New York City is known for many things — its skyscrapers, its tourist traps, and, naturally, its pizza. However, Manhattan did not become the true pizza town it is now until 1905, when Lombardi’s gained its business license and became the first pizzeria in the United States. The city adopted the classic Italian dish in no time, giving other aspiring shop owners the opportunity to pursue their passion and open their own businesses.
It goes without saying that much has changed since the humble Lombardi’s first opened its door in 1905, as other pizza styles — such as St. Louis and Detroit — have infiltrated the city and created a wide variety for customers to choose from.
However, in spite of your favorite style of crust or toppings, some pizzerias just stand out from the rest — and for good reason. So, with that in mind, let us take a closer look at the best pizzerias in New York City.
After serving his time at Lombardi’s, Anthony (Totonno) Pero ventured out on his own in 1924 and opened Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitana in Coney Island. Since its establishment, this family-owned pizzeria has received the title of Best Pizza in New York City from Zagat, the New York Times, and the James Beard Foundation.
This pizzeria first opened its doors in 1929, after yet another former Lombardi’s employee ventured away to start his own business. This Greenwich Village spot, which is a staple of the surrounding community, boasts coal-oven pizzas with savory garlic flavors and a chewy yet crunchy crust.
This pizzeria is adored by Manhattanites and celebrities alike. Many of Lucali’s patrons state they enjoy their plain cheese pizzas the best, as they are not too over the top and are a testament to the great care that is put into each pie — from the small, homegrown basil flakes to the gooey cheese that just hits the spot.
This pizzeria has become so wildly popular over the years that it has established branches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, and Malaysia. However, in spite of its massive popularity, this restaurant enterprise has kept its number one promise to its customers: to always remain true and use the best of the best ingredients they can get their hands on. These practices, as well as their ability to craft pizzas that are unique but not over the top, have been followed since their first shop opened in Brooklyn.