After several decades of diligent, focused taste tests, we've come to the inarguable conclusion that New York City has the best pizza in America, and MAYBE EVEN THE WORLD (sorry, Italy). And though the dollar slice has threatened to dilute our pool of pizza awesomeness lately, there are still a million amazing pizzerias and slice joints out there. Seriously, a million. This one was hard. Here's our painstakingly whittled-down list of favorites, plus a series of honorable mentions; leave your jeers/suggestions in the comments, please.

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(Photo via Roberta's website)

ROBERTA'S: Roberta's eyebrow-raising antics are easily lampooned—#neverforget unpaid farm internships and naked waitress—but there's no question that this Bushwick eatery makes a damn good brick-oven pizza. The famed Cheeses Christ ($15) is a dairy lover's dream, baked with a triple-threat combo of mozzarella, talleggio and parmiggiano cheese and sprinkled with black pepper. For the sweet-toothed crowd, there's the Bee Sting ($16), made with tomato, mozzarella and soppressata and topped with a generous dollop of honey. And they keep coming up with new, inventive creations, too, like the creatively-named Carlos Danger ($16) and the corn, garlic and pata di cabra-topped Children of the Corn ($16). Just be prepared for a long wait for a table—unless you happen to be Bill and Hillary Clinton, of course.

Roberta's is located at 261 Moore Street between White and Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-417-1118,

The Saint Louie (Via Yelp)

SPEEDY ROMEO: They make pizza a little differently in St. Louis, Missouri, using a cracker-thin yeast-free crust that's cut into squares, topped with a processed white cheese called Provel. New Yorkers can argue that this Midwestern creation isn't real pizza, but if it sounds totally unappealing to you, you probably haven't tried Speedy Romeo's version of the Saint Louie; the mouth-watering $16 pie is made with Italian sausage, pepperoni and pickled chilis, in addition to the mandatory Provel, which is flown in specially from its hometown. And if it's still not your thing, check out the more Northeast Corridor-friendly Kind Brother ($16), a thin-crust pie baked to charred perfection with wild mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and an egg and seasoned with sage.

Speedy Romeo is located at 376 Classon Ave between Greene and Lafayette Ave in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (718-230-0061,

Dean Martin (Via Yelp)

COALS: Don't let the strangely oblong-shaped pizza here turn you off; this Eastchester Road spot serves up a mean pie, even if it looks like suspiciously like something you cooked in your Easy Bake Oven back in the day. Coals' pizzas are grilled and made with flatbread crust, lending the pies a unique taste and texture even the staunchest of classic slice diehards can get into. Try the Dean Martin ($8 small/$15 large) made with fontinella, fresh mozzarella, tomato, pepperoni and pecorino, or the Heaven Scent ($8/$16), made with a rich aged provolone, mozzarella and fresh garlic. Be sure save room for dessert, because there is a $5 Nutella pizza to be had. Oh yes.

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

Pugliese (Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

MOTORINO: It was a sad day in August 2011 when Williamsburg's Leaning Tower of Motorino met its maker up in the Big Pizza Pie in the Sky. Luckily, though, Motorino didn't abandon Brooklyn forever, and nearly three months ago the venerable Mathieu Palombino-owned Neopolitan pizzeria made a triumphant return to the borough, opening a shiny new restaurant near the Williamsburg Bridge. And the floppy-crusted pies are still delicious, even if the building they're made in isn't so tilt-y. Check out the Pugliese ($17), a savory pie made with stracciatella, broccolini, spicy sausage, garlic, chili flakes and pecorino; or opt for the $16 Soppressata Picante pie, a fiery combination of fior di latte, soppressata, chili flakes, garlic, oregano and pecorino. Do note that Motorino's Brooklyn location is still waiting on its liquor license, so if you want a beer with your 'za, head to its East Village outpost instead.

Motorino is located at 139 Broadway between Driggs Ave and South 6th Street in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 599-8899,, and at 349 East 12th Street between First and Second Ave in the East Village (212-777-2644,

PATSY'S PIZZERIA: Patsy's is one of the city's oldest pizzerias, having opened its East Harlem location in 1933. And though a number of imitations have sprung up over the past 80 years, Pasquale and Carmella Lancieri's original joint is still the best. The paper-thin crust pies are hearty and coal-fired so they've got just the right charred hint. They've got specialty pizzas like the fresh-tasting Margherita ($18) and the meatball-topped Polpette pie ($20), or you can opt for a $12 plain pie and choose from an assortment of toppings for $3-$5.50 each. If you're in a rush, Patsy's also has a takeout counter a few doors down from the main restaurant; there, piping-hot plain slices run a cheap $1.75 each. Cash only, y'all.

The original Patsy's is located at 2287 First Ave between 117th and 118th Street in East Harlem (212-534-9783,

Totonno's coal oven pizza (NYCviaRachel/Flickr)

TOTONNO'S: This South Brooklyn joint is another major player in New York's pizza history; Antonio "Totonno" Pero—a former employee at pioneering pizzeria Lombardi's—opened Totonno's on Neptune Ave in 1924. Since then, they've faced extinction a few times—a 2009 fire knocked them out for months, and extensive damage stemming from Hurricane Sandy shuttered the pizzeria until the end of March. Luckily, though, they're back to baking stellar coal-fired pies, though note that they're only open Wednesdays through Sundays, with nightly last seatings at 7:30 p.m. Pizzas are basic, with small pies running $16.50 and larges for $19.50; toppings like anchovies, pepperoni, sausage and mushroom are an additional $2.50 each.

Totonno's is located at 1524 Neptune Ave between 15th and 16th Street in Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-372-8606).

Via Yelp

LOUIE AND ERNIE'S: Locals rave about this Schuylerville pizza joint, which has been dishing out tasty slices and pies in the neighborhood for decades. The place has been run by brothers Cosimo and Johnny Tiso since 1987, and the pizziaolo duo are masters at whipping up the perfect paper-thin crust. Try the white pie ($17 for a small, $19 for a large), with its creamy mozzarella cheese soaking into the crunchy bread, or a hearty sausage slice ($3.75), drizzled with savory tomato sauce and topped with pork from a local butcher.

Louie and Ernie's is located at 1300 Crosby Avenue in the Bronx (718-829-6230).

(Photo Katie Sokoler/ Gothamist)

PAULIE GEE'S: There's a long-running debate at Gothamist HQ as to whether or not this lauded Greenpoint pizzeria really lives up to the hype, with a few complaints over burnt crust floating around. But there's still plenty to celebrate here, because if there's one thing Paulie Gee's does better than everyone else, it's toppings. Pies here can be pretty creative, with menu combos like gouda, Canadian bacon and maple syrup (Monte Cristo, $15), or mozzarella, sopressata, Italian fennel sausage and Mike’s Hot Honey (Hellified Porkpie White, $17). They've also got a solid selection of vegan pies, like the zesty Vegan Greenpointer ($14) made with baby arugula, olive oil, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. If you're lucky, you might even make friends the famed Paulie (Gionnone) Gee himself; the self-taught pizziaolo's been known to chat up customers, even on busy nights.

Paulie Gee's is located at 60 Greenpoint Ave between West Street and Franklin Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-987-3747,

Via Yelp

ROSARIO'S PIZZA: When I lived on the Lower East Side in the earlier half of the aughts, Rosario's was our "fancy" slice joint, often visited after a night out or on the way to the next bar. Ah, youth and beer and pizza. But unlike other pizza places you may visit while on the search to soak up alcohol, this one stood up to the Sober Test—it is good any hour of the day. The slices (starting at $2) are hearty, and just one thick spinach slice can be a legitimate full meal. But if you're hungover, the favorite there is the Bacon Cheeseburger Slice, which comes topped with American cheese slices. (Jen Carlson)

Rosario's is located at 173 Orchard Street between Stanton and Houston Street on the Lower East Side (212-777-9813).

Flickr user SpecialKRB

DI FARA: No Best Pizza roundup is complete with the beloved Brooklyn institution Di Fara pizzeria... home of the $5 slice and interminably long lines (tip: just get there right before opening and you'll be set). While the pizza can stand on its own, there are other factors that make this a cult fave. The journey to Midwood, the old school stuck-in-time no-frills atmosphere, the BYOB, and of course legendary owner Don DeMarco, who stands at the counter generously topping your pizza with olive oil and fresh cut basil. This place is especially good for those who crave a thicker slice, and a hot oil cheese slide. (Jen Carlson)

Di Fara is located at 1424 Avenue J in Midwood, Brooklyn (718-258-1367,

(John Del Signore / Gothamist)

LUCALI: With its unassuming old school decor, dim lighting, and simple open kitchen, this modest pizza restaurant on a quiet street in Carroll Gardens feels like it's been operating since the mid 19th century, but it's only been in business since 2006. Perfectionist pizzaiolo Mark Iacono opened his little restaurant in an old candy story on Henry Street that he used to frequent as a child, and it quickly became one of the most popular pizza destinations in New York. Jay Z and Beyonce are regulars, and the standard wait time for a table on a Friday night is typically fuggedaboudit.

Go on a weeknight and give one of the servers your name and number, then wait a couple blocks away at Bar Bruno. They usually call earlier than expected (I've typically waited about a half hour but sometimes less than five minutes), so make sure you've bought your wine or any other alcoholic beverages you might want in advance. (Lucali is BYOB, with no B.S. corking fee.) The serious-looking man in the back of the room wearing a white T-shirt is Iacono, and he presides over his ingredients and wood oven with the attentiveness of a surgeon.

Many of the toppings are grown fresh in the backyard, and the pies' overall freshness is impeccable. The edges are crisp—but not too crisp or too burned—and the center is soft without being soupy. Save room for a small calzone, which is the only other thing on the menu and comes out warm and transcendent like heaven has descended upon the earth in the form of Italian food. (John Del Signore)

Lucali is located at 575 Henry Street between Carroll and Summit Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-858-4086). Cash only.

Denino's Pizza via Jack W. on Yelp)

DENINO'S If we've told you once, we've told you 35 times: Staten Island has some amazing pizza. And though we could go on and on about all our favorites in the Forgotten Borough, our hearts belong to Denino's Tavern and it's there that we've made a happy pizza place in our minds. You can find the fancy mozzarella stuff here but to order it would be to miss the point of this no-frills, tavern-style pizza joint that turns out deliciously cheesy and greasy pies that will help soak up the multiple pitchers of beer you can't help but order. We're partial to their sausage pies: savory crumbles of well-seasoned meat nestled into globs of melted cheese sitting on a thin, just barely cripsy along the edges crust.

The decor hasn't changed much since the joint started serving pizza in the 1950's except for some coats of fresh paint and the addition of historical Staten Island shots along the walls. The service won't win any awards and the waits can be interminable on the weekends but one bite of their magnificent pies and you'll wonder why you haven't visited before. (Nell Casey)

Denino's Tavern is located at 524 Port Richmond Avenue in Elm Park, Staten Island, (718) 442-9401;

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Seriously, it's really hard to round up the best pizza places in this city. Here are a few niche spots that didn't quite make the top 12 cut, but are well worth a visit if you're craving a quick slice.

Best Dollar Slice: PERCY'S PIZZA
190 Bleecker Street between Sixth Ave and Downing Street
2255 31st Street in Astoria, Queens (718-728-2920,
Best Jumbo Slice: KORONET PIZZA
4087 Broadway between 172nd and 173rd Street in Washington Heights (646-559-5566); 2848 Broadway between 111th Street and Cathedral Parkway in Morningside Heights (212-222-1566).
Best Late-Night Drunk Slice: ARTICHOKE BASILLE'S PIZZA
324 East 14th Street between First and Second Ave in the East Village (212-228-2004,; 114 Tenth Ave between 17th and 18th Street in Chelsea (212-792-9200,
Best Corner Slice: BEST PIZZA
33 Havemeyer Street between North 7th and North 8th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-2210,