By Mackenzie Allison for Where
Whether you call it a pizza, pie or pizza pie, there's no denying New York City is home to some of the best in the country. And while trying to make any "best of" list for restaurants is guaranteed to cause a stir, we're going for it. So with a little help from the staff of Where magazine in New York, here's our list of the top five New York pizza places to check out immediately -- plus what our staff said about each. Head to the comments to add your favorites to the list.
Vezzo Thin Crust Pizza
As the name suggests, a paper-thin slice of heaven is what pizza lovers can expect at this Midtown East eatery, where lunch specials abound--ranging from the wallet-friendly two cheese slices and a can of soda for $5 to an entire pie for $20. Pizzas can be piled high with a slew of toppings (think grilled chicken, pepperoni, a variety of mushrooms, broccoli, capers, grilled baby eggplant, truffle oil and Prosciutto Di Parma) and although the pizza isn't heavy on the dough, nine-grain organic crust is available for those that deem themselves particularly health-conscious. If stumped on what to get, plenty of house pies with unique combos are available.
Word Has It:
"The Meatball Classic pizza is amazing! The perfect combo of tiny meatballs with cheese and onions!" --Adeline Tafuri Jurecka, marketing
Artichoke Basille's Pizza
With Manhattan locations in Chelsea, the East Village and Greenwich Village, this no-frills pizza place (the brainchild of pizza-loving cousins Francis Garcia and Sal Basille) caters to cool downtown New Yorkers, celebs--Keith Richards is a fan, and anyone else willing to venture below 42nd Street for a melt-in-your-mouth, cheesy slice of the Vodka, Sicilian, Crab (complete with crab sauce, fresh mozzarella and surimi crab meat stuffing), and Meatball Parm variety.
Word Has It:
"It's worth a trek from the Upper East Side. You have to go with their signature Artichoke slice; it's different, no red sauce and thicker, but so delicious." --Maria Pavlovets, events
Boasting a handful of locations in Manhattan--plus outposts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Jersey City, N.J., this big city pizza place with New Orleans flair (the two boots refer to the geographic shapes of Italy and Louisiana) is the perfect spot to nosh on creatively named pies, including: The Newman, with sopressata and sweet Italian sausage on a white pie; Tony Clifton, with wild mushrooms, sweet red pepper pesto, Vidalia onions and mozzarella; and Bayou Beast, with barbecue shrimp, crawfish, andouille, jalapenos and mozzarella.
Word Has It:
"I like NYC-based chain Two Boots for their interesting topping combinations, like The CBGB (chicken, broccoli, garlic and basil pesto) and The Dude (ham, beef and two cheeses). They also have a really delicious eggplant parmesan that you can order on a sandwich or sliders." --Lynn Rickert, webmaster
"After seeing a late-night comedy show on the weekends, I love to stop by Two Boots for a slice of gourmet pizza. The restaurant is a small chain, but each location retains a lot of personality with bright-colored walls, movie posters and other unique touches. Many of the pizzas are named after famous movie and TV show characters and offer an addictive, crispy crust with cornmeal on the bottom. The best part? They cater to almost any diet--one location whipped up one of Two Boots' specialty vegan pies for a friend of mine at 1 a.m. Not too shabby." --Joni Sweet, associate editor
Nestled in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this popular pizza place picks up the vibe of its casual, yet cool neighborhood (folks dine at wooden picnic tables), but the fare is anything but, with toppings like gorgonzola, taleggio, calabrian chile, egg and speck aimed to please even the most discriminating palates.
Word Has It:
"There's almost always a wait for a table (so it goes in cooler-than-thou Bushwick), but the pizza is worth it: Wood-fired in an open-kitchen overlooking the main dining room, the paper-thin pizzas arrive piping, with crusts dotted with charred dough bubbles. The Margherita is a safe, simple and elegant choice." --William G. Frierson IV, associate editor
John's of Times Square
Located in an old gospel tabernacle church in The Crossroads of the World (there's also a location across the Hudson in Jersey City), foodies are treated to views of the building's stained-glass ceiling as they enjoy mouthwatering, coal-fired brick oven pies--from the classic Hawaiian and Bianca pizzas to their own unique combos from the (almost) never-ending list of options.
Word Has It:
"What do I like about John's? I never dine before a Broadway show, always after. Since John's is open until 10:30 p.m. (11 p.m. Fri & Sat), it's perfect for post-theater pizza (always a thin-crust margherita pie with extra toppings: pepperoni, bell peppers, black olives, mushrooms and anchovies) and a house salad (a bit heavy on the vinaigrette perhaps, but crisp, tangy and big enough to be shared by two). Guinness on draft is another plus in my book." --Francis Lewis, executive editor
"I am a veteran fan of John's. I love the wine, the noisy ambience and those oh-so-crusty thin pizzas! Mm, mm, good!" --Lois Levine, editor in chief
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- NYC Restaurants With a View
- How to Travel Like a Rock Star
(Photos courtesy of the restaurants.)