A wise man (yeah, we're sure it was a dude) once mused that sex is like pizza—even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. While we can't vouch for your sex life, we'll never turn down a slice.
That being said, some pizza can blow your mind, leave you winded, and make an honest person out of you. And that's the pizza that we all deserve. It's the great unifier of our city, the unofficial mayor, the reigning food of New York City. You can grab a dollar slice on the way to a bar and it can hit the same spot as the holy grail pie shop where you regularly make a pilgrimage.
The endgame is, of course, to try every type at least once, and that's exactly why there's a "Pizza" filter on our brand-spankin'-new MUNCHIES Guide to New York. Visit our guides for the full monty, but here's a teaser of things to come below.
Roberta's: One of New York's most influential restaurants is a pizza-centric place that has become so popular that Jay-Z and Beyonce are regular diners. It isn't a part of the neighborhood: it's created one. Fast-forward a few years later, and their massive compound now includes a bakery and a tasting-menu restaurant, Blanca. Roberta's pizza doesn't follow the rules, and they'll throw anything on top of that dough. The wood-fired, crispy bottom pies are some of the best around. Who doesn't love a crispy bottom?
Di Fara Pizza: For the pizza obsessed, Dom DeMarco is the greatest living New York pizza master. And his Midwood shop, Di Fara has become a point of pilgrimage for pizza fans. Its popularity and the fact that Dom still makes almost every pizza himself means that there will be a line any time you roll up. It's totally worth the wait. It's hard to describe perfection: from the flawless char to the savory milky cheese and fresh basil that's snipped over every pie, Di Fara's pizza is greater than the sum of its parts.
Speedy Romeo: This Clinton Hill joint turns out wood-fired pies with perfectly chewy crust and seemingly outlandish toppings—like clams and pancetta, and pastrami with mustard. But that's not the only reason you're coming here. You're coming here to get the St. Louie, a St. Louis-inspired pie topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni, pickled chilies, and provel cheese—a deliciously gooey processed blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone imported from the Lou. The whole thing's cut up into little diamond shapes, so each bite somewhat resembles a pizza nacho. If that doesn't sound good to you, you're just wrong. It's excellent.
Dani's House of Pizza: They should change the name to Dani's Church of Pizza; this old-school Italian spot in Kew Gardens makes an archetypal Queens-style pizza worthy of building a religion around. Every pie boasts a slightly sweet tomato sauce, cartoonishly stringy cheese, and a proper crust. After watching how each pie gets made on an episode of Fuck, That's Delicious, Action figured out a key secret to this place: "It only takes eight minutes to make the pizza, so why the fuck do we have to stand in line for 45 minutes to get a slice?" So while you wait around for your pie, save some room for the baked clams.
Lucali: Old Brooklyn is harder to find these days, but Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali in Carroll Gardens, built his restaurant by hand and is working tirelessly to preserve the traditions of his neighborhood through pizza. Plus, he opened up one of the greatest pizza places in New York City without any pizza-making experience. The signature pies are "what a classic margherita should taste like" according to The Pizza Show's own Frank Pinello, because "the tomato sauce with the milky buffalo mozzarella and hard cheese makes it creamy and tangy at the same time."
Prince Street Pizza: Formerly known as "Ray's," Prince Street Pizza easily has one of the greatest square slices in Manhattan, in part for it's greasy, pan-fried crust. It is certainly the best spot to go for a "grandma square" the thinner-crust, less saucey version of the classic Sicilian, but the margherita, which is dressed with fresh basil, is equally worthy.
We've got ten more picks for the best pizza in New York City—keep reading on the MUNCHIES Guide to New York City.