Brooklyn might boast Totonno's, Di Fara and L&B Spumoni Gardens, Staten Island's got Denino's and Joe & Pat's and Manhattan has a smattering of slice joints including the original Patsy's. But the Bronx holds its own when it comes to New York's famous pie, and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. isn't one to mince words when it comes to praising his home turf's goods.

Bronx Borough President Diaz demonstrates the proper pizza folding technique at Coals (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

"The Bronx has the best pizza," he told us over lunch at Coal's, one of his (and our) favorites in the city. Diaz, who grew up in the Soundview section of the borough, says he's always appreciated a solid New York slice. "Where else, when you're a school kid and dad only gave you $2, where else are you going to get a whole meal?" he said. "When we went to Yankee games, if we got tickets we went to the bleachers, but we couldn't afford to buy anything at the stadium. So if you're going to be at the stadium for three, four hours, what would you do? We ate pizza."

Like most New Yorkers, Diaz sees pizza as an epicurean art form. "You start to develop an appreciation and a love for this New York delicacy," he said. "Then you start going around and you start taste testing. And then you start having debates, because everyone, no matter who they are, swears they know where the best pizza is."

He agrees that a bad slice of pizza is a sad, sad experience. "What makes a bad slice of pizza? The sauce, cheap cheese, and also if it's burnt. For me, when it's either too hot and burns the roof of your mouth, or when it's soggy. Soggy pizza is not good pizza. When it's really greasy it gives you a stomachache." As for the pizza in Albany, where Diaz spent some time in his former role as a State Assemblyman: "Terrible. It was dry."

Diaz gave us a few tips on some of his favorite places in the Bronx; we've rounded them up for you, with a couple others worth mentioning thrown into the mix. Take a look, and let us know your favorites in the comments.

Pizza from Coals (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

COALS: Diaz is a big fan of this funky pizza joint, located near Morris Park Ave across the street from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "This place is to die for," he told us. "When I come here with my wife and kids, the week before [my son] left for college, we came here and chowed down about five of these, the four of us." Coal's pizza is grilled and super thin-crust, with offerings including the popular Dean Martin (fontinella, fresh mozzarella, tomato, pepperoni, pecorino $8/$15), the delectably rich Rustic (fontinella, fresh mozzarella, roasted mushrooms, truffle oil, grana padano and garlic $9/$18) and Diaz's pick, the Heaven Scent (aged provolone, fresh mozzarella, tomato, fresh garlic $8/$16). "This is my favorite because of all the garlic," he says.

Coals is located at 1888 Eastchester Road in the Bronx (718-823-7002,

Cheese slices from Yankee Pizza (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

NEW YANKEE SK PIZZA: Diaz's old assembly office was near this under-the-radar pizza joint, and he says it's a prime spot to get a classic New York slice. "Even before that, we always went to Yankee Pizza," he says. Located under the 6 train station at Morrison-Soundview, two plain slices and a soda here will run you $6; the slices are massive, slathered with gooey fresh cheese, piping hot sauce and a firm crust.

Diaz says he's mastered the art of pizza-folding and eating here. "I do two napkins, fold the pizza. I'm a folder but I don't eat the crust that way. I open it back up. I break it in half. I take the corner of the wax paper, I put a corner in where I'm gonna crease the crust. Then I fold it, bring the paper back. Then I put two napkins and here I go. Then I open up [the crust] and I break it at the crease."

New Yankee Sk Pizza is located at 1616 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx (718-378-4488).

The Margherita at Zero Otto Nove (Jen Chung/Gothamist)

ZERO OTTO NOVE: Another Arthur Ave stronghold, this lovely spot is modeled after a Tuscan trattoria, complete with rustic decor and a streetview mural. And though Diaz is a self-proclaimed slice guy, he's also a big fan of Zero Otto Nove's stellar brick oven pies. The margherita ($13.95) is made with a fresh and flavorful tomato sauce and topped with juicy mozzarella sauce and basil; the spicy diavola ($14.95) is topped with a feisty soppressata sausage, and the unique La Ricardo ($13.95) is made with butternut squash puree, smoked mozzarella and pancetta.

Zero Otto Nove is located at 2357 Arthur Ave in the Bronx (718-220-1027,

A cheese slice, with a little red pepper, from Napoli's (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

NAPOLI'S BEST PIZZA: "This is a delicious slice," Diaz says of this cozy East Tremont joint. And it is; for $2.50, you get a steaming, hearty triangle heavy with hot cheese and savory sauce, coated with just enough oil that you can dab at it without soaking through a whole napkin.

Diaz says he likes the neighborhood joints that have stayed small and family-owned over the years. "What's happened a lot is that employees have bought a lot of the owners out," he told us. The employees keep the old pizza-making tradition and taste. "And it stays in the community," he says. He also sees the East Tremont area emerging as a major food destination soon. "You have City Island for seafood, Arthur Ave for Italian," he said. "East Tremont has a little bit of everything."

Napoli's Best Pizza is located at 521 East Tremont Ave in the Bronx (718-299-0759).

The buffala mozzarella pizza at Patricia's (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

PATRICIA'S: Another stellar brick oven spot is this family-run Morris Park affair, which serves pizza and other Italian delicacies in a romantic, brick-walled setting. The specialty here is the Regina ($12/$18), a hearty, fluffy-crusted pie made with fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil; also of note is the veggie-heavy La Gardinia ($12/$18) made with grilled eggplant, zucchini and portobello mushrooms. And Diaz says the pizza isn't Patricia's' only draw: "They make a great seared octopus appetizer," he tells us.

Patricia's is located at 1082 Morris Park Ave in the Bronx (718-409-9069,

Full Moon Pizza (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

FULL MOON PIZZERIA: Arthur Ave is the borough's ground zero for Italian delicacies, and this upscale slice joint combines traditional pizza with the simplicity of a classic New York slice. Though the slices are slightly pricier than those at Napoli and Yankee Pizza—think $3 for a plain slice, with veggie and meat slices running upwards of $4—the crust is thinner and crispier, and the ingredients taste fresher and higher quality.

Full Moon Pizzeria is located at 600 East 187th Street in the Bronx (718-584-3451).

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Though we didn't get a chance to taste-test these pizzas, they've come highly-recommended by the BP's office (and we hope to give them a try ourselves sometime soon!)

Morris Park Pizzeria
656 Morris Park Ave (718-931-9191)

Tosca Cafe
4038 East Tremont Ave (718-239-3300,

Giovanni's Restaurant
579 Grand Concourse (718) 402-6996,

Broadway Joe's Pizza
5983 Broadway (718-796-0376)

Yolanda Restaurant and Pizzeria
292 East 149th Street (718-993-2709)

Here's our Foursquare list of these establishments (that are on Foursquare); you can also tell us what we missed in the comments below!