Who’s turning out the absolute best pizza in NYC today?
Here are my favorites. The ratings are based on the taste of the best sausage pizzas I have recently* had from each place.
1. Trattoria Otto Zero Nove (Arthur Ave, Bronx)
2. Nick’s (Forest Hills)
4. Lucali’s (Carroll Gardens)
6. Grimaldi’s (DUMBO)
9. Marco Polo (Carroll Gardens)
L & B Spumoni Gardens (Bensonhurst)
Sam’s (Carroll Gardens)
This is in comparison to:
Patsy’s (East Harlem, University, UWS, W 56th), John’s (Bleecker), Lombardi’s, Franny’s (Prospect Heights), Vinny Vincenz, Totonno’s (Coney Island, UES, and Gramercy), Naples 45, Otto, Denino’s (Staten Island), Lil’ Frankie’s, Two Boots (West Village), No. 28 Carmine, Trattoria Anna Maria, Posto, Lazzara’s, Adrienne’s, Piola, Dee’s (Forest Hills), Angelo’s (W 57th), Cafe Centosette, Pizza 33 (14th St/6th), Waldy’s, La Pizza Fresca, Mariella, Artichoke, Dean’s (UWS), Nick’s (UES), Fornino (Williamsburg), Joe & Pat’s (Staten Island), Gotham, Pala, Il Fornaio, Al Forno, Giorgio’s, Mimi’s, Cafe Amore (14th St), Pintaile’s (UES-91st), Louie & Ernie’s (eastern Bronx), among countless others.
There are a few of the restaurants listed among the top 10 and honorable mentions above that I have visited only once. I subscribe to the philosophy expressed by Vince Staten and Greg Johnson in their book "Real Barbecue": "A good [restaurant] can have a bad day. But we have confidence in our selections because we don't think the converse is true: A good place can have a bad day but a bad place can never have a good day."
(A few of the restaurants mentioned do not ordinarily serve sausage/mozzarella/tomato sauce pizzas but agreed to add sausage to their standard margherita pie at my request.)
Some places that I would have included in a list of the best in the past have fallen off their game and can no longer be included (eg, Nick's on Upper East Side, which is actually where I get 90% of my pizzas from simply because it's close to where I live).
All of the top 10 and the honorable mentions are based on whole pies (some of the others listed at the bottom were just slices).
*I sampled (or resampled) each of the top 10 and the honorable mentions within the past few months. I also visited most of the others listed in this post within the past few months. However, there are a few places listed at the bottom that I have not been to in a year or more (because I did not care for their pizza).
I am posting this on the Manhattan board because I focused on Manhattan restaurants. The list includes a few restaurants from other boroughs because they were superior (eg Otto Zero Nove and Nick's) or otherwise noteworthy (DiFara, Lucali).
Of course, everyone has his or her own pizza preferences, so your taste experience may be different.