition to the delicious char and the pizzas cook very quickly. These are popular today but these ovens are a bit more difficult to use.

Classic NYC Slice: The New York Tradition

The classic NYC slice is iconic. It is instantly recognizable by its thin crust and large size. A classic NYC slice is often served on a paper plate and eaten folded on the go. These slices are not loaded with tons of toppings, but loaded with well balanced flavor and a perfectly charred crust.

Sicilian Slice: The Square Tradition

A Sicilian slice is typically square because this pizza is cooked in a square pan. As a result, the crust is thicker compared to the classic NYC slice and the key difference is in the dough because it is given extra time to rise.

The Sicilian style resembles something similar to Focaccia bread making this pizza look both fluffy and spongy. Unlike a classic NYC slice, Sicilian pizza is served with a very generous portion of sauce and toppings.

Neapolitan: The Italian Tradition

The traditional Neapolitan pizza crust is always light and airy. These pizzas are served as entire pies only with no slices available. Dough is freshly made daily and hand rolled to perfection.

But it’s the attention to detail and the imported ingredients that make Neapolitan pizzas delicious. This style of pie of often made with San Marzano tomatoes and Buffalo mozzarella straight from Italy.

One slice of buffalo chicken pizza and one slice of pepperoni pizza in NYC
One Buffalo chicken and one pepperoni pizza slice

Best Pizza In NYC FAQ’s

Let’s take a look at some of the most asked questions regarding the best pizza in New York City!

What Is So Special About NYC Pizza?

New York City is one of the best places to visit in the USA and eating the classic NYC slice is high on almost every bucket list. But what makes the pizza here so special?

Well, several unique components go into making New York City pizza special including:

  • The classic thin crust
  • New York City’s tap water
  • The right ingredients
  • Specific dough content
  • Well-seasoned ovens

Having traveled the world, we can back up the claim that New York City pizza is unlike any other. Well, maybe except the delicious pizza in Naples, Italy – but this is where NYC pizza got its start after all.

What Is The Difference Between New York Style Pizza And Regular Pizza?

Pizza in New York is defined by its characteristically large, thin and hand-tossed base. This thin base makes the crust both crispy and thick on the outside edges, but thin enough to fold while eating.

Each NYC pizza is often topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Any additional toppings are then placed on top of the mozzarella cheese. A plain, regular or cheese pizza has no additional toppings.

How Do New Yorkers Eat Pizza?

In New York, pizza is often sold by the slice or as an entire pie. An 18 inch pizza will usually make 8 large slices. Sometimes slices are so big, two paper plates are need to fit just one slice.

But New Yorkers are often on the go. So slices are eaten folded in half without a knife and fork.

Does NYC Water Really Affect Pizza?

Many people have attributed New York’s famous pizza to minerals and components found within the city’s water supply. The geology of the Catskill Mountains has very little limestone leading to low levels of bitter tasting calcium.

NYC water also tastes saltier due to an increase in sodium. This increase in sodium affects the gluten in the pizza dough, making it squishy resulting in the characteristically soft and chewy pizza crusts.

This water theory has yet to be proven or disproven. However, some out-of-state pizzerias even import New York City water to make with their pies. So something must be in the water!

What Are The Basic Ingredients In A New York Pizza?

Tomatoes and mozzarella cheese are an integral part to the New York style pizza. These two ingredients are often imported directly from Italy to create the classic NYC slices we know today.

The tomato sauce in a New York pizza includes garlic, canned tomatoes, olive oil, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper and a small amount of sugar. The sugar helps to bring out the taste in the tomatoes.

Whole milk mozzarella is a popular choice in New York style pizza because this type of cheese melts well and has a strong flavor. On a classic NYC pizza slice, the mozarella is typically dry and grated which yields low moisture. But on a traditional Neapolitan pie, fresh slices of mozzarella are always used.

Why Is NY Pizza Dough Better?

New York pizza dough is made with American bread flour. This type of flour has a high content of both protein and gluten. It is made from many different kinds of wheat not milled as finely as regular flour.

The high gluten content is what give the NYC pizza its characteristic light and chewy crust. Combine this this the tasty tap water of New York and you have the answer to why New York pizza is unrivaled.

What Ovens Do New York Pizzerias Use?

The pizza ovens in New York city are decades old and cook at very high temperatures. So similar to a well-seasoned frying pan, these ovens have absorbed years of cheese, sauce and dough to create that characteristic New York style taste imparted on every new pizza cooked.

According to CBS News, New Yorkers have named pepperoni as their favorite pizza topping.

Does NYC Still Have $1 Pizza?

Fair warning – The iconic 99¢ NYC pizza slice is a distant memory and one for the history books. Expect to pay anywhere between $2-5 for a slice in today’s economic climate. Always bring cash because some pizza joints are cash only.

Best Pizza in New York City Summary

  1. Corner Slice
  2. FUMO
  3. Joe’s Pizza
  4. John’s of Bleecker Street
  5. Koronet Pizza
  6. Lombardi’s
  7. Patsy’s
  8. Prince St. Pizza
  9. Ribalta
  10. Rubirosa Pizza & Ristorante
  11. Scarr’s
  12. Song’ E Napule
  13. Underground Pizza
  14. Best Pizza
  15. Grimaldi’s
  16. Juliana’s
  17. L&B Spumoni Gardens
  18. L’Industrie Pizzeria
  19. Pizza Loves Emily
  20. Louie & Ernie’s Pizza
  21. Milkflower
  22. Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria
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Need Help Planning Your Visit To New York City?

NYC is a vacation planning beast and it can be overwhelming trying to get every aspect right. Trust us, we know!

After living in New York City, we created a comprehensive NYC travel guidebook & itineraries that will answer every question you have about where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around the city.

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We hope this list of best pizza places in NYC helps you find your new favorite pizza during your visit to New York City!

Did you try one? Or did you try several?

Please share your favorite pizza place or let us know if you have any further recommendations.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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