Pizza is one of the greatest foods on the planet, second only to pasta—this is a fact and cannot be countered. It is also a fact that New York has the best pizza on the planet, and though the dollar slice keeps threatening to sully our reputation, there are plenty of wonderful pizza places that continue to make us both proud and very full. Here are our favorites; as always, leave your death threats in the comments.


via Yelp

SAL & CARMINE: For a minute there, we thought we lost this one—but thankfully, this Upper West Side institution is still going strong. The 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 a $1 slice 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

PIZZA SUPREMA: Pizza Suprema was ranked the number one slice in the city by pizza enthusiast Slice Harvester, and though we don't necessarily agree with all his rankings, he's got a point about this place. A plain slice here is exactly what a slice of pizza should be—cheesy, crusty, and doused with a not-too-sweet, not-too-oniony tomato sauce. The Grandma and white pies are also quite good, if you're looking to complement your classic slice with something slightly quirkier.

Pizza Suprema is located at 413 8th Avenue between 30th and 31st Streets in Midtown (212-594-8939,

Via Yelp

BROTHER'S PIZZERIA: This old school spot, housed in an easy-to-miss hole-in-the-wall by the Long Island Expressway, has been serving up pies, slices and Sicilian squares for decades, and they don't look like they'll be slowing down anytime soon. Brother's' plain slices cost only $2.50, and they will fill your insides with joy—don't be surprised if you end up shoving three or four down your throat for good measure.

Brother's Pizzeria is located at 18504 Horace Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows, Queens (718-445-7888).

via Yelp

ROSA'S PIZZA: There are a bunch of Rosa's outposts around town, but the very best one is in Maspeth. 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 are a particular favorite, as are the Sicilian slices. 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).

Cheese slices from Yankee Pizza (Navid Baraty/Gothamist)

NEW YANKEE SK PIZZA: This little spot, located under the 6 train station at Morrison-Soundview is as basic a slice joint as you can get, and that's exactly what makes it so great. 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. Sprinkle some pepper on top, blot excess oil with a napkin, fold and eat, as the Good Pizza Lord intended.

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

(Via Yelp)

JOE'S PIZZA: Joe's doles out exactly what you expect from a classic slice joint—$2.75 gets you a piping hot, gooey cheese and savory tomato sauce spread atop a floury, chewy crust. That's pretty much all you need to know—you can get toppings for an extra 75 cents or so, but seriously, come for the plain stuff, dried pepper flakes not included. Note that a Joe's opened on 14th and 3rd a few years back, followed by a newer outpost in Williamsburg and though neither have quite the same bite as the original, they're still pretty, pretty good. You will use up many napkins blotting both the pizza and your face, so be forewarned.

Joe's Pizza is located at 7 Carmine Street between 6th Avenue and Minetta Lane in the West Village (212-366-1182, There's also an outpost at 1150 East 14th Street near 3rd Avenue in Gramercy, and another at 216 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

(Via Yelp)

BROADWAY JOE'S: Broadway Joe’s may be a local haunt, but it’s no hidden gem. While its inconspicuous storefront by Van Cortlandt Park in Kingsbridge is easy to miss, the classic joint is popular among students from neighboring Manhattan College and the nearby Fieldston School for its hefty, foldable slices and accompanying garlic knots. Joe’s is unconcerned with both ambiance and innovation, but its fluorescent-lit interior houses some of the best no-frills ‘za this side of the suburbs. (Roxie Pell)

Broadway Joe's is located at 5983 Broadway in the Kingsbridge section of The Bronx (718-796-0376).


(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 an In Ricotta Da Vegan ($18) that comes topped with housemade vegan sausage, cashew ricotta and other herbivore-friendly additions.

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

(Paul Quitoriano/Gothamist)

EMMY SQUARED: Though we dearly love the original Emily in Clinton Hill, our minds and tastebuds BLOWN when we first sampled the Detroit-style inspired squares at their Williamsburg outpost, which opened this spring. The pillowy dough, savory toppings and fresh sauces here are cause enough to celebrate, but the buttered crusts will emotionally (and maybe physically?) kill you, turning a standard square slice into a magical trip to pizza fantasy land. My personal favorites are the Margherita ($19), which is topped with burrata, along with the green chili-covered Hatchback ($17), and the pepperoni-covered Roni Supreme ($17) is the best pepperoni pizza I've ever had. Know you will not feel great inside after you feast here, but it's worth the struggle.

Emmy Squared is located at 364 Grand Street between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-360-4535,

KESTE PIZZA & VINO: Kesté's Master Pizzaiolo Roberto Caporuscio was born on a dairy farm an hour outside of Naples, where he grew up producing and selling the lactose that would ultimately steer him toward his creamy destiny. Think about it: the man was literally born to make cheese. Indeed, surrounded by nature’s own soft mucus, wouldn’t any of us be similarly inspired? Caporuscio went on to complete his pizza studies under some of Naples’ most esteemed masters of the regional method. Additional evidence that Caporuscio is in fact a member of the Pizza Illuminati includes his ascent in the ranks of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli, an “elite Italian governing body” passing down pizza-making secrets through the generations. Now U.S. President of the association, Caporuscio is regularly summoned to all corners of the country for “private pizza consultations,” which is coincidentally what I call my Friday evenings alone.

Starch fiends can expect pizza made the Naples way using a bonafide Neapolitan pizza maker and topped with homemade mozzarella. Dairy heaven aside, vegans (and vegetarians) need not worry—Kesté offers vegan options as well as an unusually broad gluten-free selection including a Pistachio and Sausage variety and a version of the day’s special that has been exorcised of wheat demons. The restaurant provides lighter alternatives like “lentil salad” for diners who prefer to lead a joyless life. (Roxie Pell)

Keste is located at 271 Bleecker Street between Jones and Morton Streets in the West Village (212-243-1500,

Via Roberta's' website

ROBERTA'S: Not only does Roberta's whip up some of the tastiest pizzas in the city, but they've managed to slice their miserable wait time down considerably, having opened a take out spot next door to their Bushwick pie mecca last year. This is a good thing indeed—pre-take out Roberta's could rack up 3+-hour waits, though the pizza payoff was (usually) worth it.

As for the goods, the Bee Sting ($17), now available for take-out, is a personal favorite, topped with tomatoes, mozzarella and soppressata and doused in delectable sweet honey. Then there's the feisty Beastmaster ($18), made with tomato, mozzarella, gogonzola, pork sausage, onion & jalapenos; the Cheesus Christ (16), made with mozzarella, taleggio, parmigiano and cream, and the Millennium Falco ($17), topped with pork sausage, onion basil and chili.;. Note that pizzas rotate regularly, and some of your favorites may still be available off-menu, so be sure to check with your server if you're eating in-house.

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

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 exquisite ricotta—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).


Totonno's coal oven pizza (NYCviaRachel/Flickr)

TOTONNO'S: Totonno's is an 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).

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,

L&B SPUMONI GARDENS: The thick square pies served up at this Gravesend stronghold 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 $2.75 a slice, and are served family style for $21 per half-tray and $40 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,

via Yelp

JOE & PAT'S: Staten Islanders will fight you to the death if you shrug at Joe & Pat's, the borough's most beloved pizzeria. The family-owned spot's been serving up pies since the 1960s, and it's everything you'd expect from a legend—the space is standard and stripped down, and the pizza's everything but. The vodka pie is the real star here, though you can't go wrong with a basic slice. And if you're going for something a little strange, the seafood combo—which includes fried clams!—is a thing to behold.

Joe & Pat's is located at 1758 Victory Boulevard in Staten Island (718-981-0887).

via Yelp

NICK'S PIZZA: The thin crust 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, $15 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).

Via Yelp

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 82 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,

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).

NEW PARK PIZZA: If the New York pizza system’s tendency to reward seniority has any merit, New Park Pizzeria has earned its stripes. The beloved neighborhood mainstay has been serving up slices to Howard Beach residents and JFK airport escapees alike for 55 years, and while many New Yorkers might find the eastward trek daunting, New Park’s location right off the Belt Parkway makes it fairly accessible to citizens of all boroughs.

Like all respectable American institutions, New Park is run by a family dynasty, in this case one that truly cares about its community—the restaurant offered up two free slices per person in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The menu sticks to the classics with a standard roster of reds and whites prepared in a brick oven. A plain slice will set you back $2.75, but be prepared to shell out $4.50 for a calzone, should you prefer your pizza toppings wrapped in even more bread. (Roxie Pell)

New Park Pizzeria is located at 15671 Crossbay Boulevard in Howard Beach, Queens (718-641-3082,