Sicilian slice from Philomena's Pizza. Photo: Adam Kuban
There are certain truths we hold self-evident about pizza. It’s the unofficial food of NYC. The City is the world capital of pizza. People in every borough eat a lot of it, consider themselves experts and believe that their go-to spot makes the best pizza (make sure to read a complete rundown of the by our resident actual pizza expert, Adam Kuban).
We asked our editors, photographers and other departmental colleagues to give up the goods on their favorites; in other words, the places they recommend, go to and frequently bring others. Read on for the answers—then get yourself to one of these places. Maybe we’ll see you there.
Honey mustard chicken slice, The 3 Luigis. Photo: Adam Kuban
This neighborhood pizzeria makes a fine example of standard New York–style pizza. But if you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to check out their honey mustard chicken slice. —Rondel Holder
There’s nothing fancy about this corner slice joint, but there doesn’t need to be. Bleecker Street Pizza has been reliably serving up some of the best, cheapest cheese slices in the West Village since 2004. Accordingly, they’ve earned a slew of media and UGC accolades, but the real measure of their success is how they’ve pleased the palates of even the most pizza-jaded New Yorker. They stay open until 5am on Saturdays and Sundays for good reason. —Jonathan Durbin
Yam On It! pie, The Esters. Photo: Jen Davis
Sit at the bar, have some wine or, in warmer weather, a slushy, and choose from a rotating selection of seasonal pies—all of which are made with love. They have clever names like There’s Elote Going On Here (with Mexican-style corn) and The Goat (pepperoni, goat cheese and Mike’s hot honey). Prefer something simpler? Jenny, the co-owner and pizza maker, has you covered, with the Margherita and some other classics. Oh, and there are gluten-free and vegan offerings, so everyone can enjoy. —Jen Davis
Partanna pie. Courtesy, F&F Pizzeria
The owners of neighborhood stalwart Frankies 457 Spuntino have spun off a casual spot for those who don’t want to deal with getting a reservation (and who, presumably, want an alternative to pasta). So head next door to F&F for a slice of pizza; I recommend the Partanna, a vegetarian pie topped with red onion, Calabrian chili and orange blossom honey. —Rachel Kahn Taylor
Traditional slice from John's Pizzeria. Photo: Adam Kuban
John’s Pizzeria in Elmhurst would be worth visiting for the charm factor alone, with its Tiffany-style lights, 1970s wallpaper and orange booths. But its solid slices—both regular and Sicilian—served up by the sweetest mother-daughter team, Rose and Susan Bagali, cement it as one of my favorite spots in the City. It’s in a part of Queens most visitors don’t often get to, but bookmark it should you find yourself in or near the area. —Adam Kuban
Tradition rules. You won’t find anything newfangled in this tiny, busy pizzeria, and the favorites—fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, grandma, plain—are well established by the limited options you generally see in the display case and what customers typically order (when I once asked for a meatball pie, which is in fact on the menu, I got a questioning look). In any case, the sauce-cheese-crust ratio is always perfect, as is the basil oil (OK, maybe that sounds a little fangled, but it’s not) that makes its way onto a few pizzas. —Andrew Rosenberg
Rojo pie. Courtesy, Ops
This casual sit-down pizzeria and natural wine bar serves up wood-fired pies made from a sourdough base that lets the crust puff up beautifully. All their produce and toppings ingredients are sourced from local farmers. I’m a big fan of the Rojo pie, which has mortadella (I love mortadella!), crescenza cheese and pickled peppers. —Vivian Xie
When Philomena’s opened in 2016, we wondered how long the pizzeria would last at this “cursed” spot, where two previous tenants shuttered shortly after opening. But Philomena’s was an instant success, thanks to the light crust that structures their pizza squares, NY-style slices and Neapolitan pies. When the owner, David Acocella, planned to close shop and move to Naples to open a new pizza spot, customers . But it’s still around; just be sure to check the hours of operation before you visit. —Emma Diab
Lil’ Stinker pie, Roberta’s. Photo: Deidre Schoo
This is my favorite pizza place to bring friends who are visiting NYC. I always order the same: stracciatella to start, the little gem salad and one of their vegetarian pizzas. I love the Lil’ Stinker, with (double!) garlic, onions and pepperoncini. I also love the backyard tiki bar, and the Brokeback Mountain painting and Christmas lights inside. My suggestion: start with a drink outside and then eat indoors. —Jordana Bermúdez
No. 1 pie. Photo: Biz Jones for Juliana’s
A few of us couldn’t resist adding other favorites. There’s , in Sunnyside, of which Emma says, “My elementary school used to order Marabella on Fridays for pizza day, and the delivery person would often get a standing ovation when he’d show up balancing a tower of pies. You can’t go wrong here if you want a simple, well-crafted New York slice.”
For a white pie, Vivian suggests the No. 1 from , which was started by pizzaiolo legend Patsy Grimaldi. She says the pizza, topped with mozzarella, scamorza affunicata, pancetta and scallions, “reminds me of a potato bake.” (Yes, she’s here by way of Australia.)
*Not to be confused with 3 Luigis earlier in the article—and yes, we picked different places in the same borough with the name Luigi.