The Best Pizza in New York
New York: a city for and of pizza lovers. Every New Yorker has their favourite addresses to get a slice or ‘pie’ (the whole pizza). A couple of pizzerias have almost been declared as holy dining spots. Here is my personal top 5 best pizza in New York, trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
1. John’s Pizzeria of Bleecker Street (278 Bleecker Street)
John’s Pizzeria of Bleecker Street, also known as John’s Pizza is my number 1. The wood panelling, traditional niches and colourful wall art make this restaurant experience in itself – free with your slice of pizza. This spot draws the attention of all sorts of people, hipsters, struggling artists, old Italian gentlemen and even many celebrities (at least on the wall). You can’t buy individual slices, just whole pizzas, which are big enough to share between two or three people. Baked in a brick oven, pizzas have a dark, crispy, thin crust. John’s praise themselves for the classical preparation of their pizza and rightly so!
These pizzas are more sophisticated than most American variations. Ingredients are fresh, the sauce is spicy and the cheese is premium quality. Cheese pizza is standard here but there are countless possibilities for toppings. You can also order a bottle of wine at a reasonable price. You won’t go bankrupt eating here: A pizza costs US$17.00, plus $4 per topping. There’s also a branch on Times Square, both locations are great for lunch and dinner, but expect a queue.
2. NY Pizza Suprema (413 8th Avenue)
This pizzeria is actually located in a bit of a weird, or at least unexpected, place in Manhattan. You wouldn’t expect for one of the best pizzerias to be located right next to Penn Station! I only know about this one from an article I read, about a boy who tried out all of the pizzerias in Manhattan during the course of two years. NY Pizza Suprema received a great score on his list. So, when I got the chance to try it for myself, of course, I did and he was right! The pizzas have a good crust and are baked lightly to perfection. However, it’s the sauce that makes the pizza, and that is fantastic. It’s tangy, spicy – but not too spicy and is really what makes the difference. Try at least one margarita slice, before you go crazy with other toppings like pepperoni.
Although there is enough seating, this is not a place to go for the atmosphere but purely for the pizza! Prices start at US$24 for a pie or US$3 a slice. In terms of slices, this place is the winner (John’s Pizza doesn’t offer slices). NY Pizza Suprema is great for grabbing lunch or, because of its location (near Penn Station/Madison Square Garden), perfect for a snack before or after a Knicks or Rangers game for example!
3. Lombardi’s (32 Spring Street)
For a slice of history, visit Lombardi’s. In contrast to Joe’s Pizza, Lombardi’s was not designed for a quick bite. In 1905 this pizzeria was given planning permission by the municipality of New York, making it the oldest pizzeria in the city. The décor hasn’t changed much since: wooden tables, red and white check table cloths and murals of the Italian countryside. Everyone comes to Lombardi’s – from glamorous couples to large families. In the restaurant you can’t order slices, only whole pizzas and they are not for those on a diet! Lombardi’s is known as the pizzeria that introduced the New York-style pizza: with it’s thick, dark crust, topped with mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil. On top of that, you can choose lots of different sorts of toppings, including home-made meatballs.
Toppings are US$3 a piece and the pizzas are US$22,50 for 8 slices, or US$18,50 for 6 slices. Great for lunch and dinner but expect long queues.
4. Joe’s Pizza (7 Carmine Street)
Finding Joe’s Pizza from the subway stop West 4th Street is easy; just follow the sounds and smells! This place is always packed with businessmen, residents and workmen eagerly enjoying their slices. You can order one of those slices at the ‘bar’, where you’ll be handed a paper plate with your selection that you can devourer straight away at one of the standing tables on the side. The trouble will surely be rewarded as the pizzas are topped to perfection and very good. You can order a cheese pizza, a margarita (with mozzarella) or a Sicilian. All of the different pizzas have a thin crispy crust and a large amount of cheese. For most, the high point is Joe’s tomato sauce: the right balance between sweet and spicy. You can also add a range of toppings, like pepperoni. You pay a little extra for that, but at US$2,75 a slice, that isn’t a big deal. And who knows, you might be rubbing elbows with Leonardo DiCaprio, who frequents Joe’s.
5. Two Boots (Among others on 625 9th Ave and 44th Street)
Two Boots was established in 1987 by two film-makers that love pizza and beer (like many American men). The name references the form of both Italy and Louisiana as they both look like boots. With an original name and creative entrepreneurs, it’s no wonder that Two Boots serves special pizzas. At all locations (11 in New York) you can order a cheese pizza that can be dressed up with toppings inspired by Southern food. The names of the pizzas are inspired by films and tv shows: The Dude, The Newman, Mr Pink and Cleopatra Jones. Whoever doesn’t feel like an exotic pizza can just choose pepperoni, anchovies or olives. A slice costs US$2,75 – $3,75 and a pizza costs US$9,95 (small), $14,95 (medium) or US$19,95 (large).