Welcome back to All Things Pizza Week at Resy. This week, we’re sharing our picks for the best pizza joints for slices, sit-down spots, neighborhood hangs, delivery go-tos, and late-night gems — all recommended by a panel of esteemed New York City pizza enthusiasts. Herewith, are their picks for their favorite neighborhood pizzerias — the tried-and-true spots that never let them down — plus recs for late-night pizza needs, and delivery, too. Tomorrow: A map of all their top pizza picks in New York.
Maybe you don’t want to travel too far, or you feel like staying in (your pajamas). Or maybe you’re out and about and can’t think (or see) straight, and pizza manifests itself in front of you in the wee hours. In New York, pizza is always there for you — close to home, and close to the heart.
What’s your favorite neighborhood pizza spot?
Anoop Desai, aka Totem
Anoop Desai is an actor currently cast as The Djinn in What We Do in the Shadows on FX. Since 2012, he’s also written and recorded music under the pseudonym Totem. Desai loves eating, discussing, and writing about food, and was recently published in the Journal of American Folklore discussing barbecue in the South.
“Sal’s Pizza Store on Court Street is an OG neighborhood spot even though it changed ownership. Really classic New York thin crust, it’s almost cracker-y when it’s reheated, and the cheese is molten. I go, take the dog, and sit on the side table/bench, and have a beer, then, in the summer, go get an ice from Court Pastry Shop.
“Pizza Moto on Hamilton Avenue, right underneath the BQE: I love ordering from there, and going there. They’ve got great non-pizza specials like salads, and they do fried chicken nights. [For delivery] it’s also Pizza Moto! They have one pie called Salsa Verde (tomatillo salsa, jalapeño, fontina, mozzarella, Pecorino) which is pretty good. The mushroom pie is great, too. It’s the only place we go white rather than classic red. If you’re at Other Half Brewing for a beer, it’s a no brainer to order from Pizza Moto if you want some food.
“Luzzo’s on Atlantic Avenue has a tiny little bar at the entryway. An aperitivo, pizza, rice balls. When you walk in seems like you’re out of space and time.
“I used to live on 7th Street between Avenues A and B In the East Village and I’d go to Stromboli. It’s nostalgic, too, but you can walk in at 2 a.m. and have full pies of everything. It’s primarily a late-night spot.
“Roberta’s is also pretty undefeated, and during COVID, they expanded the outdoors fivefold!
“We also get F&F delivered more often than not. That or Domino’s. On Halloween we watch a Halloween movie and order Domino’s. My wife and I both grew up in the South and didn’t have a plethora of independent pizzas that weren’t in the pan. Nothing beats its greasiness, in the best way. It’s like fry bread and funnel cake with cheese on top!”
Bronx-based culinary mind Jon Gray, along with Pierre Serao and Lester Walker, is working to preserve the cooking traditions of the BIPOC community with Ghetto Gastro, a food culture collective that they founded together. Ghetto Gastro’s first book, Black Power Kitchen, comes out this fall.
“I grew up in the Bronx, and went to Marconi’s on Gun Hill Road by Dekalb, close to summer camp, and Full Moon Pizza on Arthur Avenue for their cornmeal crust. Tosca [temporarily closed] in the Bronx does this amazing white pie with shrimp and pesto.”
Accompanied by nearly 1 million Instagram followers, Jeremy Jacobowitz (née Brunch Boys) goes on food adventures around the globe in search of hidden culinary gems.
“F&F Pizza: The Ardigna (sweet fennel sausage, spicy red peppers, Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Sicilian oregano) — the dough is probably some of the best in the city, and it was consulted on by Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, and Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.
“I always order in from Barano, a little Italian restaurant at the bottom of Broadway and Kent in Brooklyn. It’s got a good wood-fired oven. I go for the grandma slice.
“For a normal New York pizza, I’m just a plain slice kind of guy. I literally just get cheese — though if I’m doing Barano, I’ll do one with this nice basil oil, and they put mushrooms on it.”
Tamron Hall is a two-time Emmy Award winning talk show host for her work as executive producer, host, and creator of the Tamron Hall Show. She is also a critically acclaimed author and philanthropist but didn’t know a New York slice until she met her husband, Steve.
“It’s hard to keep a good secret. I lived downtown near Wall Street, and there’s a square pizza place off of Pearl Street called Adrienne’s Pizzabar. It’s on Stone Street, the oldest street in the city. It’s not a thin crust, it’s a unique shape, and a fan favorite for my family. An oldie, but goodie.”
Jenny Mollen is a New York Times bestselling author and social media personality whose next book, Dictator Lunches, will be out on Sept 13th. She’s also married to that Jason Biggs guy whose second favorite pie is pizza.
“Village Pizza on 8th Ave is a true old school sweaty hole-in-the-wall with gruff pizza makers that is perfectly New York. They were cash only until recently; you had to call and order your pizza. They only recently got onto Seamless.
“Joe and Pat’s from Staten Island have an East Village location now that delivers! They have old-school thin-crust pies that Jason and our sons love. Il Mattone is always quick and consistent. Kesté has great Neapolitan, and Simò has surprisingly good gluten-free pies for my occasional dietary restrictions.
“We’re a traditional pizza household, so it’s usually cheese or margherita, but Jason will sometimes insist on a clam pie from Denino’s in Staten Island and Greenwich Village, or from Pasquale Jones in Soho.
A former creative director and Scott’s Pizza Tours guide, Miriam Weiskind started making and selling pizzas out of her one-bedroom apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn in 2020. Thus began what she calls “The Za Report.” She’s now working on opening her own brick-and-mortar pizzeria in New York.
“Nothing is open late night where I live, but if I’m in the city, Arturo’s is open until midnight on the weekends. I’d probably try to sneak in Sottocasa on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, since they have such a great wine and beer list [they stay open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays]. John’s of Bleecker Street [open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays] or Brunetti [open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays] on the west side, not necessarily for a slice, but I’ll get a pie and walk out with the box.”
Serhan Ayhan is son to Kurdish and Turkish immigrants who opened Boston Pizza (now closed) in Astoria, Queens, in the ’90s, serving New England-style pie. Ayhan is now an Ooni pizza oven ambassador promoting pizza’s past, present, and future @nextlevelpizza.
“My dad is Kurdish, from Turkey, and my mother is Turkish, from Turkey. They came to Manhattan in the ’80s, moved to Jackson Heights, Queens, then opened Boston Pizza in 1997, serving New England-style pies. The parents retired in 2019, and it closed up in early 2020.
“I live in Jackson Heights, previously in Woodside. There were two places nearby: Gino’s (I went once) and Pizza Boy II, which I guess is the sequel to Pizza Boy. Gianni is across the street, but I never went because my family had a pizzeria — but it’s classic New York.
“There’s also Louie’s in Elmhurst, too, right behind the hospital. It’s very good, very central, and there are a lot of people passing by. They also make a really great grandma pizza, a little thicker than most.
“There’s a pizza at Philomena’s in Sunnyside with broccoli rabe and chickpea puree that’s really good, healthy, and tastes great … and it’s vegan! It’s excellent not just because it’s vegan.”
Born in Manila, in the Philippines, Pilar Valdes’ oldest memories are dotted with square slices from Magoo’s and Shakey’s cracker-thin crusts with cheese, garlic, and anchovies. She’s now the chef-in-residence for The Drew Barrymore Show.
“In Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, there’s a really sweet pizzeria down the street from me called Ogliastro Pizza Bar on Washington Ave; it’s a real family place, has a really great garden, and the pizzas are good.
“We occasionally order Speedy Romeo in Bed-Stuy: the St. Louie with tomato, Provel, sausage, soppressata, pickled chiles is my go-to order (for the pickled chiles!) Ops is phenomenal, but unfortunately they don’t deliver. It’s a trek to Bushwick so it’s a special treat place. I remember going really early on when they opened.
“We’ve got a pizza night tradition in our house: We order two pies, I make a salad, my husband makes a Manhattan, we choose some fun blockbuster movie and park ourselves with trays in front of the TV; it’s our version of a TV dinner.
“Early on in the pandemic, I came across the pizzas of Miriam Weiskind of The Za Report. She was making pizzas close-ish to where I lived. I needed to find out if they were as delicious as they were incredibly sexy looking. Spoiler alert: They were. Her ‘Neapolitan-ish’ New York-style pizzas are incredible. I am partial to a thin crust, but she also does a Sicilian. We pretty much always order the Belle Margherita (mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil, Pecorino Romano) and the New York-style pepperoni (cheese, tomato sauce, spicy pepperoni, Mike’s Hot Honey). I’m in love with those pepperoni cups!”
Artist Arkadiy Ryabin was born in Ukraine and grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Ryabin is a pizza lover, pursuing pizza exploration in pockets of the tri-state area.
“Amore in Flushing, Queens, is kind of the middle of nowhere, similar to NY Pizza Suprema in that way (everything’s changed around it). They do a sauce-heavy pie, very good, not extremely crisp; it’s fluffy. I stop by if I’m driving from Long Island; it’s off of Interstate 495.
“Tommy’s Pizza in Throg’s Neck, Bronx. It’s very busy, kind of has a L&B area vibe. An old-school Italian guy with an accent still works there.
“Louie and Ernie’s Pizza in Pelham Bay, in the Bronx. It looks like it’s on the first floor of someone’s house.
“Though they’re a little expensive, Williamsburg Pizza has a few locations which I think are open until 1 a.m.”
Jackson Heights, Queens-based DJ Rekha is a producer, curator, activist, and founder of the acclaimed Basement Bhangra (1997-2017), one of New York’s longest-running club nights. They have curated events for Celebrate Brooklyn and Central Park Summerstage.
“When I lived in Williamsburg, I lived above Carmine’s, and I’d have a slice and Jamaican beef patty, separately.”
Michael Harlan Turkell is a photographer, writer, and cookbook author. He’s also host of the Modernist Pizza Podcast, which explores the art, history, and science of pizza. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Resy, too.