Pizza is perennially considered one of the most beloved foods on the planet. Even people with dietary restrictions can eat pizza, for many plant-based cheeses have become popular in recent years.
New York City is known as one of the pizza capitals of the world. This is because of the large influx of Italian immigrants that moved to the city in the late 19th century. These Italians brought with them a rich history of making pizzas. This way of eating quickly caught on in the densely populated region of NYC.
American pizza has come a long way since these humble beginnings. In this article, we discuss 7 of the best pizza places in NYC, emphasizing a diversity of food options. Towards the end of the article, we offer our final thoughts on the future of pizza.
It’s important to note that we analyzed many factors when selecting these 7 places, namely affordability, quality of ingredients, source of ingredients, location, and atmosphere. While there is seemingly an infinite number of pizza places in NYC, we think these 7 represent the cream of the crop.
Speedy Romeo – Best Pizza in NYC
All of the dishes at Speedy Romeo are cooked in either a hardwood fired Italian oven or on a wood grill from Mesquite, Texas.
What’s also unique about Speedy Romeo is that they are located in a 100-year-old bar which has undergone many renovations over the years. This history can be felt when dining here, giving each experience a very vintage, throwback feel. Even though these pizzas are decidedly modern, guests might feel like they are dining in another time and place.
Customers in NYC have two locations to choose from when dining at Speedy Romeo. They have one restaurant opened in Brooklyn and another in the Lower East side.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the St. Louie Neapolitan pizza. This is a 12-inch pizza with a San Marzano tomato sauce base, provel cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and pickled chilis.
Speedy Romeo also has an extensive brunch menu in addition to offering a number of non-pizza options like ribs, salads, burgers and steaks. For example, they sell a 30-day, dry-aged, bone-in, 32oz ribeye that comes with a baked potato, whipped lardo, and cress salad. If you’re able to utter that tongue twister before the waiter leaves the table, then you’ll be rewarded with a mouth-watering dish intended to be shared by two people.
Speedy Romeo is not only one of the best pizza places in NYC but one of the restaurants in NYC. This is an important distinction, as some pizza places only offer pizza, which can get boring over time. You don’t have to worry about that with Speedy Romeo, as they truly offer something for the entire family.
Emily – Best Pizza in NYC
The pizza place Emily has two locations in NYC, namely one in Brooklyn and one in the West Village.
Like Speedy Romeo, Emily also serves burgers, pastas, and other food, making their menu quite well-rounded. The menu varies between these locations as well as throughout the year. This allows this restaurant to incorporate local, seasonal food whenever possible.
Emily categorizes many of the pizzas on the menu according to the color of the underlying sauce used. This includes red pizzas, green pizzas, pink pizzas, and white pizzas that don’t feature any sauce. This would appeal to many kids who like to choose their foods based on the color. Alternately, some kids don’t like tomato sauce, making the white pizza options desirable.
One of the most popular white pizzas is served for Lunch at the west village location. In particular, the Pig Freaker features bacon, kimchi, sesame and miso queso. This is truly a unique combination of foods that draws on many international influences while still paying homage to the Italian way of making pizza.
If this pizza is too complicated for you, customers can always select the Classic option for $15. This includes red sauce, oregano, and mozzarella.
Emily also delivers, though it will likely take at least 45 minutes during peak hours.
Di Fara Pizza – Best Pizza in NYC
Di Fara is a family-owned pizza place in NYC that has been operating since 1964. The owner emigrated from Italy, making this one of the most authentic Italian pizza places in the city.
Despite this long history of success in NYC, the owner still makes the majority of the pizzas himself. Legend has it that he cooks up to 150 pies a day.
Many of the ingredients used at Di Fara are imported from Italy, giving each dish a truly inimitable taste.
Di Fara has clearly benefited from being in the pizza industry for so long, as their menu is incredibly simplified, making the process of choosing a pizza quite easy. There are 4 pizza options that customers can choose from, 2 of which can be purchased by the slice or entire pie. Additionally, customers can add various toppings to these pizzas, including artichokes, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, meatballs, and anchovies to name a few.
Really, the only drawback is that Di Fara is closed on Mondays and only open until 8 pm.
Patsy’s Pizzeria – Best Pizza in NYC
Patsy’s Pizzeria has been opened since 1933, which means they are experts in the pizza industry. They primarily use a coal-fired oven in order to cook their pizzas.
What’s unique about Patsy’s is their political involvement over the years. They have allowed numerous politicians to use their store as a site for spreading their vision. In this sense, eating at Patsy’s will appeal to foodies and activists alike.
Patsy’s offers a number of specialty pizzas, like the Bolognese. This pizza features beef meatballs, ricotta, fresh garlic, grated mozzarella, and tomato sauce.
Patsy’s also offers many antipasti, primi, and secondi dishes if pizza isn’t your thing. Many of their pasta dishes include seafood like clams, shrimp, and mussels.
Many people prefer Patsy’s for their quick and reliable service.
Marta – Best Pizza in NYC
Unlike some of the selections on this list, Marta is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week. Additionally, they are open until 11:30 every day, which means you can satisfy your late-night cravings.
Marta emphasizes Roman pizza, reimagining thin-crust pizza for the modern era. They also cook many of their pizza “alla brace” – over open embers.
Marta offers some of the best pizza in NYC because they source many of their ingredients locally. This contrasts with some pizza places in NYC that emphasize only imported ingredients.
Many of the pizzas on Marta’s menu feature totally novel combinations that customers won’t find at any other pizza place.
Of course, Marta offers the classic Margherita option with basil, marinara, and mozzarella cheese. But, they also have a Funghi pizza, for example, that has fontina, mozzarella, Hen of the Woods mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, red onion and thyme. If that isn’t eclectic enough for you, then they also offer a Patate Alla Carbonara pizza which features potatoes, guanciale, black pepper, pecorino, and eggs.
It’s also worth noting that Marta is a non-tipping restaurant, as hospitality is included in the price of the food. This means you won’t have to worry about an aggressive waiter trying to coax additional compensation from you. Instead, dining at Marta is all about the culinary experience.
Marta would be a great location for having dinner before heading to a party. After 9:30 pm, they offer a special deal in which customers can get a free Margherita pizza when they purchase a bottle of wine or pitcher of beer.
Paulie Gee’s – Best Pizza in NYC
Paulie Gee’s might only be opened for 5-6 hours during the day, but that window of time is plenty for visitors to indulge in the many unique options on their menu.
Paulie Gee’s does not deliver, nor do they do take out. This is because they think their pizzas are best enjoyed right out of the oven. This is an indication of the standards they maintain when making pizzas, as they won’t allow customers to eat their food in any kind of compromised way.
Beyond the many puns and witty names featured on their Menu, Pauli Gee’s is also known for using many local ingredients in a refreshing way. If you thought Marta offered some eclectic combinations, then just wait until your mouth gets a hold of one of Paul Gee’s dishes.
For example, the Monte Cristo pizza features a delectable combination of mild gouda, Canadian bacon, and maple syrup which will surely appeal to anyone from Canada. Alternatively, customers can opt for the Anise and Anephew pizza which features mozzarella, braised fennel, anisette cream drizzle, Berkshire guanciale, and fennel fronds.
Paulie Gee’s also features an entire section of their menu devoted to vegan pizzas. This is a truly radical offering that few other pizza places in NYC can match. Vegan restaurants are already relatively obscure, let alone a vegan pizza place.
Many of these pizzas use a plant-based cheese made by NUMU or some kind of house-made cashew cheese. For example, the Jackie Da Vegan, which can be ordered off of their secret menu, features a vegan tomato sauce, jackfruit meatballs, house-made cashew ricotta dollops, baby arugula, and extra virgin olive oil.
We would also be remiss if we didn’t mention the dessert pizza options. For example, customers can order the Apple Cider Caramel Sauce Dessert Pizza made with whole milk ricotta dollops.
Double Zero – Best Pizza in NYC
Double Zero represents the future of the food industry, as their restaurant is entirely plant-based. Double Zero blends their passion for plant-based foods with their passion for architecture and design. They are currently expanding to many international locations, though they also have several stores located domestically. For example, they have stores in Miami, Boston, Los Angles, Philadelphia, and on 2nd Ave in NYC.
Double Zero offers a healthy take on a food that has been traditionally loaded with fatty cheeses and meats. Many of their cheeses are made from sprouted and cultured nuts. Even their desserts could be considered healthy. Additionally, the wood-burning oven they use is custom built in order to give them maximum control over how each dish is cooked.
One of the most unique items on their menu is the Basil Sunflower Pesto pizza. This features slow-cooked onions, confit tomato, herb macadamia ricotta, and sunflower seeds.
They also have some non-pizza options, like the Cacio E Pepe which features kelp noodles, crispy black olives, and arugula.
Basically, if you follow a vegan lifestyle and find yourself craving pizza in NYC, then Double Zero is definitely the place to go.
Our Final Thoughts on the Best Pizza in NYC
We think NYC has managed to stay at the cutting-edge when it comes to the pizza industry. This has allowed NYC to keep its title as one of the pizza capitals of the world.
Many pizza places in the city are now emphasizing vegan and vegetarian options. In fact, some pizza places no longer even offer non-vegan options, like Double Zero.
We think this trend towards a plant-based lifestyle will continue to rise in popularity in the future. This might be a little strange at first when it comes to eating pizza, as this food is practically synonymous with cheese.
Still, with a little ingenuity and innovation, we think chefs will be able to mimic many of the classical pizza tastes through the creative use of plant-based ingredients.
Before you knock this approach, you truly have to try some of these modern vegan cheeses. Many of them taste surprisingly similar to traditional cheeses while also retaining their own unique flavors.
At the end of the day, we can all agree that pizza is simply phenomenal, whether it features cheese made from nuts or cheese made from animal’s milk.