Asking a New Yorker to share the best local pizzeria is like asking a parent to choose their favorite child—it's divisive and usually requires serious soul searching. After all, NYC is synonymous with its dinner plate–size slices refined over decades by Italian immigrants who brought the staple over from Naples in the early 1900s. There are urban legends about why the dough tastes so good (the mineral-rich water is rumored to be key) and turf wars have been waged to maintain the coveted top spot (the Grimaldi versus Juliana rivalry is ongoing).
So when we asked Brooklynites to reveal their top pizzeria, we expected pushback, but instead we were met with a concise list of top-notch restaurants that were nearly identical. Start your culinary tour of New York's coolest borough with these seven hot spots. Locals agree: These are the best pizzerias in Brooklyn.
What: Roberta's, a Brooklyn establishment famous for its Bee Sting pizza and cool outdoor patio
Life-Changing Slice: "The Bee Sting pizza has been emulated (but never replicated) all over the country," says local Rachel Van Dolsen, founder of hospitality PR firm RVD Communications, of the chili and honey slice. "Plus the laid-back atmosphere feels so Brooklyn. It's a must-try for any pizza lover—but good luck getting a table, it's notoriously busy."
What: Emmy Squared, the cool, younger sibling of Clinton Hill pizzeria Emily, known for its Detroit-style pies
Life-Changing Slice: The Emmy pie is a must for first-timers. The signature slice is a cheesy medley of mozzarella, banana peppers, onions, and ranch.
ARCHIE'S BAR AND PIZZA
What: Archie's Bar and Pizza, a hole-in-the-wall haunt beloved for its late-night menu
Life-Changing Slice: "The pan pizza stands out among its traditional New York–style peers, and it's the perfect place to post up for an afternoon of beers, pizza, and drawing on paper plates," says foodie Maggie Rossetti. "I try to mix it up, but my favorite combination is the cheese pie with pesto and garlic."
What: Best Pizza, a well-named hot spot that uses a century-old wood-burning oven to create some of the best slices in town.
Life-Changing Slice: You can't go wrong with the white slice influenced by founder Frank Pinello's Brooklyn roots and Sicilian heritage.
What: Juliana's Pizza has a long-standing rivalry with neighbor Grimaldi's. Pizza legend Patsy Grimaldi started the eponymous restaurant in 1990 then sold off his interest, before opening Juliana's in 2012.
Life-Changing Slice: The margherita and pepperoni pizza often garner rave reviews. But be warned—this is a tourist haven, so arrive early to avoid a line that snakes down the street.
What: Paulie Gee's, a pizzeria with excellent wood-fired pizzas topped with locally-sourced ingredients.
Life-Changing Slice: Specializing in classic New York slices, the Franklin Street establishment masters the basic pie. It's housed in an industrial space that founder Paulie Giannone describes as having the spirit of "an old '60s New York slice joint."
What: Speedy Romeo serves up pizzas prepared in a hardwood Italian pizza oven and has locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Where: Clinton Hill
Life-Changing Slice: Kind Brother deserves a mention—the creation sees bechamel, wild mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, and a gooey egg on a thin crust.
What's your go-to pizzeria in Brooklyn?