In New York City, it’s possible to stop into pretty much any hole-in-the-wall pizzeria, shell out $3, and be on your way with a very serviceable slice. But, as with everything else, there are slices and then there are slices. Here are nine not-to-be-missed pizzerias in Brooklyn.
Grimaldi’s (Dumbo/Brooklyn Heights)
If you’re at Brooklyn Bridge Park and you see a line stretching down Front Street, those aren’t people waiting for Beyonce tickets. They’re waiting to wolf down a pie at Grimaldi’s. Patsy Grimaldi sold the eponymous pizzeria to Frank Ciolli, the current owner and former customer, over a decade ago, but the shop’s coal-fired oven and strict rules — cash only, no slices — have kept its cult status.
Juliana’s is the latest pizzeria from Patsy and Carol Grimaldi | Juliana’s
Juliana’s (Dumbo/Brooklyn Heights)
Not content to stay out of the pizza business, Patsy and Carol Grimaldi opened a new spot named for Patsy’s mother, who was born in Melfi, Italy. Named one of the best pizza places in the country by Thrillist, the pies here are straightforward, well-seasoned and come topped with thick discs of cream fresh mozzarella. And, no lines, just excellent pizza.
Brussels sprouts pizza | Motorino
They may have locations in Manhattan and Hong Kong now, but Motorino got its start in Brooklyn. Their thin-crusted, Neapolitan-style pies are known for their simple but delicious toppings — the Brussels sprouts pizza has a cult following. The Brooklyn location is perfect for a snack after walking across the Williamsburg Bridge, and their daily lunch special, $12 for salad and a pizza, is a killer deal.
Roberta’s custom-made oven | Roberta’s
Roberta’s (East Williamsburg)
Yes, a waitress once worked her last shift here naked. Yes, the pizzas have clever names like the Tonya Charding, layered with Swiss chard, robiola and speck. Yes there’s a huge garden out back and a radio station too. And yes, Roberta’s is responsible for the infamous dance party known as Tiki Disco. They also make a damn fine pizza.
Domenico DeMarco at work | Di Fara’s
Di Fara Pizza (Midwood)
Hands down the cultiest slice in Brooklyn. Domenico DeMarco emigrated from Italy in the 1950s and has been Brooklyn’s most dedicated pizzaiolo since the mid-1960s. Di Fara’s is a trek, and the small shop is usually crowded with hungry customers — DeMarco’s determination that everything be just so makes for a slow-moving line. But the trip, and the pizza, are an experience worth writing home about.
The famous Sicilian slice at L&B Spumoni Gardens | Jocy C. via Yelp
L&B Spumoni Gardens (Gravesend)
Pick a nice day to visit Spumoni Gardens so you can sit outside, watch the neighborhood pass by, and really soak it all in. You can eat inside in the dining room, where they offer a full menu, but you’re really here for the Sicilian slice, a thick crust square where the cheese goes on first, followed by sauce. And save room for spumoni. A great stop on the way back from Coney Island.
Yes, this PeteZaaz pie has a deep-fried egg on top of it | PeteZaaz
PeteZaaz (Crown Heights)
Not for traditionalists! PeteZaaz is all about an ever-changing menu and so-crazy-they’re-amazing toppings. Try the Baked Potato pizza with cheddar, bacon, and crème fraîche, or the Drunken Clam with vodka-tomato sauce, spinach, burrata and a fried egg. Don’t worry-you can get a slice if a whole pie seems a little much.
Great pizza and a warm atmosphere | Paulie Gee’s
Paulie Gee’s (Greenpoint)
Another spot where the toppings and the pizza names tend toward the clever. Try the Hell Boy with fresh mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, Berkshire sopressata picante, parmigiano reggiano and Mike’s Hot Honey, a local favorite. The pies here tend to incorporate ingredients from around Brooklyn, like the Hometown Brisket, which comes with barbecued brisket and sauce from Hometown BBQ in Red Hook. Though there tends to be a wait, especially on the weekend, this room is one of the coziest in Brooklyn.
Go for the fried pizza | Forcella
The thing to get here is the Montanara, a style of pizza with a flash-fried crust made popular in Rome. The regular pizzas, with toppings like burrata, caramelized onions, fontina and truffle oil are also excellent, as are the salads and other appetizers.
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