Earlier this year, I took a walking tour of Pittsburgh's Little Italy, and ended up at a pizzeria my tour guide declared was, "Just as good as the pizza in New York!" It was not. This city has the only pizza worth eating, after all (suck it, Naples), and a slice anywhere else is merely a slobbery bread triangle covered in marinara sauce and some poor excuse for cheese.

So, once again, we've taken the painstaking effort to compile all the best pizza places in the city, be they fancy artisanal pies, casual slice joints, old school pizzerias or (gasp!) non-New York style (though we still firmly believe that there is no such thing as "New York style," there is merely Pizza and there is Not Pizza). Here are our favorites; as always, leave your death threats in the comments.


(Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

PAULIE GEE'S: You may have to wait a small lifetime for a table here, but once you're seated, pizzaiolo Paulie Giannone and crew will treat you to a cheesy feast of epic proportions. This Greenpoint spot's real prowess in its toppings, creatively piled atop doughy, flaky crust. The Cherry Jones ($18) is outstanding— the white pie is covered in melted mozzarella and gorgonzola cheeses, and topped with Prosciutto di Parma, dried bing cherries and orange blossom honey. The Hellboy ($17) is another killer pie, made with a meaty mix of fresh mozzarella, parmigiano Reggiano, Italian tomatoes and sopressata piccante and drizzled with Mike's HOT Honey.

And for the veggies-only set, Paulie Gee's offers a slew of vegetarian and vegan pies, including the Vegan Greenpointer (Baby Arugula, Olive Oil, Post Oven Fresh Lemon Juice and Nutritional Yeast, $14) and a Simply Red vegan pie ($10) that can be topped with housemade vegan fennel sausage, cashew ricotta and other herbivore-friendly additions for an added few bucks.

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

Via Yelp

LUCALI: This cash-only Carroll Gardens restaurant usually fills to the gills thanks to its no reservations policy, but like the aforementioned Paulie Gee's, those few hours (possibly less on a weeknight!) of waiting at Bar Bruno only amplify the pure pizza deliciousness that will be bestowed upon you once seated. Plump, steaming wood oven-baked Neapolitan pies come packed with the usual suspects—mushrooms, pepperoni, onions, peppers, basil and other classics, most of which are grown in Lucali's backyard garden—and run about $24-a-pie plus toppings.

If the pizza's not enough for you, Lucali's calzones are among the best in the city, stuffed with hot cheese, sauce and other fresh ingredients—bring your preferred bottle of wine (the restaurant is BYOB) and eat until your waiter is forced to roll you toward the F train.

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

Pugliese (Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

MOTORINO: Motorino's been Williamsburg's reigning Neapolitan pizza king since 2008, not counting a brief, tragic closure in 2011. Now, though, the restaurant's relocated to new digs South Williamsburg, where it serves up the spectacular, floppy-crusted pies that made it famous before the neighborhood gained a Starbucks.

If you aren't averse to Brussels Sprouts, the so-named pizza ($16) is particularly good, made with fior di latte, garlic, pecorino, smoked pancetta and extra-virgin olive oil. The fierce Soppressata Piccante ($16) is another favorite, topped with tomato sauce, fior di latte, chili flakes, orgeano, pecorino, olive oil and the spicy soppressata that lends the pie its name. And then there's the famed Pugliese ($16), Motorino's most delectable offering—that $17 bad boy comes with stracciatella, broccolini, and spicy sausage, sprinkled liberally with pecorino, olive oil, garlic and chili flakes.

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

ROBERTA'S: Sometimes it seems like this East Williamsburg/Bushwick-based pizzeria is better known for its hip hijinks than its pies. But naked waitresses, "terrorizing" honey bees and $700 mesh "Bushwick" tank tops aside, Roberta's still whips up some of the tastiest pizza in town. Waits here can rack up to 2-plus hours on busy nights (even on weekdays!), but you can pass the time by sipping cocktails in the restaurant's garden or bar area, or get your pizza to go if you wish.

Once feeding time commences, prepare to feast. The currently off-menu Bee Sting ($16) is a personal favorite, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella and soppressata and doused in delectable sweet honey. Then there's the feisty Paparizza ($15), made with romesco, mozzarella, smoked paprika sausage and onion; the creative Nightman ($16), topped with Ascutney Mountain cheese, eggplant and tomato; or the piquant Tasty Flavor ($15), a puttanesca-sauce pizza complemented with capers, arbequina olive, parley and lemon. Note that pizzas rotate regularly, and some of your favorites (the Involto, the Roy Rogers, the Guanciale & Egg) may still be available off-menu, so be sure to check with your server.

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

EMILY: Newcomer Emily opened in Clinton Hill just this past January, but it's already more than earned a place on this list. Chef Matt Hyland, who runs the restaurant with wife Emily (get it?), whips up spectacular thin-crust pies in a wood-fired oven, with outstanding offerings including the $19 namesake pizza made with mozzarella, pistachios, truffle sottocenere and honey. The Colony ($17) is another worthy pie—made with red sauce and mozzarella and topped with pepperoni, pickled chili and honey—as is the carnivore-friendly pepperoni, sausage and ham-topped RM3! ($19). Prices are steep here if you go beyond the basics (some of the plainer pies run $14-and-under), but the pizza's made so lovingly you can taste it. Save room for dessert—the Hylands make a killer marshmallow and chocolate S'Mores calzone ($10).

Emily is located at 919 Fulton Street between Waverly and Clinton Avenues in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (347-844-9588, pizzalovesemily.com).

Honorable Mention: Franny's, Keste


DI FARA: Mayor de Blasio's heralded this Midwood pizzeria as the best in the city back during his campaign days, and for good reason. The pizza itself is old school goodness, with thick basic slices all topped with fresh basil and drizzled olive oil—you can get basic toppings like sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms, in addition to speciality offerings like porcini mushrooms, broccoli rabe and prosciutto. Don DeMarco, who's owned this delectable spot since 1964, stills mans the pizza station behind the counter, making a visit to Di Fara (and a long wait on a line) well worth it. Do note, though, that legends come with a price tag—a slice here runs a whole $5, and pies are $28 to $38, so do with that what you will.

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

Totonno's coal oven pizza (NYCviaRachel/Flickr)

TOTONNO'S: Totonno's is another old school spot, serving up basic pies out of its stripped down, 90-year-old Coney Island space. There's nothing artisanal or precious here—pick a small or large pie, choose a topping (mushroom, pepperoni, anchovies, etc.), sit at a small red table and eat absolutely perfect, cheesy coal-fired slices until your gut explodes. Small pies run $16.50 and large pies are $19.50, with toppings clocking in at an extra $2.50 each. Note that they're closed Mondays through Wednesdays and they don't sell pizza by the slice here, so come hungry and bring cash.

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

Via Yelp

NICK'S PIZZA: Nick's Pizza isn't as "classic" as some of the others in this category, having opened in Forest Hills in 1993—hell, even I'd been born already! But it wins a spot here anyway thanks to the stripped down style in which it serves its pies. Pizza here isn't dolled up and drizzled with honey (not that there's anything wrong with that!) and you probably won't have to wait two hours for a table. Instead, $16.50 large pies (+ $2.50-$4 for toppings) are crisply thin-crusted, brick oven-baked and topped with basics like sausage, mushroom, peppers and meatballs—you can even get additions like broccoli rabe and prosciutto if you're feeling fancy.

Nick's Pizza is located at 10826 Ascan Ave in Forest Hills, Queens (718-263-1126).

Denino's Pizza via Jack W. on Yelp)

DENINO'S: This Staten Island spot doesn't pretend to be anything it's not: a no-frills, family pizzeria that let's the pies—and not the atmosphere—do the heavy lifting. And that's part of what makes it so lovable. Sure, hip hotspots might boast a candlelit table and an ex-president clientele, but here the most noteworthy piece of decor might be that there really is no decor, save for some photos of yesteryear Staten Island.

That's all to say that when you visit, let the beautiful, heavily-cheesed pies be the source of your focus. The crusts are thin, absorbing just enough cheese grease to still have a bit of crunch on the edges while delivering a stomach-coating carb bomb ideal for soaking up pitchers of Budweiser. For us, it's all about the sausage pie: crumbly, fennel-flecked bits of meat almost melting into a sea of sauce and mozzarella. Eat quickly so you can fit in as many slices as possible. (Nell Casey)

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

L&B SPUMONI GARDENS: We were chastised for leaving this Gravesend stronghold off the list last year, so here you go, Sicilian enthusiasts! L&B's thick square pies are the picture of perfection, super-doughy, cheesy and sauce heavy like a Sicilian slice should be. L&B even makes their pizzas with the tomato sauce on top of the cheese for an added unique spin, spoiling many a pristine white shirt in the process. Worth it! Pies here run $2.50 a slice, and are served family style for $20 per half-tray and $38 for a full tray. You can also get a round pie if you so desire, but c'mon, it's not like you go to Nathan's for the cheeseburger.

L&B Spumoni Gardens is located at 2725 86th Street between 10th and 11th Streets in Gravesend, Brooklyn (718-449-1230, spumonigardens.com).

JULIANA'S: Juliana's won Gothamist's heart back in 2013, beating out competitor Grimaldi's in a battle of DUMBO pizza dominance. Which makes sense—though Grimaldi's has earned its place among the NYC Pizza Legends (and has the long lines to prove it), Juliana's is actually owned by the original Grimaldi family, which sold the current Grimaldi's in 1999. And Juliana's opened in the OLD Grimaldi's space in 2012, and uses the restaurant's original coal-fired oven, so what are those Grimaldi's lines for, anyway? Juliana's is the real classic, everyone.

Pizzas here are fairly basic, with margherita ($16, $19), white ($16, $19) and marinara ($15, $18) pies on tap. They've also got a few "pizza specials," like the No. 1 ($27, $30), made with housemade mozzarella, Scarmorza affumicata, pancetta, scallions and white trufles; and the No. 3 ($21, $24), made with mozzarella, sausage, broccoli rabe and garlic. You can opt for a slew of specialty toppings on your pie, plus there's a take-out menu if you feel like getting your pies-of-heaven to go.

Juliana's is located at 19 Old Fulton Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn (718-596-6700, julianaspizza.com).

Honorable Mentions: Patsy's Pizzeria (in East Harlem), John's on Bleecker, Lombardi's


Via Yelp

LEE'S TAVERN: While not as much of a "destination" pizzeria as Denino's, this quaint Staten Island pub has a fiercely loyal clientele who will defend the tavern's crisp bar pies loudly and often to anyone planted near the bar. In fact, it's really more of a bar than a pizza joint, but one that takes its responsibility to feed people very seriously.

There are personal-sized bar pies and larger pies for sharing, like their beloved white clam pie topped with succulent chopped clams, or a simple pepperoni for everyone else. Seats in the tiny dining area can get cramped, especially when a New York team is on the tube; sitting at the bar means a guaranteed conversation with an SI old timer. Choose wisely! (Nell Casey)

Lee's Tavern is located at 60 Hancock Street in Dongan Hills, Staten Island (718-667-9749.

Pepperoni Bar Pie (photo courtesy Joshua Bousel)

MARGOT: Pizza expert Adam Kuban has set out to bring the bar pie into the pantheon of NYC's great pizza varieties with his pop-up pie shop Margot. Like Lee's Tavern, Kuban bakes up crisp crusted pies unadorned with toppings beyond sauce and cheese or fully loaded like his Love Supreme, with chunks of seasoned sausage, thinly shaved red onion and finely chopped bits of bell pepper. Shroom heads should absolutely seek out the Funghitown, with a scattering of mushrooms and some truffled sottoecenere cheese. Kuban operates his pop-up inside Clinton Hill's Emily for now; catch him while you can. (Nell Casey)

Margot is a pop-up held intermittently at Emily: 919 Fulton Street between Waverly and Clinton Avenues in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (347-844-9588, pizzalovesemily.com).


SAL & CARMINE: I grew up a few blocks from Sal & Carmine's, and I'm convinced their pizza contributed to a pair of pants I split in 8th grade. Humiliating pre-teen memories aside, this neighborhood slice joint still serves up a spectacular $3 plain slice, just like a proper city pizzeria should. Basic toppings like sausage, spinach and pepperoni are also worth a try, though the plain is the real star here, and note that while co-founder Sal passed away a few years ago, his partner Carmine is still going strong, and will still glare at you when you attempt to order.

Sal & Carmine is located at 2671 Broadway between 101st and 102nd Streets on the Upper West Side (212-633-7651).

Via Yelp

LOUIE & ERNIE'S: This Schuylerville pizzeria is the absolute tops, boasting classic slices that hit the crust/sauce/cheese/toppings marks with ease. You can't go wrong with a plain slice ($3), but if you're looking for something extra special and aren't scared of huge chunks of meat, the sausage pizza here is the stuff of the Gods. A $4 sausage slice gets you a cheesy triangle topped with huge hunks of savory pig meat sourced from a local butcher. You will never deign to eat $1 pizza again, no matter how drunk or cash-strapped you are.

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

Via Yelp

ROSA'S PIZZA: There are a bunch of Rosa's outposts around town, but the very best one is in Maspeth, which is the place my packages go when I'm not home to sign for them. Slices at this neighborhood pizzeria are piquant, fresh and no-frills, and there are a million toppings on tap. Which simply means you'll have to order a million slices in order to taste everything, because everything tastes good.

The Grandma slices ($2.35) are a particular favorite, as are the Sicilian slices (also $2.35). You can also score a variety of chicken, pasta, vegetable, sausage and other meat toppings, and every combination in between. Close your eyes, point at a slice, eat it and feel grateful for tastebuds, because they are the most beautiful receptors that belong to your sad, pizza-craving body.

Rosa's is located at 5526 69th Street in Maspeth, Queens (718-446-5910).

Honorable Mentions: Best Pizza, Broadway Joe's, Joe's Pizza


The Saint Louie (Via Yelp)

SPEEDY ROMEO: It's hard to award points to a pizza style from a flyover state, but fine, we'll give Speedy Romeo's delectable Saint Louie ($16) its due. The St. Louie pie comes topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni and picked chilis, along with Provel cheese sourced straight from Missouri. Speedy Romeo has non-Midwestern pizza types on tap too, of course, (The Kind Brother is a must-have) but this pie is so good it may settle the "NYC Pizza Is The Only Pizza" debate once and for all. Don't worry, pizza still sucks in Los Angeles.

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

EMMETT'S: We answered the question of whether deep dish could be considered pizza back when this Greenwich Village by way of Chicago spot opened last year. The answer? Sure, if you're into that kind of thing. Whether you're already rolling your eyes or amenable to these cheese-laden gut bombs passing for pizza, Emmett's is worth at least one visit to taste how the other half lives.

The hefty pies come in four sizes—the $20, 10" medium is suitable for two robust eaters. Unadorned pies mean tomato sauce, mozzarella and grated parmesan, but you can also bulk it up with toppings like sausage, black olives and mushrooms. Unlike the crisp, Neapolitan pies just barely kissed by a coal oven, these monsters require about 40 minutes in the oven to cook through and another five to seven minutes to set, so be prepared for stomach rumblings while you wait. We say it's worth it.(Nell Casey)

Emmett's is located at 50 MacDougal Street in SoHo (917-639-3571).