No doubt our list of the best New York pizza places is going to melt some minds into a globby cheesy blob, but we’re A-OK venturing off into controversy. Just like our top Chicago pizza places that invented a style of their own, New Yorkers also have a distinct pizza style of their own. Allow us to elaborate.
What’s Makes New York Pizza Different?
The top New York pizza places serve their pizza as large, thin-crust single slices usually with just cheese, also known as plain, regular, or cheese. Some even say that the minerals in the water in New York give their pizzas a better, distinct flavor.
But the method of serving their pies is only part of the equation, it’s also all about how New Yorkers enjoy eating this cheesy delectable. Ahh, the plot thickens…
How Do New Yorkers Eat Pizza?
Because of the enormously wide slices New York pizza slingers serve up, proper etiquette dictates that these slices are best when folded vertically, in half.
New Yorkers will tell you this is a tradition going back to their roots in Italy, but common sense tells you this is a good way to protect the roof of your mouth from burning, let the crust do its job.
Let’s also take into consideration that no one walks around more than a New Yorker. It’s no accident this is called “the city that never sleeps.”
We also have “a New York minute.” Both those phrases tell us that you’re not going to carry a large floppy slice of pizza on the go without folding it first. You might as well be running with scissors.
However this New York pizza tradition began, it’s definitely an art form mastered at an early age. Practice makes perfect, and we’ll even go out on a limb to suggest a true New Yorker could most likely fold their pizza slice into an origami bird. That’s how good they are.
Di Fara Pizza
Di Fara first opened in 1965 by Dom De Marco, who immigrated from the Province of Caserta in Italy, bringing first-hand knowledge of the art of making pizzas.
He spent the next 53 years perfecting his craft, where at the young age of 82, still hand-crafts these perfect slices for you.
In 2018, Forbes added Di Fara to their All-Star Eateries in New York list, calling it pizza perfection, while the New York Post considers them one of the 6 best slices in New York.
Dom’s daughter, Margaret Mieles who now co-owns now with her father, says another desirability factor outside of their imported ingredients is that their slices are served alongside Calabrian chilies that she says are “nearly impossible to find” elsewhere in the US.
Back in 1924, Lombardi’s Pizzaria was selling slices for 5 cents each, so add in a little for inflation and you can get a “regular” at Di Fara’s for 5 bucks.
With a combination of New York and Neapolitan styles, this is still a bargain making this one of our top New York pizza places to go. We’d highly recommend New Orleans for more foodie adventures, especially during Mardi Gras! for a different slice of heaven.
Song’ E Napule
Helmed by Ciro Lovine, he’s been a pizza maker since he was 13 while living in Fuorigrotta, Italy. Everyone will tell you that being in what he calls “his little den,” and you really do feel like you’re in Italy.
Needless to say, he’s mastered the Neapolitan pizza, also known as Naples-style pizza. Ciro’s choice for ingredients is all strictly Italian, and the wondrous scents of roasted tomatoes, exuberant spices, and melting, bubbly cheese fill the space.
Here where Greenwich and Soho meet, the unmistakable Neapolitan scent pervades the entire place, beckoning true pizza aficionados inside.
He only uses Sicilian extra virgin olive oil and San Marzano DOP tomatoes. Mozzarella, ricotta, and buffalo provola cheese are products of Aversa so he’s keeping it real through and through. We also give him thumbs up on a nearly perfect leopard spotting on his thin crust that puffs up perfectly along the sides.
We have to start this one out with a most excellent quote from proprietor Joe Pozzuoli, “no fancy pants pies…” A little attitude truly authenticates that this is the real deal when it comes to New York pizza places. We’re guessing these top pizzas in Los Angeles fall into the category of fancy pants pies.
Named “Best Pizza of New York” by NEW YORK MAGAZINE and GQ Magazine listing Joe’s Pizza as one of the “best 25 Pizzas on Earth.” this is definitely the quintessential meal for those who favor common pants.
35 years and going strong, you’ll still find Joe at his Carmine Street location doing what he does best, running one of the best New York slice joints in town.
When Kevin Bacon was asked what he would want his last meal to be? Without hesitation, he stated “A slice of pizza from Joe’s on Carmine Street in New York City.”
Now a bicoastal pizza joint establishing new roots in Culver City, it’s easier to sink your teeth into a slice of heaven without going all the way to New York.
Nothing makes perfect leopard spots better than a wood-fired oven, and you can almost taste the crunchy crust just by looking at these blistered culinary masterpieces.
These pizzas are delicious, thin, and artisanal, making no bones about promising any kind of atmosphere. Ironically, the floor-to-ceiling graffiti and hipster staff with a bit of ‘tude (per some disgruntled reviewers) do create an atmosphere.
But let’s face it, you don’t go in for world-renowned pizza to converse with the staff. You go for the world-renowned pizza.
Folks rave about the crust, and thanks to some stealthy work by the New York Times, we have the recipe if you want to make the dough at home. This is the kind of investigative reporting that’ll win Pulitzers from where we’re standing.
Lucali Pizza is a good place to meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. With no reservations and long lines to get a table, you’ll have plenty of time to get caught up. By the way, the long line is just to get your name on the list.
The good news is you’ll get a simple, yet epic artisanal Neapolitan pie made with fresh buffalo mozzarella, low-moisture mozzarella, and shaved Grana Padano.
Previously a construction worker, pizza-maker Mark Iacono switched to building pizzas out of pure passion, while wondering what to do with a shuttered childhood candy store he used to hang out at.
Fast forward, he’s still rooted in the same Carroll Gardens neighborhood, giving back to the community ten-fold with his now world-famous pies.
Word on the streets is that Jay Z and Beyoncé skipped the Grammys a few years ago to eat at Lucali’s. Celebs. What’re you gonna do?
New York style is a thing, and this includes their pizza – thin crust and single sliced, served piping hot on a paper plate. Another great topping to end your meal would be to visit this New York secret speakeasy bar afterward. You might even spot a celebrity, as they love the New York food scene.
Simplicity is the common theme here, but mixing authentic ingredients from Italy and using the perfect flour (grade 00) creates the complexity these masters create. This gives these pizzas their delectable flavor that makes waiting in long lines worth your time.