The Ten Best New-School Pizzas in NYC

Bruno's pepperoni-ranch pizza
Bruno's pepperoni-ranch pizza
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

New York City’s love affair with pizza stretches back well over a century, but only in the past two decades have diners seen an expanding range of regional pie styles and artisanal (occasionally outlandish) ingredients championed by local pizzaioli. Today, Neapolitan-style pies are the norm among newly opened shops, and everything from blood sausage to rabbits and snails wiggle their way onto contemporary crusts.

We’ll probably always be a pizza town, but our threshold for the experimental stuff seemingly knows no bounds. With that in mind (and keeping an open mind), here are our ten best new-school pizzas:

Marta's margherita
Marta's margherita
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

10. Marta (29 East 29th Street, 212-651-3800)
Despite what R. Kelly crooned in "Ignition (Remix)," hotel lobbies make great party venues. To wit, there’s a veritable pizza shindig going on in the Martha Washington thanks to chef Nick Anderer and juggernaut restaurateur Danny Meyer. Emerging from two massive wood-burning ovens, Anderer’s cracker-thin Roman-style pies embrace regional Italian flavors. One references southern puttanesca sauce with capers, olives, and anchovies. Another recalls the country’s northern reaches via combinations of fontina and mushrooms (meaty hen-of-the-woods and chanterelles) and leeks, bacon, and scallions. Don’t miss the carbonara riff (on the menu since day one), featuring coddled eggs poured with Di Fara–like care over crisped potatoes, guanciale, and showers of pecorino and black pepper.

9. Rubirosa (235 Mulberry Street, 212-965-0500)
Pizza fiends seek out this Italian-American gem for a taste of the Pappalardo family’s exceptional thin-crust pies, first made famous 55 years ago at Joe & Pat’s in Staten Island’s Castleton Corners neighborhood. Rubirosa’s pitch-perfect “classic” recipe banks on sweet tomato sauce festooned with dabs of fresh mozzarella. And while you won’t find buffalo chicken slices on the menu here, the kitchen’s Tie-Dye pizza gets playful with vodka, pesto, and marinara sauces squirted about in Jackson Pollock–like fashion for a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors on both plate and palate.

The Ten Best New-School Pizzas in NYC
Best Pizza

8. Best Pizza (33 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn; 718-599-2210)
Frank Pinello’s spare and humble five-year-old slice shop traffics in wood-fired New York–style thin-crust and Sicilian pizzas made with high-quality ingredients. His menu sticks to the basics, letting customers choose toppings like pickled vegetables, caramelized onions, or kale. The gluten-free dough he’s devised mercifully doesn’t suck, and the Bensonhurst-reared pizza paddler bakes a white pie that’s second to none. Painted with broad dollops of melted ricotta and pecorino, its dark crust gets a dusting of sesame seeds that teases the charred dough's inherent nuttiness. Caramelized onions lend a full-bodied sweetness that ably punctuates the barrage of dairy.

Roberta's Dad Bod pizza
Roberta's Dad Bod pizza
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

7. Roberta’s Bakery (263 Moore Street, Brooklyn; 718-417-1118)
Roberta’s, Bushwick’s famed pizzeria and gastronomic commune — which hosts beehives, an indie radio station, and a destination tasting counter within its concrete walls — puts out some of the city’s most creative wood-fired Neapolitan pies. It also commands hours-long waits frequently enough that it sprouted a pizzeria and bakery down the street to absorb runoff and service the area’s delivery needs. There, people will find many of the restaurant’s greatest hits, like the three-cheese Cheesus Christ and the Axl Rosenberg, a spicy number with soppressata, jalapeños, and mushrooms. Pizzaiolo Anthony Falco’s pillowy crusts stand up to all kinds of bold flavors, including the heady combination of pastrami, pickle juice, garlic, pepperoncini, and peppery Italian goat cheese known as the Dad Bod.

Whit's End's margherita
Whit's End's margherita
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

6. Whit’s End (97-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Queens)
Fine-dining vet Whitney Aycock runs the show at this tiny pie parlor nestled into a low-slung building that’s walking distance from the Rockaway Park boardwalk. With only a handful of stools and a couch for seating, the restaurant is dominated by a massive wood-burning oven, its domed cover painted with a vivid seascape, which takes up nearly a third of the space. Both Aycock and the oven roar throughout the night, the man calling out to his crew as he stretches dough and chops wood to feed his furnace, the furnace charring the chef’s inspired creations, like littleneck clams bolstered by house-made sausage and fried artichoke hearts scattered over charred-lemon ricotta. Aycock divides his airy and blistered single-serving pizzas into quarters — a good thing, since you’ll want to try as many of them as possible.



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