The Very Best of Brooklyn Pizza 

There's no food that better represents Brooklyn—or gets people ridiculously riled up—as pizza. It seems as if everyone in this city has a favorite, and will fight you about it. At the risk of getting in a fight with you, 
here are ours.

Pies (Old School)

DiFara 1424 Ave. J, Midwood
At $5 a slice and over $30 a pie, octogenarian Dom DeMarco's offerings aren't cheap—but they're worth it. DeMarco uses the best ingredients money can buy, imported directly from Italy, and gives his attention to each order, taking the pizza in and out of the oven with his bare hands. His slices, doused in not one but two separate coatings of olive oil over fresh basil, are some of the most flavorful around. Pro Tip: Avoid the long waits by ordering in advance on Facebook.

Totonno's 1524 Neptune Ave, Coney Island
Don't skimp out and go to the vaguely affiliated Manhattan locations for this one—the Neptune Avenue original blows the others completely out of the water. While you might be tempted to order toppings for your pie ($16.50), it's best to go plain (when it opened, this location only served plain pies) to let the basic ingredients shine through. The homemade sauce could be a little more potent, but it has tough competition with the fresh mozzarella and house-made dough, the latter of which makes a crust so perfectly smoky it could arguably eaten alone. Believe the hype, this is one old-school 
stalwart worth the train ride.

Toby's Public House 686 Sixth Ave, South Slope
From the outside, it looks like an unassuming neighborhood bar, but when you walk into this South Slope spot, it's hard not to notice the giant wood-burning pizza oven lurking in the back. The pies, which can be described as a fusion of Neapolitan and New York-style pizza, come out quickly and piping hot, and go well with the small (but well curated) beer list. The Smoked Pancetta ($16) would be our favorite…

Grimaldi's 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn Heights
The pizza at Grimaldi's is definitely not worth the seemingly endless wait behind the red velvet rope with everyone and their brother from the Midwest trying to jockey for a table. If you can hit it on an off-hour, however, you'll be able to easily get your hands on a quintessential brick oven pie. Is it bad, tourist trap-y pizza? By no means. Is it the best of the best pizza around, then? Definitely not, but it's one of those “New York experiences” that you should probably do at least once. Pro Tip: Avoid the lines by ordering to pick up—15 minutes later, you're eating pizza by the river.

Sam's Restaurant 238 Court St, Cobble Hill
The storefront of this classic Italian restaurant sticks out like a sore thumb on the mostly gentrified Court Street shopping strip; inside, the décor is straight out of the early 60's. Much of the menu is unremarkable (if satisfying) red sauce Italian, but the pizza ($18.50) is delicious. A classic New York-style pie, the tomato sauce is enjoyably sweet, and the crust is a perfect medium between crunchy/chewy and crisp. This restaurant is an underrated gem.

Pies (New School)

Motorino 319 Graham Ave, Williamsburg
Nestled on a sleepy corner of Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, this immensely popular spot serves up Neapolitan-style pies so face-meltingly good that even Mr. Sifton himself of the Times proclaimed it the “city's best pizza.” While that might be a bit of a stretch, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better individual pie than the Brussels sprouts ($14): topped with a generous amount of smoky pancetta, a delicious fior di latte and pecorino mix, and the veggie itself grilled perfectly, it almost makes you forget everything bad anyone has ever said about the abhorred wild cabbage.

Roberta's 261 Moore St, Bushwick
Everyone's favorite locavore pizza place, complete with backyard garden and cozy communal picnic tables, offers up what so many Neapolitan joints don't have: pies with interesting toppings and bold flavors. The Specken Wolf ($14) is an unsuspecting flavor bomb, the salty speck perfectly complementing the bitter red onions and oregano. Pair it with any of the Six Point beers on tap, and you have yourself one excellent meal.

Franny's 295 Flatbush Ave, Prospect Heights
Despite being one of the pioneers of the city's artisanal pizza movement (and the fact that it's constantly packed) Franny's doesn't get that much buzz nowadays. If their margherita pie ($16) is any indication, the restaurant in its current incarnation is arguably one of the most underhyped places in the city. With a perfectly light and crispy crust and fresh buffalo mozzarella, it isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, but it's nevertheless a delicious pie that deserves to be in the conversation with the city's other Neapolitan-style giants.

Paulie Gee's 60 Greenpoint Ave, Greenpoint
Paul Giannone, a computer programmer and pizzaiolo, has come a long way from cooking pies in his New Jersey backyard to opening his own Brooklyn Neapolitan-style joint in 2010. The crust on the pies is a bit lackluster, but the inventive combinations are worth returning to eat through the entire menu. The Hellboy ($16) is like no other pie around, combining fior di latte and Berkshire sopressata picante with the spicy yet sweet Mike's Hot Honey and a dash of parmigiano reggiano… Honey seems like the last ingredient that would work on a pie, but the sweet (with a kick) stuff does well to compliment the salty sopressata and much more modest fior di latte cheese.

Slices (Old School)

L&B Spumoni Gardens 2725 86th St, Gravesend
The pizza and spumoni recipes have been the same for decades at this Sicilian slice mecca in the heart of Gravesend. The round slice is serviceable, but the famous square (both $2.25) is the one to get. Unbelievably light and airy, the real star here is the perfectly tangy tomato sauce, which is poured over a layer of fresh mozzarella and topped with some parmesan cheese. Pick up a pistachio spumoni ($2.25) on your way out: perfect for shoveling into your mouth on the way back to the subway.

Luigi's 686 Fifth Ave, South Slope
A no-nonsense slice stalwart that has stayed strong in the face of South Slope gentrification, it may not look like much from the outside but the pies that the owner Gio churns out are the epitome of the classic New York slice: cheap (all slices are $2.50) and tasty. Skip the Sicilian in favor of the mozzarella slice.

Slices (New School)

Best Pizza 33 Havemeyer St, Williamsburg
While it's name may be slightly inaccurate, this new Williamsburg slice joint—with its fancy-pants interior and 90's rap blaring over the sound system—exudes an odd combination of old and new school Brooklyn cool. The cheese pie, while more than satisfying, pales in comparison to the off-the-hook white pie ($21 for a pie, $3 a slice). The fresh mozzarella goes perfectly with the caramelized onions that dot each slice and the sesame seeds that similarly cover the perfectly chewy crust. It doesn't get much better than this.


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