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)
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.
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…
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.
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)
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.