The Best Pizza in New York City by Neighborhood
This post is about where you can find a great slice of pizza organized by neighborhood.
We highlight pizzas from Manhattan including Greenwich Village, Midtown, Little Italy, and the East Village. We also cover the best Brooklyn pizzerias.
Pizza is one of New York’s “iconic” foods. New Yorkers will happily live on pizza every day of the week – as long as it’s GREAT pizza.
We don’t want you to waste your time searching for the best slices and pies in town.
So we have compiled this list based on our favorite places in the neighborhoods you will likely visit and some that you might not have thought of, but are worth a trip.
The “must try” places are marked with an asterisk (*). These are the ones that New Yorkers year after year say are THE best pizzas in town.
We’ve also noted which are ‘pies only’, these are often some of the older, historic, and well-known pizzerias.
These will cost more than grabbing a few slices, but frankly, the pizza and the entire experience is worth it. You will be eating a delicious slice of history.
Try great pizza by joining our Greenwich Village Food Tour that stops by two of the pizzerias on the list.
Alternatively, you can also discover a lot of great pizza shops on the New York Pizza Tour from Secret Food Tours.
This outing includes 6 stops, at least 4 slices, one delicious dessert, and a mystery dish!
At the end of this post is a video of Scott talking about pizza’s history and the best pizza in town.
Try their signature slice – thick-crusted, with a creamy white sauce mixed with bits of artichoke covered with plenty of mozzarella cheese.
Slices are large, filling enough to be a meal unto itself. A few stools are at the counter, but either be ready to stand or take your slices to go.
They also have locations in Long Island City, Chelsea, and East Village. Pies and slices.
Their Nonna Maria slice represents the best of New York-style pizza – a thin, crispy crust, a juicy sauce of crushed tomatoes seasoned with basil, topped with splotches of fresh mozzarella cheese.
This is our guides’ favorite slices in town. There’s seating inside as well as a restroom. In nice weather, you can grab a table outside. Pies and slices.
The classic New York slice. A perfect symphony of red sauce and mozzarella on a not-too-thin, not-too-thick crust.
Do what the locals do: fold it and gobble your slice down!
If you want to be a real New Yorker, eat your folded slice as you walk. You’ll blend right in. Pies and slices.
One of the oldest pizza joints in the city, and still using its coal oven since 1929.
They only serve pies so bring someone to share with — the pizza is so good that two people can easily eat an entire pie! Pies only.
Opened by the president of the U.S. branch of the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani (Neapolitan Pizza Association) Roberto Caporuscio of Keste opened this restaurant promising to deliver the hallmarks of Neopalatin pizza.
Pizzas here include San Marzano tomatoes, doppio zero flour, and are cooked in a custom-built, wood-fired, volcanic stone oven.
Keste does not disappoint. Pies only.
This is Eataly’s extension of their in-house pizza counter.
They have a full menu of homemade pasta and other Italian specialties, but if you came for pizza you will leave happy.
Go for the simple Mozzarella di Bufala and tomato sauce or more adventurous Brussels sprouts, guanciale, and creme fraiche. Pies only.
In a great location, with a coal oven and live jazz every night, Arturo’s a is a great spot to enjoy the best of what New York City has to offer. Pies only.
This small shop is believed to be the actual Original Ray’s Pizza. When it closed in 2011, what seemed like a devastating loss turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
This pizzeria’s specialty is what they call the “Soho Square”.
A Sicilian style slice, with a crust of perfect crunchy/chewy ratio, fresh mozzarella on top of their tasty sauce. Pies and slices.
Known for their spectacular Sicilian slices and also for being featured in Men in Black! Grab a slice and take some selfies! Pies and slices.
Opened in 1905, Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi was the first pizza maker to get a merchant license, making Lombardi’s the first pizzeria in NYC.
It takes just a few minutes from when you order your pie until it comes freshly cooked to perfection out of their coal-oven.
There is a wait for tables, but worth it. Pies only. Cash only.
Lower East Side
Located on one of the best streets for nightlife on the Lower East Side, this rustic, cozy pizza place nails it when it comes to the perfect Margarita slice.
Crispy crust, slightly sweet tomato sauces, and fresh mozzarella with aged Parmigiano cheese sprinkled on top. Pies and slices.
Served on rustic wooden boards, the individual pies have numerous combinations to choose from.
Perhaps their best offering is an entire gluten-free menu pizza for those who are lactose-intolerant and lots of vegan options. Pies only.
Located in Hell’s Kitchen, you’ll find pizza fusing New Orleans and Italian cuisine, named for the “two boots” on the map – Italy and Louisiana.
Pick from the fun combos like the Bayou Beast slice, topped with spicy shrimp, crawfish, andouille sausage, and jalapenos.
The best slice near Madison Square Garden After your hockey game or concert is over, walk over to what looks like your average pizza shop. It is anything but average.
They do a perfect “upside-down” slice (sauce on top, cheese in middle). Pies and slices.
Upper West Side
Panic ensued in the neighborhood when this Upper West Side institution appeared to have closed in 2015.
Locals were relieved when after a few months the place re-opened and served up the same perfect not-too-thin crust, savory sauce slice it had been serving for decades.
Just a few blocks away from Central Park. Pies and slices.
You wouldn’t expect such a perfect New York slice to be made by a Belgium chef who has cooked at some of the top restaurants in NYC like Bouley.
But believe the hype, Motorino is pizza at its best.
Try the familiar Margherita or outlandish Gorgonzola-speck-and-cippolini. Williamsburg location also. Pies and slices.
Patsy Lancieri opened this oasis in Harlem in 1933, after learning the tricks of the trade working at Lombardi’s.
Patsy’s was Frank Sinatra’s favorite pizza (click here to hear Ol’ Blue Eyes tell you himself!) He even had pies flown out to him in L.A.
This is one of only two places in NYC that offers coal-oven pizza by the slice (the other is Sac’s Place in Queens, also on this list). Pies and slices.
It’s probably in your guide book, or you know about it from word of mouth, this place is legendary.
Though they have moved from their former location down the block, they still make a heavenly pizza using a recipe and pizza-making skills used for over a century.
At Grimaldi’s no fancy toppings are required for a perfect pie. Stick with pepperoni, roasted red peppers, olives, and mushrooms and you can’t go wrong.
Be prepared to wait for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour for a table. Pies only.
In 2015, Juliana was ranked on Tripadvisor as the No. 1 pizza in the entire United States.
Here’s why. Juliana’s has the same recipe and pizza-making technique as the renowned Grimaldi’s up the block.
That’s because Juliana’s is owned by the actual Grimaldi family, whereas Grimaldi’s is not!
Huh?!? The explanation can be found in this fun article on the Top 10 Pizza Feuds of All Time.
Meanwhile, get over to Juliana’s before the lines start forming there!
Their white pie layered with rich ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella, and garlic makes for a nice contrast with a perfectly balanced red sauce Margharita pie. Pies only
Go for the white pie made with mozzarella made in-house, fresh ricotta, pecorino, caramelized onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on the crust. Pies and slices.
Their wood-fired brick oven bakes your pizza in a matter of minutes. Perfect ratio of sauce to cheese on a thin crispy crust.
They have a full menu of Italian dishes which are also great. Fun for the kids and big groups. Pies only.
While they offer some funky combinations on their pies, it’s a good spot to stick with the traditional red sauce/mozzarella cheese slice- the Brooklyn is a triangle slice and the Grandma is a square.
Either shape, it tastes great. Also in the Lower East Side. Pies and slices.
Creative with a capital C. Ever had pizza with dried cherries, orange blossom honey, and prosciutto di parma? Try the Cherry Jones.
For vegans, you’ll love their In Ricotta Da Vegan: Vegan Tomato Sauce, House Made Vegan Sausage, House Made Cashew Ricotta Dollops, and Baby Arugula. Pies only.
Before Roberta’s opened up in Bushwick, no one was that interested in coming to the ‘hood. Not to make great street art, and certainly not to live there.
Roberta’s helped put Bushwick on the map.
The pizza’s unusual combinations of high-quality ingredients earned a Michelin star and a visit from Jay Z and Beyonce. Locals and celebs love this place alike. Pies only.
TIP: Combine your visit to Roberta’s with a tour of the Bushwick Collective, famous for its street art and murals.
One of the most beloved Brooklyn and worth the trip.
Ludivico Barbati arrived in New York in 1917 and 100 years later, the fourth generation of the family is still in charge.
Try the famous thick crust, square Sicilian pizza followed by a cup of spumoni, a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different color ice creams. Pies and slices.
Owned and operated by the same family that started it in 1924, it’s so “old school” it’s as if it was transported straight from a rustic Italian coal oven.
That suited the Ramones just fine as the members of this legendary punk rock band would each order a pie for themselves and enjoy it two blocks away at the boardwalk at Coney Island. Pies only.
Cozy space in a cool neighborhood. Opened in 1952, they are known for its…you guessed it…calzone.
A calzone, when made properly as theirs is, is a delectable mix of ricotta, mozzarella, and ham in a deep-fried shell.
They also make a fabulous “upside-down” slice with perfectly crisp yet chewy crust on the bottom, topped with cheese followed by sweet tomato sauce on the top. Pies and slices.
Right near hipster-ish Smith Street, this restaurant only serves pies, but these are awesome pies.
Playful combinations like the Autunno with smoked mozzarella, ricotta, Brussel sprouts, speck, sage, truffle oil pie! And oh-la-la Nutella pizza for dessert.
Also in Williamsburg and Harlem. Pies only.
Queens is quite big and has an amazing diversity of ethnicities, foods, and cultures in its many neighborhoods.
The two pizza places listed here are in neighborhoods that you may want to visit to see some of the sites, Astoria and Long Island City.
This is ideal for solo travelers or those who just want a small taste of this super thin-crust slice with a chunky red sauce and fresh mozzarella.
Queens residents know how great Sac’s is and they are hoping no one else finds out.
Long Island City
Abbreviated as LIC, this neighborhood is on its way to becoming one of the hippest places to live, see art and eat.
You’ve got spacious waterfront parks, PS MoMA (a small branch of the Museum of Modern Art), and the best views of the Manhattan skyline.
Opened in 1959, Rizzo’s started off by serving only one kind of slice: thin-crust Sicilian pizza. Typically Sicilian squares have a doughy fluffy crust. Rizzo’s is unique in this way.
Definitely order a Sicilian slice—or two! If you have ever been skeptical about a BBQ chicken slice, Rizzo’s may turn you into a true believer. Fresh ingredients and nice staff make Rizzo’s a must.
There are many excellent pizzerias in ‘da Bronx, as locals pronounce it. This borough is quite large and very residential and lacks widespread public transportation.
We could list more pizzerias but we are listing the best pizzerias that can be reached without a car.
The two pizzas on our Bronx list are all in the Belmont neighborhood which is home to the famous Arthur Avenue, which is, to many New Yorkers, the REAL Little Italy.
We recommend if you are a food fanatic, you check out our self-guided food tour of Arthur Avenue.
Here are two spots we love that are easily accessible by the subway. Don’t forget to stop by the Bronx Zoo if you already up there!
Tino’s is well-known for its Italian sandwiches but they do serve up very tasty pizzas from their brick oven.
They start with a thin, crisp crust and create the classics like a Margharita, a beautiful Bianco (‘white’) pizza with fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano and Arugula, and a sweet and tangy Pizza Tartufato with Blue Cheese, Dried Figs, Olive oil, Arugula, and Truffle honey. Pies only.
This is a cozy trattoria with a full menu. But it’s the pizza you really want.
Pizzas are creative with toppings like butternut squash puree, cream of truffle, mushrooms & fresh mozzarella, or the classic Margharita with Tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano & basil.
Do not leave without having the Nutella pie for dessert! Pies only.
For a more comprehensive list of Bronx pizza, check out Bronx’s Best Pizza.
This borough and its residents have a long lineage of Italian immigrant roots. In fact, the exiled Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi lived there in the 1850s.
Currently, more than one-third of the population is of Italian ancestry.
Accordingly, Staten Island has some incredible authentic Italian restaurants and naturally, some of the best pizza in New York City.
Like the Bronx, however, Staten Island is very residential and unless you have a car, you have fewer options for your pizza adventure.
Don’t despair! Some of the best pizzas are within distance of the Staten Island commuter ferry.
If you didn’t already know this, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry is an absolute must while in New York. It’s a free boat ride with stunning views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines so have your cameras ready.
Click here for detailed information about taking the Staten Island Ferry.
Located a few blocks from the Staten Island Ferry and historic St. George Theatre, this family-friendly pizzeria serves the same pizza as legendary Joe and Pat’s, which is located farther inland.
Staten Island has a small fishing and seafood industry, so it’s not so weird that you can get a calamari pizza here.
Also much loved is the Arugula pie – some sharp greens, with salty shaved Reggiano, and topped with a healthy drizzle of sweet reduced balsamic vinegar.
Don’t just get back on the ferry. Stay awhile for the pizza at Pier 76 before heading back to Manhattan. Pies only.
Opened in 1937, this is the Island’s best-known pizzeria and most likely to be visited by tourists. It’s an easy 30-minute bus ride from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
Just because it might be a little touristy doesn’t mean that it isn’t fabulous pizza! Locals rave about their M.O.R. pie, (meatballs, onions, and ricotta cheese). Simple but sublime. Pies only.
Located a 20-minute bus ride from the Ferry terminal, come here for the Vodka Pie. Just like Vodka sauce pasta, it’s a pinkish sauce of tomato sauce and cream with peas mixed in.
It is possibly their most loved pizza. If you are a bit more daring try their Sally Pie: lemon garlic chicken, gourmet cheddar scallion cream cheese, fresh mozzarella, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, caramelized onions.
This pizza has won awards so clearly the odd combination works! Pies only.
HOW TO TRY DIFFERENT PIZZAS IN ONE DAY
Too many pizzas, too little time!
As we mentioned above a great way to sample lots of pizza and learn tons of the interesting history of pizza in America is by taking one of Scott’s Pizza Tours.
They are really great and that’s why we got you a $2 discount on one of his tours. Just book at Scott’s Pizza Tours and enter promo code FreeByFoot.
Related posts of our walking tours:
- Midtown Manhattan
- SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown
- Greenwich Village
- Lower East Side
- Central Park
- Grand Central Terminal
- East Village
Self-guided tours and neighborhood guides:
- Greenwich Village
- East Village
- New York Mafia Tour
- Hell’s Kitchen
- Little Italy
- Coney Island
- Midtown Manhattan
- Arthur Avenue in the Bronx