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 10 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 Rogers, who loves pizza even more than I do. But I’m catching up.
Types of pizza in New York City
Here’s a quick run down 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 New York City
#10. Song’ E Napule
In many ways, walking into Song’ E Napule feels like stepping foot into Naples, Italy. It also doesn’t hurt that Song’ E Napule’s pizza is the BEST option for authentic Neapolitan pizza in NYC.
It’s chewy and charred and the toppings are generous without taking away from the famous texture Neapolitan pizza is known for.
Type of pizza: Neapolitan, personal pies only.
Location: 146 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012
#9. 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 it 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.
#8. Joe’s Pizza
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.
It’s no wonder this is an iconic NYC pizza joint. Also, 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. Thankfully there’s an ATM is right outside the store.
Location: 7 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
#7. 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 — fussy 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).
Location: 22 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
#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
Location: 27 Prince St A, New York, NY 10012
#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.
Location: 32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
#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.
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.
Location: 278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
#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.
Location: 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
#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).
Location: Various (I suggest visiting the flagship store: 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206)
“Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.” – Bill Murray
#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.
Location: 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Best Pizza Spots New York City (Honorable Mentions)
- Louie & Earnies
- Di Fara Pizza
- Mama’s Too
- Sal and Carmine Pizza
- Luigi’s Pizza
- Totonno Pizzaria Napolitana
- Lucali Pizza
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Best Pizza New York City (post summary)
In sum, here’s the absolute best pizza spots in New York City
- Rubirosa Pizza
- Julianna’s Pizza
- John’s Of Bleecker Street
- Lombardi’s Pizza
- Prince Street Pizza
- Scarr’s Pizza
- Joe’s Pizza
- Patsy’s Pizza
- Roberta’s Pizza
- Song’ E Napule
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Until next time,
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