The Best Pizza In Brooklyn guide image


The Best Pizza In Brooklyn

Oxtail pies in Bed-Stuy, classic square slices in Gravesend, and more pizza you need to try in the city's most populous borough.

If you want the best pizza in New York City, head to Brooklyn. There's a mind-boggling amount of good options in this borough, from trendy spots where you'll wait hours for a transcendent pie, to slice shops where you can walk in and have an out-of-body eating experience on a whim.



Yes, you still have to kind of plan your entire day around going to Lucali, but that’s part of what makes it special. Many New Yorkers agree that this is some of the best pizza in all five boroughs, so find an excuse to take off from work early and line up at 4pm to secure your spot in line. While you’re here, get a calzone along with your pizza. Since there are only two things on the menu, there’s no reason not to go all out. 

For many Brooklynites, there’s the L&B square slice, and then there’s everything else. The defining feature of this pizza is the fact that the cheese is layered underneath the sauce, creating an almost mochi-like chew where the thick crust and cheese meet. The sauce is, dare we say, to die for. Get a whole pie, even if you come here alone. It reheats beautifully. 

Even after the passing of Dom DeMarco, Di Fara still holds up as some of the absolute best pizza in Brooklyn. The sauce is deeply flavorful with a hit of acid, the crust is perfectly crisp and a bit charred, and fresh olive oil and basil tie the whole thing together. Go here if you want to understand the origin stories of other popular spots like Lucali and L’industrie. Di Fara walked so they could follow in his footsteps. The wait times aren't as brutal as they used to be, especially if you’re getting a slice. We prefer the round slice to the square, but both are excellent examples of the form. 

L'industrie doesn't just make some of the best pizza in Brooklyn. They make some of the best pizza in New York, full stop. The crust manages to be thin, crisp, chewy, and airy all at once, and there's always the perfect amount of char to give it some bite. We especially love the burrata pie, which might just be the best use of burrata we've come across. L'industrie is also extremely consistent, which is part of what makes standing in line on a busy night for a slice so worth it. 

Even the greatest slice places are generally not establishments where you want to stay and hang for a while. That’s what makes Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop different. It’s an order-at-the-counter spot, with a beer and wine bar at the back of the space where you’ll find people posted up eating pizza, watching sports, and playing on a vintage video game console. Unlike the original Paulie Gee’s, this is not Neapolitan-style pizza—it’s classic New York slices and pies (including plenty of vegan options), plus the Sicilian style, sesame-crusted Freddy Prince, which is the best thing here.

You could break all the entries on this list into two categories: places that would put ramps on pizza, and places that would not. Ops belongs in the first bucket, but their various seasonal toppings—which range from sweet potatoes to aji dulce peppers—are only part of the reason why you come here. Tangy, fluffy, and perfectly charred, Ops’ sourdough crust is one of the better inventions of the 2010s. Most of the pies here are a cross between New York and Neapolitan-style, but there’s an exceptional, crunchy square option as well. This Bushwick spot also has a list of natural wines and a candlelit dining room, so it’s perfect for a casual date.

There are two reasons to eat at Espresso Pizzeria. The first is because you want to have the platonic ideal of a Brooklyn street slice, with a good balance of crackly crust, deeply flavorful sauce, and very stretchy cheese. The second reason to come here is because you know their garlic knots are special. Unlike most other slice shops, which use pizza dough scraps for their knots, these are made from dough that had no other purpose. They’re light, incredibly thick and fluffy, and drenched in garlic butter with a generous dusting of parmesan and parsley. 

This Bay Ridge slice shop feels like it’s stuck in the 1980s, and we love that. We also love Elegante’s square slice, which feels a little like an L&B square, but with the sauce and cheese order reversed. The cheese is satisfyingly stretchy, and the crust is thick and chewy, but still light enough that you could easily eat more than one slice. 

Everything on the menu at Omar’s Fine Indian Cuisine is worth trying, but we’re here to talk about the Indian pizza. There are seven different Indian-inspired pizza options here, and chicken tikka pie, with its overwhelming amount of cream and cheese, is just as gratifying as it sounds. We also love the tawa vegetable version, which adds a much-needed masala kick to your usual vegetarian pizza. 

At the incredibly popular Cuts & Slices in Bed-Stuy, you’ll see chicken & waffle, black truffle alfredo shrimp, and lasagna pizzas. This place sets itself apart from other slice shops by offering a bunch of uncommon toppings, and while varieties like curry shrimp and jerk salmon are interesting, the real reasons to come here are the oxtail pies. There are three different kinds, and the sweet chili one comes loaded with crispy, tender shredded oxtail. The chewy crust will remind you of a buttermilk biscuit (in taste, not texture), and it’s a good understated vehicle for all the aggressively-flavored toppings.

Several years ago, there was a Detroit-style pizza boom. Suddenly, you could find it on every corner, and the children were revising their birthday wishlists to include fluffy, rectangular pies. Now that the dust has settled, we’re ready to declare a winner: Ace’s. We’re fans of this Williamsburg spot, and not just because it looks like a ‘70s pizza parlor, complete with arcade games and VHS tapes. Their pies are thick, but airy, with zesty tomato sauce and crunchy browned cheese lining the edges. Each bite is deeply satisfying in a way that’ll haunt you for days.

Leo stands out as one of the few spots in Brooklyn that has really good pizza without an outrageous wait. (Yes, we’re talking about you, Lucali.) In fact, you could gather a group last minute, show up here, and it’ll likely not be a problem. Although the margherita is an automatic order at a lot of places, we prefer the pies with toppings here, like the garlicky clam version. The crust is somewhere between New York style and Neapolitan, and you’ll taste a noticeable tang because it’s made with sourdough.

Lucia is a slice shop that has deep roots in Brooklyn. The owner comes from the same dynasty that brought us Smiling Pizza and Papa Leone, and excellent sauce in a number of styles flows freely through the veins of this place. If you’re only getting one slice here, make it the Caramelle Picante, a mix of hot cherry peppers, pepperoni, and Mike’s Hot Honey. But there’s also the Papa Leone—a very good vodka slice that uses a '70s-era sauce recipe from the family’s old Manhattan beach spot—and the clam pie, which you can only get on Fridays. Settle down at a table with your pizza-loving friends, and order as much as you can eat. It’s worth the schlep from wherever you live. 

If the love child of penne alla vodka and New York-style pizza sounds like it could be your zodiac sign, you’ll love Krispy Pizza. This Bensonhurst slice shop specializes in Frankenstein-ish pies, from the eyebrow-raising Salad Pizza to the extremely delicious spicy vodka pepperoni square pie, which displays pure genius in its use of roni cups on top of sliced pepperoni. With combinations like these, it should come as no surprise that Krispy Pizza gained notoriety on TikTok, but the food here lives up to the hype.

This Crown Heights slice shop has a serious pizza pedigree. Joe worked at places like Motorino and Una Pizza Napoletana, while Sal hails from the family that ran the now-closed Little Louie’s Pizzeria. But what they’re doing together at their shop is decidedly their own. You’ll find very good examples of things like grandma slices and burrata pies as well as stuff that feel a bit more unique, like the “crown chicken pizza,” which combines the flavors of BBQ chicken and jalapeno poppers. 

One of New York’s oldest pizzerias, J&V has been around since 1950, and yet their approach has an innovative twist. You’ll find very good simple slices here—cheese, pepperoni, a great white slice, etc.—but there’s a lot of other stuff worth trying. Take, for example, their fresh tomato and garlic pizza, which has a super thick, almost focaccia-like crust, but is still a round pie. You can also get this crust variety with bacon and cheddar on top, if that’s more your style. Their signature dish is the Chicken Jojo, a chicken patty parm stuffed inside of garlic focaccia. It’s as good as it sounds.

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photo credit: Emily Schindler

The Best Pizza In Brooklyn guide image