If you have a craving for the perfect slice of pizza, look no further. This article brings you a comprehensive list of some of the best pizzerias known to pizza lovers around the world. From the crispy thin crust of Lucali to the traditional Neapolitan style of Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitana, each establishment on this list offers something truly exceptional. So, whether you're a fan of classic toppings or seeking adventurous flavor combinations, join us as we explore the mouthwatering world of pizza perfection.
Espresso PizzeriaIf you're searching for a piping hot slice of Brooklyn pizza, make your way to Espresso Pizzeria in Bay Ridge, a historically Italian-American neighborhood at the end of the R subway line near the iconic Verrazzano-Narrows bridge. The unassuming atmosphere of this small, straightforward slice shop exudes charm; the simple menu of traditional pizza toppings is displayed on an old-school letter board that hangs above the fiery red pizza ovens, which produce some of the finest slices in the borough.
If you're making the trek for a slice, don't overlook the delectable homemade garlic knots, made with their own specially-crafted dough, setting them apart from many other pizzerias that use leftover scraps. And don't anticipate finding Espresso Pizzeria on a delivery app. If you want to order in advance or have a delivery from Espresso, you'll have to dial their number like we did in days gone by.
LucaliNestled amidst picturesque brownstones in the charming Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Lucali's pizza has become one of the most coveted in the borough since the restaurant's inception in 2006. A commitment to time-honored recipes and fresh, local ingredients keeps the line of patrons waiting outside Lucali a near-permanent fixture at this intimate establishment (not to mention the fact that it's BYOB). It's no wonder that it has earned the title of being one of Benyoncé and Jay-Z's favorite pizzerias in New York, as well as ours, solidifying its place on our list.
And this establishment will captivate you. The wonderfully simple menu offers only pies and calzones, displayed on a chalkboard within a rustic interior furnished with wooden accents and vintage signs. However, don't bother phoning in for a reservation — Lucali does not accept them. Be sure to visit the ATM before you go because cash is the only form of payment accepted.
Una Pizza NapoletanaAnthony Mangieri, the mastermind behind Una Pizza Napoletana, is truly a legend in the realm of pizza making. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Mangieri taught himself the sacred art of crafting pizza. The crust on the pies at Una is fluffy on the edges, thin in the middle, and adorned with simple, top-notch, mouthwatering ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, smoked buffalo mozzarella, and Amalfi wild oregano, paying homage to the chef's Italian heritage.
The current location on Orchard Street in Manhattan's historic Lower East Side is the fifth rendition of the esteemed pizzeria, which has received numerous accolades for the excellence of its pies, with some even asserting that it serves the best pizza in NYC, earning it a spot on our list. If you desire to experience one of these bubbly, cheesy marvels, be sure to visit on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, as those are the only days when Una is open, and make your reservation well in advance.
Upside PizzaAny true New Yorker will advise you to steer clear of Midtown. However, if you happen to find yourself there late at night with a hankering for a hot, crispy slice, join the line of merry night owls at Upside Pizza to savor one of the finest pizzas in the neighborhood. What sets Upside apart is their use of sourdough instead of traditional pizza dough, resulting in a distinctive tangy, slightly fermented flavor that secures its position on our list.
And the success has been remarkable. Since opening their inaugural location on Eighth Avenue, the Upside empire has expanded to include two additional slice shops in Manhattan and one in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Indeed, this achievement is expected from the man behind it all, Anthony Falco, who honed his skills at the renowned Roberta's Pizza in Bushwick.
Ace's Perfect PizzaThin crust pizza is almost worshipped by devoted New Yorkers. However, Ace's Perfect Pizza in Brooklyn is here to challenge the norm with its Detroit-style pies. For those unfamiliar, Detroit-style pizza is a deep-dish pie, rectangular like a Sicilian-style pizza, but baked in a sturdy tray reminiscent of a cast-iron skillet. This gives it a wonderfully crispy outer shell and a fluffy, delightful dough that, at Ace's, serves as a canvas for an array of innovative toppings.
If you're a fan of heat, give the "pepper trio" pie a try, featuring jalapeños, bell peppers, sweetie drops, and chili honey. Alternatively, if you prefer a plant-based option, the vegan choice comes with non-dairy mozzarella and basil leaves. It seems that New Yorkers are appreciating this unconventional take on their beloved food, as a second Ace's location recently opened near Rockefeller Center. For their creative flair, Ace's secures the No. 16 spot on our list.
Totonno's Pizzeria NapolitanaSecuring a coal oven-made pizza in New York City isn't a simple task. According to New York law, the construction and use of new coal ovens are prohibited. As a result, the only coal ovens still in operation were built decades ago, prior to the implementation of this law. Enter Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitana in Coney Island, which made its debut nearly a century ago in 1924 and continues to utilize a coal oven, producing delectable, crusty, cheesy pies with a distinct slightly charred flavor. However, it's more than just the coal oven that draws customers to this renowned establishment in the far reaches of Brooklyn.
Totonno's founder, Anthony "Totonno" Pero, kick-started his career at Lombardi's, New York's inaugural pizza joint, after immigrating from Italy in the early 20th century. The business remains a family endeavor, making Totonno's the "oldest, continuously run, family-owned pizzeria in America, and potentially the world," according to their website. This legendary restaurant still uses freshly made dough and imported ingredients, attracting locals and tourists alike to form lines in anticipation.
OpsBushwick was once regarded as a distant, working-class residential neighborhood. However, it has transformed into a food lover's paradise with new restaurants catering to its increasingly trendy, youthful population. Ops perfectly exemplifies the culinary evolution of this rapidly changing area. Housed in a repurposed garage, Ops boasts a cozy ambiance with brick walls and wooden tables that instantly make you feel at ease as you order a delectable pizza pie and a glass of natural wine, both celebrated on the restaurant's beverage menu.
At Ops, less is more. The food menu is refreshingly concise, featuring a rotating selection of seasonal specials alongside classic pies made with fresh sourdough and baked in a wood oven, securing Ops its spot on our list. The venture has been so successful that the owners opened a sister slice shop called Leo in Wiliamsburg in 2019.
Cuts and SlicesAs stated on the Cuts & Slices website, the goal is to create a certain ambiance when you visit. And indeed, a unique vibe is precisely what you'll experience. Located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a central Brooklyn neighborhood, the minds behind this pizzeria aren't afraid to get imaginative with their menu offerings. While you can always play it safe with a classic cheese or pepperoni slice, we strongly encourage you to embrace your adventurous side when placing an order at Cuts & Slices.
Jerk shrimp and chicken and waffle slices are just a taste of the unconventional flavors that have taken center stage in their pizza toppings. While it might be challenging to find oxtail at your local butcher shop, you can find it in three different renditions on the menu here, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood's Jamaican heritage. Cuts & Slices even collaborates with Adidas, resulting in a personalized shoe adorned with the pizzeria's emblem! So lace up and journey to Brooklyn's most audacious slice shop, which rightfully claims a place on our ranking.
Scarr's PizzaDimes Square is a beacon of coolness in downtown Manhattan. Amidst the vintage stores, trendy bars, and espresso-sipping locals, you'll find Scarr's Pizza, which unveiled its Orchard Street location in the heart of this neighborhood in 2016. The old-school atmosphere at Scarr's, complete with glossy benches and dark wooden paneling, masks the sophisticated nature of this Lower East Side destination, which also offers cocktails and natural wine from a bar situated behind the pizza counter in the spacious dining area.
Prepare yourself for a wait when you arrive at Scarr's in the evenings, but once you finally have your slice in hand, prepare to fall head over heels. Scarr's mills its own grains to create a unique flour that cannot be found anywhere else in the city. If you want to attempt recreating one of these popular pies at home, you can purchase a bag of this flour for just five dollars.
Paulie Gee'sIf you ask a local in Greenpoint, a neighborhood situated at the northernmost tip of Brooklyn, where to find the best pizza in the area, they will likely point you in the direction of Paulie Gee's, which commenced operations on Greenpoint Avenue in 2010 and has remained the premier pizza destination ever since. Once you savor one of the imaginative, thin-crust creations that grace their extensive menu, you'll understand why this eatery has earned a place on our top 10 list.
"Hellboy," one of their most popular pies, is devilishly adorned with soppressata and "hot honey" infused with chili. Another standout option is the "Benny Gee," a clever spin on eggs benedict topped with Canadian bacon and lemony hollandaise sauce. If you don't have time to wait for a table at the restaurant (which fills up swiftly and does not accept reservations), visit their slice shop just down the road on Franklin Street for your fix of first-rate inventive pizza.
Lee's TavernStaten Island is often referred to as "the forgotten borough" by many New Yorkers. Nevertheless, this sparsely populated administrative subdivision carries a rich history of Italian immigration, which has given rise to numerous restaurants boasting some of the finest authentic Italian dishes in the Big Apple, including exceptional pizza found at Lee's Tavern.
At first glance, Lee's may appear to be an ordinary sports bar, but hidden away within lies the establishment that has been serving up the borough's most celebrated pies since 1940. Classic toppings such as pepperoni, onion, and sausage dominate the menu; however, for those seeking something more extraordinary, you can order a pizza topped with crispy and crunchy fried calamari, a beloved local favorite.
Chrissy's PizzaChrissy's Pizza employs a unique business model that is a testament to its greatness. These highly sought-after pies have no physical storefront to call home — rather, they are meticulously crafted in the kitchen of chef and owner Chris Hansell, who gained extensive experience at many of the city's most renowned pizza establishments (some of which are featured on this very list).
Instead of serving slices over a counter, Chrissy's solely accepts orders through direct messages on their Instagram page, which periodically announces availability. Since these thin, crispy pies are individually made by one man in one oven, Chrissy's only doles out approximately 20 pizzas per month from his Bushwick apartment. So ensure that you have your push notifications enabled and get ready to place an order at this exclusive spot, securing it a well-deserved No. 8 ranking on our list.
Louie & Ernie's PizzaLouie and Ernie's Pizza in the Bronx is a world apart from the trendy, modern pizzerias that have emerged in Manhattan and Brooklyn over the last few decades. However, there is a reason why this outer borough eatery is worth the journey. The humble brick building housing this pizzeria in Pelham Bay has been the birthplace of some of the city's most exceptional pizza since the relocation from the original East Harlem location in 1959. The East Harlem site itself started serving pizza in 1947.
The menu at Louie and Ernie's is refreshingly unpretentious, featuring classic pies with timeless toppings and calzones. With over six decades in operation, a devoted local following, and a steady stream of tourists making their way to this corner of New York for a slice of one of the city's finest, Louie and Ernie's proudly claims the No. 7 spot on our list.
RubirosaIf you're in search of exquisite pizza with premium ingredients in the trendiest district of Manhattan, make your way to Rubirosa. Established in 2009 by the offspring of the renowned Staten Island pizzaiolo Giuseppe Pappalardo, Rubirosa has firmly established itself as the ultimate pizza destination in SoHo, earning a noteworthy sixth position on our ranking.
The pizza selection here is concise, yet the flavors of the pies are expertly balanced, prepared with an unwavering commitment to perfection. We highly recommend trying the "Vodka" variety, adorned with vodka sauce and fresh mozzarella, or the delectable "Honey Pie" featuring fontina, soppressata, and spiced honey. However, you won't be the only one eagerly anticipating these savory treats. Acquiring a reservation at Rubirosa is notoriously challenging unless obtained well in advance. While walk-ins are accommodated, be prepared for a wait of an hour or possibly more.
Lombardi'sLombardi's Pizza, located in the heart of Little Italy in lower Manhattan, is much more than a mere pizzeria; it stands as a living testament to pizza in the United States. After all, holding the distinction of being the country's first pizzeria is no small feat.
Since 1905, Lombardi's has been delighting visitors with its cheesy, thin-crust pies following the Neapolitan tradition. The distinctiveness of Neapolitan pizza, which focuses on superb ingredients and a specific preparation style, is even recognized by UNESCO as a "Cultural Heritage of Humanity." When you take a bite of Lombardi's pizza, you will understand why. With unparalleled endurance and its profound impact on shaping pizza culture in New York, Lombardi's claims the respected fourth spot on our list.
L'IndustrieNew Yorkers are renowned for their discerning taste, especially when it comes to pizza. However, when L'Industrie burst onto the scene in the trendy South Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2017, it mesmerized the entire borough and rapidly became one of the most sought-after pizzas in all of New York City. The demand was so overwhelming that the slice shop expanded into the adjacent space and transformed it into a charming dining area.
At L'Industrie, the menu revolves solely around pizza. Classic favorites like pepperoni and margherita coexist with imaginative creations such as fig and bacon pizza or a tantalizing pie topped with fresh burrata. The unwavering dedication to premium ingredients and the impeccable execution of the Neapolitan pizza craft secure its well-deserved third place on our list.
L&B Spumoni GardensSicilian-style pies reign supreme at L&B Spumoni Gardens, an establishment nestled in Brooklyn's Gravesend neighborhood. What sets Sicilian-style pizza apart is that, unlike the typical thin-crust New York slice, these delectable creations boast a higher proportion of dough to toppings and are baked in large, square pans, giving them their distinctive shape.
Immigrant Ludovico Barbati brought forth the first iteration of this restaurant back in 1938, and it has since expanded to encompass three buildings, staying within the family for four generations. The crispy, chewy, and perfectly cheesy pies at L&B Spumoni Gardens have yet to be surpassed, making it the ultimate destination for Sicilian-style pizza in New York and securing its prominent second spot on our list.
These are just a handful of the best pizzerias that grace the streets of New York City. Each with its unique charm, these establishments have perfected the art of pizza-making and have become iconic in their own right. So, whether you're a fan of the classic Neapolitan style or prefer a slice that pushes the boundaries of creativity, the Big Apple has you covered. From the thin crusts that melt in your mouth to the gooey cheese and bold, flavorful toppings, a trip to any of these renowned pizzerias will surely leave you craving for more. So, grab a slice, savor every bite, and be a part of the pizza craze that has taken over the tastebuds and hearts of New Yorkers and visitors alike.