New York is famous for its pizza, and for good reason. The worst slice of pizza in New York City is better than the best slice of pizza anywhere else.
But as someone who has eaten reheated Buffalo-chicken pizza in Penn Station at midnight, I can assure you that the quality of New York City pizza does vary. Significantly. But how are you supposed to find the best places in the city when every restaurant claims to have it? Take a look at our list of the best pizza places in NYC to find the perfect match of cheese, sauce and dough for you.
This weird and wonderful pizza place is situated right in midtown. You can dine on classic thin-crust pizza amidst the beautiful architecture of this former church. John’s is a family business through and through. Opened in 1997 by matriarch Madeline Castelloti, John’s of Times Square offers made-to-order pizza from its coal-fired brick ovens.
Lombardi’s claims to be America’s very first pizzeria, and they might be right. This Nolita restaurant is over 100 years old, having opened in 1905. Pizza has to be ordered by the pie, not by the slice, and it is made-to-order in the coal-fired ovens. Don’t bring plastic – Lombardi’s is cash-only.
This Brooklyn staple is a hipster’s delight, with a rooftop garden, a bread bakery and an apiary on-site. This former warehouse is now one of the best pizza places in the world, let alone New York City. Although they serve other types of food, the pizza pies are where it’s at. Try the BeeSting pizza, complete with chili, honey, mozzarella, sopressata and tomato. Or you could get the Beastmaster pizza, which is loaded with tomato, mozzarella, gorgonzola, pork sausage, onion, capers and jalapenos.
Also located in Brooklyn is Best Pizza, which seems designed to be the first result when one Googles “best pizza in NYC.” Fortunately, it lives up to its name. Founded by Roberta’s alum Fank Pinello, Best Pizza offers pies made in a 100-year-old wood-burning oven. Don’t forget to try the doughy, sinful garlic knots.
Not to be confused with John’s of Times Square, John’s of Bleecker Street has been serving up slices for almost 90 years. Located in Greenwich Village, John’s offers fresh garlic toppings on its coal-fired, crispy pizzas.
You can stop by this old-school pizza place during a long day at Coney Island. Totonno’s has been open since 1924, and it’s still family-owned and -operated, all these years later. Come and taste the handmade mozzarella, along with ingredients imported from Italy.
Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village is over 40 years old, and it’s been operating since 1975. At $3 a slice, Joe’s offers classic New York street pizza. As a native New Yorker, there’s no better taste. It’s a light slice of pizza served over a counter in a cramped storefront. Toppings are available, but they aren’t necessary.
Another casual and classic pizza place in New York City is Patsy’s Pizzeria, in East Harlem. Patsy’s offers by-the-slice goodness from the coal-fired oven. Established in 1933, Patsy’s Pizzeria claims to be the original home of the New York style thin-crust pizza.
Keste Pizza and Vino serves Neapolitan pizza in Greenwich Village. Keste’s wood-fired oven was crafted by Neapolitan artisans for the express purpose of making the perfect pizza – and to the exacting standards of chef and owner Roberto Caporuscio.
For more delicious local eats, check out our Northeast food guide.
What do you think is the best place for pizza in NYC? Tell us in the comments!