New York City is known for many things, but of those things one of the most famous is the New York Style pizza and every year Eater hosts a pizza week, complete with a pizza bracket, to determine the best pizza in NYC. This years Pizza Week took place a few weeks back and at the time, Eater published their list of the 25 Most Iconic Pizzerias in the city. It was such a drool worthy and informative list, that we thought we’d share it with you here. Here we go!
1. Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery: Artichoke is the most popular new slice parlor of the last decade. The signature Artichoke pizza — basically a party dip on an ultra-thick crust — is not for everyone, but the Sicilian slice, with its crispy edges and supple mozzarella crown, will appease the pizza purists.
2. Co.: Jim Lahey’s pizzas have chewy crusts with blistered edges, and he uses toppings that are fresher than what you’ll find at most neighborhood pizza parlors. The spinach-topped Popeye is the must-order dish here, but also consider the flambé pizza or the cauliflower pie.
3. Di Fara Pizza: Dom DeMarco is the most legendary pizzaiolo in New York, if not the entire country. His pies are topped with a three cheese blend, snips of fresh basil, and a thin layer of olive oil. The typical Di Fara experience involves confusion at the cash register and a long wait for your food, but the sight of Dom fussing and fiddling with his pizzas usually makes up for the hassle.
4. Franny’s: All of the rustic, wood-fired pizzas at Franny’s are worth a try, but the clam pie is the knock-out dish at Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens’s cozy restaurant. It is quite possibly New York’s best clam pizza.
5. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: Grimaldi’s serves consistently tasty thin crust pizzas, which are baked in a coal oven.
6. Joe and Pat’s Pizzeria: This 54-year-old Staten island pizzeria serves extra-wide, super-thin pizzas topped with big patches of melted fresh mozzarella. The slices have no “bones” to speak of, and you can eat many of them before you start to feel full. The proprietor’s son, A.J. Pappalardo, opened a sister restaurant on Mulberry Street, Rubirosa, which offers this same style of pizza.
7. Joe’s Pizza: As many food writers and pizza nerds have noted over the last few decades, Joe’s Pizza serves the quintessential New York slice. The crust is thin and crisp, with even layers of cheese and tomato sauce, and, notably, Joe’s keeps the quality up with every single pie at all hours of the day. This is where you want to take out-of-towners to give them a first taste of a real New York City slice.
8. John’s of Bleecker Street: Like Totonno’s, this 85-year-old restaurant serves coal-oven fired pizzas that have thin, light brown crusts, but the pies here are profusely topped with sauce and cheese. There’s artistry in the composition, but you do not need to analyze this pie to enjoy it — it’s immediately satisfying.
9. L&B Spumoni Gardens: The L & B square slice has a dense, slightly sweet crust that’s faintly reminiscent of a biscuit. The dough is first topped with mozzarella then tomato sauce and a thin layer of Pecorino-Romano. If you’re a fan of airy Neapolitan-style pizzas or crispy corner slices, you might not dig this slice. But it’s a unique pizza that’s beloved by generations of Brooklynites, and the outdoor patio is one of the most charming pizzeria spaces in this city.
10. Lee’s Tavern serves the classic bar pie — a small, wafer-thin pizza that is intended for one diner to consume with a pint of beer.
11. Lombardi’s Coal Oven Pizza: Lombardi’s is not the best coal oven pizzeria in New York City, but it is the oldest, and the pizzas do not disappoint.
12. Louie & Ernie’s Pizza: Head to this venerable Bronx Italian restaurant for gracefully topped thin crust pizzas. The white pizza is a customer favorite, but Eater Slice guru Adam Kuban recommends the sausage-topped pie.
13. Lucali: Lucali is the neighborhood pizzeria that you wish you had in your neighborhood. At this intimate Carroll Gardens restaurant, Mark Iacono makes thin-crust pizzas topped with a three cheese blend (fresh and imported Mozzarella, plus Grana Padano) and fresh basil. Lucali is a great choice for a cheap date.
14. Motorino: Mathieu Palombino and his crew have earned raves for their fluffy Neapolitan-style pizzas at Motorino. The Brussels sprouts pie and the soppresata pizza are standouts.
15. New Park Pizzeria: This beloved, no-frills Howard Beach pizzeria serves gooey slices dressed with a slightly sweet tomato sauce. The pies are baked in a brick oven, and the crust has more depth of flavor than your typical corner slice.
16. Nunzio’s Pizzeria & Restaurant: This Staten Island pizzeria serves Neapolitan-style slices, square pieces, and thick pizzas with an over-abundance of toppings. Nunzio’s has been around in one form or another since the 1940’s.
17. Otto Enoteca Pizzeria: Mario Batali’s wildly popular Greenwich Village pizzeria employs an unusual pizza-making technique, wherein the pies start on the griddle and are finished in the broiler. It’s not one of the city’s most dynamic crusts, but the toppings are fresh and applied with skill, and the price point is still shockingly low. Otto serves one of the city’s great clam pies, as well as a terrific lardo and rosemary-topped pizza.
18. Patsy’s Pizza: Opened in 1933, the original location of Patsy’s is the only old school coal oven pizzeria in New York that offers pizza by the slice. The sauce and mozzarella are both fairly bland but the crust is the softest and most glove-like of all the coal-oven places, and if you close your eyes, you might as well be in Naples.
19. Paulie Gee’s: Mr. Paulie Giannone and his crew have mastered the art of dough making and baking, but the toppings are what make these pizzas so special. Consider the Feel Like Bacon Love, which is topped with a bold Amatriciana-style sauce and fresh mozzarella, or the sublime Anise and Anephew, which has braised fennel fronds, guanciale, and anisette creme.
20. Rizzo’s Fine Pizza: Rizzo’s serves pizzas with extremely thin, crispy crusts. The pizzaioli know how to layer the toppings so that you still get that satisfying crunch when you take the first bite.
21. Roberta’s Pizza: Using Neapolitan-style pizza as a starting point, the Roberta’s pizzaioli top their pies with exceptional homemade mozzarella, house-cured meats, and locally-grown vegetables. Roberta’s is so much more than a pizzeria these days, but the pies are still some of the finest in the city.
22. Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery: Rose & Joe’s serves a square slice that has a thick blanket of melted mozzarella atop a tangy layer of tomato sauce.
23. Sal & Carmine’s Pizza: Sal and Carmine’s has been serving up premium slices for over 40 years. Sal & Carmine’s is still one of the best places for a slice on the Upper West Side.
24. Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitano: For over 90 years, this storied Coney Island pizzeria has been serving thin crust pizzas topped with a simple tomato sauces and patches of silky fresh mozzarella. The crust has a char that may surprise diners who have never tasted real coal oven pizza before, and the toppings are delicately applied. Robert Sietsema says, “This place is simply the best pizzeria in the world, and well worth the sojourn on a whole host of trains to Coney Island.”
25. Zero Otto Nove: Roberto Paciullo’s Bronx trattoria serves wood-fired pizzas that have puffy brown crusts and pleasantly moist, floppy centers. Some pizza geeks think that Zero Otto Nove serves the finest example of Neapolitan-style pizza in New York.
At AMP3 PR we’re always preferential towards the old school classic pizzeria’s of NYC like Grimaldi’s & Lombardi’s, but one of our newer favorites is Rubirosa on Mulberry Street (mentioned in #6), as it does everything with the option for Gluten Free.
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