New York Slice: The Definitive Guide to Pizza
Welcome to New York City, a hotly debated pizza town famed for those massive foldable slices and tasty artisanal pies. From small storefronts to classic institutions to newcomers with wood-oven delights, here, our guide to the best downtown spots.
In a city that offers every bell and whistle you can imagine, sometimes you just want to keep things simple. Emmett’s is just that. With a no-frills yet welcoming atmosphere, Emmett’s serves Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, albeit a modified version that won the hearts of even the most purist of pizza aficionados, that pairs perfectly with a cold beer (available on tap). It’s a small space, 30 seats, so don’t be surprised if the guy behind the bar quotes you a decent wait time before you can grab a table. Oh, and that guy behind the bar will most likely be Emmett himself—or his brother, Dillon—who runs the restaurant.
50 Macdougal Street, New York; T. (917) 639-3571
Since 1975, this tiny, no-frills West Village pizza joint helmed by father and son duo Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. respectively, has been doling out slices to hungry patrons and celebs (oh hey, there’s Leo!). Order from simple thin-crusted delights topped with bold, tangy red sauce, melted mozzarella cheese, and assorted meats. Because tables are scarce, most folks eat their snack standing up.
7 Carmine St, New York; T. (212) 366-1182
The latest ’70s funk soundtrack meets toothsome, wood-oven Neapolitan delights inside chef Ryan Hardy’s NoLita space. “The clam pie is a combination of two of my favorite things—broccoli rabe and clams,” says Hardy. “Combine that with a full 72-hour dough ferment, tender clams, salted chiles, and a good squeeze of lemon, and you’ve got the ultimate bite.” Pair your pizza with Robert Bohr’s well-curated wine list.
187 Mulberry St, New York; E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pizzaphiles drop by this old-school spot on Orchard Street, beloved for its vintage trappings complete with wood-paneled walls, a long bar counter, and Tiffany-style lamps. Nab a backroom booth and select from four slice variations (original, white, pepperoni, and Sicilian) using locally-sourced tomatoes, milled-in-house flour, and complimentary toppings like jalapeno, and crisp pancetta.
22 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002; T. (212) 334-3481
In the early aughts, owner Frank Prisinzano, whose first job was in a pizzeria, was looking for Naples-style joints in the East Village. “I just wanted my own pizza from my own pizzeria,” Prisinzano recalls. Lucky us. As for what to order inside this brick-exposed space: “The first thing I cooked in the oven was the whole eggplant pizza, which is now maybe our most popular dish.”
19 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003; T. (212) 420-4900
This narrow, rustic space on Mulberry Street mixes the right amount of reclaimed wood tables, vaulted ceilings, moody lighting, and old photos. Hungry patrons nosh on chef A.J. Pappalardo’s simple, thin-crust pies with classic red sauce, and ambitious offerings with anchovies, oyster mushrooms, and soppressata. For dessert, it’s all about the rainbow cookies. Please note: slices are only available during lunch.
235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012; T. (212) 965-0500
Venture to Carroll Gardens for the dimly lit, bare-walled space of supreme pizza whiz (and Brooklyn native) Mark Iacono, whose offering of only two items feature artisanal brick-oven pies alongside expertly-crisp, warm calzones (in three sizes) folded with ingredients like chewy mounds of pepperoni. Insider tip: call ahead and put your name down. BYOB, and cash only.
575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231; T. (718) 858-4086
Words Kate Donnelly
Photography courtesy Pasquale Jones