New York may be technically be the Big Apple, but any local will tell you it’s really all about the slice. That’s right, New York’s most hotly contested rivalry doesn’t have anything to do with the Yankees, it’s all about whose pizza reigns supreme. While you shouldn’t leave the city without trying one of the classic NY street slices, the dollar slice has made way for a more mature pizza, one that takes taste and freshness into very strong consideration.
Here are a few of New York’s finest pizzas, and no, you won’t find them in Little Italy.
Recently named by New York Times Food Critic Sam Sifton as the city’s best pie, Motorino offers traditional Neapolitan style brick oven pizzas. Chef Mathieu Palombino has constructed perfect crusts as a base for pies featuring ingredients like spicy sopressata and oregano or cremini mushrooms and sweet sausage. They also recently expanded from their Brooklyn location to the East Village, perfect for Manhatanites.
Expect a line outside of this popular East Village pizza joint. Best known for their Sicilian pies and artichoke-spinach slices, this is hearty fare with big, messy portions that are all the more delicious. Know before you go, that it is located on bustling 14th Street and that there is very little seating at best. It is also open late, which helps draw crowds from the bars nearby.
Translating directly to “This is it,” Keste gives you no choice but to love their Neapolitan pies. Everything about this fairly new pizzeria is strictly authentic. The oven was made by artisans flown in from Naples who paid attention to every detail, even making sure the wood would stack perfectly. Expect equally authentic and delicious ingredients like Italian sausages, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and truffles.
Established in 1905, Lombardi’s is America’s first pizzeria and each. Moreover, Gennaro Lombardi taught some of New York’s most famed pizza chefs, including John Sasso of John’s and Patsy Lancieri of Patsy’s. Popular for the great location and full menu and bar, Lombardi’s is regularly a top pick for favorite pie in the city. Try the clam pie, it doesn’t have mozzarella or tomato, but trust us, you won’t miss it.
This old standard isn’t changing any time soon. With locations all around the city, from the Upper East Side to Greenwich Village, you’ll never be far from a great Italian-American pie, but the original location is a bit of a hike. Head up to East Harlem for a taste of the city’s only coal oven slice, like nothing you’ve ever had before.