New Yorkers need delicious pizza the same way the world needs sun and rain. In other words, it’s very important, or “molto importante,” as they say in Italian. Here is a guide to the top restaurants in NYC that serve up mouthwatering slices you’ll want to sink your teeth into.
Note: Because these are uncertain times, call ahead to see if the restaurant of your choice is open. Observe all social distancing measures and wear a mask when you visit, too – and while you have them on the phone, also ask if they offer indoor and outdoor dining, delivery and takeout services.
1. Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery
22-40 31st Street, Astoria, NY 11105 | (718) 721-9422
Located in Queens, Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery offers crispy focaccia, Sicilian pies by the slice and more. However, their forte is their square sliced pie, which comes with a thick layer of gooey mozzarella cheese and tangy tomato sauce draped over a cloud-like crust. Treats at their Italian bakery are generous and include cream puffs, cannolis and rainbow cookies.
35 Downing Street, New York, NY, 10014
This premier restaurant offers Detroit-style pizza and Italian fare with rich and decadent sauces. Also, you have to admire a pizza place that prepares a mean seafood pizza, as there are very few establishments that get it just right. Emily in West Village does just that, and their clam pizza absolutely rocks. The pie is also unusually light, especially for a restaurant that serves a pretzel burger and cheese fries that stick to your ribs.
3. Zero Otto Nove
2357 Arthur Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458 | (718) 220-1027
Zero Otto Nove in the Flatiron District of Manhattan imparts a wonderful and authentic Tuscany flair to their dining experience. In addition to having some of the best wood-fired pizza in NYC, they offer the Italian formal meal structure of appetizer, first & second courses, salad and dessert. All the courses and sides are truly decadent and a feast for the eyes as well. One first course (primi piatti) to try out is Rigatoni Salernitana with meatballs, as it is generating quite a buzz. Zero Otto Nove offers delivery and takeout.
4. Sal & Carmine’s Pizza
2671 Broadway New York, NY 10025 (212) 663-7651
Pizzeria Sal and Carmine’s is located on the Upper West Side, and they feature some of the most delicious sliced pizza in The Big Apple. Their Ricotta Pizza, made with whole milk ricotta & mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil, simply makes your mouth happy when you eat it. Red sauce lovers can partake in their Margherita Pizza, which has signature toppings of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and dollops of fresh, melted mozzarella cheese.
5. Di Fara Pizza
1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY 11230 | (718) 258-1367
Domenico De Marco (or simply “Dom”) opened Di Fara Pizza in 1965, and he has been pounding the dough and handcrafting delicious pizza ever since. Perfecting pies to an art for over 50 years has made Di Fara Pizza inarguably one of New York City’s most beloved (and busy) thin pizza haunts. Because of this, fans clamor and wait in line at this unassuming Midwood storefront. The wait is worth it, though, for the chance to dig into pizza by the slice or a whole pizza piled with lots of specialty toppings like prosciutto, soppressata, meatballs, wild onions and sundried roasted peppers.
6. Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
114 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 (and 10 other locations)| (212) 792-9200
The owners at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza at Chelsey are fourth generation restaurateurs, and trust us, they really know their way around a kitchen. If you aren’t convinced, just go observe the crowds that line up in front of their establishment – all of whom are waiting to take a slice of their specialty pizza straight to the face. Their namesake slice, topped with soft, juicy artichokes, are fab, but so are their other drippy masterpieces that come liberally topped with cheese, sauce, crab, pepperoni, meatballs and more.
7. Song’ E Napule
146 W Houston Street, New York, NY | (212) 533-1242
Song’ E Napule is a NYC favorite, and they make this list for their out-of-this-world Neapolitan pizza with airy crust and a jam-packed menu with many beautiful and contemporary Italian creations. You’ll be hard pressed to make up your mind, but we recommend the Linguine Nere con Gamberi (House-made black squid ink linguine with shrimp, cherry tomato).You haven’t lived, either, until you try their Calzone Classico, which makes Americanized overstuffed versions of calzones pale in comparison. They import ingredients from Italy to make their dishes too – including those used in sweet confections like Nutella Pizza and their different flavors of gelato.
8. Ops Restaurants Pizza
346 Himrod Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237 | (718)386-4009
Brooklyn Magazine says, “Ops the goddess of abundance (and pizza) giveth unto Bushwick.” We totally have to agree and say crust us up. In fact, we are really down for their tasty wood-fired pizzas with sourdough crust paired with cocktails on the weekend. One for the books is the Juno with broccoli rabe, potatoes, provola and ricotta salata. Ops is also famous for their exciting natural wines, which you have to try with one of their daily specials on pizzas and calzones. Their extensive wine choices can also be ordered from their online platform.
575 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | (718) 858-4086
Good gracious, the large pies are good at Lucali! Rumor has it that Beyoncé and JAY-Z skipped the Grammys for a pizza date there, and their Instagram account confirms that “The Fonz” is a Lucali fanatic. The popularity of this little gem in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood means no shortcut to getting a table, however, but rest assured that their stellar food is certainly worth the wait. Simply add your name to the list at 5 pm and get a drink. When it’s your turn, grab a table and dig into thin-crust pizza and calzones delivered in front of you piping hot.
10. L&B Spumoni Gardens
2725 86th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11223 | (718) 449-1230
For over 80 years, L&B Spumoni Gardens has been serving Brooklynites dense & fortifying pies. We have to say the pizza there tastes like your Italian grandmother made it, and there’s nothing better than munching on those gooey, pillowy slices after a day at the beach. The preferred way to enjoy the offerings at L&B is to order your food at their old-school Italian counter and relish its awesome goodness al fresco. Their Baked Eggplant Parmigiana is a force to be reckoned with too. And…no matter how full you are, it’s an L&B tradition to finish your meal with a scoop of their spumoni, tri-colored ice cream.
We hope you enjoyed this list of the hottest pizza joints in NYC and find it helpful. There is no time like the present to support your local restaurants, so go out and have fun with some socially distanced friends and eat some great pie!