Life

New York City’s Most Famous Pizza Slices, Re-Tasted And Ranked For 2022

Ask any New Yorker where you can get the best slice of pizza in the city and you’re bound to hear some passionate opinions. Pizza by the slice is to New York City what the cheesesteak is to Philly, the Juicy Lucy is to Minneapolis, or the steamed crab bucket is to Baltimore: an iconic and beloved local favorite (which people get borderline too passionate about).

Enjoying a steaming hot slice of ‘za is a New York City rite of passage, both for locals and visitors, not to mention a fairly low-cost yet satisfying meal. While the “dollar slice” may be mostly dead, dollar or not, it’s usually more than worth the dough.

The only “problem” with New York pizza, if you can call it that, is that there’s so much of it. New York is practically drowning in by-the-slice pizza, with literally hundreds of spots to grab a slice in the city, from long-standing neighborhood joints to the spots you patronize late at night, after hitting the bars. Having so much quantity can be tricky though — it’s tough for a newcomer to discover the real gems amidst all the run-of-the-mill-level slices.

With that in mind, we took the liberty of doing some of the legwork for you, attempting to taste as many of New York’s most famous and most acclaimed pizzerias as we could and offering our updated rankings of what we tried.

The Rules:

When there was a margherita slice available, I ordered a margherita slice. If no basil was available to be laid across that sizzling cheese, I ordered a plain slice. In places that had both triangle and Sicilian slices, I ordered both, and if only a Sicilian slice was available, I grabbed a plain or granny slice.

The one hard and fast rule is that each and every spot on this list has pizza available by the slice for takeaway, meaning little to no wait time for all that cheesy goodness.

The Guidelines:

There are a few key markers I look for when it comes to a perfect New York slice. While I understand that there are people who savor a slice with an obscene amount of cheese piled on or a super sweet sauce, that isn’t going to do for this list.

It’s also important to distinguish a New York slice from your typical Domino’s—the bottom of the slice should be crisp and thin, and shouldn’t flop too much or fall apart in your hands (no soggy bottoms!). The cornice of the crust should be slightly raised with a good bit of chew on the inside and air bubbles topped by a slight char for flavor and crunch. Most New York pizzerias top their pies with low-moisture mozzarella. When done impeccably, the slice should still have some red sauce splotches coming through, a nice oily sheen, and stretchy cheese that pulls in strings when you take a bite.

As for the sauce, I’m looking for that classic, simple New York-style pizza sauce — crushed tomatoes that provide their own sweetness and a zingy, acidic taste. It might be flavored with salt and Italian herbs. What you don’t want in pizza sauce is an overt, sugary sweetness, which could come from lazier sauces made with added sugar.

When it comes to the Sicilian slice, that’s a whole different story. You’ll find Sicilian slices all over New York (including in this article), and they can be supremely satisfying when done right. They’re typically square, with a much breadier, thicker crust than what you’d see with a New York triangle. That means that the entire crust, from the bottom to the back of the slice, should be consistently crunchy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. It should also be a bit lighter and kind of airy—almost like focaccia bread. For a Sicilian slice, dry or stodgy crust is the kiss of death.

Regardless of the granular distinctions, the bottom line is that we were on the hunt for tasty pizza that kept us wanting more, and distinguished itself amongst its many many competitors. Here’s how these 20 acclaimed shops ranked.

The Rankings

20. Rivington PizzaLower East Side

Rivington Pizza
Austa Somvichian-Clausen

Maybe most of the people visiting Rivington Pizza on the Lower East Side are stumbling home from the bars when they write five-star reviews, but I just didn’t get it. The slice was greasy and with no hint of flavor from the dry crust. They did top the slice with a considerable amount of cheese, but that doesn’t make it special.

Bottom Line:

Maybe it would’ve tasted better if they’d kept it in the oven longer.

19. Baby Luc’sCarroll Gardens

Baby Luc's
Austa

Oh, man. I was primed to love Baby Luc’s, based on prior experiences at the original Lucali’s — possibly one of New York’s most beloved pizza joints. Their newer slice shop in Carroll Gardens turned out to be severely lacking. I ordered a Sicilian slice of margherita and got, for lack of better words, a dough brick.

Bottom Line:

The crust was not without flavor, but it was dense and filling, and the zingy, flavorful sauce didn’t quite make up for the lack of cheese on top. Bonus points for kind service though.

18. Two BootsEast Village

Two Boots Pizza
Austa Somvichian-Clausen

I loved the funky vibe at Two Boots’ landmark slice shop in East Village, and was enticed by the promise of cornmeal-crusted pizza bottoms from this ever-growing NY pizza mini-empire. Their high-quality vegan pizza continues to inspire feverish demand, but I grabbed a corner slice of grandma pie. It had sauce aplenty and tasted nice and fresh, and the cheese was present in just the right quantity. Surprisingly enough, my biggest gripe was the crust itself, which was thick and bland.

Bottom Line:

I needed to gulp water down after finishing this slice.

17. 3 Luigis Pizzeria And RestaurantClinton Hill

Three Luigi's PIzza
Austa

An unassuming, no-frills slice shop on a popular street in Clinton Hill, 3 Luigis punches way above its weight. The crust on our margherita slice was thin and crispy with the right amount of chew, and the cheese ratio was what you’d want. It tastes like the kind of slice one might remember eating as a kid. And yet, it’s sort of… good but not great.

Bottom Line:

The sauce could’ve used more flavor, and the ingredients lack an overall element of freshness that the slices higher on this list had.

16. Joe’s PizzaWest Village

Okay hear me out: yes, Joe’s is an undisputed New York classic, and tons of people love the taste of their slices. Personally, I think there just happens to be much better by-the-slice pizza out there, which shouldn’t detract from Joe’s legacy as a New York legend. The slices here are exactly what one should expect from a typical, jumbo NYC pie: crunchy crust, zesty sauce, lots of bang for your buck. But I just don’t find this to be stellar.

Bottom Line:

The sauce is probably the best part of a slice from Joe’s. It’s supremely chunky and tastes fresh and acidic. The crust is fairly bland, and the cheese is quite greasy.

15. Impasto Pizza al TaglioClinton Hill

Impasto
Austa

After reading rave reviews and stepping into their aesthetically pleasing slice shop on a charming Clinton Hill corner, I really wanted to love the al-taglio slices at Impasto. It’s very clear that Impasto serves authentic, tasty square slices with quality ingredients, and yet there was always something off. Two separate visits yielded similar results: less than enthusiastic service and a lack of consistency. Our first visit resulted in a slice whose crust was not crisp or charred enough, and the overall flavor was fairly bland. On the second trip, the char was so intense that it threatened to drown out the taste of the actually delicious focaccia-like crust—which itself is airy, flavorful, and just the right amount of chewy. The sauce tasted more zingy and acidic this time, with nice chunks of tomato.

Bottom Line:

At the end of the day, Impasto is still making a unique slice of pizza that you can’t find at many other places in the city and their inventive selection of toppings makes this joint worth a try.

14. L & B Spumoni GardensGravesend

LB Spumoni
Austa

This legendary Brooklyn institution has been serving customers since 1939 and is still a supremely popular spot for both locals and pizza fanatics journeying deep into the borough to try an “L&B slice” alike. The slice we’re referring to is their popular “upside-down Sicilian,” for which they layer the mozzarella before laying down a hearty serving of tomato sauce and dusting with parmesan. I was impressed by the flavor and heartiness of this slice, but less than enthused about their thin crust, which served as an antithesis of sorts to the Sicilian.

Bottom Line:

The slice itself was very floppy, and though the crust had a nice char on the bottom, there was hardly any of their flavorful tomato sauce to be found beneath a thick layer of very salty cheese.

13. Prince Street PizzaSoho

Prince Street PIzza
Austa

Prince Street Pizza and its consistently long line is legendary. It’s frequently visited by celebrities, with photographic evidence you can peruse while waiting to order. They’re best known for their iconic Sicilian slice, topped with unholy amounts of tiny pepperonis, which are honestly worth the line every time. My taste buds had a less enthusiastic response to their classic cheese slice though, which makes me wonder whether Prince Street is a one-trick pony. The slice wasn’t structurally sound enough to pick up without making a mess, though I was impressed by the quantity and quality of cheese.

Bottom Line:

A tasty, chewy crust almost made up for an overly sweet sauce.

12. Luigi’s PizzeriaClinton Hill

Luigi's PIzza
Austa

A no-frills go-to for locals and Pratt students alike, Luigi’s is a solid slice shop in Clinton Hill. There, the good people of Luigi’s whip up fresh and hot slices from behind an emerald green takeout window—putting out consistently tasty pies with a light and airy, crisp crust. Rather than the traditional pieces of fresh basil, Luigi’s drizzles a pesto-like oil across their margherita slice, and dots it with large splotches of mozzarella.

Bottom Line:

The tomato sauce is tasty enough, but I was craving more consistent cheese across the slice.

11. Paulie Gee’sGreenpoint

Paulie Gee
Austa

Paulie Gee’s is in the midst of building an empire of sorts, spreading its cheesy fingers all the way to Baltimore and Chicago, but the magic started right here in Brooklyn. Its slice shop is located in Greenpoint right next to the OG restaurant, and is probably best known for its genius decision to start drizzling Mike’s Hot Honey on some of their slices. We sampled both their basic cheese slice and a “Freddy Prinze,” which they call an “upside-down Sicilian.” Their basic cheese slice does not make this top list, but let’s get into the Freddy Prinze, because it was damn good.

Bottom Line:

I was blown away by the unique sesame seed bottom, which imparted a nutty flavor to complement the crisp, chewy crust and Pecorino Romano cheese. But for all that breadiness, I was hoping for more sauce, and a more flavorful sauce at that.

10. Joe and Sal’sCrown Heights

Joe and Sal
Austa

Driving up to Joe and Sal’s small shop on a quiet street in Crown Heights felt like being in a rom-com, with string lights gracing the eating area and a friendly wave greeting us from the order window. Inside, diners are treated to even more New York magic, with movies playing on a small mounted television, quirky signs on the walls, and a classic cheesy slice. Their slice is good. It’s not what you’d call “elevated,” but that doesn’t make it any less tasty in its own right. The super thin crust was bogged down by a lot of oozy cheese, giving it a wet structure that was a little difficult to handle.

Bottom Line:

A generous amount of basil and a drizzle of olive oil kept this one fresh, and the sauce wasn’t overly sweet. Overall, a perfect date spot.

9. Ace’sWilliamsburg

Ace's
Austa

One of the many great things about New York is that its culinary scene lives by motto “innovate or die.” That means that while the classic NY triangle will always be in style, slice shops continue to bring new flavors and trends to keep diners from getting bored. On the come up right now is the Detroit-style slice, a cousin of the Sicilian slice and closest in style to the grandma slice. The difference is that a grandma slice is typically a bit thinner than a classic Detroit deep pan. Ace’s, a retro-trendy slice shop in Williamsburg, makes both. We sat at one of their booths to devour a garlic-laden grandma with a thick, oily crust that had tons of flavor, and a zesty sauce.

Bottom Line:

The aroma alone was enough to make anyone hungry, but I was a bit overloaded with garlic flavor to distinguish much else. Still, it was something I’d happily order again, many times.

8. Table 87Gowanus

Table 87
Austa

Stepping into this attractive but underrated corner slice shop in Gowanus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The pizza far surpassed expectations: a nice thin crust without any excess grease, and some of the tastiest cheese on this list. Despite the solid amount of mozz’ that pulled perfectly, I had no issues picking up this slice. Sauce was a little on the sweet side but had a great taste, and in general, this was a lighter slice.

Bottom Line:

This isn’t necessarily the kind of slice I’d crave late at night, because it isn’t as indulgent as some of the others, but it’s a more upscale option with great, fresh basil, that you could feel good about biting into any time of day.

7. Corner SliceHell’s Kitchen

Another grandma slice. Corner Slice, located in the corner of the Gotham West Market, finally satisfied our longing for a more flavorful dough. Makes sense, since their co-owners make it a point to use fancy artisan flour, hailed by both bakers and pizzaiolo’s alike, for a superior crust. The result is a thick and chewy, yet crispy crust that left me wanting more.

Bottom Line:

Wilted basil and a sprinkling of oregano added herbaceous flavor that complemented the bubbly cheese. Grab a few napkins, though — these slices can definitely be greasy.

6. Best PizzaWilliamsburg

Best Pizza
Austa

As the name indicates, Best Pizza is a beloved neighborhood slice institution with a loyal following. It’s the food baby of Frank Pinello, who has a following of his own and has appeared on shows like Ugly Delicious. Unlike many true slice shops, I love that Best Pizza has a vast indoor seating area for enjoying your slice, especially if it’s chilly or blazing outside. Their super thin slice pizza is a good, reliable slice, but it didn’t exactly blow my socks off.

Bottom Line:

Most impressive was the amount of char and bubbles that gave the slice a great texture, though I wanted more chew from the dough, and thought the sauce was a bit thin.

5. L’IndustrieWilliamsburg

L'industrie
Austa

How can I say this? L’Industrie is… incredibly hip. The consistent line out the door is just one indicator that this Williamsburg slice shop is the “it girl” in the neighborhood. Luckily it’s for good reason. All of their pies are based on a classic cheese slice (which you won’t be seeing displayed in any glass cases, by the way). Atop that glorious base, you have the opportunity to add anything your heart desires: basil, burrata, spicy salami, fig jam, you name it.

Walking away with a steaming margherita slice, I was pleased to see a thin, bubbly crust with a perfect structure. There was solid char to be found on the bottom of the crust, red sauce peeking at me from under the cheese at the base of the end crust, and fresh basil and shaved parm on the very top.

Bottom Line:

I have no doubt that with all the fancy toppings this slice would be a 10/10, but that’s exactly why I go for the basics. My main gripe was that the slice was a bit dry and could have used more cheese, rather than the parm on top.

4. Williamsburg PizzaWilliamsburg

Williambsburg
Austa

What was once one small slice shop on the corner of Union and S. 3rd has grown into a NYC pizza empire, as Williamsburg continues to open up shops all around the city. I tried a margherita slice at their original shop, and was pleasantly surprised that they lived up to the hype.

Not floppy at all with a great char on the bottom of the slice, sauce peeking through the mozzarella. Zesty, acidic sauce that isn’t sweet. Shredded basil. Crust tastes fresh with a good chew to crunch ratio.

Bottom Line:

A very solid slice all the way around.

3. Scarr’s PizzaLower East Side

Scarr's Pizza
Austa

Scarr’s is the perfect example of where New York pizza is heading—calling upon classic recipes but adding a cool vibe that draws a consistent crowd. They’re also the only by-the-slice pizza joint in New York to use freshly milled flour from Upstate New York for their dough. Out of all the slice shops I visited while researching for this story, Scarr’s had hands down the longest line. It was worth the wait. I was impressed by a supremely even char on the end crust and the perfect color on the cheese. The slice has tons of little bubbles and boils all over, which lent a great texture, and the sauce was zesty with herbaceous undertones.

Bottom Line:

My only real gripe was the pizza’s temperature, which was way too cold for the cheese to pull at all. I chalk it up to the staff trying to rush through the line.

2. Di Fara PizzaMidwood

Di Fara
Austa

Di Fara first opened back in 1965, and has been churning out consistently fire slices ever since. In that time, Uproxx has shown the place a whole lot of love — though no one tried to bias me for this ranking. [NOTE: After this tasting, Dom Demarco, founder of Di Fara, passed away at age 85. The shop is now in the hands of his son, who longtime guests will certainly know from his years of apprenticing].

I had no problem picking up their slice without getting my hands messy, despite the fact that the top of the cheese was positively gleaming with oil. Their slightly thicker crust could’ve been slightly softer and chewier on the inside of the end crust, but was otherwise great. The sauce was fresh and zesty—the perfect complement to what was obviously good quality cheese.

Bottom Line:

Di Fara now has multiple locations (including one in Vegas!), but their small, OG shop in Midwood is where the real magic happens.

1. Bleecker Street PizzaGreenwich Village

Bleecker Street Pizza
Austa Somvichian-Clausen

Bleecker Street lands at or near the top of many lists of NYC’s best pizza, and for good reason. Their slice had a great structure and a thin crust, which lent a nice, crisp, crunchy bite. The cheese-to-sauce ratio was perfect, and they used a flavorful, slightly chunky sauce that wasn’t too sweet. My only gripe was that the crust could’ve benefitted from a bit more char, but you won’t really miss it. The slice itself is magically crisp.

Bottom Line:

Even having been to five pizza places that same day, Bleecker still stood head and shoulders above the rest. 10/10.

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