We know what you’re thinking. “Oh look, another best pizza of New York list… How original.” Well, ya know what? We like what we like, and we enjoy sharing it with folks.
Grabbing a slice at any of the listed joints below is a regular occurrence for us. They’re all in our neighbourhoods, so we love a grab-n-go situation on the way to a show, a bar, the park, the dentist, whatever – we’re not exactly fussy on the occasion.
We can argue till the cows come home about the best, most authentic, bang for your buck, true-to-New York-style pizza, but we’ll leave that up to everyone else. We love these places because of our experiences there. We love drinking a tall boy in a brown paper bag waiting on the sidewalk for someone to yell our name. We love reminiscing about Skate-Haven (or whatever your hometown roller skating rink was) while sitting in a wood-panelled room at a bright orange plywood booth on a chequered tile floor. It feels good. It smells good. It makes us happy. And in the end, isn’t that all that matters?
Best Slice: Fig Jam & Bacon (Honourable Mention to Burrata).
Vibe: For us, this is what comes to mind when you think of a classic New York slice shop. It’s cramped, it’s tiny, it’s hot, you can see the staff kneading dough and topping the pizzas, and the smell in the air is intoxicating.
Why We Love: It’s always a good hang; there are folks from all walks (but mostly Brooklyn hipsters) hanging on the sidewalk. Oh, and the owner yells at everyone in an endearing way: “Yes, this is the menu! Yes, you should get the burrata slice! No, we don’t have sandwiches today!” There’s also a corner store steps away where you can snag an overpriced Budweiser tall-boy and post up in the sidewalk crowd, waiting for your name indicating your slice is waiting for you on a greasy plate inside.
Pro tips: Top your slice with their chilli oil inside, and order gelato soft-serve for dessert (pistachio, vanilla, or swirl – topped with salt and olive oil).
Best Slice: White Slice (Honourable Mention to the Long Hot & Shallot slice).
Vibe: It’s sort of like an old-school New York slice shop meets an apple store (if you can imagine that).
Why We Love: This is as classy a slice shop as you can come by. You’d look cool here rolling out of bed in sweats just as much as you’d look cool here in your fit for a night out on the town. When we get down to brass tacks, you can really just taste how good the ingredients are here. Coming from the owners of two of the most delicious Italian joints in New York, what else would you expect?
Pro tips: Sometimes, on the weekends, they bake fresh bagels in their ovens as well. The hot sauce available at counter service is fantastic to drizzle over any of their slices.
Paulie Gee’s Slice
Best Slice: Hellboy Squared.
Vibe: Your hometown roller rink but with infinitely better food.
Why We Love: Honestly, the backstory is what gets us every time. Not only does Paulie Gee’s have absolutely incredible pizza and has successfully franchised out to Philly, Chicago, Baltimore, and counting, but the guy didn’t open his first shop until he was 56 – up until that point, he had a career working with AT&T. He hated his job, he loved baking pizza, so he said fuck it and made the leap. If you’re ever in the OG Greenpoint location, you’ll likely see him bouncing from table to table, talking to customers like the (not-so) local celebrity he is, just loving life and watching people enjoy his back-half-of-life’s work. Beyond the story, the pizza is really the bee’s knees. The sesame crust, the charred mini-pepperonis, the hot honey drizzled over the top *Chef’s kiss*.
Pro tips: Snag a beer and a bright orange-coloured booth in the back and catch whatever nostalgic throwback they’re playing on the television for some extra hometown vibe.