Pizza is food from heaven. If you don’t think so, you can go straight to—
OK, OK, we’re getting a little carried away. But it’s hard to not get carried away with the supernatural wonderfood that is za. And so, we’re carving out some time this week to mull over the American capital of pizza, New York, in an effort to determine a few of the absolute top pizza joints.
Pulling from a variety of professional opinions—from Bloomberg food reviewers to Vice’s “The Pizza Show”—below we lay out a roadmap for anyone visiting the Big Apple. Remember: Outside of Naples/the Campania region of Italy, New York is the birthplace of pizza as we know it today.
So, let’s do this thing.
1. Prince St. Pizza | 27 Prince St A, New York, NY
The self-proclaimed “Home of the Soho Square,” this pizza shop specializes in Roman-style pizzas shaped into squares with a crispy dough covered directly with cheese and thentopped with tomato sauce. These Sicilian pies are so revered that the destination is now considered by many to be the king of the square slice.
2. Patsy’s Pizzeria | 236 W. 56th St., New York, NY
Coal-oven cooking is one of the grails of the pizza world, so to speak, and the original Patsy’s of East Harlem is one of only two restaurants still serving coal-cooked slices. Located just south of Central Park, they’ve been doing their thing since 1944, offering up a flavorful pie that’s equal parts Neapolitan (old-school Italian) and New York/American in style.
3. Roberta’s | 261 Moore St., Brooklyn, NY
This hip, artsy Brooklyn locale greets all comers with a rooftop garden, apiary, and on-site bread bakery. However, you’ll also be welcomed by a nearly two-hour wait on the weekends, but it’s worth it: The pizza here is lit. New York-Neapolitan hybrid pies await and are joined by some world-class charcuterie, too (that’s cold-cooked meats, you guys). Yum!
4. Lucali | 575 Henry St., New York, NY Image Credit: Jeffrey Gurwin
There’s more than one way to make a mouth-watering, out-of-this-world pie, and owner Mark Iacono turns to the power of wood-fired ovens to lovingly craft his masterpieces. Located in a formerly Mafia-heavy neighborhood (Al Capone was married there), Lucali is a cash-only destination that’s famed for some of the finest New York-style pizza in the entire country. Plus, the clientele list lets you know what’s up: the Beckhams, Beyonce, and Jay-Z are all regulars.
Hey, anywhere that’s good enough for Queen Bey is good enough for us.
5. Di Fara Pizza | 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY
Image Credit: PizzainNY.com
Last but oh-so-far from least is Di Fara’s in Brooklyn. This landmark has been helmed by Domenico DeMarco, the 80-something pizza wizard that’s still making pies to this day—and has been doing so with exacting quality since the early 1960s. Classic New York-style selections can be had here, each with robust tomato sauce, a beautiful mix of creamy, melted cheeses, and a sublime drizzle of oil. In fact, part of the secret is that the flour and mozzarella are straight from the homeland of Italy, and the basil is grown fresh at the restaurant!
You can find DeMarco working almost every Wednesday through Sunday, but be prepared to wait—greatness like this takes time, and at this stage in his life, Domenico ain’t about to rush anything.
Expect a lot more about pizza from us in the coming months. Until then, what are you waiting for? Go order some!