Beware! You won’t be able to resist heading out for pizza after reading this list.
Our readers are so passionate about their favorites, and we don’t want to get in the middle of that fight. So here, in A-Z order, are W42ST’s best (and our readers tell you why!). We love the personal neighborhood stories as much as the pizza – that’s why Hell’s Kitchen is the BEST!
Graig Linn told us: “There is nothing like getting stung by a Killer Bee – well, unless it is the Killer Bee Pizza from B-Side! It’s the perfect combination of salty soppressata, creamy mozzarella, and sweet honey. Hands down it’s the best pizza in Hell’s Kitchen. I just can’t get enough of it!”
Nick Vagelatos agreed: “B-Side. It’s everything you want in a New York slice: high end, fast, not too pricey, and local!”
B-Side also get the vote of RuPaul’s Drag Race star Jackie Cox.
Amanda Hebert is torn by the choices, and that can vary by time of day: “I like B-Side for the consistency. Always delicious, tastes fresh because it’s made to order, and high-quality ingredients with good combinations of flavors. And pre-COVID, a great atmosphere! Though late night, Claudio’s has my pick.” More about Claudio’s later…
Teena Oh is one of many readers who raves about Baker’s Pizza on 10th Ave.
“Baker’s offers the perfect NY slice with a thin and crunchy crust, perfect tomato sauce, and a generous amount of cheese + toppings on 18″ of pizza goodness!” Teena adds: “Service is always so efficient but also super friendly, which makes the experience that much better every time.”
Doug Leonard told us: “Baker’s Pizza is my fave! The crust is both crispy and doughy, and they serve an amazing pepperoni slice. They never skimp on the toppings!”
The author has this as the top of his list too. Especially for their pre-pandemic breakfast slices.
Bar Dough is a newcomer. It only opened up on Restaurant Row last September., and has already built a following – but is challenged, like many, with the lack of tourists and Broadway audiences.
David Batista is a born and raised New Yorker. He confesses: “I can be picky when it comes to pizza.” The team at Bar Dough has won him over though. “I’ve found their pizzas to be wonderful and crispy, but I’m a fan of thin crust so it was easy to win me over. I’ve loved the Hellboy — which isn’t really spicy at all so no need to fear the name. The Sprout — if you love Brussels sprouts then you will like this, especially with balsamic on it, and a special one they made for us called Lebanese, which was like having a nice Greek salad on a pizza with feta and olives.”
Stan Friedman shares the love: “The Puttanesca Pie is perfect.” The perfection was echoed by Cera Zittlow: “Because of its perfect crust and specialty pizzas.”
Capizzi is an old-time pizzeria and shares a foodie block with International Grocers and Sea Breeze. It’s proximity to all that Port Authority has to offer can be a disadvantage — but it’s worth the risk.
Jennifer Ramirez loves the “the friendly, warm family atmosphere,” and told us: “Crispy crust, fresh ingredients. I am such a huge fan of the Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza.”
Owner Joe Calcagno also counts Jerry Seinfeld among their celebrity fans. Jerry calls it: “My favorite New York pizza.”
Readers are lining up along 10th Ave to sing the praises of Claudio’s pizzas. We already know they are a late-night favorite of Amanda Hebert.
Christina Costanza Adorno told us to “have the Hell’s Kitchen slice. Great food and staff.”
Yaneeke Samuels loves the pizza and the generosity: “Claudio’s is quick and hot. I always burn the top of my mouth whenever I get a cheese slice. If Claudio is there, he always talks to me and throws in a beef patty or garlic knots. He’s a neighborhood gem.”
The ultimate pizza recommendation is added by Bradley Stuhr: “There’s something about their sauce that makes me crave it even while I’m eating it!”
Book editor Jenny Pierson used Corner Slice as part of her pandemic survival kit. “The most surprising thing I learned while editing the now-very-relevant book Disaster Preparedness NYC was that in a disaster, you can’t live on beans alone; comfort foods are essential!” Her solution: “Pizza from Corner Slice helped get me through the early days of lockdown. The smell on that corner of the pizzas baking, especially when few places were open for takeout in the uncertain early days, leaves no choice but order a pie (with extra cheese).”
Everyone raves about their crust. Tammy Scozzafava said: “The focaccia crust is light and airy and simply amazing! And the toppings are fresh. They’ve changed my pizza game!”
Lisa Lombardo added: “The thyme in their mushroom pizza is so good. And their crust is the best.” Joseph Elias joined in with “the focaccia bread is everything”.
This had been a pandemic discovery for me. Italian Giorgia Caporuscio is a Master Pizzaioula and was the youngest Woman Pizza Maker World Champion back in 2013.
Emily McGill has followed the multi-generational story through Roberto, Georgia’s father. “I was first introduced to Roberto’s incredible pizza as a teen when he opened a small shop in Pittsburgh, PA. Upon learning of his relocating to New York and opening Kesté downtown, and Don Antonio in Midtown, it is a joy to still get to eat his pizza two decades later. Plus, have you had that Nutella pizza?!?!”
“Best Neoplatonism pizza and best gluten-free pizza in NYC,” declared Julia Campanelli.
Rachel Colton has tips on what to try: “Brick oven-cooked personal pies, signature fried pizza, and the many varieties for white sauce and red sauce are all creatively based on Italian cuisine. Plus, truffle burrata!”
Mirjana Vicari is a big fan of their GF too: “I literally cried when I first had Don Antonio pizza and had to call to double check you actually sent a gluten free one. It’s that good!”
Like many of us, Matt Fox from Fine and Dandy mourns the loss of Il Baretto on 11th Ave. “I was so sad when Il Baretto closed but we still have Il Baretto To Go a couple of blocks north,” Matt tells us. “Their pizza isn’t your typical corner slice variety – each Roman-style slice overflows with fresh toppings. My favorites are the burrata with cherry tomatos and basil and the bianca with ricotta, parmigiano, and zucchini. Yum!”
Hilda Magee casts her vote: “Il Baretto, because it’s delicious!”
Yana Vinogradov told us she had tried others, but always came back to La Vela. “Thin, delicious crust ( they make their dough on premises). So good!”
Lori Anne Graziano harked back to before the pandemic. “La Vela’s are so fresh and take minutes coming out of their beautiful brick oven.” She pines: “Watching the chef make it right in front of you with a fabulous glass of wine (pre-covid) is entertainment in itself.”
Many see Sacco as the “classic” Hell’s Kitchen pizza.
Kerry Byrne moved to Hell’s Kitchen during the pandemic, and has been scouting around for the best local pizza. He put out an APB on social media: where, exactly, is the best pizza in the neighborhood? “Locals (young and old) almost unanimously said Sacco. It was legit!
“There from behind a little sidewalk takeout window I found everything I had been looking for in a New York pizza: solid sauce, perfect cheese and, most notably, a paper-thin crust so delicate yet so crispy it blew my mind. Arguably the best crust I’ve ever tasted in a pizza. As wispy thin as phyllo dough, yet pizza flavor through and through. I sat on a little bench on the sidewalk out front with a soda and two slices. A perfect New York City pizza moment right here in Hell’s Kitchen.”
Gwen Korbel reminisces and compares with Joe’s (another NYC pizza classic — but not in HK). “Tie: Joe’s Pizza, Sacco. Joe’s edges out Sacco on variety and quality of toppings, on crispness, and they actually deliver to me on 45th – Sacco doesn’t; Sacco beats Joe’s on authenticity to the pizza of my growing-up/high-school/college years, the gooey-ness, and the (remembered) joy of getting a slice or two from Sacco on my way home from wherever.”
It’s number one for Andrea Kleiman: “I love Sacco pizza. This place is old school NYC. It reminds me of my ’70s childhood, and they make a damn good simple slice for $2.75.”
Jim Lahey is a world-renowned baker. Before starting his own business, he worked for Amy Scherber at another Hell’s Kitchen favorite bakery, Amy’s Bread. Jim’s legendary no-knead bread recipe is a starting point for many learning to bake.
Jim creates amazing pizzas, and has a huge fan base in the city and locally.
Elaine Keating-Brown is a supporter: “Their cauliflower one and their potato ones are delicious. The kids love the pizza bianca and the ‘red’.”
When New York City went on pause in March, chef Charlie Marshall had to come up with a new idea. He decided to use his wood-fired oven to help feed the locals with pizza (rather than his high-end farm-to-table offering). It’s been an amazing success with Hell’s Kitchen locals.
Melanie McCarthy enthuses: “Just had shrimp scampi pizza from The Marshal today. Delicious. Thin crust and really garlicky. Awesome.”
Recognizing the effort Charlie makes, Heather Fraser said: “Their ingredients are so high quality and fresh!”
Daniel O’Mahoney-Schwartz recognizes the commitment to locals: “Outside of the old-school places (Spumoni Gardens, Lombardi’s, etc) I prefer the personal pizzas, and really like what The Marshal do with theirs. They also made an effort from the beginning of the coronavirus crisis to help out in the community, ie delivering pies to those in need.”
NBC news reporter Elisha Ortiz has had her own PPP — Pandemic Pregnancy Pizza. She’s seven months pregnant – and her tastes have been changing.
“In late January, I found out I was pregnant, and was craving all things marinara sauce, including pizza. We were able to fit in one visit to Bar Dough before they closed in March. Then, as if Charlie knew, The Marshal started offering wood-fired pizza for takeout. We love everything The Marshal does, and the pizza was no different.
“By my second trimester, I guess I had overloaded on red sauce and couldn’t even look at anything resembling it (not even shakshuka). But then something happened in late June. We had just returned from a little getaway in Connecticut, and I had a doctor’s appointment so I wasn’t able to eat lunch. After the appointment, I realized I wanted … a slice of pizza. I stopped at two places (one wasn’t selling slices yet and one only had regular cheese) before I ended up at Uncle Mario’s. I ordered a margherita slice with a side of extra marinara and was told I could sit outside, even though the chairs were still stacked on the tables. I pulled one chair down and sat there on 9th Ave savoring that piping hot pizza (it was my first time eating ‘out’ in New York City in months, and the crust was paper-thin the way I love it). When I was done, I went back in to drop off my tray, but ended up ordering one more slice to take back out to my table.”
Michael Muñoz, W42ST’s food writer and man behind In Yo Mouth podcast, picked Upside Pizza.
“Upside Pizza, a fantastic slice joint at an unassuming local, is my choice for some of the best “za” in the hood! Pepperoni has always been my go-to and theirs is stellar! Need something to titillate the palette? Try the Falcowitz. The white wine lemon cream sauce with mushrooms always has me begging for more. Order a pie and then throw an egg on the leftovers in the morning and call it brunch!
“And it gets quieter as you head towards 8th Ave these days. What’s not to try?”
Vito’s is a new addition to 9th Ave (down on the corner of W36th St). Nick Accardi is a longtime Italian chef and restaurateur who currently owns several businesses in Hell’s Kitchen, including the popular Tavola a couple of blocks away.
They had Anna Kendrick at hello… “The first time I noticed it, I tried walking past it, but the amazing aroma coming outside from inside was too much to resist and I’m so glad I tried it out, as their simple cheese slice is one of the best I’ve ever had.”
Linda Esposito has also been converted: “Vito’s on 36th and 9th. Best slice and all-around grandma slices.”
You can even get an ice cream after your slice!
Honorable mentions go to Don Giovanni (358 W44th St), Gotham Pizza (852 8th Ave), John’s of Times Square (260 W44th St), Justino’s Pizza (881 10th Ave), New York Sal’s Pizza (696 10th Ave), Patzeria Family & Friends (311 W48th St), and Tavola (488 9th Ave).
You can find all of these Hell’s Kitchen Pizza spots on the map below.