Updated on October 7th, 2021
When it comes to a great New York slice, L’Industrie sets the new standard. This Williamsburg pizza place Frankensteins together an impressively thin crust you’d find in Roman varieties (like at Bread & Salt in Jersey City), toppings imported from Italy, and a funky-flavored dough thanks to a long fermentation process. The result is the kind of slice you’ll crave for no reason at all, like on a random Tuesday afternoon when a leaf falls on your head and reminds you of basil.
Each bite of blistered crust puffs then crunches, tasting more like bread from a bakery than typical pizza. Minimal tomato sauce and spot-on oven temperatures ensure that a layer of rich mozzarella stays perfectly in place. The sexy kind of orange grease drips down your wrist when you fold a slice. If you momentarily decide to tear the crust in half, you’d see a smattering of air pockets that look something like bubble wrap.
Beyond the crust, L’Industrie stands out because they prioritize fresh ingredients often imported from Italy. The shop was opened by a Florence native in 2017, after all. Every slice comes topped with a handful of basil and parmesan for an herbaceous and salt-studded finish. It’s one of the few places where we approve of pizza sporting burrata, a sometimes-fetishized ingredient on menus in NYC. This creamy burrata is spread over the majority of the regular cheese slice, and drizzled with fruity-rich olive oil. Instead of a bland blast of goo, you get a manageable mouthful of velvet dairy.
Another essential topping experience here is the pepperoni. These flat discs will make you realize how artificial the ’roni cups of your past tasted, since these are porky and sweeter than they are salty.
After a couple of years of operation (and growing a fan base that could rival the Beliebers), L’Industrie expanded into the space next door. Now there are about a dozen bar seats inside, as well as a large sidewalk patio where people drink beer they purchased from the bodega down the block. Outside, an Italian flag proudly hangs on a tree, a loudspeaker calls out order numbers, and 2000’s hip hop blasts into the street.
As is true for some very good pizza places in a male-dominated scene, L’Industrie has serious pizza-machismo energy. When it’s busy, it can sometimes feel like all the cool boys who made fun of you in high school started a guild here together. We say this not to dissuade you from coming, but because someone might look at you like you’re an idiot for not knowing where to return your tray inside.
We’re lucky that there will never be a dearth of slice shops in this city: places where you can find 99-cent slices, convenient slices, and 2am slices. L’Industrie isn’t here to replace those experiences with burrata and fresh basil, but their excellent pizza contextualizes a history of slice shops. We used to first think Joe’s whenever someone brought up the category of a New York slice. Now we think of L’Industrie.
If you want to see what the L’Industrie team can do with dough, get the margherita. We consistently eat this airy-chewy-crispy piece of pizza and think, “god dammit, take my body and my soul and reincarnate me as this slice of pizza.” It would require an archaeological excavation team or a group of surgeons to successfully separate the weighted blanket of mozzarella from the thin crust.
All the exciting things happening in the margherita, but with about 300% more cream. We’d recommend it by the slice versus full pie, since a couple pieces would start to weigh you down.
All due to respect to the pepperoni pies you might’ve eaten as a kid at bowling alleys or birthday parties, but L’Industrie’s version might as well be a different food. The quarter-sized discs taste noticeably pork-forward, crisping up in the oven just enough so they’re no longer perfectly flat. Between the basil, salty-sweet pepperoni, and chewy strands of mozzarella, this is our favorite slice aside from the margherita.
The most alluring aspect of this slice is the constellation of ricotta polka dots. Not only because they’re stylish, but because their thick creaminess is essential to counteract the herby pepperoni and salty crumbled sausage.
This square slice at L’Industrie is not always available, and the toppings often change. We’ve had plain mozzarella and tomato sauce before. Expect a thicker crust and gorgeous air pockets.
Only available on Wednesday’s. Sometimes it’s chicken caesar, sometimes it’s chicken vodka, but usually it comes on a long ciabatta roll. You can look at pictures on their Instagram to find the latest special.
The soft serve we’ve tried here (be it vanilla, pistachio, or lemon) has been slightly grainy. It certainly doesn’t taste bad, but it’s not why you come.