It’s a popular month for pizza, but when is it not—especially in the Big Apple. February happens to be home to National Pizza Day and as a tribute to this delicious food holiday, we’ve rounded up six of the most legendary pizza joints in New York City. So whether you’re grabbing a slice or committing to an entire pie, sticking with the basics or going heavy on the toppings, we’ve got a place or two that you’ll want to add to your NYC itinerary.
From notorious original pizzerias to up & coming and defining neighborhood locales, try to refrain from drooling as you read through this list of iconic pizza establishments:
John’s of Bleecker Street
278 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
One of the city’s oldest pizza operations, John’s was founded in 1929 by John Sasso. Its main mission is providing the pie-obsessed public with coal oven-fired pizzas, generously topped with a savory sauce and melted cheese. If you’re seeking just a slice, you’re out of luck here; John’s sells full pies only so sit, commit and enjoy its old world charm as you embrace your first New York pizza experience. Additional toppings are available at an extra price.
Lombardi’s Coal Oven Pizza
32 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
We’re sticking with the coal oven-fired theme for this next one, too. Lombardi’s is often noted as the first pizzeria in NYC and its charred pies are still a hit among tourists and fanatics alike. It has stores in both Nolita and Chelsea, but do note that if you’re visiting the shop in Nolita, it’s cash only.
7 Carmine Street
New York, NY 10014
For the quintessential New York slice, put Joe’s on your radar. Its thin, crisp crust is covered in even layers of melted cheese and a robust tomato sauce. Don’t be turned off by the inevitable line, it moves quickly and is a must-see stop for tasting the perfect bite.
L & B Spumoni Gardens
2725 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11223
If you find yourself in Brooklyn and you’ve got a craving for something a bit thicker and more substantial, then you’ll want to make your way to L & B Spumoni Gardens. Established in 1939, this family style eatery was originally an old-school Italian counter serving Sicilian pizza and ice cream. The 80-year old joint continues to sell Sicilian pizza both by the slice and by the tray, so get ready to sink your teeth into a layer of sweet tomato sauce, bubbling cheese and a doughy crust.
575 Henry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Want to eat like Beyonce? Head to Lucali, a popular cash-only eatery serving up thin crust pizzas that is approved by the Queen Bee herself. You can bring your own beer and wine, though be prepared to wait for a table at this bucket-list locale. It’s likely that no matter when you go, you’ll encounter a line, but don’t be discouraged as the charming spot is surrounded by places to enjoy a beverage while you count down the minutes until your once in a lifetime experience begins.
Nunzio’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
2155 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10306
Planning to spend some time on Staten Island? Add a stop at Nunzio’s to your itinerary. This family run pizza joint has been slinging pies for 70 years. A slice shop, a shared pie place – whatever your pleasure, Nunzio’s offers a sit-down dining room where you can enjoy everything from Neapolitan-style slices and square pieces to thick pies with a generous helping of toppings.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding delicious, iconic slices and spots in New York City so if you have a favorite to share, we’d love to hear. No matter what you suggest, we stand by the fact that the worst slice you’ll have in NYC is still better than the best slice you claim to have tasted anywhere else.