Outside of Italy, New York pizza is regarded as some of the very best in the world. With a huge range of choice, various styles of cooking and passionate entrepreneurs serving it up, there really is something for everybody.
Pizza in the United States has a long history – the first ever pizzeria was set up in New York in 1905, by Gennaro Lombardi.
Now, there’s so many styles of pizza in the USA: Neapolitan, Sicilian, New York, Connecticut, California, Detroit, St. Louis, bar pie, deep-dish, grandma… we could go on. But when it comes to some of the country’s very best pies, New York is where it’s at.
The Best New York Pizza
The couple behind this mega-popular restaurant say their first shared meal was a pizza while sitting in their dorm room. Their love for pizza was born there and after eating plenty of it together, Matt and Emily have gone on to create two of the best pizza restaurants in all of New York. Thin, crispy and bursting full of wonderful flavours.
This beloved store was opened by Salvatore Riggio in 1964 and is still run today by his family. People come from all over the city to devour their delicious pies; with such crowds after more than half a century you know they must be doing something right.
Okay, this is going to be controversial – Razza may technically be in NJ, but it’s captured the hearts of many a New Yorker and is only a short hop from the city. They say that seasonality dictates their ingredients and toppings and that ethos coupled with their light, airy and chewy dough makes this a winning combination.
It’s always going to be a topic of debate as to where to get the best pizza in NYC, but there’s one spot that never fails. Fornino’s woodfired pizzas come in three different ‘generations’, ranging from classic Italian to contemporary toppings such as truffle oil.
The dough includes a secret ingredient of honey, that brings it to a whole new level. The view here is an extra bonus.
Since opening their first store in New York City’s East Village in 2008, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza has expanded to twelve hugely successful locations across the country. Their truly unique famous creamy artichoke slices are like devouring a slice of paradise. Every single time you eat one it just seems to taste better and better.
Probably one of the most famous pizza restaurants in the world, it’s not outrageous to say this is one of the places that has defined the entire Brooklyn revolution. A great place to come for drinks and some food before bar hopping around the area. The pizzas are classical Italian in style and unapologetically brilliant.
Lombardi’s dates all the way back to 1905, making it the first pizzeria in the United States. It’s still located in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, offering its beautiful, smoky-crusted coal oven baked pizza, topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil, keeping locals and visitors alike coming back.
Domenico De Marco, or “Dom”, opened Di Fara Pizza in 1965 after emigrating to Brooklyn from the Province of Caserta in Italy. Many of the ingredients come straight from Italy and the master himself can still be seen cooking pizzas at 83 years of age. This is what truly great food heritage is all about.
They pride themselves on the many varieties of Artisan Neapolitan Wood Fired Pizza they offer, with 40 selections and rotating specials giving you a huge range of choice. Their unique wood burning brick oven is heated to a constant temperature of between 800 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure your pizza is cooked to perfection in less than two minutes.
From ex-owner of Grimaldi’s, this is the original location under the Brooklyn Bridge where he co-founded Grimaldi’s Pizzeria with his late wife, Carol. The room has been modernised but remains simple and stripped back, allowing the pizza to be the star of the show while complimented by world class service.
They say they’ve been serving “the best pizza on Staten Island” since 1960 and given their longevity and steady stream of customers it’s a statement that is impossible to argue with. They keep the toppings simple, the bases thin and crispy and the flavour absolutely bursts into your mouth as soon as you taste it.
Their pizzas are hand-stretched and grilled over an open flame to produce a crust that’s crisp yet tender. The pies are then topped with imported Italian cheese and tomatoes and a choice of fresh toppings. Classic pizza done right by true professionals in their craft.
The business dates back to 1947 when started by two brothers in Harlem. In the 1980’s brother’s John and Cosimo started to work for Ernie and In 1987, both John and Cosimo purchased the business and became the new owners of Louie and Ernie’s Pizza. They’re still keeping the story going and the customers happy with pizza that is simply breathtakingly good.
The pizza dough is a special mix of flours from Rome with no extra sugar, meaning it takes over 48 hours to prove. The top and bottom of the pizza cook at different temperatures to ensure this truly unique and miraculous tasting pizza. You can’t live in or visit New York and not try a slice here.
Founded in 1929 by Italian immigrant John Sasso, this place has remained true to its roots by serving proper Italian style pizza with a New York twist. The room is always buzzing and full of characters and you just know that tens-of-thousands of people have sat here enjoying their pizza, just as much as you are, over the years.
The only way to get a table in this wildly popular spot is to show up before 5pm, place your name on the list, “go have a drink” and they’ll call you when your table is ready. You’ll see as soon as you taste the pizza and enjoy the buzz of the room that it was worth the effort. Lucali is the sort of restaurant that pushes the entire New York restaurant scene (and pizza in particular) to new levels.
The restaurant features Grimaldi’s signature red and white gingham tablecloths, handcrafted hanging wine bottle chandeliers, and classic black and white still photographs of its home of Brooklyn, NY. The kitchen is open plan, which means you have the added theatre of seeing your dough being tossed in the air as you lick your lips in anticipation waiting for your pie to arrive.
They focus on state of the art, flavourful, authentic Neapolitan Pizza. Which means a century old technique and the freshest ingredients, with an eye always open toward the environment. The owners are both Italian and you feel as if every single pizza they serve is part of their life’s work. They pour every ounce of energy they have into making this place as magical as it is.
Ops is the name of the Roman goddess of the harvest and the labor of the land. It also means opulence, so you can see how well they’ve chosen their name. Big doughy pizzas that you’ll need a huge appetite for, but the crusts also hide a light and airy texture that alongside their fresh toppings make these pizzas unique, memorable and utterly delicious.
At Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitana in Coney Island, they make their pizzas here in the same way – in the same spot – since 1924. They took a strike from storm Sandy in 2012 which put them out of business for five months, but they’ve come back stronger since then. Any restaurant that serves pizza and is closing in on 100 years in business is the real deal. That’s certainly true about this insanely good pizza joint.
They don’t do delivery, take out or accept bookings and that’s all for a very good reason. Their pies are best straight out of the oven, eaten within seconds. Perfectly charred crusts with world class fresh toppings make this one of the very best pizzas in the country.