TPizza copyo quote Jon Stewart from The Daily Show, “NYC is a bit of a pizza mecca.”   You can find a parlor on practically every block but not all New York pizza is great.  So what is the difference between “convenience” pizza and a good authentic New York slice?

In general, a New York-style pizza slice is known for its large, wide, thin and foldable shape.  Its thin, hand-tossed crust is made from a high-gluten bread flour.  Allegedly, the flavor of the crust comes from the minerals present in the New York City water used to make the dough.  Most really good pizza in the city is made in a brick oven and has good quality toppings like fresh garlic, mozzarella and basil.

New Yorkers are passionate about their pizza and will argue about which is better and thus there is no “best” pizza.  Below is a list of reliably great pizza pie.  There are often lines for these pizza joints so get there early.

Lombardi’s – 32 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 The first Lombardi’s opened in Little Italy in 1905 a few blocks from where this parlor now exists.  It claims to be the first pizzeria in the United States.

John’s of Bleecker Street – 278 Bleecker Street, New York NY 10014 (at Jones Street)

Grimaldi’s – 19 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (under the Brooklyn Bridge) Named No.1 by Zagats and the lines reflect the rating.

Totonno’s  – 1524 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11224 (b/n West 15th and West 16th streets)
If you happen to be in Coney Island and crave a slice, this joint was started by Antonio “Totonno” Pero who was a former employee of the original Lombardi’s.  So good it doesn’t need a website. 

Patsy’s – 2287 First Avenue, New York NY 10035 (b/n East 117th and East 118th streets) Was founded in 1933 and its first shop was located in Harlem.  There are a few Patsy’s around the city and all have tasty pizza.

Lucali’s – 575 Henry Street, Brooklyn NY 11231 (b/n Carroll Street and 1st Place) BYOB This is one of the newest additions and a strong contender in pizza rivalry.  If there is a long wait you can go across the street to the Crave wine bar and have a drink.

Oh yeah, and no eating with a fork and knife.