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Sure, everyone tawks about how good New York City pizza is. It’s apparently all in our water… and while Manhattan gets a lot of well-deserved accolades, unless you’re a tourist, you know you’ve really got to get into the boroughs—specifically, Brooklyn—for some of the best slices (and pies and squares) around.

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ultimate pizza guide grimaldis

1. Grimaldi’s…and Juliana’s

Two of BK’s most popular spots—both with lines running around the block—are essentially next door to each other: Grimaldi’s and Julianas, separate joints started by members of the Patsy family. If you’ve never been, close your browser and jump on the water taxi or subway right now—both are conveniently located under the Brooklyn Bridge. That said, Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s are not the be-all and end-all in Kings County. In fact, there are many other places to try—a few we bet you’ve never even heard of.

2. Paulie Gee’s

Located just off the Greenpoint Avenue G stop, Paulie Gee’s draws foodies from all over for its wood-fired pizza that’s only available if you dine in. The place oozes cool Brooklyn vibes with exposed brick walls and beams; it even sits behind what looks like the entrance of a former garage. There are almost two dozen speciality pies, ranging from a classic cheese to one topped with cherries. But maybe what we appreciate most? Paulie Gee’s offers a whopping ten vegan pies, so you’ll never again have to choose between pizza and your friend or family member with a dietary restriction. We also love the “secret pizza” menu, which urges you to ask for cold salted butter to slather on your crust.

3. Totonno’s

Even if you’re not a roller coaster fan, there’s a very good reason to head to Coney Island: Totonno’s Pizzeria, which has been serving the neighborhood for almost a hundred years. The pizza here is so dang good that it’s received a James Beard America’s Classics Award, and the old-school haunt is covered in nostalgic NYC memorabilia that dates back decades, complemented by classic black-and-white checkered floors and fire-engine-red booths. The delicious Neapolitan-style pizza has an addictively crispy crust, which is why this place is always packed. Luckily, you can take your pizza to go and eat it on the boardwalk. (While you’re there, you can also swing by Grimaldi’s Coney Island.)

4. Di Fara

Next up on your glorious pizza tour is Di Fara Pizzeria, which, if you didn’t know, is just sitting there in Midwood waiting for you to come in. You might ordinarily walk past such a nondescript pizzeria, but something about the line of people will surely signal you to get a taste of this 50-year-old Brooklyn tradition. The menu is simple: no fancy specials, just straight-up pizza with the option to add your choice of toppings—the way it should be. While we’re purists at heart, we’d be remiss not to mention that a new location recently opened in Williamsburg and is family owned and operated—and just as yummy as the OG.

5. SottoCasa

SottoCasa may not have as much history as some of the other Brooklyn pizza slingers on this list, but you’ll want to devour every bite of its charred, fluffy crust nonetheless. Choose from an absurd amount of options—ranging from a classic Margherita to a few combos you’ve likely never tried, like the Boscaiola, topped with tomatoes, mozz, hot Italian sausage, Gorgonzola, mushrooms and basil—and try not to miss the burrata pie (!), which is available only Friday through Sunday, so plan accordingly.

6. L&B Spumoni Gardens

If you’re looking for an impossibly good Sicilian square or grandma-style slice, L&B Spumoni Gardens can definitely scratch that itch for you. Heavy on the sauce, L&B offers a Sicilian slice with a bit of a thicker crust and an almost soupy cheese-and-tomato top. The original location has been in the Gravesend neighborhood for 80 years, but it was recently announced that a second location will open in Dumbo, so it’ll be an even quicker trip from Manhattan or Queens. That said, L&B is not just famous for their pizza; they also offer spumoni, a gelato combination of chocolate, pistachio, vanilla and candied fruit. Translation: Come hungry. 

7. Pizza Loves Emily

It’s hard to believe the original Emily opened in Clinton Hill just five years ago, because its uber-thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas have already become an NYC staple. The team has since expanded to excellent Detroit-style and grilled pizzas at Emmy Squared and Violet, respectively, but we keep coming back for the original pies, in combos like the Emily (mozzarella, pistachio, Sottocenere cheese and honey) and the Big Ang (vodka sauce, ricotta, double pecorino, meatball and Peppadew pepper). There’s also an insane burger, if you can spare the stomach space.

8. Sauce & Soda

Wrapping up a list that should really never end (seriously, there’s so much good pizza in BK) is Sauce & Soda in Bushwick. With so many restaurants popping up in the area, it’s hard to know which ones are really good, but this newbie is certainly worth a try. Offering both pies and slices—which sometimes feels like a novelty these days—the pizza spot has some pretty creative and nontraditional options. Case in point: the fried pizza and the “Return of the Mac” slice or pie covered in rigatoni noodles, a four-cheese sauce, toasted breadcrumbs and parsley. Look, we won’t get into the nuances of what makes a pizza, but that sounds pretty damn good no matter what.

With additional reporting by Alexandra Schonfeld

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