New York is well known for many things- the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Chrysler Building – but it also has some of the best pizzerias in the United States, and even the world!
This is due to the large influx of Italian immigrants that came to New York, bringing with them their knowledge and experience of Italian cuisine. This blended with American tastes and ideas, resulting in the creation of the famous New York Style pizza. The unique water in New York also helps to produce excellent pizza dough, as well as other bread products like bagels.
Manhattan used to be the undisputed pizza hub of New York, but Brooklyn is fast becoming even more popular for the perfect slice. There are so many pizzerias in Brooklyn, each boasting the tastiest pizza, But where is the best place to get pizza in Brooklyn?
And what makes their pizzas so good? We have put together a list of the best pizzerias in Brooklyn and a guide to what elements make a great pizza. Keep reading to find out more!
Grimaldi’s pizzeria was founded in 1990 by Patsy Grimaldi. He used his family’s 100 years of experience making pizza to create the perfect pizzas, all cooked in a coal fired oven. Nestled right by the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi’s is one of the most famous pizzerias in New York and there is always a queue outside to get a seat.
You cannot buy pizza by the slice here, only whole pizzas, but one slice of this delicious pizza would not be enough! You can choose from traditional toppings like Margherita, or go for something a little bit different like garden pesto.
You can even build your own pizza by choosing from the wide range of toppings available. The pizza at Grimaldi’s is known for its thin, crispy base and sweet sauce.
Juliana’s pizzeria is right next door to Grimaldis and is known as being its main rival, but both places were actually founded by the same person.
After Patsy Grimaldi sold Grimaldi’s and went into retirement, he changed his mind and decided to get back into the pizza business, opening another pizzeria next door to his old spot under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Juliana’s also uses a coal fired pizza oven, but also serves some pasta dishes like traditional spaghetti and meatballs. Cheesy, piping hot and full of flavour – Juliana’s will not disappoint!
Roberta’s pizzeria is located in Bushwick which is an up and coming area of Brooklyn that has only more recently become popular with tourists. The pizzas are cooked in a wood fired oven and topped with delicious and original combinations of flavours.
The Bee Sting is a tasty mixture of tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, chilli, basil and honey. Other pizzas on their menu are loaded with smoked cheese and juicy meats.
There is something for everyone, and the communal seating and casual charm make this a fun place to sit and enjoy some perfect New York style pizza. The queues can be quite long sometimes to try to get there early in the day to avoid a wait.
Lucali’s pizzeria is one of the most popular in Brooklyn and has been featured on several television shows about pizza in New York. The menu is simple to keep the service fast and seamless, so they can produce perfect pizzas all day long.
They use a wood and gas fired oven for a tasty, consistently cooked crust. The crispy base is complemented by the rich tomato sauce which is neither too sweet or too savoury. You get lovely browned spots on the melty cheese which really add to the wood fired flavour.
As with many popular pizzerias in New York, you might have to wait outside for a space, but it will definitely be worth it. The interior is a bit more fancy than some of the casual pizzerias, so it is a great location for a date night if you can get a table.
Speedy Romeo’s pizzeria used to be an auto body shop that has now been transformed into one of the best wood-fired pizza joints in Brooklyn. It has a vintage vibe and an interesting menu.
The pizzas here are thinner and drier than the typical brooklyn pizza, with options for both traditional and alternative toppings. The St Louis is one of their most popular pies, with San Marzano tomato sauce, pepperinoe & italian sausage, pickled chillies, and provel cheese.
Provel is a delightful mixture of cheddar, provolone and swiss cheese which makes a change to the usual mozzarella. There is a range of indoor and outdoor seating with a lovely atmosphere- the perfect spot to enjoy some delicious pizza.
Totonnos is located in Coney Island, Southern Brooklyn, and has been a popular pizza spot there since 1924- a real slice of New York history! It is a family run business known for their thin and crispy crusts, cooked perfectly every time in their coal fired oven.
You can eat in, or take your pizza to go and enjoy it on the beach. The menu is simple but delicious and perfectly executed. People travel from all over New York and the United States to sample the classic margherita from Totonnos.
Dellarocco’s pizzeria can be found in the quiet neighbourhood of Brooklyn Heights and it has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. It is an award winning restaurant with delicious food, but does not get as busy as some of the others so you are more likely to get a table.
It is generally more popular with locals than tourists, so is a taste of the real Brooklyn. Their crust is puffy and light rather than crispy, with a Neapolitan style cooked in a wood fired oven. A quietly confident New York slice that will exceed your expectations!
Guiseppina’s pizzeria was founded in 2011 by the brother of the creator of Lucali’s, and both brothers are in competition for the best pizza in Brooklyn. The brick oven creates a crisp yet flexible pizza base, with speciality flavours and even a dessert calzone.
The restaurant is warm and friendly with a great selection of wine and beers to complement your pizza.
Joe’s Pizza began in Greenwich, Manhattan, but they have since opened another restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The founder, an Italian immigrant from Naples, opened the first restaurant in 1975. Since then, it has been featured on numerous lists of the best pizza places in New York, the United States, and even the world, picking up multiple awards.
It is known for staying open late and attracts a wide variety of customers, including some celebrities! The seating is very limited but you can take your pie to go. The slices are big and filling, with a thin crust and delicious melty cheese. Joe’s Pizza gets positive reviews across the board for its mouthwatering food.
Paulie Gee’s is the pizzeria to visit if you like to get experimental and creative with pizza toppings! From gouda and Canadian bacon with maple syrup, to Italian fennel sausage with ricotta and spicy honey, you will be able to take your taste buds on an adventure.
The toppings are all locally sourced and of the highest quality. You can also tuck into the old classics, which are done to perfection. You can even get vegan pizzas, so there really is something for everyone.
Di Fara’s have been making top quality New York Pizzas for over fifty years, and have received praise from some of the most renowned pizza reviewers. You can buy a whole pie, or pizza by the slice.
There will be a queue and you might have to wait a while, but this spot is considered the best of the best of Brooklyn pizza. You can get a square pizza, a round pizza, a red pizza, a white pizza, classic toppings, meaty toppings- whatever you fancy.
With fresh ingredients and freshly cooked pizzas, the flavours speak for themselves.
Table 87 is a pizzeria with 3 locations in Brooklyn, a few pop up locations and a line of frozen pizza. If you dine in at one of their fixed locations then you can enjoy delicious pizza cooked in a coal fired oven, along with tasty appetizers.
They first started in 2012 and are one of the only coal fired pizzerias in Brooklyn to offer pizza by the slice. You can choose from square or round pizzas, with a wide variety of tasty toppings like prosciutto, baby arugula, burrata cheese and italian sausage.
F&F pizzeria in Carroll Gardens has to be one of the best places in Brooklyn to get a Siciliana style pizza. They also offer regular pies, all cooked in a Swedish electric oven. They source the best ingredients to create flavoursome pizzas, with a dough that ferments for 2 to 3 days.
The pizza joint is named after the two founders – Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo. Their pizza is sold by the slice and is first come first served, at a very reasonable price.
L&B is another great spot to get a slice of Sicilian style pizza. This family run pizzeria has been serving up mouth watering pies since 1939, and they use a deck oven which is traditionally used for making bread.
There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating at this venue, and you can even grab yourself some freshly made gelato.
What Makes A Great Pizza?
There are several elements that make up a great pizza. We have shown you the best pizza places in Brooklyn, but you need to know how to look out for great pizza wherever you go!
The first thing to consider is the crust. There are different types of pizza crust depending on which region it is from. New York pizza is known for being thin, with a nice crisp but able to fold down the middle of each slice as you pick it up. Chicago is known for their deep dish pizzas.
The traditional neapolitan pizza crust puffs up as it is cooked and is light and airy. You can also get grandma pizzas and Siciliana pizzas with thick, fluffy crusts. The best dough is freshly made and hand rolled. Different dough recipes require different types of flour – a good pizza chef will know which flour to use to get the best result.
The tomato base is another important element of the pizza, assuming you are having a red pizza. You need top quality tomatoes, preferable San Marzano tomatoes from Italy or California.
Some pizzas, especially traditional Italian pizzas, use a very basic uncooked sauce, made from tomatoes seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh herbs. American pizzas like New York and Deep dish, tend to use a cooked tomato sauce that has been flavoured with garlic and herbs.
The cheese can make a big difference to the flavour of the pizza. Mozzarella is the cheese traditionally used on pizza, but Buffalo Mozzarella is considered to be the superior choice due to its creamy texture and rich flavour. Some pizzerias use a blend of grated mozzarella mixed with another kind of cheese, like cheddar or provolone.
You can also use smoked cheese, swiss cheese, aged hard cheese, or soft cheeses like ricotta. It depends entirely on the flavours and style you want to create, and what will complement your other toppings.
The quality of the rest of the toppings is also important. There is no point having a well made dough, the best tomatoes and the tastiest cheese if you then compromise with poor quality meat or vegetables. The best pizzas use fresh and locally sourced ingredients for their pizza toppings.
Everyone is different when it comes to their taste in pizza. The best way to find out what you like is to try lots of different pizzas from various pizzerias to determine your favourite styles and flavours.