Rubirosa is one of the most consistently good restaurants in town, thanks in large part to their exceptional thin-crust vodka sauce pizza. That’s one of the best pies in New York City, and you need to make a trip here just to eat it.

But one of the things we love most about Rubirosa is that it isn’t just a pizza joint. This is a real Italian restaurant with great antipasti, pasta, and rainbow cookies that you should order to close out your meal.

Rubirosa’s dishes have stood the test of time—and they’ve also made this place pretty difficult to get into. Reservations are hard to come by, and trying to get a walk-in spot is almost always an ordeal. On a recent visit, we were quoted a two-hour wait. That was on a Wednesday night. During a torrential downpour.

Even though that might discourage you, don’t let it. This restaurant is perfect for a date night or a dinner with relatives, and there’s even an extensive gluten-free menu that’s been around since day one. Don’t be afraid to order your vodka pie gluten-free. That version might be just as good as the original.

Follow the food rundown to see exactly what our favorites are. But know that you could blindly point to any section of the menu and find something you’ll enjoy. That includes mozzarella sticks.

Food Rundown

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Vodka Pizza

This is why you come to Rubirosa. A perfect pie with paper-thin crust, amazing vodka sauce, and fresh mozzarella. It's so incredibly good.

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Ricotta Ravioli

Perfect, simple ravioli stuffed with ricotta. The portion is huge, but you can also get a half-portion in order to save room for pizza.

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Roasted Octopus

Tender and flavorful like it should be. This is on our table almost every time we visit.

Mozzarella Sticks

It’s fried cheese with tangy marinara sauce. You’re ordering this.


This combo of Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic, and olive oil is a classic for a reason. Bitter greens get balanced out by the fat in the sausage, while the the orrechiete’s concave shape helps pick up all the luxurious sauce.

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Tie-Dye Pizza

A staple at Rubirosa. After becoming popular here, you’ve started to see this kind of pizza pop up at slice shops and Italian restaurants all over the city. For good reason. The flavor combo is delicious and visually appealing, with the swirl of pesto basically acting as hypnotic imagery that gets you to eat more carbs.

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