Diner Most-Loved

The 25 Most Popular Pizza Places in NYC

In America's pizza capitol, these pies reign supreme.

12 min read
4/18/2022
Cav Blog: Grimaldi's

There may be no food more associated with New York than pizza. Whether it’s the humble city slice or a charred-to-perfection Neapolitan pie, New Yorkers take pizza seriously. But what does “New York pizza” mean these days? The definition of “the best pizza” has swelled as great pizzaiolos have elevated the craft to new heights. These are the restaurants making the best pies and slices in NYC — based on what Caviar diners order most.

Cav Blog - Barano

1. Barano

Chef Albert Di Meglio brings his experience from what were once some of the city’s top restaurants — Le Cirque and Windows on the World — to this dedicated pizza space in South Williamsburg. Dishes, including superlative pies, all come out of a wood-fired grill. And while his grill produces plenty to love that isn’t pizza, Di Meglio’s top-notch dough, topped with mindfully sourced Italian cheeses, is reason alone to order.

2. Rubirosa

Staten Island’s legendary Joe & Pat’s takes the ferry to Manhattan via AJ Pappalardo, son of the pizzeria’s Giuseppe Pappalardo. At Rubirosa, the Pappalardo family recipe is the inspiration for a new family classic: thin-crusted, cheese-light pies cooked in a brick oven. Order the vodka sauce and pesto-topped Tie-Dye pizza for the best taste of what Rubirosa has to offer.

3. Emily (Fulton Street)

Emily and Matthew Hyland’s devotion to pizza dates back to their Rhode Island college days, but Emily is decidedly New York pizza. Wood-fired pizzas come in red, white, and pink versions, and the toppings are diverse. The red-sauced Modern brings together herbs, garlic, pecorino, onion, basil, and Szechuan oil, while the aromatic white pizza, called the Emily, features mozzarella, pistachio, truffle sottocenere, and honey. Don’t skip it.

Cav Blog: Emmy Squared

4. Emmy Squared

The Hylands are at it again, this time with a Detroit-style joint. Square-cut pies are baked into sheet trays and then cut into thick, brown, chewy-yet-crusty pitch-perfect slices. The Roni Supreme has a backbone of heat thanks to Calabrian chiles, but don’t sleep on the Quinn, a cheese-focused affair made better by the addition of smoked gouda, pecorino, and ricotta.

5. Speedy Romeo (Brooklyn)

A 100-year-old bar-turned-liquor store-turned auto parts shop now plays host to one of Brooklyn’s finest pizzerias. Speedy Romeo is named for co-owner Todd Feldman’s champion race horse, but the restaurant has myriad other influences, from the Italian wood-fired pizza oven to the handmade mozzarella to the locally sourced produce. Order the St. Louie, an ode to the chef’s hometown: a red pie rich with pepperoni, Italian sausage, and Missouri’s very own provel cheese blend.

6. Lil Frankie's (New York)

A custom-built brick oven that can reach fiery temperatures of 900 degrees is the centerpiece of this pizza place, which boasts thin-crusted delights to adoring crowds. Purists can order their pizza traditionally (Margherita, marinara, and even bianca, which brings a hint of truffle oil into the mix). But for those living on the edge, the ortolana pie is the way to go: zucchini, eggplant, mozzarella, mushrooms, and a slightly bitter note from radicchio, which makes all the difference.

Cav Blog - Paulie Gee's Slice Shop

7. Paulie Gee's Slice Shop (Franklin St.)

Paulie Giannone, the unofficial pizza king of Greenpoint, draws inspiration from the slice shops of the 1960s and 1970s at this Sicilian pie and NYC slice-specific spot. Specialties include incomparable gems like the Hellboy: a slice made with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoni, and Mike’s hot honey.

8. Eataly NYC Flatiron

It’s no surprise that the pizzas at La Pasta and La Pizza — the restaurant within New York’s cavernous monument to Italian food, Eataly — made the list of top pies in the city. With over 10 Neapolitan-style pies to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong, but one decadent way to go right is to tuck into the eggplant Parm version, which marries two tried-and-true classics. Fried eggplant and creamy buffalo mozzarella atop expertly cooked pizza? You had us at hello.

Cav Blog - Roberta's

9. Roberta's (Bushwick)

What would Brooklyn pizza be, really, without the legend that is Roberta’s? The restaurant that is now a nationally known brand continues to set a high bar when it comes to pizza-making. Roberta’s has always enjoyed a cheeky sense of humor, and we’re better for it; some of their pizza selections, which can be ordered right to you, include items like the Cheesus Christ, the meat-heavy Widowmaker, and the Axl Rosenberg.

10. Barboncino (Franklin Ave.)

Pizzaiolo Ron Brown spent six summers in Italy before apprenticing in the art of Neapolitan pizza-making. Which is to say: Barboncino is serious about pizza. Pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven that has been imported from Naples. And beyond the more traditional pies ±— margherita, marinara, four-cheese — the restaurant offers some compelling combinations, like artichoke with smoked pancetta, anchovy with black olive and capers, and cremini mushroom with hot fennel sausage.

Cav Blog - Joe's Pizza

11. Joe's Pizza (14th St.)

It’s nearly impossible to utter the words Joe’s Pizza without mentioning that it’s a veritable institution. This Greenwich Village pizza spot has captivated pizza lovers since 1975 when its Napoli owner, Joe Pozzuoli, first opened its doors. Although the original location has shifted slightly from its original Bleecker Street digs, the pizza remains among the city’s finest. (Some New Yorkers argue that the classic cheese pie is NYC’s Best in Class.)

12. Joe & Pat's Pizzeria

Thin-crust pizza has reigned supreme for over 60 years at Giuseppe and Pasquale Pappalardo’s ode to Italy in New York City. A family recipe lives on in perpetuity at this must-visit haunt, where the most famous pizza proudly announces its heritage. We’re talking about the 1960 original 16” — a pie rich with tomato and mozzarella that has more than stood the test of time.

13. F&F Pizzeria

Restaurateurs Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli have joined forces with bakers Chris Bianco and Chad Robertson, converting an old garage into a lively pizzeria. The classic New York slice may not need much improving upon, but F&F does it anyway, using impeccable ingredients and time-honored techniques.

Cav Blog - Milkflower

14. Milkflower

Astoria, Queens, was once the borough’s answer to all things Greek. Today, it’s a cultural melting pot, and pizza has not escaped the neighborhood’s culinary reign. At Milkflower, brothers Peter and Danny Aggelatos and Yair Lenchner pair their skill sets with an Italian-built pizza oven, baking chewy, charred pizzas that are as vibrant as Astoria itself.

15. Marta (29th St.)

Situated in The Redbury Hotel New York, Marta harnesses Roman cooking and the nearby Union Square farmer’s market with wafer-thin pizzas that track the seasons. The so-called Butcher invokes Italy’s famous cured meats: sopressata, guanciale, and pork sausage are the perfect trifecta atop this compelling pie.

Cav Blog - Fornino

16. Fornino (Greenpoint)

Since 2013, Fornino has warmed the hearts, souls, and pizza-loving stomachs of Greenpointers looking for a Neapolitan-style pie. With a wood-burning oven that churns out perfectly charred pies, it’s no wonder that this pizza spot is still immensely popular after nearly a decade.

17. Bleecker Street Pizza (7th Ave.)

Peppered with accolades from the Food Network, USA Today, The New York Times, and just about everyone else, Bleecker Street is straight up New York-style pizza, with a thin crust, homemade sauce, and springy cheese. Here, original means classic, and classic is best: you can’t go wrong with the cheese pie, an emblem of New York City pizza culture.

18. Grimaldi’s (Avenue of the Americas)

The family business that began over 100 years ago continues today with the same coal-fired oven, though now Grimaldi’s has expanded far beyond Brooklyn, where they originally became famous. That’s good news, of course, for anyone who ever had to wait in line for these perfect slices. The 16” Grimaldi’s pizza is made with the pizzeria’s secret recipe sauce, hand-sliced mozzarella, and basil, and comes topped with a signature cheese and spice blend. Get it while it’s hot.

Cav Blog: Montesacro

19. Montesacro

A dedication to Rome and to GMO-free products drives this Brooklyn pinseria —or Roman pizzeria. Pinsa dough is made from a blend of rice, soy, and wheat flours which have been imported from Rome. Pinsa, a hand-pressed pizza dough with a history in Roman cooking, is a longer, chewier cousin to the more ubiquitous Neapolitan pie, and Brooklyn is better for its arrival. As to which pinsa is best, that may be a matter of personal preference, but don’t skip the titular Montesacro: mozzarella, crushed roasted potato, lamb sausage, artichoke, and a drizzle of rosemary oil.

20. Scarr's Pizza

Whether you like your pies thick, thin, or draped in meat, this pizzeria no doubt has the pie for you. Topping choices are plentiful (there are nearly 20 options, with items as diverse as fried eggplant, vegan cheese, and ricotta), and pizzas come in multiple sizes for those households where sharing is not an option. As for the ongoing debate over which pizza reigns supreme – thin crust, Sicilian, or Grandma – well, we’ll leave that to you to decide.

21. Serafina - Meatpacking

Serafina’s backstory begins on a boat — literally. Owners and friends Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato became lost at sea. There, they dreamed of pizza and vowed to open a restaurant if they survived. In 1995, they made their promise a reality, and their pizzas, it turns out, are as legendary as their origin story. If you must choose, order the stellar pizza all uovo, which comes with sliced tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, and one slightly runny egg, right in the center, the perfect coda to this ultimate American dream. Serafina’s TriBeCa and Upper West Side locations are also extremely popular on Caviar.

Cav Blog: Motorino

22. Motorino (Columbus Ave.)

It’s hard not to appreciate Motornino’s chewy, slightly charred pies, which Mathieu Palombino has been producing from Motorino’s Columbus Avenue outpost since 2016. The restaurant serves a little bit of Naples on the Upper West Side: a Margherita pizza with fior di latte, fresh basil, and pecorino; a cremini mushroom pizza with gaeta olives, thyme, and sausage; a sopressata picante pizza with oregano, chili flakes, and sea salt. Pizzas are simple and satisfying in the best way imaginable. Not on the Upper West Side? Motorino has Brooklyn and East Village locations, too.

23. Pasquale Jones

If you prefer that your pizza bring a taste of the ocean, then the pizza at Pasquale Jones, stationed right in the heart of Little Italy, is for you. The restaurant’s clam pie, baked in its signature wood-fired oven and made better with the addition of lemon, plenty of garlic, and just enough bitter broccoli rabe, is a must-order.

24. Di Fara Pizzeria - LES

At 82 years old, you might expect Domenico De Marco to take a hiatus from pizza-making. But at Di Fara, which De Marco founded in Midwood, Brooklyn in 1965, the pizzaiolo is very much still a fixture. The Lower East Side outpost of this legendary pizza spot is also a family affair, and Di Fara devotees know that there’s only one order: the classic pie, topped with sausage, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Cav Blog: Lucali

25. Lucali

Carroll Gardens’ Lucali has long been known as the pizza place that requires patience. This famed spot is known for its minimalist menu, its BYOB policy, its cash-only payment style, and, yes, its long wait list. But, oh, the glory. You can have your perfect — and yes, we do mean perfect — Lucali pie delivered now, and this is a true cause for celebration. A handful of toppings are available for the charred, chewy, fresh basil-topped pies. Honestly? You don’t need a single one.

Author

Hannah Selinger

Use the code SPOTLIGHT10 for $10 off your first order of $30 or more.