An NYC Foodie’s Guide to the Best Pizza Slices in Every Borough

Pizza is the undisputed king in New York City. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, no trip to the Big Apple is complete without indulging in a slice or three. From dollar pizza joints to famous institutions and trailblazing artisanal spots, NYC has perfected almost every style of pizza. But with over 1,600 pizzerias across the five boroughs, where does one even begin? Fear not, I’ve eaten my way across the city to curate this definitive guide to the very best pizza New York has to offer. Grab a napkin and get those taste buds ready – this is going to be an epically cheesy adventure!

Manhattan: The Legendary Slices

Let’s start our journey in the heart of Manhattan with two iconic pizzerias that have been slinging iconic New York-style slices for decades. First up is the incomparable Una Pizza Napoletana (Website:, Address: 175 Orchard St, Phone: 1-646-476-4457, Instagram: @unapizzanapoletana). “Big 7 Travel” named this critically-acclaimed East Village restaurant from pizza mastermind Anthony Mangieri the best pizzeria in the United States in 2023.

Una Pizza Napoletana specializes in naturally leavened, wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza with a blistery, chewy crust and simplicity is key. There are just five classic red and white pizzas on the menu, plus a weekly special and premium toppings like “the king of cheeses” parmigiano reggiano. It’s an intimate 18-seat experience with no takeout allowed – this is pizza to be savored. Secure one of the coveted reservation slots that open two weeks in advance at 9am daily, or try to snag a seat at the bar when they open at 5pm Thursday through Saturday.

For a taste of old-school New York pizza history, John’s of Bleecker Street (Website:, Address: 278 Bleecker St, Phone: 1-212-243-1680, Instagram: @johnsofbleeckerstreet) in the West Village is an absolute must-visit. This coal-fired, no-slices-allowed pizzeria has been firing up crispy, thin-crusted pies since 1933, making it one of America’s oldest pizzerias.

The legend goes that Filippo Milone, who helped open Lombardi’s which is widely considered America’s first pizzeria, originally founded John’s.. While Lombardi’s lays claim to that title, John’s trumps it in my book for its wonderfully crusty, crunchy pizza and old-world charm. This cash-only spot has gruff servers, a no-reservations policy, and an unmistakably cozy, vintage vibe. Start with one of the three classic pizza options like the simple marinara pizza, made with just tomato sauce, aged mozzarella, pecorino romano, oregano, and basil.

Brooklyn Brings the Slices

Next, we head across the East River to the pizza capital of Brooklyn. Here you’ll find both new-age artisanal spots and century-old institutions serving up iconic square slices.

The new kid on the block making serious waves is L’Industrie Pizzeria (Website:, Address: 254 S 2nd St, Phone: 1-718-599-0002, Instagram: @lindustriebk) in the Williamsburg neighborhood. When it opened in 2017, this tiny 230-square-foot shop from Tuscan pizza maker Massimo Lucchio introduced New York to an “elevated” wood-fired slice with a chewy, crispy sourdough crust.

The Crust of Hevan

Using a natural leavening process with a liquid levain culture and poolish starter, L’Industrie’s dough has a complex tang and tremendous crispy air pockets. L’Industrie Pizzeria minimally tops the round pies in the traditional Neapolitan way – just smearing a bright, sweet tomato sauce, sprinkling fresh basil, lightly grating nutty parmigiano reggiano, and drizzling premium olive oil. While the classic Margherita pizza is superb, the signature move here is to get the burrata pie, a magical combination of cool, creamy cheese and warm, crispy crust.

Despite expanding next door in 2021, there are still constant lines, so plan ahead. Luckily the sandwiches, which change daily, are just as craveable. Check L’Industrie’s Instagram for the mouth-watering special before you go.

For a square slice that will rock your world, make a pilgrimage to L&B Spumoni Gardens (Website:, Address: 2725 86th St, Brooklyn, Phone: 1-718-449-1230, Instagram: @lbspumonigardens) in the Bensonhurst neighborhood.Ludovico Barbati founded this cash-only spot in 1939 after learning to make pizza in his garage before selling it from a horse-drawn wagon. It is renowned for its iconic, crispy-edged Sicilian-style slices.

The sheet pies at L&B are enormous, made by layering stretchy mozzarella cheese over thick, airy-yet-dense dough, followed by a thick blanket of chunky, umami-packed tomato sauce. The edges get gloriously crispy while the interior stays light and cushiony, creating a perfect balance of textures in each square slice. To kick it up a notch, order the spicy upside down version which has the sauce layered first.

After you’ve housed a couple squares, it would be a crime not to indulge in some of L&B’s rich, creamy spumoni ice cream. This classic Italian dessert with layers of different flavored ice creams and fruits is the perfect sweet ending to your pizza palooza.

The Bronx Burger-Munching on Sausage Pizza

You might not immediately think of the Bronx as a pizza destination, but this northern borough has at least one absolute must-visit spot. People widely consider Louie & Ernie’s Pizza (Website:, Address: 1300 Crosby Ave, Bronx, Phone: 1-718-829-6230, Instagram: @louieandernies) in the Schuylerville neighborhood as one of the very best sausage pizzas in New York City.


This unassuming mom-and-pop shop opened in 1947 in Harlem before relocating to its current location in 1959. Current owners Cosimo and John Tiso bought it in 1987 and have been keeping the tradition alive, serving up thin, crispy crusted pies loaded with their signature spicy sausage crumbles from a beloved local deli.

Unlike typical sausage pizza with sliced dry sausage coins, Louie & Ernie’s tops each pie with fresh fennel-spiced sausage crumbles before baking. As the pie cooks, the crumbled sausage sizzles and crisps up, mingles with the melty cheese and freshly-made tomato sauce. Every cheesy, meaty bite is an absolute flavor bomb that will have you craving another obscenely massive slice. It’s located a bit of a hike from the nearest subway, but well worth the trek in my opinion.

Queens Has the Sleeper Hits

While Manhattan and Brooklyn tend to get most of the pizza fame, people often overlook the borough of Queens which has some sleeper hit pizzerias that simply can’t be missed.

One of the most unsung pizza heroes in Queens is Margherita Pizza (Facebook:, Address: 16304 Jamaica Ave, Phone: 1-718-657-5780). This vintage, no-frills spot opened in 1966 by Sicilian immigrants in the Jamaica neighborhood has been slinging some of the most delicious, quintessential New York-style slices for over 50 years.

When you walk into Margherita’s, it transports you to a timeless old-school pizza joint – the narrow, brightly lit shop has a long counter sans seating and constantly churns out hot, fresh cheese pies from the oven. The ultra thin-crusted slices are light yet crispy, with a nice chewy exterior that gives way to a pillowy interior.

The Ultra experience

The ultra thin-crusted slices are light yet crispy, with a nice chewy exterior that gives way to a pillowy interior. The simple sauce is bright and zesty, while the blend of mozzarella and Parmesan creates those iconic long cheese pulls you crave. Despite its humble digs, Margherita’s churns out some of the most craveable New York-style slices in the five boroughs.

Another stellar, if unassuming, pizzeria in Queens is Amore (Website:, Address: Multiple Locations, Instagram: @amorepizzany) which has several no-frills counter-service locations throughout the borough. This old-school joint has been firing up classic NYC pies since 1964 and the formula hasn’t changed – straightforward, high-quality ingredients combined with masterful pizza skills honed over decades.

The slices at Amore are exemplars of the quintessential New York street slice done right. Expect a crispy yet foldable crust with a gloriously crispy undercarriage, zesty tomato sauce that packs a punch, gooey mozzarella cheese with those tempting long pulls, and a judicious shake of dried oregano and grated parmesan on top. It’s no-frills pizza perfection that has kept locals coming back for over 50 years.

The Iconic Brooklyn Square Slice in Manhattan

If you find yourself in Manhattan craving an iconic, foldable Brooklyn-style square slice, your first stop should be Mama’s TOO! (Website:, Address: 2750 Broadway, Phone: 1-212-510-7256, Instagram: @mamas_too) on the Upper West Side. This wildly popular pizzeria is the second outpost of the beloved Brooklyn pan pizza institution Di Fara, started by Frank Tuttolomondo after leaving the family business.

At Mama’s TOO!, Tuttolomondo combines classic New York Sicilian-style square pies with the lighter, airier texture of iconic Roman al taglio slices.Mama’s TOO! makes the signature “House Slice” a revelation – a square slice with naturally leavened dough that has an airy, Neapolitan-esque crust and a superbly crunchy yet foldable undercarriage.The sauce is heavenly – bright and made with high-quality tomatoes – and the low-moisture mozzarella allows each bite to have the perfect balance of bread, sauce, and cheese.

In addition to the house slice, Mama’s TOO! offers over a dozen different square and rectangular pies, many with creative topping combinations like garlic confit with whipped ricotta, poached pear with gorgonzola and hot honey, and a stellar white cacio e pepe pie with a cheesy sauce of mascarpone, mozzarella, pecorino and black pepper. The vodka sauce pie featuring a creamy, peppery tomato-cream sauce is also a must-try.

With a new West Village location in the works, this Upper West Side gem offers some of the very best slices in Manhattan. Just be prepared for a bit of a wait during peak hours – the pies are worth it!

The Ultimate NYC Pizza Experience in Harlem

No guide to New York’s best pizza would be complete without mention of the iconic Patsy’s Pizzeria (Website:, Address: 2291 1st Ave, Phone: 1-212-534-9783, Instagram: @patsyspizza). While they now have several locations, the original 1933 Harlem outpost on 1st Avenue is an absolute must for pizza lovers. This no-frills, cash-only counter-service joint epitomizes the quintessential New York pizza experience.

At the original East Harlem location, pies are still fired in the original coal-burning ovens to create Patsy’s signature ultra-thin, crispy, bubbly crusts with those irresistible charred edges. To fully immerse yourself, snag a plain slice from behind the counter – just sauce, mozzarella, and that perfect doughy-yet-crackery crust – and take it outside. There’s something wildly satisfying about devouring an iconic New York $2.50 street slice while strolling along 1st Avenue. This, my friends, is what pizza dreams are made of.

In addition to the perfect plain slice as-is, Patsy’s also renowns its white pies and specialty pizzas. Patrons beloved the namesake “Patsy” pie with mozzarella, ricotta, flavored olive oil, and fresh garlic, as well as the sausage pie loaded with their fennel-spiced signature sausage crumbles.

While they’ve expanded with additional locations, nothing quite compares to the original Harley joint. It’s a portal into old-school New York pizza culture, where simplicity reigns supreme and quality is never sacrificed. Just be sure to bring cash and embrace the no-frills vibes.

The Pizza Mecca Awaits

There you have it – a delectable tour of the absolute best pizza slices and pies across New York City’s five boroughs. From legendary centuries-old institutions to modern artisanal trailblazers, hidden hole-in-the-wall joints to destination-worthy pizza shrines, the city truly has it all when it comes to pizza.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, make room in your calorie budget to experience as many of these iconic pizzerias as possible. Revel in the crispy crusts, the long cheesy pulls, the bright tomato sauces both zesty and sweet. New York perfects pizza at its finest – a celebrated art form over generations.Grab a slice (or eight) and savor every morsel of this culinary mecca. Pizza nirvana awaits!

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