Discovering Manhattan’s Pizza Scene

Manhattan’s Pizza Treasures

As a pizza fanatic, I’ve roamed the streets of Manhattan, hunting down its pizza gems. From iconic spots to hidden treasures, there’s no shortage of mouthwatering options. If you’re on a mission to find the best pizza in Manhattan, you’re in for a tasty adventure.

Popular joints like Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village and Fiore’s in SoHo are famous for their perfectly balanced pies. Can you really call yourself a pizza lover if you haven’t tried a slice from John’s on Bleecker Street or Lombardi’s on Spring Street, which claims to be America’s first pizzeria, open since 1905 (Cozymeal)?

For a quick, affordable fix, 99 Cent Fresh Pizza is your go-to. Their two-slice one-topping special for under $5 is a deal that’s hard to beat. If you’re looking for a sit-down experience, Motorino’s sophistication will charm you, especially with their Brussels sprout pizza.

The Heart of New York Pizza

New Yorkers have high standards for their pizza, and they know exactly what makes a classic New York slice. The quintessential New York pizza is a plain one with a thin crust that cracks when folded, topped with just enough sauce and mozzarella cheese. Toppings? Maybe one or two, three at most, because the beauty lies in its simplicity (Quora).

So what makes these slices so special? It’s all about the balance. The crust is thin but sturdy enough to hold the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. Lombardi’s, for example, uses a “purist tomato sauce” and fresh whole milk mozzarella on their coal oven-baked pies, setting the bar high.

To help you navigate through Manhattan’s pizza wonderland, here’s a quick guide to some top spots:

Pizza PlaceSpecialtyLocation
Lombardi’sCoal oven baked piesSpring Street
NY Pizza SupremaPlain cheese sliceMidtown
Joe’s Pizza BroadwayPlain cheese pieBroadway
99 Cent Fresh PizzaTwo-slice one-topping specialVarious
MotorinoBrussels sprout pizzaMultiple

For more pizza adventures outside Manhattan, check out our guides to the best pizza in Brooklyn and the best pizza in Times Square. Happy pizza hunting!

Top Picks in Manhattan

When it comes to finding the best pizza in Manhattan, I’ve embarked on a delicious quest to uncover the top picks. From legendary pizzerias to budget-friendly spots, these are the must-visit places.

Lombardi’s Legacy

Lombardi’s isn’t just a pizzeria; it’s a piece of history. Known as the first pizzeria in America, Lombardi’s has been serving up heavenly pies since 1905. They use a “purist tomato sauce” and fresh whole milk mozzarella on their coal oven-baked pies (Cozymeal). If you haven’t tried their Margherita pizza, are you even living?

Pizza PlaceSpecialtyPrice Range
Lombardi’sMargherita$

NY Pizza Suprema’s Mastery

NY Pizza Suprema is the go-to spot for a classic cheese slice. Their plain cheese slice is a crowd favorite and considered the best in Manhattan (Cozymeal). This place is perfect for those who appreciate the simple, yet divine, pleasures of a well-made cheese pizza.

Pizza PlaceSpecialtyPrice Range
NY Pizza SupremaCheese Slice$

Joe’s Pizza Broadway Delight

Joe’s Pizza on Broadway is a Midtown gem. Known for its plain cheese pie, Joe’s holds a special place in the hearts of pizza lovers. If you find yourself in Midtown, do yourself a favor and grab a slice.

Pizza PlaceSpecialtyPrice Range
Joe’s PizzaPlain Cheese Pie$

99 Cent Fresh Pizza Deal

If you’re ballin’ on a budget, 99 Cent Fresh Pizza is your best friend. They offer a two-slice one-topping special for less than $5. Cheap, cheerful, and cheesy—what’s not to love?

Pizza PlaceSpecialtyPrice Range
99 Cent Fresh PizzaTwo-Slice Special$

Motorino’s Sophistication

Motorino offers a more upscale, sit-down pizza experience. Known for their innovative toppings, the Brussels sprout pizza comes highly recommended (Cozymeal). It’s the perfect spot for a fancy pizza date or a treat-yourself moment.

Pizza PlaceSpecialtyPrice Range
MotorinoBrussels Sprout Pizza$

For more pizza adventures beyond Manhattan, check out my picks for the best pizza in Brooklyn and the best pizza in Chicago. Happy eating!

The NYC Pizza Principle

Historical Correlation

Ah, the NYC Pizza Principle! This quirky yet fascinating concept draws a tasty parallel between the price of a slice of pizza and the cost of a subway ride in New York City. The theory goes like this: when the price of one goes up, the other follows, and vice versa. It’s like the universe’s way of saying, “You can’t enjoy a good pizza without also paying for a subway ride.”

In 1960, both a slice of plain pizza and a subway token were roughly 15 cents. By the stagflationary 1970s, these prices had risen to about 35 cents. Fast forward to the early 2000s, and a slice of pizza climbed to $2.00, while subway tokens were at $1.50. Clyde Haberman of the New York Times noted the $0.50 spread between the two prices (AIER).

Here’s a delightful table to illustrate this historical correlation:

YearSubway Token PricePizza Slice Price
1960$0.15$0.15
1970s$0.35$0.35
Early 2000s$1.50$2.00
2005$2.00$2.25
2013$2.50$2.50

Inflation’s Tasty Indicator

The NYC Pizza Principle isn’t just a fun fact; it’s also been considered an indicator of inflation. When both subway fares and pizza slice prices rise, it’s a sign that inflation might be on the move. In 2005, subway tokens were at $2.00, and pizza slices were $2.25. By 2013, both subway fares and slices of plain pizza were priced at $2.50 (AIER).

However, things got a bit messy in the second half of the 2010s. The introduction of Metrocards and a more complicated pricing structure for NYC mass transit seemed to break down the correlation. Subway fares now stand at $2.75, while pizza slices range from three to five dollars, although some still offer a slice for between $2.00 and $3.00 (AIER).

So, the next time you bite into a slice of the best pizza in Manhattan, take a moment to appreciate not just the flavors but also the rich history and quirky economic principles that come along with it. And if you’re ever curious about the best pies outside of the Big Apple, explore the best pizza in Brooklyn or even the best pizza in Chicago. Happy munching!

Beyond Manhattan

When I found myself craving the best pizza in Manhattan, I decided to venture beyond its borders and explore some legendary pizzerias in other parts of New York. Here are my top picks:

Una Pizza Napoletana

Located at 175 Orchard St in New York, Una Pizza Napoletana is hailed as the best pizza in the US in 2023 (BBC Travel). They offer five classic pizzas with mouth-watering toppings like pepperoni, Calabrian long hot peppers, and Italian anchovies. The catch? They are only open from Thursday to Saturday, and you won’t find takeout options here. Reservations open daily at 9:00 AM, two weeks ahead. If you want to experience pizza heaven, plan accordingly!

John’s of Bleecker Street

Nestled at 278 Bleecker St in New York, John’s of Bleecker Street is an old-school West Village institution known for its coal-fired thin and crunchy pizzas. With 16 toppings and eight specialty pizzas, there’s something for everyone. “The Boom Pie” is a must-try! Just a heads-up: they have a no-slices policy and do not take reservations. So, bring your friends and enjoy a whole pie!

Mama’s TOO!

At 2750 Broadway in New York, Mama’s TOO! offers a delightful variety of square slices that blend the classic New York Sicilian pie style with the lightness and variety of Roman al taglio slices (BBC Travel). Their House Slice, with its thin, rigid undercarriage and layers of low-moisture mozzarella and sauce, is particularly recommended. It’s like a flavor explosion in every bite!

L’Industrie Pizzeria

Located at 254 S 2nd St in Brooklyn, L’Industrie Pizzeria reimagines the New York slice by using a levain sourdough starter and a poolish leavener. Their round pies feature a thin, pliable base, a crisp, light crusty edge, and minimal saucing. Their signature burrata pizza is a must-try for any pizza lover. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Margherita Pizza

Hidden at 16304 Jamaica Ave in Queens, Margherita Pizza is an under-the-radar slice joint offering saucy, cheesy, and indulgent slices (BBC Travel). Their slices come hot and quick, with cheese pulls that will make your heart sing. If you’re looking for a quick, satisfying fix, this is the place to be.

If you’re ever in the mood to explore pizza beyond Manhattan, these spots are worth the trip. For more top pizza recommendations, check out our articles on the best pizza in Brooklyn and even best pizza in the world. Happy pizza hunting!