Welcome to All Things Pizza Week at Resy. This week, we’re sharing our picks for our favorite slice joints, 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, our favorite spots for grabbing a slice. Tomorrow: Sit-down pizzerias.
In New York City, pizza is as ingrained in daily life as the subway, though the average slice now exceeds the price of a one-way fare. In a city of pedestrians, New Yorkers often take for granted the pervasiveness of slice joints on every corner. But whether you’re in South Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan, or Flushing, there’s a slice for you. Always waiting for you, and (generally) without a wait.
What’s your favorite spot for a slice?
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.
“It used to be Luigi’s, but I’ve had a lot of fun with my buddy Tommy at Brooklyn DOP [in Park Slope] — tasting the evolution, like their Giusepp’, a basic New York-style margherita with low-moisture cheese, fresh mozzarella, freshly chopped basil, and a little bit of garlic oil.
“If I’m in the city, I go to Williamsburg Pizza in the Lower East Side. I’m also a huge fan of Joe’s on Carmine, only during weekdays between the hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as I’m particular about the oven, and the guys making the pizza.
“I’m the girl who will buy a pie to get a slice at Arturo’s, and they have a live piano there! It’s not always about the ‘the best’ — it’s the combination of the quality of pizza you’re enjoying and the atmosphere. Same’s in Carroll Gardens, too. I love Pugsley in the Bronx for a true slice of New York.
“Always been a huge fan of Denino’s — Staten Island is a distinct slice; it’s more of a tavern, bar-style slice. They use ovens that baked bagels in the late 1800s, and they’re huge metal boxes that rotate like a carousel for a much thinner, crunchier crust.”
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.
“There was a slice shop in Midtown, around 38th and 8th Avenue, that I’d grab back in the day when I worked in the area: Cheesy. Greasy. Classic New York style. Always folded.
“I’m definitely more about having a full pizza rather than a slice these days, but the Mootz slice (mozzarella, garlic, Pecorino) at Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop has my heart. It’s nowhere close to where I live, but it’s around the corner form the climbing gym I go to. To be honest, I think I climb there just for the promise of a slice afterwards.”
Ghetto Gastro: Jon Gray and Pierre Serrao
Bronx-based culinary minds Jon Gray and Pierre Serrao, along with chef and co-founder Lester Walker, are working to preserve the cooking traditions of the BIPOC community with Ghetto Gastro, a food culture collective. Their first book, Ghetto Gastro Presents: Black Power Kitchen, comes out this fall.
“Scarr’s all day! You can go for a slice, or you can sit down. It’s a vibe, got the energy, and usually go down there and there’s a nice mix of people in the spot. It captures the nostalgia.
“Scarr’s [is also the best] in terms of ingredients and toppings: They do beef pepperoni; they don’t even have pork in house and I don’t dive into red meat.”
“A slice is unique, you can fold it. No more fork-and-knife mayor! Grab-and-go, bust it down with friends. There’s a social aspect to it.”
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.
“Bellucci’s Pizzeria, where Andrew [Bellucci] is making the pizza: It’s different from his spot before. A lighter texture. Get the La Forestière (Gruyère, herbed mushrooms, balsamic onions, Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and black pepper)! He’s just so talented and his passion shines through.
In Manhattan, Scarr’s is my north star, and in Brooklyn, it’s L’industrie. If I call myself a pizza maker, they’ve pinned a goal so high, it makes me reach. [Scarr Pimentel] knows his ingredients, mills his own flour, he is a New Yorker city born and raised. He’s preserving our culture, and it’s encapsulated in his pizzeria.
I’d also have to say Philomena’s in Sunnyside, Queens, Mama’s Too on the Upper West Side, and Sofia Pizza Shoppe in Midtown East, too. Also, Austin Street Pizza in Forest Hills, Queens, doesn’t get any attention, but deserves it. Take the E or F train to Continental-71st Ave. Very crisp crust.”
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.
“We live in the West Village, so two of our favorite walk-by spots are Joe’s and Bleecker Street Pizza.”
Nantasha Williams is a homegrown New York City Council Member for District 27 in Southeast Queens. She’s a community leader, social justice advocate, and political organizer, affecting real change in her neighborhoods.
“I do love pizza, but I’m lactose intolerant, however I do love Margherita Pizza on Jamaica Avenue. I get a slice, and pepperoni is my go-to topping. Margherita Pizza is my top numero uno. It’s been a neighborhood staple since the ’60s. You order at the counter, eat at the counter — it’s extremely authentic. Aquamarine awning, and they still have the old cash register.”
“Gaby’s is also good, but that’s in [city council member] Linda Lee’s district. [New York State assembly member] Stacy Pheffer Amato’s husband owns a pizzeria in Rockaway called Elegante. I love their grandma slice, it’s so good! There, I do this weird thing and put garlic knots on top of my pizza.”
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.
“In Brooklyn: Luigi’s (South Slope), L&B Spumoni Gardens (Gravesend), New Park (Howard Beach), L’industrie (South Williamsburg), Carmine’s (Williamsburg). NY Pizza Suprema in Midtown near Penn Station. Rosa’s Pizza on 69th Street in Maspeth, Queens.
“A lot of my attraction to these places goes beyond the actual pizza. I mean, the pizza at Luigi’s is very good. It’s long standing; the owner is always there, there’s pizza history … he told me one time that he digs through the trash of other pizzerias to see if they’re using the good ingredients.
“I grew up on L&B and I still love it. It’s definitely got the vibe; nothing could really compare to it in terms of square slices. The regular slice, it’s not so good in my opinion. I like that outdoor garden. It’s probably quicker to get a pie than a slice sometimes.
“For New Park, I like to go to the beach and get some on the way back. It’s something you can do on the way to the beach. Very thin crust — you can ask for different levels of crispiness. Love the old-school neon sign. Went in high school a lot.
“L’industrie: it’s just very delicious. New-school spot. The owner is a young Italian guy, and their burrata slices are super unique, but in good complement to their other ingredients. There’s a lot of love and care in there. I support the long-standing establishments more, but they won me over.
“Rosa’s has a few locations: Williamsburg, Ridgewood … and they tend to be open late, with lots of different styles. Their L&B-style Upside-Down Sicilian slice is delicious.
“Carmine’s in North Williamsburg, I think is one of the better ones. It’s very classic Italian American; they sell cookies and imported products, and they just opened a bar next door. It’s wood-fired pizza.
“NY Pizza Suprema is one of those places where everything has changed around it, and it’s still there, and you’re like ‘What the hell?!’ They have a ton of photos and writeups in there that tell you its history and status. It’s next to Madison Square Garden. Get a slice and go to a game afterwards, or while heading to New Jersey.”
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.
“I live in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. For the last couple years, it’s been F&F Pizzeria. It’s pretty hard to get away from F&F these days; by the slice, it’s kind of remarkable (that pepperoni slice!). I’ve had the Sicilian there before, but if I feel like I’m in the mood for something that’s got more bread, I tend to go to Baby Luc’s now.”
Des Rocs has racked up more than 200 million streams for his 2022 self-recorded (in his bedroom), critically acclaimed debut album, “A Real Good Person In A Real Bad Place.” He’s also opened for the likes of The Rollings Stones and Muse.
“My studio was right around the block from Paulie Gee’s for two years, and a bond really formed. I have so much respect for his vegan options, taking that dive out of puritanism in a space that’s so traditional. The only person who pulls off the crossover (slice joint and sit down) is Paulie Gee’s. Above Paulie Gee’s is a pizza-themed Airbnb that a fan stayed at years ago and said was amazing.
“My new studio is now in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and it doesn’t get any better than Di Fara. If I have two hours to spare by waiting, I’ll take the 10-minute drive.
“Fascati in Brooklyn Heights is low-key great. Very simple plain slice — it’s the baseline. I’m not really big on crazy toppings, like buffalo chicken.
“I have a lot of mixed feelings about Joe’s. When I lived on 14th, I’d put $2.75 on the counter, the guy knows who I am, and then I’d eat the whole thing in one block. Slices should be eaten within 60 seconds. The thing is that Joe’s consistency can be an abomination, but they’re just so ubiquitous. Regardless, it’s my ‘I’m making music’ dinner. The whole album was funded by slices [from there].”
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.
“Pizza is a very good immigrant food: it’s affordable. I was born in London, and my parents are from pre-Partition India. We moved when I was about five, and pizza was an accessible fast food. My parents were wary of foods with meat (they don’t eat beef), and pizza is a very good vegetarian option. My earliest memory was Gloria Pizza in Flushing [now located in Forest Hills.]
“Singas Famous Pizza in Elmhurst, the original location that started in ’73 is no longer, but they’ve opened up shops in South Asian neighborhoods. I remember those pan pizzas as a kid! I do sometimes still indulge; the combo is onion and pepper pan pizza, very thinly sliced.
“My favorite is Amore in Flushing, on Stratton Street. It’s in a strip mall and that slice tastes like Gloria — very saucy, very sweet, hard to pick up. I have an unsubstantiated rumor that it’s the same pizza maker from Gloria there, or they took the recipe with them.”
Tamron Hall and Steve Greener
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.
“We like Upside Pizza. I’m a crust person, and my husband is very detailed,” says Hall. (For Greener, it’s all about Scarr’s. He adds, “Scarr’s mills their own flour!”)
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.