Una Pizza Napoletana pizzas
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana

The One Who Keeps the BookNew York

How to Get Into Una Pizza Napoletana 


Perhaps you go to California for the tacos, Maine for the lobster, and the Carolinas or Texas for barbecue, but here in New York, chances are high you’re here for the pizza. We’ve got it all here: square Grandma pies, Detroit-style, Neo-Neapolitan, and of course, the classic New York slice.

Although the title of “best” is controversial, there is no question that a contender for top New York pie comes from chef Anthony Mangieri at Una Pizza Napoletana. A legend in the pizza making world, in 2022, Mangieri claimed the top spot on the prestigious Italian 50 Top Pizza’s global ranking, beating out places in Naples and Rome. His pies are an interpretation of the Neapolitan style, with a thin, chewy crust with puffy and perfectly charred edges as well as carefully selected, minimal toppings. The secret to his pizza? It has to be Mangieri’s meticulous attention to details. All of his ingredients are sourced from Italy, and he has gone so far as to engineer his own olive oil to get the dough just as he wants it. He makes it all himself and works with a small team, most of whom have been with him for years, to make sure each pizza is to his exacting standard.

Photo courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana
Getting a chance to dine at Una Pizza Napoletana on New York’s Lower East Side isn’t easy. The pizzeria is only open three nights a week, and the restaurant serves a unique and finite amount of pies daily that’s determined by Mangieri each afternoon. Getting your hands on one of the 400 or so pizzas that comes out of the oven a week can seem like a daunting task, but your best chance is by making a Resy. But, in case you can’t, or have some trouble, we sat down with Christina Tobia, head of operations at Una Pizza Napoletana, to find out to see if she has any additional tips for getting your hands on one, and one of Mangieri’s highly coveted pizzas.

Resy: When do reservations open up at Una? 

Christina Tobia: Two weeks in advance at 9 a.m. We used to do 30 days, but found there were more cancellations and no-shows that way.

And how quickly do seats usually get booked? 

In about a minute.

How many seats are there at Una Pizza Napoletana? 

52, including the bar, which we reserve for, and a Tavola which is a four-to-six-person, family-style tasting experience that we hold two nights a week.

Do I need to make a separate reservation for the Tavola?  

Yes, it’s done through our website and sadly we’re all booked up for the next few months, but keep an eye out. It includes off-menu pizzas, but also salad, hand-stretched cheese, and special desserts.

What You Need to Know
Una Pizza Napoletana

  • Set an Alarm
    Reservations are released two weeks in advance at 9 a.m. ET.
  • Walk In Early …
    There aren’t any guarantees, but being the first in line at 4 p.m. is the closest thing to it.
  • Or Walk In Later
    Try again around 9 p.m. when they might have a few extra pizzas for walk-ins.
  • What to Order
    The marinara or the weekly special pie that chef Mangieri adds to the menu. The ever-rotating lineup of desserts is also a must. Do know that the gelato and sorbet are as legendary as the pizza.   
  • Pro Tip
    Don’t call, email, or DM. Walking by is your best bet for snagging a table or to find out more.  
Una Pizza Napoletana pizza dough

Do you save space for walk-ins? I imagine it might be hard with the finite amount of dough each night.  

Yes we do! It’s a bit complicated but around 4 p.m. a line starts to form and since the dough count is different every night and we only reserve for 100 to 110, we always have extra. At around 4:45 or 5 we manually go through the line and allocate the extra pizzas for the night. The line is usually longer than what we have, and then we start a waitlist, if we have additional no-shows or cancellations.

What’s the best time to snag a walk-in seat?  

At 4 p.m. and if you wait in line around 9 or 9:30 at the end of the night when we might have a few extra pizzas due to, say a four-top only ordering three pizzas or a couple sharing one, since we reserve one per guest.

How many pies does chef make a night?  

It varies, but between 130 to 140. Anthony is the dough keeper; he knows how many he’ll be able to make by feeling out each batch since the hydration and flour on that specific day can be different. He also keeps a small reserve for missteps, like tears or anything else that might happen.

Una Pizza Napoletana pizza dough
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana
Una Pizza Napoletana pizza dough
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana
Una Pizza Napoletana salad
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana
Una Pizza Napoletana pizza
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana

How many covers do you typically have in a dinner service? 

The number of pizzas dictates the covers, but we have a few people who come for a glass of wine or dessert, and they have become notorious as well. Anthony makes great ice cream and sorbetto, but lately he has been doing classic Italian desserts like stracciatella cremolata, a version of a chocolate mousse, or pastiera Napoletana, a ricotta tart eaten around Easter. There are also people camping out in the hopes that they might get a pizza, which sometimes happens, but often doesn’t.

Do you utilize the Notify list? 

We do, but not day of since we’ve allocated the pies. Each afternoon we’re open, we’ll see if there are cancellations, and we manually go through the Notify list to fill the book. We prioritize regulars, which we’re lucky to have many of. We try to make it as personal as possible.

Una is a tough seat to snag! Any insider tips?  

The obvious choice is to line up at 4 p.m. We always have at least a few extra pizzas each evening, so if you’re there first, you’ll get one. Become a regular so when we do get cancellations, you’ll be the first to get a Resy Notify. The other tip that sometimes works is to come past 9 p.m. and hope not every cover orders their own pie.

Una Pizza Napoletana pizza
Photo courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana
Una Pizza Napoletana pizza
Photo courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana

Why do you think the pie at Una Pizza is worth the hype?  

It’s all in the details. Chef Anthony has been making pizza for 30 years, he’s honed it in, and now has it where he thinks it should be. For him, that is in selecting the right ingredients: Italian flour, special olive oil, and little touches like coarse sea salt. No one does that! As you’re eating it, you get bites of creamy buffalo mozzarella, and then a pop of salt. He really lets you taste every ingredient. I’ve been all over Italy and eaten pizza all over the world and I’ve never had it like this. We have a lot of people that say that.

Why are you only open three nights a week?  

It’s a lifestyle choice. Since chef Anthony makes each batch of dough and he’s behind the oven every night, he can only do three nights. There is also a lot of prep involved, feeding the starter, running the business side of the restaurant and deliveries. The other days of the week, he manages his frozen pizza company Genio Della Pizza, but sometimes he’ll be making dough and taking conference calls. We’re a small team and all wear many hats.

How do you take your pie?  

One of my favorites is the marinara, but I like to add the grated parm and the long hot peppers. It’s simple, but I love it. I also do the special pizza a lot just because he’s changing that every week with whatever is in season. Like recently, there have been artichokes and spring garlic.

Una Pizza Napoletana wines
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana
Una Pizza Napoletana wines
Photo by Mako Barmon, courtesy of Una Pizza Napoletana

Pizza goes with Lambrusco like peanut butter goes with jelly. What wines are you pouring?  

We’re shifting some things with our wine. We’ve partnered with our friend Grant [Reynolds] at Parcelle. For 30 years, Anthony has been exclusively pouring Campania wines, and now he’ll be opening up the list to include French Champagnes and wines from Burgundy, which pair so well with pizza. The list will still be tight, but it will be more diverse.

What’s your favorite time to dine here, in an ideal world?  

7:30 p.m. I know it’s the busiest, prime time, and a very obvious answer, but the early seatings are often for people who have heard about chef Anthony’s pizza and they just want to come in, try it, and go. Like an eat and run. But as the lights dim, it gets moodier, darker, and everyone’s in a good rhythm. It’s the restaurant magic hour.

How long is your service?  

It starts at 5 p.m. and everyone is usually gone by 10 p.m. It flies by.

You always seem to be doing collaborations? Favorite ones?  

We love to work with other chefs. It keeps it interesting and gives us fresh perspectives. Sometimes, crazy things happen, like when we hosted Shuko, the omakase restaurant, and ended up with a blue crab and mozzarella pizza. Unexpectedly delicious. We’d love to make it easier for chefs who are visiting from out of town for a short time to work with us as well. Instead of doing a whole ticketed dinner, we do a special pizza.

Any additional tips?   

Just stop in! Don’t try and call, we’re normally too busy to answer the phone. You never know what might happen. We love to try and make pizza dreams come true.

Una Pizza Napoletana is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday.

Kyle Beechey is a New York-based freelance writer and dinner party enthusiast who lives on the Lower East Side. Follow her on Instagram. Follow Resy, too.