The Best Pizza on Staten Island, Old and New

The crust at Reggiano's is thin but tender, with some of the most flavorful toppings found in the borough, like this one with pancetta and smoked mozzarella.EXPAND
The crust at Reggiano's is thin but tender, with some of the most flavorful toppings found in the borough, like this one with pancetta and smoked mozzarella.
Mary Bakija, the Village Voice

If you haven’t hopped on the ferry or trekked across the Verrazano in the past few years, you may not realize the quality (and quantity) of new pizzerias that have popped up on Staten Island. Of course, it wasn’t exactly short on excellent pies — with a strong Italian-American presence, the borough has been a pizza stronghold for decades. We recently paid a visit to a number of pizzerias with storied histories, as well as ones that have only just begun to break in their ovens, and present the best of both worlds below. Mangia!

Old School:

The pie to get at Denino's is the M.O.R., a wonderful mess of meatballs, onions, and ricotta cheese.EXPAND
The pie to get at Denino's is the M.O.R., a wonderful mess of meatballs, onions, and ricotta cheese.
Mary Bakija, the Village Voice

Denino's Pizzeria and Tavern (524 Port Richmond Avenue, Staten Island; 718-442-9401)
Originally opened in 1923 as a confectionery, Denino's introduced the pizza we’re still ordering today way back in 1951. And it’s not just us — nearly every night you’ll find the expansive restaurant and tavern bustling with kids coming from soccer games, friends meeting to split a pie (or three), and tourists who made the long journey from midtown. The pie to get is the M.O.R., a wonderful mess of meatballs, onions, and ricotta cheese spread atop a crust that’s halfway between the puffy rendition emblematic of Staten Island and the borough's equally notable cracker-thin variants.

Joe & Pat's serves the epitome of the Staten Island cracker-crust pizza.EXPAND
Joe & Pat's serves the epitome of the Staten Island cracker-crust pizza.
Mary Bakija, the Village Voice

Joe & Pat’s (1758 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island; 718-981-0887)
This is the epitome of the Staten Island cracker-crust pizza. Opened by the Pappalardo brothers in 1960, the restaurant extends the sense of family throughout, with neighbors greeting one another as they pick up their pies to go. Skip the larger seating area to the side of the pizzeria and eat at the counter instead, where you can watch the well-choreographed staff joke around while they slap dough (a practice that can take a year to master), spread tangy sauce, cubes of mozzarella, and small slices of pepperoni whose edges curl and crisp when cooked, and tend to the pies in the rotating oven.

Adventurous eaters shouldn’t miss the clam pie at Lee's Tavern.EXPAND
Adventurous eaters shouldn’t miss the clam pie at Lee's Tavern.
Mary Bakija, the Village Voice

Lee’s Tavern (60 Hancock Street, Staten Island; 718-667-9749)
There’s no sign, no street number, no internet presence, but everyone in the neighborhood — and those who’ve hopped off the Staten Island Railway stop across the street — knows the spot, which has been serving up thin-crust pizza since 1940. Pull up a stool, chat with a jocular bartender, and order a bar pie, which is just the right size to finish alongside a pint — though the atmosphere will probably invite you to stay for at least one more. Like at many of the borough’s pizzerias, you can order the fried calamari as an appetizer or as a topping on the pizza, but the adventurous shouldn’t miss the clam pie.

New School:



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