5 Top Places to Enjoy a Slice of New York City Pizza
Whether you crave a pie with extra cheese or something more avant-garde, New York's got you covered.
Enjoy Grimaldi's coal-fired pizza and amazing views of Manhattan's east side skyline.(STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
New Yorkers are passionate about pizza, but where to grab the perfect slice is up for debate. Part of the reason could be that New York establishments serve up so much variety, from wood-fired to coal-fired and Neapolitan-style to Sicilian, that it's hard to choose.
"People here have different perceptions of what New York pizza really is," says Graham Thomas, chief concierge for The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, which opened on Nassau Street in August 2016. "There's the traditional margherita pizza with the fresh mozzarella or it's the greasy slice where you see people standing with a paper plate, doing the fold, and grease dripping everywhere. Or it's artisanal handcrafted pizza."
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In a city with such pride in its pizza-making history – where some say even the local water gives New York pizza dough an edge over its rivals – these are some of the best pizzerias around.
If you want a traditional New York slice, Thomas says, go to Joe's Pizza on Carmine Street near Sixth Avenue, a Greenwich Village favorite that opened in 1975. A single slice of cheese pizza is $2.75, and a full pie (eight slices) of plain cheese pizza with no fancy toppings is $20.
"Joe's is so old-school, and you don't find many places like that anymore," Thomas says. "It's got the exposed brick, it's no frills, there's just a simple sign that says 'Joe's,' but everyone goes there. New Yorkers go there. You don't get a bunch of options in toppings. It's usually plain cheese or pepperoni, but Joe's Pizza is something you can still enjoy five days later."
If you seek a bit more variety in your pizza toppings, such as eggplant, broccoli rabe or prosciutto, Adrienne's Pizzabar is the place, according to Chris Heywood, senior vice president of global communications for NYC & Company, the city's tourism organization. Located on historic Stone Street in lower Manhattan near the Financial District, Adrienne's serves full pies, not slices: A 12-inch round pizza costs between $17 and $23, depending on the toppings, while the larger, square "old-fashioned" red or white pizzas cost $24 and $25, respectively.
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"Adrienne's Pizzabar is my personal favorite NYC pizza eatery," Heywood says. "I get mine with meatball and pepperoni, you have to buy a full pie, and they're served on a metal sheet tray."
During the warmer months, sit at Adrienne's picnic tables, and Heywood suggests washing some pizza down with the restaurant's sangria.
If you're willing to leave Manhattan for Brooklyn, check out Paulie Gee's, which dishes up fancy pizzas at 60 Greenpoint Ave., between West and Franklin streets. But be prepared to wait: Pizza enthusiasts often must brave lines to eat at this sit-down-only national chain. In addition to salads and vegan pizzas, Paulie Gee's sells pies such as the A Whiter Shade of Kale with mozzarella and nut-free kale pesto for $16, or the Cherry Jones with mozzarella, Gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto di Parma, dried Bing cherries and orange blossom honey for $19.
While hanging out in Brooklyn, make your way to Moore Street in the Bushwick neighborhood to share a pizza with family or friends at Roberta's. It's worth the schlep, according to Jennifer Picht, things to do editor for Time Out New York. "Pizzawise, you should have a good crust and have a good sauce-to-cheese ratio," Picht says. "For a dollar greasy slice, you can get that anywhere. Roberta's has a pizza called the Bee Sting with drizzled honey on it, and it's amazing, plus they sell the honey separately."
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Pizzas are sold as entire pies. The Bee Sting costs $16. Or, if you're a "Star Wars" fan, try the Millennium Falco for $17 that has tomato, Parmigiano, onion, basil and chili. There's also the White Guy for $15, featuring mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil and sea salt.
If you'd like to eat quintessential New York food while taking in a quintessential New York view, then Grimaldi's Pizzeria is the place, according to Jay Seo, assistant front office manager at The Greenwich Hotel. Grimaldi's serves coal-fired pizza within walking distance of Brooklyn Bridge Park beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, giving pizza lovers an amazing view of Manhattan's east side skyline. With its red-and-white-checkered tablecloths, Grimaldi's is an old-school favorite. "Make sure you're hungry because Grimaldi's takes orders by the pie," Seo says. Grimaldi's serves small pies of six slices or larger pies of eight slices. Toppings include pepperoni, mushroom, ham, sausage, onion and oven-roasted sweet red peppers.
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To experience more of what New York City has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.
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