15 (EPIC) Pizza Joints in New York City You Can’t Afford to Miss

When living in New York City, there’s a lot to be grateful for. For example, you can spend years searching for the best pizza in New York City and find places that will amaze you time after time.

There’s no shortage of pizza shops to choose from so it’s hard to know which spots you shouldn’t miss. That’s where this list comes in, I’ll cover my top 15 favorite pizza spots in New York City — and you better believe this girl has HIGH standards for pizza.

While you read this list, keep in mind that this is my personal list of the best pizza in New York City. We all have different taste buds, so some folks would rank these joints differently, and that’s just fine! I guarantee that 80% of these pizza spots would show up on both our lists. It’s pizza, enjoy! 😉

This post is dedicated to my friend Jay, who loves pizza even more than I do. But I’m catching up.

Best Pizza NYC

Types of pizza in New York City

Here’s a quick rundown of the types of pizza you’ll find in New York City (textures vary by type of pizza). My advice? Be open, try it all. You never know what you’re going to love.

Coal oven & wood oven : Coal oven pies are usually sold whole and come out with a delightful char. These pizzas tend to have flat crusts with a satisfying bite, typically served with light sauce and cheese. Coal-burning ovens are grandfathered in NYC, meaning the only way to get one is to inherit one.

As such, wood oven pies are becoming more common. The biggest difference between the two is that coal burns at a higher temperature than wood — so coal-fired ovens provide a crispier crust and more enhanced char. Probably more info than anyone needs, but there you have it.

New York Slice: The iconic slice of pizza most folks think of when they visit NYC. These joints sell pizza by the slice (and whole pies too). Slices are thicker than coal oven pizzas and are typically served on a paper plate with napkins in hand. Meant to be enjoyed outside at a standing table or en route to a park — fold, eat, repeat.

Sicilian: A square slice of pizza with a doughy crust. To compensate for the crust, these pizzas are usually served with a generous portion of sauce and toppings (think double-cupped pepperonis).

Neapolitan: A pizza with family in Naples, Italy. Typically served as personal pies, these have a soft center with a chewy texture. Expect droopy slices bursting with flavor (when done right).

best pizza in New York City

#15. Di Fara

Opened in 1965 to Italian transplant Domenico (Dom) De Marco, Di Fara has been a labor of love for over 50 years. Working 7 days a week for decades, De Marco had an uncompromising and relentless pursuit to create the best pies for his customer.

After his passing in March of 2022, New Yorkers from all over flooded the pizzerias social media pages with words of support and love. The significance Di Fara has on the neighborhood and New York City as a whole is palpable.

His kids have continued De Marco’s legacy, consistently churning out the best pizza in New York City. The pizzeria is as busy as ever, with their notoriously famous long lines.

Nearly every ingredient is imported from Italy, and every pie is topped off with their signature freshly cut basil. A lot of folks attribute the unique and exceptional taste to the generous helping of olive oil that douses each pie both before and after coming out of the oven.

They also recently opened a new location in lower Manhattan that is sure to elevate their already significant cult following. Margaret De Marco, who is Dom’s daughter, has mentioned her goal is to expand the brand so long as there is no compromise on quality.

Address: 1424 Ave J, Brooklyn NY 11230 & 108 South St, New York NY 10038

Di Fara Best Pizza NYC
Image Courtesy PMQ Pizza Magazine

#14. Kesté

Chef and owner Roberto Caporuscio learned the secrets to making pizza in Naples, and has brought those skills to the US. Having previously opened successful pizzerias in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, he opted to try his hand in New York City opening Kesté in 2009.

It’s is the type of place you go to when you want a fancy dinner, but are too much of a New Yorker not have pizza. A fine dining experience, complete with an array of exceptional Italian wines, it can make a great spot for a relaxed date.

As U.S. President of PAF Pizza Academy Foundation Caporuscio has begun to teach the craft Neapolitan pizza making to chefs in the US. While he’s away, his daughter who has the same passion and drive as he, runs the pizzeria. Like a lot of the greatest best pizza in New York City, Kesté is a family affair.

Kesté is well known for their fried pizza, and before you run off thinking it’s a greasy disaster you oughta give it a try. They use regular dough and fry it for 30 to 45 seconds, top it with the ingredients and throw it in the oven. When it comes out the oil has evaporated, the cheese has melted and presto, fried pizza.

Address: 66 Gold St, New York, NY 10038

Keste Best pizza nyc
Image Courtesy Kesté

#13. Ribalta

Bringing the authentic taste of Naples to Greenwich Village, Ribalta is a beloved and treasured New York City pizzeria. It’s not uncommon to hear Italian chatter among the dining guests and if Italians love it you know its good.

Pasquale Cozzolino is founder and pizzaiolo at Ribalta. He’s mentioned that in Naples, you have to apprentice for two years before they even let you touch the dough. Making pizza is an art, and Ribalta has gotten it down to a science. It consistently puts out some of the best pizza in New York City.

For fans of soccer (especially Italian Serie A) Ribalta is a hotspot. They play games on a projector and tables are full of food and drink with clamoring fans bickering, cheering, and celebrating. And when the national team plays? Welcome to Stadium Ribalta.

The namesake pizza is beautifully simple. Italian sausage and broccoli top delectable Neapolitan pizza dough making for a delicious pizza pie.

Address: 48 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Ribalta Best Pizza NYC
Image Courtesy Open Table

#12. Una Pizza Napoletana

Visiting Una Pizza Napoletana might taking a little planning since it’s only open 3 days a week (and only until they run out of fresh dough!). However any notions of thinking it’s not worth the stop during your precious weekend are misplaced. Una Pizza Napoletana will be the highlight of the weekend, guaranteed.

Pizzaiolo Anthony Mangieri was born in New Jersey and growing up begged his mother to take him to every famous pizzeria in the tribe-state area. That budding affinity for pizza has led him to dedicating his life to creating the best pizza in New York City and he’s come pretty damn close as far as I’m concerned.

After moving Una Pizza Napoletana six times (including a trip to the west coast), it now calls the Lower East Side home. One of it’s moving boxes is sure to contain the award they won from 50 Top Pizza, the premier Italian pizza experts. The award is for 2022’s best pizza in the United States.

No matter which pizza you choose your tastebuds will thank you for the flavorful bites. The Bianca is especially memorable and it’s even beautiful to look at.

Address: 175 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Una Pizza Napoletana Best Pizza New York City
Image Courtesy The New York Times

#11. Mama’s Too!

Mama’s Too! is a small hole in the wall pizzeria on the Upper West Side that’s generating waves for the best pizza in New York City. Having only opened in 2017, it lacks the storied history of the other best New York City pizzerias. What lacks in history though it makes up for with over the top flavor, this newcomer is creeping up on the crown.

With it’s continued rise in popularity New Yorkers are traveling from farther and farther away to try Mama’s Too!. It’s not uncommon to have to wait more than 2+ hours for your pie on the weekends (so order online and skip the line!).

Serving both classic New York slices and Sicilian squares its sometimes hard to choose. But choose you must, they don’t allow change orders or customizations. They know what they have is gold and they won’t allow anyone to tell them otherwise. Why would they, so many New Yorkers consider them the best pizza in New York City.

As far as my recommendation, you have to try the Angry Nona. If that brings back memories of your grandma chasing you around with a belt I’m sorry. This Sicilian slice combines a hot salami with Calabrian chili oil and hot honey for a *chef’s kiss* pizza.

Address: 2750 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Best Pizza NYC Mama's Too!
Image Courtesy The New York Times

#10. Patsy’s Pizza

Originally opened in 1933, Patsy’s is a grandfathered coal-oven pizzeria living up to the responsibility of churning out exceptional pies. Unlike most of the other places mentioned on this list, Patsy’s is actually an Italian restaurant that just so happens to serve pizza.

Considering this, it’s impressive that their pizzas can steal the show in a city peppered with restaurants specializing in pizza alone. We ordered the original pie and were taken aback by the rich complexity of of three simple flavors (dough, sauce and cheese).

The crust was thin, as to be expected with a coal-fired oven, and the sauce to cheese ratio was executed perfectly. My favorite part was the flavor of the sauce, it’s so memorable.

We weren’t surprised to learn that Frank Sinatra considered this one of his favorite pizzas in New York City, it’s delicious!

P.S. We just moved into a new apartment a mere two blocks from Patsy’s Pizza (send help, I have no control).

Type of pizza: Coal oven pizza, whole pies only.

Pasty's Pizza NYC
Patsy’s Pizza | Best Pizza New York City

#9. Joe’s Pizza (Iconic NYC pizza by the slice)

Joe’s Pizza is on every single “best pizza in New York City” list we came across and during our visit it became clear why. Joe’s is the quintessential New York City pizza slice!

It’s not fancy but it’s always fresh, hot and delicious. The crust is nicely charred and the pie boasts the perfect ratio of sauce to toppings. Plus the cheese is never the wrong texture (apparently no easy feat). Simply put, it always hits the spot, which is why there’s a line every hour of the day.

To that end, there’s no arguing that Joe’s is one of the most iconic New York City pizzas you can get. Plus, they’re open until 4am, making this a go-to spot for a late night meal after a show or event.

Our friends have a fun annual tradition, they greet the first day of spring with a whole pie from Joe’s Pizza in Washington Square Park.

Type of pizza: Classic New York City slice

Tip: Joe’s Pizza is CASH-ONLY and there’s an ATM right outside the store.

Best pizza New York City
Joe’s Pizza, a classic NYC slice of pizza!

#8. Scarr’s Pizza

Within a bite, my husband proclaimed Scarr’s as the absolute best pizza in New York City. Fighting words, I know!

But he has a point. I mean, I don’t know if we were exceptionally hungry or something, but Scarr’s Pizza was so good that we returned the next day for more. The Sicilian grandma slice was so satisfying but the pepperoni took the cake.

The large slices demand to be folded and the thinly stretch dough is the ideal canvas for the delightful marinara sauce and quality toppings. The cheese and marinara sauce form a harmonious union without overwhelming. In effect, this pizza is everything a pizza should be — simple and delicious!

Plus, extra points for the incredible staff here. The man that took our order (both times) was so friendly and enjoyable. In a city where good food sometimes comes at the expense of good service, Scarr’s stands a mile above the rest. Plus, the unfussy storefront definitely evokes old school vibes.

Types of pizza: Classic New York City slice and Sicilian. The slices vary on a daily basis (I think pepperoni and cheese are always offered unless sold out. Then you’ll need to wait for the next pie).

Address: 22 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

New York City best pizza

#7. Lucali Pizza

Lucali is one of the most popular pizzerias in New York City and has the long lines to prove it. The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations, which means the only way to get a pie is by waiting in line (usually for 1+ hours).

Serving some of the best thin crust pizzas in New York City, guests are welcome to bring their own beer and wine to cap off the meal properly. But take note, this is a cash-only establishment, so come prepared!

Address: 575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Best pizza in New York City
Image courtesy: Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

#6. Prince Street Pizza

Prior to documenting our search for the best pizza in New York City, we did a TON of research by reading endless articles and reaching out to locals. One place that seemed to appear on everyone’s list was Prince Street Pizza.

Since no stone can be left unturned, we promptly made plans to visit. We were surprised to find a line at 2pm (making sure to avoid the lunchtime rush) but thankfully it moved quickly. The store itself is really interesting because walls are adorned with photos of the owner with celebrities.

This is a very welcome distraction as the intoxicating smell of pizza enriches the air. All the slices looked so tempting but we settled on the classics — a square slice of pepperoni and a slice of Mercer Margherita.

HOLY COW! This pizza is SO delicious! The pepperoni square was the clear winner and I’d gladly take a 30+ minute subway ride to get another slice. The double-pepperoni cups are sheer perfection (why hasn’t this been discovered earlier?!) and the dough is perfectly chewy with a satisfying crust.

The line at Prince Street Pizza is completely warranted, this is easily some of the best pizza in New York City.

Type of pizza: Classic NYC slice + Sicilian

Address: 27 Prince St A, New York, NY 10012

Best Pizza NYC
Prince Street Pizza | Most popular pizza in New York City

#5. Lombardi’s Pizza

Some people make the mistake of assuming Lombardi is for tourists. How wrong they are. This iconic pizza shop boasts an incredible achievement — it’s officially the first pizzeria in America. In fact, Lombardi is credited with developing New York Style pizza. Reason alone to visit, right?

The original location is located in Little Italy and is offering outdoor seating during COVID. The pizza is some of the best in New York City. The crust is perfectly charred in a coal oven and the toppings complement the chewy dough while letting all the flavors shine.

I suggest ordering the original marinara, pepperoni or the clam pie. During our last visit we ordered the clam pie and can’t stop thinking about it. It’s SO good!

Type of pizza: Coal-oven pizza, whole pies only, “personal” size. You can split one pie between two people if you’re not too hungry. If you’re really hungry, I suggest ordering a pie per person.

Address: 32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Best New York City pizza

#4. John’s of Bleecker Street

John’s of Bleeker Street is an iconic New York City pizza shop that was founded in 1929. Much like the walls adorned with photos of countless celebrities and windows dressed in awards, the pizza here will keep you coming back time and time again.

The crust is perfectly chewy and charred (thanks to the grandfathers coal-fired oven) and the sauce-to-topping ratio is worth writing home about. The pizza is served fresh out of the oven so you can expect hot and delicious pizza within 20-minutes of sitting down (if you’re lucky enough to forgo an hour long line).

The pizza goes down easily. I can’t even count the number of times I kept repeating “this is damn good pizza” to my husband. I think I lost count at 18 — a strong gauge, to be sure.

Type of pizza: Coal-fired, whole pies only. Pies are large and can easily be split between two people. Half/half pizza orders are okay.

Address: 278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Note: John’s does NOT sell pizza by the slice, you need to purchase a whole pie. But don’t worry, after your first bite, you would have regretted having only one slice anyway.

Best pizza NYC

#3. Julianna’s Pizza

Julianna’s Pizza is the one NYC pizza joint I return to time and time again without loss of enthusiasm. It consistently hits the spot.

Julianna’s history is interesting in and of itself. The founder, Patsy Grimaldi, also founded legendary Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. He sold that establishment and opened Julianna’s two decades later right next to Grimaldi’s! Since then, there’s a constant debate between who has the best pizza. It’s impossible to judge because the lines at both pizza joints stretch the block (visit both and choose for yourself!).

For me personally, nothing tops Julianna’s white pie. The fresh ingredients shine through in the most memorable ways. The crust is perfectly thin — just enough to provide a delightful foundation without intruding. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the sauces! Everything feels like it was picked the morning of.

Perhaps Julianna’s success can be attributed to their hand-built coal fired ovens (the first commissioned in NYC in over 50 years).

Type of pizza: Coal-fired, whole pies only. Pies can be ordered half/half and one pie is large enough to split between two.

Address: 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Best NYC pizza

#2. Roberta’s Pizza

If you’re in search of the best pizza in New York City run, don’t walk, to Roberta’s.

Roberta, I wave my white flag eagerly at your feet. You have made a woman out of me with your perfectly charred pizza and delectable marinara sauce and I will never be the same. I am weak in the knees but I assure you I will gladly hobble over every chance I get.

The wood fired pizza at Roberta’s is made in an oven that churns out thousands of pies a week. The pizza crust is expertly charred and the Bee Sting pie is the perfect union of flavors (tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, chili, basil, honey). The Little Stinker hit the spot too.

Upon taking my first bite I looked at my husband and said “this is it.” Whatever the heck that means. Honestly, if this blog exists for the sole purpose of telling you (dear reader) about Roberta’s Pizza than it’s completely worth the effort.

Type of pizza: Wood oven, personal pies only (we each ordered one and didn’t have left overs).

“Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.”

Bill Murray

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#1. Rubirosa Pizza

Rubirosa is a classic New York joint beloved by locals and tourists alike, for good reason. They have perfected the art of marinara sauce, so much so, that I’d eat it by the spoonful if it were on the menu.

Where to start with the pizza? It’s perfect by all standards. The crust is perfectly charred and thin, the sauce is on the light side and the generous globs of cheese are as chewy as they should be. All of these factors, when executed with this level of precision, result in a pizza you won’t soon forget — a true masterpiece.

The reason I think Rubirosa is the BEST pizza in New York City is simple — I am satisfied excited by the simplest pizza known to man. How can a combination of crust, marinara sauce and cheese be so memorable? I’m guessing the secret is in the quality ingredients. I would eat here every day if I could.

Type of pizza: Whole pies only, one pizza is large enough to split between two.

Address: 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

NYC Best pizza
Best pizza New York City

Best Pizza New York City (post summary)

In sum, here’s the absolute best pizza spots in New York City

  1. Rubirosa Pizza
  2. Julianna’s Pizza
  3. John’s Of Bleecker Street
  4. Lucali’s Pizza
  5. Lombardi’s Pizza
  6. Prince Street Pizza
  7. Scarr’s Pizza
  8. Joe’s Pizza
  9. Patsy’s Pizza
  10. Roberta’s Pizza
  11. Mama’s Too!
  12. Una Pizza Napoletana
  13. Ribalta
  14. Kesté
  15. Di Fara

Map of the best pizza in NYC

Happy eating!

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