Best Pizza In NYC: Top 5 Big Apple Pizzerias Most Recommended By Experts

Pizza may have been born in Naples, Italy, but it has found its way into the hearts of many worldwide, including Americans’ here in the United States. The beloved dish was first introduced to America when Italian immigrants began settling in places like New York, Chicago, and Detroit during the late 19th century. The best NYC pizza will give you a taste of what many travel cross-country to get their hands on.

Good news! Chowing down on the occasional pizza all to yourself isn’t as bad as you think. A recent study involving pizza finds people can eat much more than what normally makes them feel “full” without causing health problems. Despite all the extra calories and fat, the University of Bath finds men don’t suffer any immediate health issues when overindulging occasionally. What a relief.

The popularity of pizza continues to grow to this day. In fact, the pizza industry has increased at a faster rate than the overall economy, at an average of three percent per year over the last five years. A study of 3,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll found that 24 percent of Americans chose pizza as the “safest” first date meal. You can easily swing by your local pizza shop to have a sit-down dinner, or have your pizza delivered to your home for a cozy date night in.

And if you can’t get to NYC, we went looking for the best frozen selections too. Be sure to check out our list of Best Frozen Pizza, as recommended by experts.

When it comes to finding the most famous pizza across the country, there’s no better place to look than New York City. Not only is NYC well known for their pizza, there’s an actual pizza style named after it as well. In fact, the very first pizzeria in the United States was Lombardi’s in NYC. Continue reading to find some of the best NYC pizza to grab in the Big Apple. Let us know if we missed your favorite slice in the comments below!

The List: Best NYC Pizza, According to Food Experts

1. Di Fara

Di Fara was opened in 1965 by Domenico De Marco (“Dom”) and has been a staple in NYC’s pizza community ever since. TimeOut states that “a trip to the original standard-setting shop founded by the late Domenico DeMarco in 1965 is essential for pizza lovers and dabblers everywhere.” Today, a number of Dom’s children continue to bake pies, helping keep his spirit alive through pizza.

Eater New York claims that, “While his output generated long lines during the last two decades, it remains to be seen if the pizzeria will be as popular (or as good) in his absence.” Some fan favorites include the artichoke pies, Neapolitan pizzas, and the Sicilian. 

“The pizza here is still being prepared with several different kinds of cheese, olive oil, and fresh basil will make you wonder why every pizza isn’t covered in fresh basil. The crunchy crust is notably salty, and each nearly weightless slice will offer a satisfying crackle as you fold it to consume,” says Infatuation.

2. Lucali

Lucali is a cozy pizzeria located in Brooklyn with an array of quirks that makes it stand out from the rest. Infatuation writes, “We could tell you about the way the pizzaiolo at Lucali rolls out the dough with empty wine bottles on a marble countertop in front of a brick oven. We could tell you that this cash-only restaurant is BYOB, and that the little room feels like a spiritual place of pizza worship.”

However, don’t be fooled by Lucali’s relaxed vibes. Conde Nast Traveler advises us, “Dining here takes patience and planning. Every afternoon a line forms outside of Lucali for ‘the list.'”      

Eater New York has it down pat: “The move is to show up before 5 p.m., add your name to the list, and grab a drink in the neighborhood while you wait. The menu is simple: pies or calzones with a few toppings to choose from.”

3. Joe’s Pizza

If you are in a rush and don’t have time for a sit-down restaurant, here is a great option. “For a quick and classic New York slice, Joe’s Pizza can’t be beat,” states Cosmopolitan.

Joe’s Pizza has been around for nearly five decades and the shop’s founder, Joe Pozzuoli continues to bless NYC with his pizzas to this day. Secret New York claims, “It’s been named the ‘best authentic slice’ in NYC by multiple media outlets (GQ, New York Magazine, LIVE! with Regis and Kelly and more!).”

The original pizzeria can be found in Greenwich Village, but lucky for us there are now two other locations in NYC and one in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “In a red-brick building under a red awning, cardboard pizza boxes are stacked all the way up to drop ceilings, a jumble of framed photographs are the height of decor, and hefty, hot slices are slapped onto white paper plates and eaten standing up inside or on a bench across the street,” says Conde Nast Traveller. 

4. Scarr’s Pizza

Although Scarr’s Pizza has only been around for six years, it proves to be a worthy contender against the household names in the pizza business. “This pizza institution on a Lower East Side street was founded by Scarr Pimentel, whose objective was to take the classic neighborhood pizzeria, and kick up the quality a few notches. Thus the round and square pies deploy artisanal ingredients — including flour milled in the basement — resulting in a real destination pizzeria, like Di Fara or Joe & Pat’s,” declares Eater New York

New York Simply not only raves about the pizza, but also about the amazing people who run the pizzeria. “Plus, extra points for the incredible staff here. The man that took our order (both times) was so friendly and enjoyable. In a city where good food sometimes comes at the expense of good service, Scarr’s stands a mile above the rest.” And the best part: if you haven’t had enough after your visit to Scarr’s Pizza, you can also purchase flour and dough directly from the shop to make your very own version at home! 

“You can’t go wrong with a traditional cheese slice, with a darkened quality that makes the whole pie slightly crispier, and a sauce with a satisfying tang. But in addition to traditional slices, they also have a popular Hotboi Slice complete with beef pepperoni, jalapeños, and extra-hot honey,” says Conde Nast Traveller. They also cater to vegans with the option of vegan cheeses.

5. Mama’s Too

Mama’s Too is located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan which is not the first location that comes to mind when in search of pizza. But ever since Mama Too’s came onto the scene in 2018 things have changed. Cosmopolitan tells us that, “Suddenly, people were traveling uptown from Brooklyn for pizza, instead of the other way around. You really can’t go wrong with anything you order here, from round pies to square pies or any of the inventive specialty pies (cacio e pepe, we see you).” 

This inexpensive pizzeria is also great when you need to grab a slice on the go. “Mama’s Too offers counter service. Remember that the place is rather small so depending on your timing, you may not be able to grab a seat right away. If you don’t mind eating outside, just head to the adjacent Straus Park and find a bench there,” suggests Loving New York.

“In an impossibly small space, the luscious square slices are on full display, each of them thicker, greasier, and more lushly topped than the one before. The crusts are crunchy, too, and the tomato sauce is slightly sweet. Note the stylish cupping pepperoni,” writes Eater New York.

Now we know this is fixing to be a very heated conversation among NYC pizza lovers. If you think the best slice didn’t make this list, keep calm and comment below!

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