REALLY GREAT PIZZA

Razza - In 5 years, Dan Richer will be mentioned in the breath with Mangieri and Bianco as one of the all-timers. This is my favorite place in the country now. Thin, crisp, balanced perfection from pizza obsessives.

Suggested Pies: You're safe throwing a dart.

Totonno's - My favorite old school place bar none. Worth the train to Coney Island every single time. Not being from New York, when I used to wonder about how pizza tasted here, I assumed this. And it does.

Suggested Pies: Red or white, doesn't matter.

Scarr’s - Has a place ever reached legendary status this fast? It's the coolest space in pizza, but it might have the best slice, too.  Go early, get a seat, and order one more slice than you think you can fit. You won't regret it.

Suggested Pies: Grandma to start, but they're all great


Paulie Gee’s
 - No-fuss Neapolitan-ish with wildly inventive flavor combinations, a beautiful interior that's even cool for Greenpointe, and the very best host in the world of pizza. And other worlds.

Suggested Pies: Hellboy, Mo Cheeks, and anything you think wouldn't taste goo

Paulie Gee's Slice Shop - Look at Paulie double-dipping with some help from Drew Brown. Some people think it's too retro, some think it's too hip, but the pizza is undeniable. One of my favorite places in the country.

Suggested Slices: Freddy Prince square with sesame seeds on the bottom...or anything else.

Sullivan Street - Okay, it's a bakery. But Jim Lahey was also one of the first folks in America doing Roman style pizza and it's still the best I've ever had. It is truly perfect bread.

Suggested Slice: Start with the Potato.

L'IndustrieAn Italian takes on New York slices, complete with 00 flour, new techniques, and bold flourishes like cold burrata on hot slices. This is the most elevated NY slice in the world right now.

Suggested Slice: That burrata slice, but you're safe no matter what.

Joe’s - A few years ago I thought they were a little inconsistent, but it's been all winners since. This isn't an exciting, bold, surprising pick, but there's a reason this place is classic.

Suggested Slices: Plain is all you need, but ideally get a fresh slice.

John's of Bleecker Street - I had this one ranked lower, but a recent visit was a revelation. Much more thin and balanced than I remember. There's nothing close to organic here, and I doubt the prep has changed much in decades, but I can almost guarantee you will house an entire pie yourself.

Suggested Pies: Plain.

 

GREAT PIZZA

Una Pizza Napoletana - If it was just about pie, this place would be in my top 5. But UPN is in flux, Anthony Mangieri is transitioning out, and at the end of the day a really great pizzeria needs a great experience that this place doesn't always deliver. 

Suggested Pies: I don't think you're legally allowed to order anything but Margherita.

 

Joe & Pat's - Finally got to the Staten Island legend...just as they opened in Manhattan. It was worth the wait though. This may be the best truly thin crust in the country.

Suggested Pies: I've only ever seen a plain, do they do more?

 

Corner Slice - Thin bakery sheet pizzas perfected. There's an amazing crunch to these...they're like thin grandma slices, and the flavors are all exactly what you instinctually want. 

Suggested Pies: That marinara is all you need

 

Keste/Don Antonio by Starita - Some people don't like Italians telling them that there's only one way to do pizza and only highly-trained Italian assassins can produce such pies. I don't mind, especially when it's this good.

Suggested Pies: Your call. 

Lucali - My very favorite interior of any place (and the pizza is great, too). This one is real tough to get into, but it's a unique elevated New York pie and a fairly magical experience.

Suggested Pies: Something red. 

DiFara - I remember everything about the first slice I had here ten years ago. It was everything the adoring reviews said. It's not that anymore, but it's still worth hanging out here for an hour and watching living history.

Suggested Slices: Grab a slice and a square.

Juliana's - There's a pretty amazing story behind this coal oven place (which involves the Grimaldi's next door, which you can skip), but the pizza is even better. A new classic from an old family, worth the long wait in line.

Suggested Pies: Red or white, doesn't matter.


Best Pizza - Frank is a bit polarizing, but his pizzeria is my personal ideal of a neighborhood slice joint. 

Suggested Slices: People love the pickled veggie, I'll take a square.

 

Rubirosa - Or: Trendy Joe & Pat's in SoHo. From the same family, it's truly great Staten Island pizza in a warm, rustic setting. They have a wonderful vodka slice to go at lunch, too. 

Suggested Pies: Vodka or cheese.

 

L&B Spumoni Gardens - This one is kind of transcendent. Crisp bottom and thick moist crumb that sort of blends and becomes one with tomato and cheese. This one is worth a closer read.

Suggested Slices: Sicilian.

 

Emmy Squared - You can argue whether they're gentrifying Detroit Style pizza by making it more gourmet, but as a former Detroit I give you permission to move in. It's good.

Suggested Pies: Pepperoni crust please.

 

Motorino - Behold the pizzeria that put brussel sprouts back in my diet. Great Neapolitan-inspired pizza that is good every time I go. With that said, I'm going less and less.

Suggested Pies: Sprouts.

Patsy’s - The very best value in the country. $1.75 for a perfect coal oven slice. Yeah, you have to add in the cost of getting up to Harlem, but that's not their problem.

Suggested Pies: All you need is cheese.

Sofia Pizza Shoppe - Should you do the DoughDici? Yes. If you can't get a ticket for that, should you do their regular slices? Yes. Great guys, great food.

PQR - It's lighter than any other Roman/al taglio pizza I've ever had. Two months out, I can still taste it and am dying to go back. 

GREAT BUT I'VE ONLY BEEN ONCE

Forcello - Snuck in once on a pizza crawl and it seemed great and yet...I don't remember the flavors. With that said, Neapolitan is the easiest style to get lost in the shuffle and this one deserves another look.

Speedy Romeo - This place seems cool as hell and they do a killer, elevated St. Louis pie with provel cheese. If they can make that taste great, I can only imagine with they can do with mozz.

Suggested Pies: The Saint Louie.

REALLY GOOD PIZZA

 

Prince St. Pizza - The Kings of Pepperoni on Instagram are slipping. What used to be a 10 is probably an 8.5 now. That's still better than 99.9% of every pizza you've ever had.

Suggested Slices: Squares.

 

Williamsburg Pizza - For a while these folks were my go-to for a New York slice. Last couple visits haven't been up to the initial standards but I'm not close to dropping them.

Suggested Slices: Pepperoni.


New Park Pizza - Paulie Gee swears by these slices. I've only had great ones, but others have complaints. Regardless, if you don't have a car or you're not going to the airport, you're never going to get here.

Roberta's - This place really changed things and there is no denying its goodness, but I got there after the original guys left and haven't been back. The serviceable but soulless L.A. location hasn't helped.

GOOD PIZZA

Luigi's - When I think local institution I think Luigi. I am merely a tourist, but this seems like the most real-ass Brooklyn pizza place in the world.Lombardi’s - The original and the oldest (if you don't count that gap where they closed. The pizza is fine, but it's worth it for the history.  Ideally you go here while on Scott's Pizza Tour.

Mama's Too - It's been declared top slice in New York by people I trust. Maybe it is, but I've gone multiple times and never had it unburnt. UPDATE: Still burnt.

 

Wheated - Very tasty with the best whiskey list I've ever seen in a restaurant, let a lone a pizzeria. And if you're in Prospect Park, I'm not sure if you have any other options anyway.

 

Sal & Carmine’s - It was very good when I tried it, but word is that it's sliding as it transitions to the next generation. 

Ops - They're doing sourdough, but it's really subtle (which is nice). A laid-back staff and beautiful space that makes it worth a visit if you're in Bushwick, but I'd skip that onion pie.

 

HAVEN'T TRIED...

 

Arturo’s - Okay, I had one slice and it was delicious, but I haven’t been able to get back and put in a full day of work there. But man, I want to.

 

Margot’s - Adam Kuban changed pizza for many of us with his Slice blog and his bar-inspired pizza looks insane. I am a lesser person for not have tasting it, but to be fair it’s the toughest ticket in pizza.

 

Louie and Ernie’s - Yeah, I know. This is big hole in the resume for someone who claims to really love pizza. It's hard to get to, but I'm hitting it in May.


Pasquale Jones - The chef is great and I have no doubt he’s pumping out great pies. But the schedule hasn't worked out for me yet.

F & F Pizzeria - The guys from Frankies got some help from the GODS, Chris Bianco and Chad Robertson. Early reviews are great, I could not be more excited.

NOT RECOMMENDED

 

You're in New York, act like it. Don't get something from a chain. Don't bother with anything "serviceable." Don't get Lions & Tigers & Squares, for it is neither real Detroit-style nor good. And I really don't like Denino's but I have assurances that other people love it.

= Whole Pies                                              = Slices

Pizza” icons by Marcus Michaels from the Noun Project.    
 
Photos by Lance Roberts

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